Virginia Doctors and Trial Lawyers Reach Medical Malpractice Insurance Cap Compromise
Side note: Doctors and trial lawyers in Virginia reached a compromise dealing with increasing the state’s medical malpractice insurance cap. The cap is currently set at 2 million dollars and the two parties agreed to yearly increments of $50,000 for the next 20 years. Trial lawyers lobbied for increases to the cap in order to keep up with the annual rise in health insurance premiums. Doctors argue that an increase in the cap would mean higher medical malpractice insurance rates for them.
The cap on awards for malpractice lawsuits in Virginia is going up $50,000 a year for the next 20 years.
A compromise was made November 1, 2010 between trial lawyers and doctors after two lawmakers threatened them to reach a compromise.
In 1999, an incremental increase was made each year until the cap awards reached $2M. That’s when trial lawyers complained that it didn’t to go up in order to keep up with the annual rise in health insurance premiums, but doctors argued against it saying an increase in the cap would mean higher malpractice insurance premiums for them.
In 2009, two lawmakers, Richmond Senator Henry Marsh and Delegate David Albo of Fairfax threatened to come up with a decision on their own, if the two groups didn’t reach a compromise.
Finally, in November, the two groups reached an agreement. Here’s how it works: In 2012, the $2M cap awards will be raised by $50,000 each year for the next 20 years.