provisions of micra

California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) ensures injured patients receive fair compensation while preserving access to health care by keeping doctors, nurses and health care providers in practice and hospitals and clinics open. In 2014, California voters definitively rejected an attempt to quadruple MICRA’s non-economic damages cap. Weakening MICRA’s intent or protections will increase health care costs and reduce access to health care services, especially among those who need it most.

UNLIMITED ECONOMIC COMPENSATION

Provides for unlimited compensation past, present and future damages including medical costs, lost wages, future earnings, custodial care and rehabilitation.

LIMITS ON ATTORNEY CONTINGENCY FEES

Limits attorney’s contingency fee in actions against a health care provider to 40% of the first $50,000 recovered;
33 and ⅓% of the next $50,000; 25% of the next $500,000; and 15% of any amount exceeding $600,000. California Business and Professions Code Section 6146.

AWARDS FOR NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES

Allows for up to $250,000 to be awarded for non-economic damages in a claim against a health care provider for medical liability. California Civil Code Section 3333.2.

ARBITRATION OF DISPUTES

Allows for patients and their health care providers to agree that any future dispute be resolved through binding arbitration. California statute requires specific language for such contracts and also provides that all such contracts be revocable within 30 days. California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1295.

ADVANCE NOTICE OF A CLAIM

Requires a claimant to give a 90-day notice of an intention to bring a suit to further the public policy of resolving meritorious claims outside of the court system. California Code of Civil Procedure Sections 364 and 365.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

Requires a claim under MICRA be brought within one year from the discovery of an injury and its cause, or within three years from an injury. California Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.5.

PERIODIC PAYMENTS OF FUTURE DAMAGES

Provides that a health care professional may elect to pay future economic damages, if over $50,000, in periodic amounts to ensure a steady stream of income for their current and future needs. California Code of Civil Procedure Section 667.7.