A $29 million Jury Verdict in Hampton Highlights Unfairness of Virginia’s Medical Malpractice Cap
Some very fine lawyers from Richmond, Virginia got a huge jury result recently in Hampton. The largest verdicts these days in Virginia are often in the medical malpractice area. The reason is that medical malpractice cases are much more likely than other kinds of personal injury matters like car wrecks to go all the way to a jury trial.
The reason is not that the injuries are necessarily worse in medical malpractice than they are out on the roadways because of negligent truck drivers. The reason is that the insurance companies for doctors fight tooth and nail and almost never settle cases until the medical malpractice case is at the courthouse steps or with the jury.
There are various reasons why medical malpractice insurance carriers in Virginia are more willing to roll the dice with a jury and therefore get hit for big million dollar jury verdicts. The main reason is the unfair law that caps all damages in a medical malpractice case at between $2 million and $3 million under current law.
The medical malpractice cap in Virginia means that no matter how bad the injuries are the most that the person can recover from even the worse doctor or hospital malfeasance is capped in this range.
So let’s say that the harm is clearly a $20 million harm because it’s a child who’s left with crippling injuries, who’s going to need medical care and support for the rest of their lives as a result of the medical negligence. The most that the insurance company will ever have to pay is at the capped amount of $2 million to $3 million.
So in the case of the $29 million result in Hampton the client will never see most of the money. Even though a jury felt that was the fair and reasonable amount of the harm caused the plaintiff will only get the $2 million to $3 million that reflects the amount of the cap on the date that the jury verdict occurred. No one will ever have to pay the other $26 million.
This system is fundamentally unfair to injured people. It basically just favors the insurance companies. They know they will only lose so much, and they are much more willing to make everyone go the distance through a full jury trial where even after the jury has spoken the verdict and the award does not have to be honored.
Congratulations to attorneys Jason Konvicka and Mick McConnell for their outstanding work even in a system that is rigged to favor the insurance company.
The Norfolk, VA based personal injury law firm, Cooper Hurley with client meeting locations in Virginia Beach and Hampton, handles automobile, truck, and motorcycle injuries as well as wrongful death, railroad injury cases and medical malpractice. John Cooper and Jim Hurley have more than 40 years of combined experience in specializing in auto injury as well as other accident claims. Attorney John Cooper has been named to Virginia “Super Lawyers” since 2010. Cooper Hurley represents people hurt in accidents in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News and throughout VA. Our motto is: “Your Injury. Our fight.” If you need help or advice about a serious injury, please call us at (757) 455 -0077 or contact us through this website.