That's one of the biggest problems with medical malpractice and "tort reform" today. Caps on damages do nothing to make healthcare better or safer for the patient. Instead they punish the victim and apply an arbitrary number to pain and suffering.
What people don't realize is that medical malpractice cases are almost always on a contingency basis and the percentage, regulated or not, makes most cases not worth it for an attorney to pursue from a business perspective and for the patient they will get little, sometimes less than half of that, for pain and suffering.
Physician groups and their insurance companies have lobbied and received protections totally out of whack with the public interest and passed it off as lowering the cost of healthcare, which it hasn't done.
All damage caps have done is reduce victim access to the courts by making the case unprofitable for a plaintiff attorney and given the defendants team a set bar they can raise the cost of litigation to that will make the case too costly for a plaintiff to pay for, basically eroding the winnings by increasing legal fees and costs if they choose a pay as you go case.
Meanwhile, you are far more likely to be killed by a doctors mistake than in a mass shooting yet they go unpunished and no one bats an eye.
The real solution isn't caps on pain and suffering. How is $250,000 for the lifetime of pain and suffering for a 90 year old plaintiff considered equitable relief to that of a 10 year old plaintiff who is limited to the same $250,000? The answer is it is not. The 90 year old is getting say $50,000 for each year of pain they will endure whereas the 10 year old, given equal lifespans, would get roughly $2940 per year of pain and suffering. That's not equitable relief, that's age discrimination and I would love to see those types of caps ruled unconstitutional at a state or federal level. They do not provide equal protection under the law for all victims.
Pain and suffering is something that is lived day by day and hour by hour, not by some random dollar amount that sounds good at a cap. Instead of a cap put a system in place that used the victims life expectancy. Pay $500 per day for pain and suffering caused by negligence and $1000 per day for intentional acts. If you cause 50 years of pain and suffering you pay for 50 years of pain and suffering.
Better yet do away with all caps. Set plaintiff attorney fees at a reasonable rate. Level the playing field from a funding perspective. Make doctors pay out of pocket for their defense. If they win they can file a claim for the cost of defense with their insurance company. If they lose the insurance company pays the plaintiff and drops the doctor, who would then be on the hook for the cost of their failed defense.
Implement a two strikes policy for doctors. Lose two malpractice cases and lose your license to practice medicine in the US. That alone would have more impact than damage caps both in terms of the cost of healthcare and patient safety. A handful of doctors are driving up insurance costs for the rest but there is no "functional" system to remove them from practice.
Practicing medicine is a privilege and not a right. There is no reason why we shouldn't be weeding out bad doctors and taking away that privilege. Medicine is not a field where mistakes, carelessness, and fraud should be allowed or tolerated.