Brandy Austin Law Firm PLLC
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Personal Injury Lawyer

The last thing you would expect when you go to see a medical professional is to have your situation worsened due to a negligent act or omission. Unfortunately, that’s the reality for people who are victims of medical malpractice. As a matter of fact, 225,000 people die every year due to malpractice, according to the American Medical Association. In addition, there are many others who are greatly injured under the care of a doctor or physician.

Medical malpractice falls under personal injury law – also known as tort law- and requires proof that there were damages caused by the negligence of the medical professional. In a typical tort claim, the plaintiff may receive compensation for:

  • Emotional distress
  • Lost income
  • Medical costs
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages

What Is Tort Reform?

Tort reform refers to state legislations that limit the amount of money a plaintiff may receive after a successful lawsuit. In addition, tort reform usually includes laws that cap the number of punitive damages awarded as a result of the malpractice. Because tort reform laws vary from state to state, it’s important to seek the professional guidance of an attorney in your area.

Arguments for Tort Reform

People who argue in favor of tort reform insist that this is essential to keep down the costs of healthcare. If there were no caps on what medical professionals were ordered to pay, the price of their mandatory malpractice insurance would sky-rocket. This could cause standard healthcare prices to increase as a result.

Aside from an increased cost of care, it is believed that not having caps on damages rewarded to a plaintiff could affect the way doctors make decisions. Instead of doing what’s right for the patient, they may make decisions based out of fear of a lawsuit.

Arguments Against Tort Reform

On the other side of the coin, people who argue against tort reform claim that it’s not fair to enforce caps that will prevent victims from receiving full compensation for damages caused by malpractice. Tort reform has been called unconstitutional and has even been prohibited in certain states because of this.

Another valid concern is that attorneys are less inclined to take on medical malpractice cases when caps are in place. Many times, a lawyer will charge a percentage of the damages awarded as their only fee for taking on the case. Malpractice can be expensive to prove and may not be worth an attorney’s time if they will only be compensated with a small fee.

Legal Help Is Necessary

If you or someone you know has been a victim of medical malpractice, it’s important to get legal help from an attorney. You’ll need someone who knows the law on your side to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.