Last night, in his State of the Union Address, President Obama tenderly glossed over a subject that has been a source for much debate over the last few years; medical malpractice reform. The President stated that he was:
“willing to look at other ideas to bring down [health care] costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.”
Tort Reform Hurts Consumers
As medical malpractice lawyers, we find that those who accuse medical malpractice claims of being frivolous do not understand the extent of the damage done to people’s lives when negligent doctors make irreversible mistakes. Tort reform would only serve to harm those who are already victims of their health system, and reduce liability for those companies that, by merit of their missions, should be working for their consumers, not against them.
Medical providers and manufacturers have great responsibilities to those that lend them their trust. Patients put their lives in the hands of doctors and surgeons. Consumers put their lives in the hands of manufacturers. Limiting the liability that these figures would be responsible for would only assist in diminishing the importance of those responsibilities. Many states in the US have already begun putting in place their own tort reform legislation; reform that includes caps on damages. For a family of five in Texas with a working mother that died due to a cancer misdiagnosis, a medical malpractice lawsuit could reap no more than $250,000. This amount of money would hardly cover medical bills, let alone take care of the remaining family members in the absence of their mother’s income.
Allegations that the tort system costs the health care industry billions of dollars a year are constantly debunked. Health Affairs, the leading journal of health policies and research, estimated that less than 2.5% of all healthcare costs can be attributed to medical malpractice litigation. And while tort reformists argue about “frivolous lawsuits,” they never seem to mention the “frivolous defenses.” Medical providers who have made irrevocable mistakes, instead of taking responsibility and compensating accordingly, mount “frivolous defenses,” paying high priced lawyers and medical “experts” to argue that the medicine they practiced was on par with the standard of care.
While most doctors strive to heal, there are those that strive only to gain money and power. These doctors will cut corners and practice negligent medicine, and it’s these doctors that must be held liable. How can we protect patients and consumers when we are restricting punishment and restitution for their harms?
Medical Malpractice Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia
So often, the media taints it’s picture of medical malpractice attorneys and their fight against medical negligence. It is a widespread belief that these “ambulance chasers” want nothing more than money, and they’ll get it any way they can. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Medical malpractice attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning they work for free unless they win. And they work on the side of justice, hoping to earn compensation for those who have been seriously injured and affected by negligence.
If you or a loved one have suffered due to medical malpractice, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.
Let the Mininno Law Office team work to earn you the compensation you need and deserve.