Pros and Cons of Medical Malpractice Reform

Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Anyone who is familiar with the medical industry understands that medical malpractice is a serious matter. It’s no wonder doctors and other professionals in the business spend significant amounts of money on malpractice insurance. Likewise, people spend massive dollars bring such cases to court. As a result, there has been a growing movement in favor of reforming malpractice laws and limiting the amount of money that can be awarded to people who sue their medical providers.

The Basis of the Argument

Medical malpractice suits are common when a doctor prescribes the wrong medicine or when the person suing believes the doctor or surgeon incorrectly performs the surgery. In such cases, people often seek large sums of money. The main reason for reforming malpractice would be to limit the maximum amount plaintiffs could seek in damages. These include the following:

  • Punitive damages
  • Compensatory damages

In many situations, compensatory damages far exceed punitive damages. Some people seek for millions in the latter, and many parties desire to lower the cap.

For Reform

As one can expect, doctors, nurses, insurance companies, health care organizations, and other medical-related groups are in favor of malpractice reform. These parties argue that limiting the amount for which people can sue will help reduce the instances of needless, time-consuming litigation and other court proceedings. The longer the case is in court and debated among lawyers and others, the more time this takes away from doctors to spend with their patients. Plus, when a doctor becomes embroiled in a malpractice suit, it can temporarily or even permanently put an end to his or her career. Those who speak for reform say it’s not prudent to put a professional’s work at risk due to one mistake.

Against Reform

People and groups who are not in favor of medical malpractice reform insist that lowering the caps on damage claims would minimize the growing concern over the rise in negligence among doctors. In fact, the total number of medical mistakes may be much higher than the cases actually brought to lawsuits. Also, people who want to avoid changes in medical malpractice laws say that many of the lawsuits involve the most serious situations that cause terrible damages and injuries.

As you consider these arguments for and against medical malpractice, it’s important to think about both sides of the issue. Regardless of your opinions, reforming or not reforming these laws will have immediate and long-term effects for the medical industry and for individuals who bring lawsuits to light.

Resource: Medical Malpractice Lawyer Harrisonburg, VA, MartinWren, P.C.

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