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Legislators Should Seek Medical Safety Improvements, Not Caps

Recently top Republican law makers have called for medical malpractice reform asserting that a medical malpractice crisis is threatening U.S. health care. This line of argument asserts that frivolous lawsuits are driving up malpractice insurance premiums and forcing physicians out of business. And, as a result they assest, doctors and hospitals live in fear of litigation, ordering excessive tests and treatments that make health care unaffordable for Americans.

With anticipated changes to the Affordable Care Act, many lawmakers are seeking to impose changes in medical malpractice laws similar to those seen in California, such as limits/caps on non-economic damages. However, the truth is that a medical malpractice crisis does not exist, in fact, for the last several years it has been easier for doctors to obtain insurance and practice medicine. Further, limiting consumer's recovery in lawsuits won't make much of a difference in insurance costs. Instead, it will severely curtail the ability of those people injured by medical negligence to be adequately compensated for their injuries.

Thus, proposals should aim at reducing errors, rather than limiting the liabilty of those who do harm. Researchers estimate medical errors claim more than 250,000 lives annually. That would make errors, which include cases of medical malpractice and negligence, the nation’s third-leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer.

As California medical malpractice lawyers, we are committed to fighting for those who have been harmed by medical errors and will fight against any changes in the law that wil reduce patients' access to justice. For more information, please contact the dedicated Calfiornia medical negligence attorneys at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.

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