Proposed Policy Reforms Threaten Medical Malpractice Victims’ Rights
A new threat to medical malpractice victims is on the horizon. Some politicians in Washington allege that “frivolous” medical malpractice lawsuits are driving up the cost of health insurance for patients and malpractice insurance for doctors. The attorneys at Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A., along with a number of experts, staunchly disagree with these erroneous claims.
According to an article in the Washington Post, proposed legislative reforms would:
- Minimize the amount of compensation medical malpractice victims could receive in a lawsuit.
- Raise the burden of proof for patients alleging medical malpractice.
- Make it easier for doctors to defend themselves in a lawsuit.
While proponents of the reforms say that insurance costs are skyrocketing due to doctors ordering unnecessary tests and surgeries in fear of malpractice lawsuits, experts disagree. According to the Doctors Company, a malpractice insurer, physicians now pay less for malpractice than they did in 2001. Additionally, the rate of malpractice claims has dropped by half since 2003.
One issue for the politicians calling for reform is the cost of “defensive medicine.” This is defined as tests and treatments that are ordered unnecessarily in fear of litigation. On one side, studies suggest that “defensive medicine” costs $100 billion per year. On the other side, pro-reform legislators claim that $300 billion is spent on defensive medicine every year. Undoubtedly, many of those tests and studies have led to diagnoses and successful treatment which otherwise would have been missed.
The divisive issue of tort reform is of major concern for attorneys who represent medical malpractice victims. Lawyers are fearful that caps on malpractice payouts could impact their abilities to hire the right experts, prepare a compelling case, and provide well-deserving clients with the solid representation they desperately need.
Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Medical malpractice also leaves victims paralyzed, brain damaged, missing limbs, and facing other lifelong medical problems. No matter what reform measures legislators may take, the Baltimore and Washington D.C. attorneys of Schochor, Federico and Staton, P.A. are prepared to take every measure to protect your rights and ensure you obtain full and fair compensation.
Appropriate compensation in a medical malpractice claim can help reimburse you and your family for medical expenses, lost wages, and additional expenses. It can also help you pay for future health care and restore some measure of quality of life. Severely injured malpractice victims could face a lifetime of medical complications that require extensive and costly care. Placing caps on medical malpractice claims will limit patients’ ability to obtain the medical care required to manage their condition.
Additionally, proving a medical malpractice case is difficult enough. In fact, many personal injury lawyers do not take on malpractice claims because of the challenges they present. Making it harder for patients to prove their case and easier for doctors to defend themselves could make it nearly impossible for victims to get justice.
Our attorneys are here for you
At the law firm of Schochor, Federico and Staton, we believe in patients’ rights. We believe in ensuring that patients get justice against healthcare professionals that do more harm than good. Tort reform that takes power away from plaintiffs is damaging not only to the legal system and equal access to justice, but to individual patients’ health.
Speak with a seasoned medical malpractice lawyer in Washington D.C. or Baltimore today
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic injury at the hands of a medical practitioner, contact Schochor, Federico and Staton right away. For decades, we have helped the greater Baltimore and Washington D.C. communities heal from the pain and devastation of malpractice. Please contact us today at 410-234-1000 to schedule a consultation.