In the past few years, there has been some backlash against personal injury attorneys and their lawsuits against nursing homes and hospitals. One such article, written in a large healthcare magazine, even went so far as to suggest that some attorneys use understaffing of workers as an excuse to create lawsuits for cases that would not otherwise be valid. These same writers are arguing for tort reform, which would also put a cap on awards for injury or negligence. They argue that, if there was a cap on awards in the state of Pennsylvania, there would be fewer legal claims and nursing homes may be able to use more workers. They also noted that arbitration decreases the projected expense and awards of cases.
How much do you know about the current state of medical malpractice insurance and insurance reform? Well, recent reports show that medical malpractice premiums and claims per doctor are at their lowest rates in 40 years. However, many patients still feel that they have not received proper compensation for medical errors made during their care. This is related in large part to tort reform.
One of last week's blog posts touched upon the concept of tort reform, which is a major legal topic amongst the personal injury law community. As a refresher from last week, tort reform is a process that involves placing a limit on the dollar amount that a person who files a civil lawsuit can recover. It excludes economic damages, such as lost wages, but places a limit on things like pain and suffering and other compensatory and punitive damages. Tort reform law varies between states, and in most cases, has not been updated in many, many years.
Tort reform has been a hot topic in the legal world, especially in recent months. For those who are unfamiliar, tort reform is a process that involves placing a limit on the dollar amount that a person who files a civil lawsuit can recover. This affects personal injury claims very often, like in lawsuits for car accidents. When a person files a civil suit, they have the opportunity to collect both economic damages, like lost wages, as well as compensatory damages, like pain and suffering. Additionally, there are also cases in which you can pursue punitive damages, which are supposed to act as a deterrent for the defendant to not act in the same negligent manner again. Tort reform places a limit specifically on all non-economic damages, and is governed by state-specific laws.