How Healthcare Reform Could Affect Your Right to a Trial by Jury
Some legislators have recently proposed caps on medical malpractice lawsuits. This means limiting the case to a certain dollar amount. Supporters say this would cut down on “frivolous” cases, which they claim keep healthcare costs high.
But in my opinion, capping these lawsuits won’t help average Americans and, in fact, could really hurt them.
Here are some of the problems with caps on medical malpractice lawsuits:
1. Other civil suits don’t have similar caps.
If someone says something offensive about you in the press, you can sue for hundreds of millions of dollars. But if someone takes off your right leg by mistake, you can’t let the jury decide what that’s worth? That is topsy-turvy justice, and not what the law is meant to do.
2. Medical malpractice cases are a big risk for lawyers, and not an easy climb.
Lawyers simply don’t take frivolous cases. Even smaller cases costs tens of thousands of dollars straight from the attorney’s pocket. They don’t get paid a dollar unless they win. Besides, judges can and do throw out a case immediately if they think it’s frivolous.
3. The people who support caps never want to discuss specific cases where those caps might come into play.
Tort reform supporters don’t like to talk about medical malpractice in human terms. They prefer to think of medical malpractice as cases where someone’s finger hurt after he got a blood test. But, as I mention above, judges don’t allow cases like that to move forward. Most of the time we’re actually talking about extreme cases, like leaving scissors in a person after surgery or amputating the wrong foot.
Those medical mistakes can kill a person or impact the rest of their life. Juries hate stories like that, and for good reason. So it’s no wonder they award really high damages when they see such extreme cases.
Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Attorney in Memphis
Medical malpractice is a serious issue, both for patients and their doctors. I abhor frivolous lawsuits and understand why many people think the system is unfair. But I also don’t really see frivolous cases come up very often, and those that do don’t make it to court. Judges respect doctors, as I do.
The courts exist to give people justice – even and especially patients who have no other recourse.
Our Memphis medical malpractice lawyers will fight for you when you’ve been injured by a doctor’s mistake or neglect. Contact us today to speak with an attorney.