Are Medical Malpractice Reforms Hurting Patients?
Medical malpractice laws are set in place for the benefit of injured patients. A bill that Congress is considering, however, seems to do the opposite. H.R. 1215, also called the “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017,” was introduced to the House of Representatives in February. This bill sets forth regulations that seem more geared toward financial gain than the benefit of patients. If passed, it could mean patients don’t get the compensation they need.
Here’s what you need to know about the Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017:
- It limits non-economic damages to $250,000. This means you can only receive $250,000 for non-economic damages for any medical malpractice lawsuit. While this may seem like a lot of money, it isn’t when compared to some situations. If you sustain a serious, life-altering medical condition because of a doctor’s carelessness, you will not be able to get more than the amount allowed in the bill.
- It limits how much compensation you receive and when. This bill requires the dispersal of funds to patients over a long period of time. Thus, instead of getting a lump sum of money when you need it, you will only be able to access a small portion of it over a series of months or years. You will have to wait for your future damage awards, which means you won’t get the funds you need at the time you want.
- It limits grounds for lawsuits against physicians. This bill specifically states that a healthcare provider may not be sued for giving a patient an FDA-approved medical product. Even if your doctor prescribes a medication or other product that injures you, you will not be able to pursue compensation through a class action or product liability lawsuit.
While this bill may seem to have the patient’s wellbeing in mind, the fine print suggests otherwise. At Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A., our Toledo medical malpractice attorneys keep up-to-date on malpractice laws and reforms. We can discuss your options and fight for your rights in court as you seek a positive outcome. You and your family deserve compensation for injuries sustained at the hands of incompetent physicians, and we will do our best to help you meet your goals.
Contact our firm today for a free consultation.