Medical Malpractice Caps Harm Innocent Victims Notes Cleveland Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Cleveland, OH (Law Firm Newswire) October 11, 2011 - Medical malpractice caps are starting to crop up in more states. The latest is North Carolina.
“Medical malpractice caps penalize victims of medical negligence and for what?” asked Christopher Mellino. Mellino is a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer and wrongful death lawyer of The Mellino Law Firm LLC, in Ohio. “Do insurance companies need to keep more of their money? Why allow doctors to continue to practice and harm more patients? Politicians do not get the bigger picture of innocent victims paying the price for medical errors and being left to live a life they never asked for because a doctor made a mistake. Many will not even have enough money to get proper care. Is that justice?”
North Carolina is aiming to have their medical malpractice bill ready to go this month. If that bill does get put into place, lawyers in that state may well stop accepting those kinds of cases. The new law, should it come to pass, caps what a victim of medical negligence may get for emotional distress, suffering and pain at $500,000. The doctors would still have to pay lost wages, other monetary losses and medical bills as a result of their negligence.
“This law has caused a flurry of controversy,” Mellino pointed out. “One side says it will cut medical insurance costs and help economic growth. First, medical insurance costs are what they are, and the prices are not cut by any insurance company who wants to stay in business and make a profit. Further, how does it help economic growth, when those that need the funds the most will not have enough money to take care of themselves? Instead, they would need to turn to other sources of public funding to sustain themselves.”
Some say there may be an onslaught of medical malpractice lawsuits filed before the law takes effect. “Another outrageous myth,” added Mellino. “Medical malpractice cases only go to court if the case is so bad it screams for justice. Cases like this are not taken to court for the heck of it, or because the lawyer has nothing better to do. If it’s in court, it has merit. It’s as simple as that.”
The bill does have an exception, in that there would be no cap on non-economic damages if a victim was disfigured, loses the use of a body part, dies or sustains permanent damage. There would need to be a direct causal connection between the defendant’s actions and the plaintiff’s injuries, and the defendant’s actions were reckless or grossly negligent.
Nonprofit trial lawyers in that state are sounding the alarm for the loss of individual rights and anticipate they will have to turn away cases they otherwise may have been able to pursue. With the new damage cap, it would make the case more expensive to mount and take to court, and not result in enough compensation for the victim.
“So, that leaves medical malpractice victims with no recourse, other than public funding in order to barely survive,” lamented Mellino. “They had their lives turned upside down by medical negligence and the doctor will not have to take any responsibility for his or her actions. The doctor continues to practice and the victim no longer has the life they used to live and may face round the clock care. What is wrong with that picture?”
What is wrong with this picture is that justice is being denied to many patient victims. Politicians and big insurance are bedfellows who only want more money while victims are left out to defend themselves.
Mellino Law Firm LLC
200 Public Sq. Suite 2900
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Call: (216) 241-1901
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