By Joe Messa
Further suggesting that medical malpractice lawsuits are not the reason for increasing medical costs, figures listed in the National Payout Database show that payouts for medical malpractice settlements and/or verdicts equaled just $3.6 billion in 2011. That’s a very small percentage—about one percent—of total healthcare costs, a point that medical malpractice lawyers have been pressing for quite some time.
The data supports trial lawyers and consumer groups who argue that “tort reform” is not the way to control healthcare costs. Medical malpractice payouts seem to be rising at a slow, steady rate each year as healthcare costs have quadrupled in the last 20 years.
Large corporations and insurance companies have gone to state courts throughout the country to pass laws reforming the way medical malpractice and personal injury cases are handled. In addition to challenging the Joint and Several Liability rule, which allows an injured victim to recover the full-amount of damages from any one of the wrongdoers, they have also successfully placed damage caps in some states. Damage caps limit the amount a victim can recover for their injury. The changes are only advantageous to big businesses and insurance companies who want to decrease their costs.
Tort reform is dangerous and irresponsible because it robs victims of medical malpractice and those who have been seriously injured of the opportunity to be fairly compensated for their injuries. Often these victims have been left with serious medical conditions as a result of a medical error that render them unable to work or care for themselves. Taking away their right to compensation would leave most of the victims dependent on state and federal welfare for health benefits and future financial support. And while businesses and insurance companies save money, taxpayers are left to pay for their errors.
The Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers at Messa & Associates are experienced at handling cases involving medical errors or failure to diagnose medical conditions. Our extremely skilled team of medical malpractice lawyers and medical experts is dedicated to ensuring you receive proper compensation for your personal injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries as a result of a medical error, failure to timely diagnose a condition, or any other type of negligent care received by a medical provider, contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Messa & Associates for a free consultation. Call toll free at 1-877-MessaLaw, or submit a free online inquiry.
Joseph L. Messa, Jr. is the founding partner of Messa & Associates, P.C. He is an AV-rated attorney (highest rating available), listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Read More