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Medical malpractice tort reform: unwavering lens on damage caps

A minority of American states do not look favorably upon the notion of medical malpractice damage ceilings, with either their legislatures or courts disallowing capped recovery awards.

Texas is not one of those states. As noted by a media provider of legal information, state statutory law on medical malpractice damage caps flatly imposes a ceiling on so-called non-economic damages suffered by a victim of shoddy medical care.

Many readers of this blog might know a little or even a great deal about the strident and long-tenured malpractice tort reform debate that has split participants into two polarized camps.

On one side of a firmly divided line stands reform advocates, such as doctors, hospitals and insurance companies. Unsurprisingly, they uniformly argue that malpractice damage awards need to be capped.

Positioned on the other side of that line is a broad-based band of critics who consistently question the rationale and fairness of caps. They note what they regard as obvious, namely, that only bad doctors and insurers benefit from caps, with innocent and injured victims compromised by substandard medical care being only hurt further by limited recoveries.

A recent malpractice development in one state highlights a legislative attempt to implement strong caps in medical negligence cases following a judicial ruling that struck them down several years ago, with the stated intention of lawmakers being to lower insurance premiums. Reformers often cite that goal and term it salutary, saying that the lowered costs will be passed along to consumers.

That will not be the case, argues a reform critic in that state, who points back to the time when caps were lawful, noting that insurers did not lower premiums, instead having "record years … in their profit."

In Texas, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can address specifics with any person having questions or concerns about recovery limits in the state. Consultation service from the Maloney Attorneys is free. Contact us today to get started.

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