Federal Tort Reform Measure Advances - Van Sant Law, LLC

Federal Tort Reform Measure Advances

Last week we discussed the efforts by a local lawmaker to mandate that each state across the country, including Georgia, abide by federal standards regarding certain legal principles in medical malpractice lawsuits. Unfortunately, last Monday in Washington the House passed Georgia Representative Phil Gingrey's bill that would set a cap on medical malpractice awards. The specifics of the bill include a $250,000 cap on economic damages, a limit on punitive damages to two times the amount of economic damages or $250,000 (whichever is greater), and a sliding-scale limit on attorney's fees in medical malpractice cases. The final vote in the House was 223 for, 118 against.

As noted in the previous post, Representative Gingrey says that this is necessary to stop "frivolous lawsuitsand increasing costs of liability insurance. There are skeptics of this on both sides of the aisle, though, and the bill still faces a tough battle in the Senate. President Obama has already indicated that even if it passes, he intends to veto the measure. Representatives of the White House said, "The administration opposes placing artificial caps on malpractice awards which will prevent patients and other claimants who have been wrongfully harmed from receiving just compensation.

Aside from the federalism issues as discussed in the previous post, this whole argument may be missing the point if the goal is to lower the cost of liability insurance to doctors. Last month, the American Association for Justice issued a report showing that medical liability insurance companies have invented this "crisisto justify charging higher premiums, even though the companies are more profitable than ever. The insurance companies want everyone, including doctors, to believe that the reason for higher premiums is expensive malpractice litigation. But a closer look at the numbers show that while the amount paid out by the companies on average for each claim did increase, it was a gradual increase with no sudden spike in terms of dollar amounts. And the number of claims the companies paid out actually decreased. This resulted in the money being paid out remaining stable, but the premiums skyrocketing regardless.

Our Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys understand that insurance companies projected huge losses that did not materialize. But when the profits came rolling in, the companies failed to roll back malpractice insurance premiums along with it. The American Association for Justice report showed that the top ten medical malpractice insurance companies had a profit margin twice as high as the average profit for the 50 top Fortune 500 companies. Only one Fortune 500 company had average profits as high as the ten top medical malpractice insurance companies. So doctors are losing money on high premiums, patients are losing their fair trial rights when they are negligently injured, and the only group winning is the insurance companies.

It is important for more to community members to be made aware of this insurance situation. Whatever side of the health care debate you are on, the negligently injured patients are not to blame for high health care costs. 

Have You Been The Victim Of Medical Malpractice?

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a medical error you need to speak with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 855.GA.INJURY or 404.991.5950 to schedule your free consultation.

David M. Van Sant
Atlanta personal injury lawyer dedicated to helping clients throughout GA get the compensation they deserve.
Stopwatch

Time is Running Out!

Georgia gives you a limited amount of time for you to file a claim. Call us now for a free consultation.

24-7 Support

(855) GA-INJURY

404-991-5950

Atlanta

307 14th St NW #100
Atlanta, GA 30318

404-991-5950

(855) GA-INJURY

Office Info
Get Directions

Duluth

3675 Crestwood Pkwy NW #400-A
Duluth, GA 30096

678-771-9001

(855) GA-INJURY

Office Info
Get Directions

Alpharetta

11175 Cicero Drive, Suite #100-A
Alpharetta, GA 30022

678-679-6710

(855) GA-INJURY

Office Info
Get Directions

Lawrenceville

113 S Perry St #205
Lawrenceville, GA 30046

678-771-9000

(855) GA-INJURY

Office Info
Get Directions

Athens

824 S Milledge Ave #203
Athens, GA 30605

706-395-5529

(855) GA-INJURY

Office Info
Get Directions

Sandy Springs

6095 Lake Forrest Dr NE #250-A
Atlanta, GA 30328

678-679-6711

(855) GA-INJURY

Office Info
Get Directions

Cumming

123 Tribble Gap Rd #100
Cumming, GA 30040

770-886-9199

(855) GA-INJURY

Office Info
Get Directions

Gainesville

311 Green Street NW, Suite 400
Gainesville, GA 30501

678-771-9019

(855) GA-INJURY

Office Info
Get Directions

©2019 Van Sant Law, LLC, All Rights Reserved, Reproduced with Permission Privacy Policy | Site Map