In 2003, Texas passed laws that capped the amount of damage that doctors could be held liable for in medical malpractice claims. This was, according to those who promoted the legislation, supposed to reduce premiums and make medical care more affordable for everyone. That hasn’t happened.
Premiums Continue to Climb
The Dallas Morning News recently published a set of statistics that demonstrated that patients are paying higher premiums in Texas than they were before the cap on malpractice damages was passed. The statistics show that, at the same time, doctors are paying less for malpractice insurance. According to these statistics, the rise in costs for patients is almost identical to what the rest of the nation experienced over the years since the cap was passed, whether or not the states they patients lived in had any caps on medical malpractice damages or not. There are more doctors practicing in Texas, however. Just don’t expect to pay any less for your insurance because of the damage caps.
Colin Eaton, a reporter for the Dallas Moring News, is quoted in the article as saying that there are many different contributors to healthcare costs and that the impact of tort reform isn’t necessarily one that’s going to result in lowered rates.
What is Tort Reform?
Tort reform is one way to describe limiting the rights of patients. Patients, when they are harmed because a physician was negligent in delivering treatment, oftentimes have no real recourse to get compensated except filing a lawsuit. Medical malpractice lawyers specialize in this area of the law and make sure that these patients have their rights represented. These were never guaranteed payouts. Contrary to popular perception, filing a medical malpractice claim doesn’t mean you automatically get paid a huge jury award and the vast majority of claims are not frivolous.
Some of the things that these lawsuits help people recover include:
- The medical costs that result from improper diagnosis
- The costs of having surgeries performed incorrectly
- The pain and suffering that patients go through
- The lost wages that patients suffer from being treated unnecessarily or incompetently
- The costs associated with treatments that were never needed at all
These costs can easily run into the 10s and 100s of thousands of dollars for patients. Suing for medical malpractice in Texas is difficult, so you need to make sure that you have a very medical malpractice law firmrepresent you to increase your chances of winning your claim when filing these suits.