Malpractice Caps

Discussion in 'Community' started by runningman, Mar 15, 2003.

  1. runningman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    #1
    Thought this would be appropriate since this sight is ran by a physician. I thought about putting this in the political section but thought it was a good community discussion.
    What is your impression of the $250000 cap on pain and suffering for medical malpractice? The attorneys claim it's not going to affect the malpractice rates and the people are going to suffer for physician neglect. Physicians are demanding tort reform secondary to skyrocketing malpractice rates. Insurance companies are for it to cap damage awards and lower premiums. People are going without health care because physicians are pulling out of areas because of premiums.
     
  2. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #2
    High medical costs and how to control them is a real dilema. I don't think there is any easy answer. Problems medical advances, drugs, insurance, & malpractice awards to just name a few! :confused:
     
  3. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    Chinatown NYC
    #3
    I'm all for it. I think the awards for "pain and suffering" are out of hand - not just in medical malpractice lawsuits but in lawsuits in general. Class action lawsuits are out of hand too. The combination of frivolous lawsuits and unreasonable awards are undermining the law's original intent to protect the consumer and the public.
     
  4. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #4
    I don't think 250,000 is enough. If I go to the doctor tomorrow with a crick in my neck, and my doctor paralyzes me and puts me in a coma treating it, that's all my wife can expect to collect?

    Let's see. If I work to 67, when I begin to collect social security that will be approximately $1,000,000 of potential earnings between now and then that will be lost, because of my injury. Don't forget all of the crippling medical debt my wife will face because of it.

    Of course, I think some kind of fix needs to be found. But I don't necessarily think limiting damages is it-at least not in my example.

    Perhaps some kind of graduated system, where the amount you get depends on the amount of pain, suffering , neglegence, etc,etc, that occured.

    I don't know. Just my two cents. Or is it a penny for your thoughts?
     
  5. idkew macrumors 68020

    idkew

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2001
    Location:
    where the concrete to dirt ratio is better
    #5
    no, she can collect damages to support you for the rest of your life, and possibly her too. pain and suffering is different. that is just money thrown on top of your settlement which pays you becuase you were uncomfortable.
     
  6. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Location:
    Chinatown NYC
    #6
    The 250,000 cap is just for "pain and suffering". You are still entitled to sue for any lost wages, medical expenses, etc. The problem with the "pain and suffering" award is that it's completely arbitrary. I mean, how do you put a value on pain and suffering? So the trend has been for juries to award ever-larger "pain and suffering" awards - typically many, many times the compensation for lost wages and medical expenses...
     
  7. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    Ah- thanks for the clarification. I have a better understanding now.
     
  8. alex_ant macrumors 68020

    alex_ant

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2002
    Location:
    All up in your bidness
    #8
    Just because we can't assign a monetary value to pain and suffering doesn't mean it must not have any monetary value. Some screwups are bigger than others, though, and every situation is different. There SHOULD be an absolute cap on the worst cases - a very high one in the millions - but the average award should be less than it is currently with people suing for millions of dollars for minor lower back pain etc. If I'm in for a checkup and the doctor accidentally bruises my knee with that little rubber mallet, then yeah, $1.5 million is probably a little excessive. But if I'm in for an appendectomy and I walk out with one less kidney and a latex glove embedded in my colon, and the compensation I'm limited to is $250,000 + missed earnings and medical expenses, something is wrong there, too.
     
  9. iGav macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2002
    #9
    :p :p :p

    If you were here in the UK with the NHS, they'd say you were lucky.... Free glove!! Wicked!! :rolleyes: :p
     
  10. runningman thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    #10
    has far as an appendectomy what should you be entitled to. You were compensated for time lost and wages and medical expenses. Then given 250k for the inconvenience. The problem we have is that this is not what the suits are about that are driving up costs. If you look at how our system operates it's backwards. A mother comes in in labor at term and has had no prenatal care and has abused drugs. The child comes out and has a bad outcome and is now mentally handicapped and has cerebral palsy. Whose fault? The physician or the mother? Now despite that who gets sued? The physicians involved get sued and lose to their practice caps for medical compensation. They then get further tagged with this pain and suffering clause for further millions. It's a nebulius thing at best. To further muddy the waters most malpractice attorneys will take 30-40 percent of the winnings. So who loses? The patient more than likely because when you come in with an infected appendix that is going to rupture that you could possibly die from there may not be a surgeon available in your immediate area because it's to expensive to practice in that area. Or you maybe dealing with an area where the surgeons will not take emergency room call secondary to liability issues. Same issue goes with OBGYN, Peds, Internal Medicine.:confused:
     

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