The Future for Medical Malpractice Claims
For many Americans, the right to hold a doctor or other medical professional accountable for any mistakes that cause harm is a fundamental right to justice. When private parties to limit that right, there is typically uproar and reactive forces which seek to restore those rights once again.
However, what might surprise many is that the ability to hold those accountable for medical errors and negligence may be diminished this coming year by elected officials; specifically, in whether (and how) they choose to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This is especially disconcerting given that, to date, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in America.
Current Plans for a New Federal Law
Every announced plan to repeal the current federal law involves some kind of repeal of patients’ rights under both state and local laws. For example, if a doctor, hospital, or other medical care professional negligently harms a patient, all currently proposed versions of the new federal bill would preempt any and all state laws that currently provide citizens with the right to sue for this negligence. For example, while one version would allow the federal government to formulate a strict set of guidelines on patient treatment, yet another version would simply leave any incidents involving negligence up to a tribunal or panel made up of medical industry professionals.
Another proposed change would affect how much compensation individuals and families could receive when someone is harmed by a medical professional; these are known as “caps” (or hard limits) on compensation. States like Louisiana already have these caps in place, making it difficult for families to properly address medical errors, especially those that lead to lifelong injuries or disabilities for themselves and their loved ones.
Perhaps most importantly, efforts like these also don’t appear to offer much payoff to anyone: According to various studies and experts, limiting patients’ legal rights only ends up increasing healthcare costs–so why limit them?
The Right to a Civil Jury Trial
These current proposals also carry with them some concerning implications, as the 7thAmendment of the U.S. Constitutional guarantees a citizen’s right to a civil jury trial. Congress really has no jurisdiction to regulate local civil justice rules, which are the purview of the courts.
Florida Medical Malpractice Attorneys
The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Lavalle Brown & Ronan have been assisting victims of medical negligence and error in Boca Raton and surrounding areas for years. These types of claims can be complicated, especially when it comes to the medical expertise involved. You want to ensure that any medical malpractice lawyer you consult with is experienced, reliable, and trustworthy. We provide all of these qualities in our legal work. We provide free consultations in an effort to provide guidance so that you feel less helpless in the face of your injury. If you have questions about medical malpractice, sit down with us for free today.