Medical Malpractice Caps


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According to, a Cook County judge on Tuesday struck down a two-year-old Illinois law that caps some jury awards to victims of medical malpractice. Circuit Court Judge Diane J. Larsen ruled that limiting payments for "non-economic damages" such as pain and suffering is unconstitutional. The law caps those awards in malpractice suits at $500,000 per case for doctors and $1 million per case for hospitals. There is no cap on economic damages, such as loss of pay. In her 10-page opinion, Judge Larsen ruled that the law violates the Illinois Constitution's "separation of powers" clause–essentially finding that lawmakers interfered with the right of juries to determine fair damages. The ruling means the case likely will go directly to the Illinois Supreme Court as early as next summer. The court has twice before struck down laws that limit payments to malpractice victims: once in the 1970s and again in 1997. The decision deals a blow to doctors and the hospital industry, which waged a bitter lobbying campaign in 2005 to get the law passed. Facing resistance from the state's trial bar, they argued that frivolous malpractice lawsuits and runaway jury awards were causing sky-high insurance rates and driving some doctors out of the state. In a statement Tuesday, the Illinois Hospital Assn. expressed disappointment in the ruling but said it looked forward to a Supreme Court decision. "The law is critically needed to preserve and enhance access to health care for Illinoisans and remains the most appropriate, meaningful and comprehensive solution to address the medical liability crisis," the statement reads. Illinois' trial bar sued last year to have the caps struck down as part of a malpractice lawsuit against Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park in which a baby allegedly suffered brain damage during a botched delivery. That case has not gone to trial.

Medical Malpractice Negligence

This is a contentious debate since we need to care of doctors and it does increase the cost of medical malpractice insurance. It is important to remember that the majority of medical malpractice lawsuits are settled, not tried. This means the health care provider's insurance company determined settlement was a better than a trial. Why would an insurance company want to settle? Insurance companies assess risk. If they determine a jury of one's peers would determine the health care providers were negligent, settlement become a less expense option. Negligence in medical malpractice is determined to great extent on the doctor's standard of care. These standards are created by the medical professionals to establish protocol for health care and to protect them from frivolous lawsuits. What this means is when an insurance company chooses to settle, they are accepting the health care provider deviated sufficiently from the standard of care and therefor behaved negligently.

South Carolina Medical Malpractice Attorney

As you can see, a medical malpractice case is usually complicated from the get-go. The defense usually doesn't pay up without a fight. You can bet the doctor or medical professional you're suing – usually, it's that person's insurance company who defends the case – will do everything possible to show that the doctor didn't make a mistake or cause your injury. The medical malpractice defense lawyers will use its own experts to do this. Don't let the potential costs and complexity scare you away from a case. If you've been injured by a medical professionals mistake or failure to act, talk to an attorney to see if you have a good case. Not only can you get money or "damages" for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering, but you can help make sure the same medical malpractice doesn't happen to another patient. The Clore Law Group LLC provides exceptional legal representation from a team of experienced Charleston attorneys. Call 843-722-8070 for a free initial consultation to discuss valid grounds for your medical malpractice lawsuit.

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Clore Law Group welcomes your questions about any issues concerning a serious personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, or business tort. If you have a viable claim, we’ll explain the legal process. Since consultations are always free, there’s no cost in learning your legal options.