To hear advocates for the health care system tell it, back in 2003, doctors were closing their offices, packing their bags and fleeing in droves to states where they didn’t have to worry so much about frivolous lawsuits that were driving up their medical malpractice insurance. If the trend continued, people would suffer because of a lack of access to medical care.
The solutions? Lawmakers decided to make it harder for injury victims to get a fair settlement. Previously, medical malpractice victims could sue in any county where their provider practiced, not just the county where they were injured. That allowed them to bring their case in an area where they felt comfortable with the average person’s sophistication and understanding of the issues. It also allowed them to avoid areas where a general bias against malpractice claims was common.
Well, a new study by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee was unable to tie the cost of malpractice insurance to the number of doctors in the state. This report comes at a time when the state’s Supreme Court is set to reconsider their old rule — fueling debate between the factions that want to protect the insurance companies and those that want to protect malpractice victims. The insurance companies say that reversing the rule would lead to absolute chaos. Personal injury attorneys, on the other hand, say it would end an unfair advantage being leveraged against rural plaintiffs.
If you’ve been injured through medical malpractice, it’s important to know everything you can about the factors that could influence your case. You have a right to demand fair compensation for your losses.