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Author: Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP
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A common tactic used by tort reform proponents is claiming that medical malpractice lawsuits drive up medical costs. This claim is also an attempt to discourage medical malpractice victims from seeking compensation for injuries sustained through medical errors. Such proponents have lobbied for liability caps on recoverable compensation, asserting that caps will reduce medical costs. Texas was one state that responded in 2003 by imposing $250,000 non-economic damages caps on medical malpractice recoveries. These were some of the strictest caps in the nation.

However, a recent report on a study conducted by a non-profit consumer rights group called Public Citizen revealed that since the caps were implemented:

Texas Medicare costs surpassed the national average
Texas health insurance premiums rose faster than the national average
Percentages of uninsured Texas residents rose
Growth of Texas physicians slowed
Texas doctors face less accountability for errors
Insurance company profits are rising

Medical costs in Texas did not decline, but instead increased, which indicates results of such tort reform did not obtain intended objectives.

While discussed and at various points proposed, New York has yet to cap medical malpractice liability.

The bottom line is that the medical profession must be held accountable for injury that patients sustain based on a failure to meet acceptable medical standards.

If you or a loved one suffers injury caused by medical malpractice, consult an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney.