Monday, January 21, 2008
Legal Caps on Pain are Wrong
Caps on pain and suffering and the loss of quality of life of victims of medical malpractice are not a legitimate solution to recent insurance-rate increases. Caps only unfairly discriminate against those patients who have been injured the most seriously, or those too young or old to show an economic loss from their injuries. In California, which has such a cap, victims of medical malpractice have had difficulty in retaining attorneys to take their cases, because typically malpractice cases are difficult, time-consuming and expensive to litigate. In New York attorneys in malpractice actions are forced to accept reduced fees because of legislation that has been in effect for many years. By placing such minimal caps on a victim's potential compensation for his or her pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, in addition to the already imposed legal fee cap, the courthouse doors will clearly close for good for many legitimate victims of medical malpractice. This is exactly what the malpractice insurance companies would like to see.