Most will agree that being ill enough to warrant time as a patient is one of the worst things one may have to endure. However, the medical professionals providing the necessary care may also have cause for trepidation, especially in the event that the medical facility may face a malpractice lawsuit. New York is home to many medical care providers, and one of their concerns is likely the high costs of malpractice claims.
Recently, one state took action to clarify how some of these lawsuits are handled by its courts. While it is true some medical providers do make mistakes, many states allow the plaintiffs to collect monies above and beyond whatever alleged harm they may have suffered. The new bill that is awaiting the signature of the governor will now limit the amount that can be awarded to only the amount that was paid. The previous law allowed for plaintiffs to collect the amount billed, and due to settlement agreements, there is often a considerable gap between the amounts charged and what was actually paid.
Also, the bill now stipulates that only the amount of actual alleged damages can be claimed. Additionally, during any trial, the plaintiff must provide evidence of any actual harm suffered and the dollar amounts that were paid for medical expenses and any rehabilitation. The bill had the support of both the state’s medical providers organization as well as an insurance company.
This new law is expected to benefit all New York residents because it will work to ensure that excessive monetary amounts are no longer awarded. Many states have similar bills, and the purpose is to try to keep medical care costs contained. Any medical professionals who finds themselves facing accusations of medical malpractice do have access to attorneys who are experienced in hospital defense and can provide assistance to ensure that their rights and reputations are protected.
Source: thedailyreporter.com, “Shirkey Medical Malpractice reform passes”, Don Reid, Dec. 20, 2016