What Does Tort Reform Mean? [10 Replies Found]

In injury cases in general, there is a belief that juries may be overly sympathetic to injured victims, and will award damages that are out-of-bounds with what is appropriate 👍 The risk of high, uncapped damage awards results in insurance being quite expensive 🤓 Returning to the medical malpractice example, doctors, hospitals and health care providers have to pay more money for malpractice insurance, so as a result, medical care costs more because this cost has to be borne by consumers. It is also argued that doctors sometimes make decisions based on the fear of a lawsuit, rather than solely on what they believe is best. [1]
Tort reform matters because it had has made victims’ ability to seek compensation and justice for medical negligence extremely difficult in Tort Reform States. With damage caps, time limitations, and procedural requirements that make medical malpractice claims difficult to pursue at best, it has also made it practically impossible for attorneys to pursue these cases in some states. In Texas, for instance, the number of medical malpractice plaintiffs attorneys decreased significantly after tort reform was passed in the early 2000’s. With strict requirements, damage caps, and high expenses involved in pursuing these claims, a number of attorneys who previously represented victims of medical negligence are no longer able to pursue these types of cases. (edited by Maria S. From Tbilisi, Georgia on February 12, 2020) [2]
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The pros at justia.com provide additional insight. When there are caps on damages, plaintiff’s lawyers, who typically work on a contingency fee basis, are less inclined to take cases. A contingency fee means that the lawyer will take a percentage of whatever he or she is able to recover rather than a fixed sum. This means, on the one hand, that a lawyer will not take a plaintiff’s case unless he or she is pretty certain of making a large recovery. On the other hand, it also means that if the recovery is limited, it may not be feasible or in a client’s best interests for a lawyer to take a case with only the possibility of a small recovery. (thank you to Lucianna Dennison for telling us about this). [3]
As per the experts from lawshelf.com, and so – in the legal and political senses – what does “reform” mean? When legislative bodies want to enact legislation altering a legal construct like tort law, they quite often title the bill that way, e.g. (here, hypothetically), the “Tort Reform Act of 2017.” The fact of the word “reform” being in the title of the bill allows it proponents the opportunity to presume that reform is needed or necessary. Its opponents, , would argue that the use of the term is clearly presumptuous as, in their view, the construct needs no reformation at all (or perhaps only the slightest amount); in fact, many of them call this movement “tort deform” instead. (edited by Virginia Baker from Rasht, Iran on October 12, 2020) [4]

Article References

  1. https://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/effect-tort-reform.html
  2. https://www.medmalfirm.com/news-and-updates/what-is-tort-reform/
  3. https://www.justia.com/injury/negligence-theory/tort-reform/
  4. https://lawshelf.com/shortvideoscontentview/whether-to-reform-tort-law-a-legal-analysis/
Mae Chow

Written by Mae Chow

Passionate about writing and studying Chinese, I blog about anything from fashion to food. And of course, study chinese! I'm a passionate blogger and life enthusiast who loves to share my thoughts, views and opinions with the world. I share things that are close to my heart as well as topics from all over the world.

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