Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Play an Important Role in Improving Patient Safety

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Play an Important Role in Improving Patient Safety

According to a recent article published in the New York Times, a bill drafted as part of Congressional Republicans efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act would make it more difficult for many Americans to win medical malpractice actions, including older adults and low income patients. In current form, the bill would place limits on lawsuits that involve care covered by Medicare and Medicaid, as well as some product liability claims and medical malpractice actions against nursing home, doctors and hospitals.

If enacted, the bill would deprive the rights of those served by federal health programs, including those who suffer catastrophic injuries due to medical negligence. According to one representative, the bill would deny full restitution to many victims of medical malpractice. One representative stated the bill's restrictions would apply even in cases of "egregious medical error," such as when a foreign object is left inside a patient's body or surgery is performed on the wrong body part. Another advocate for victims of nursing home abuse commented that the bill "would make it much more difficult for victims of elder abuse to seek redress and would eliminate one of the most powerful tools we have to improve care in nursing homes."

While efforts to reduce exorbitant insurance costs may be laudable, doing it at the expense of those who have been catastrophically injured is unfair and unjust. Additionally, lawsuits expose errors and mistakes, leading to improvements in patient safety and an examination of the problems. Without both the exposure of deadly mistakes and the deterrent of lawsuits, hospital, doctors and other health care professionals are less likely to look for ways to improve safety. The checks and balances of lawsuits and liability when errors occur is part of the judicial system. As San Diego medical malpractice lawyers, we are committed to ensuring that medical malpractice victims obtain full and fair compensation for their injuries.

For more information or if you believe that you have been harmed by a medical error, please contact our experienced San Diego personal injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.

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