House Bill Deprives Patient's Access to Justice

House Bill Deprives Patient's Access to Justice

House Resolution 1215, which advances federal tort reform measures, will likely be voted on later this week. While few believe it will pass, it is important to understand the critical reasons for opposing such measure, with critics asserting that it could unconstitutionally deprive patients access to justice in court to those harmed by a medical provider, a dangerous drug or defective medical device.

The resolution has several concerning provisions.

First is a provision that would make it harder to those harmed to file a medical claim to begin with. By setting strict statutes of limitations (dates within which you must file a claim or be barred), and granting immunity to certain providers, lawmakers have restricted patient’s avenues for redress.

Further, the bill would limit the ability of patient’s to obtain additional tests, thereby increasing the likelihood that a mistake may occur.

If they are able to bring a claim, the amount of damages they could recover would be limited. Many believe the amount of recoverable non-economic damages would be limited to $250,000. As such, those without significant economic damages (such as wage loss), may find that bringing a medical malpractice action is simply not viable.

Many are also concerned that where states have stepped in to provide patient protections, these safeguards would be lost as the federal law may take precedence over individual state laws. As San Diego medical malpractice attorneys, we are opposed to this bill and efforts that seek to deprive patients of access to justice and full and fair compensation for their injuries.

For more information, please contact the compassionate San Diego medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick and Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.

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