Damage caps may not seem so bad for more ordinary cases of negligence, but for those that truly destroy a person's life, $500,000 is a drop in the bucket.
Not only does a cap fail to recognize the harm suffered by these seriously injured victims, but it also works to deprive victims of an important means of seeking justice: a lawyer. As medical malpractice cases have grown in complexity, so too have the costs associated with mounting a strong case. Experts need to be hired, evidence painstakingly reviewed and court battles waged for months or even years. Those familiar with such cases say that in the biggest fights, legal fees can reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, an amount the lawyer often shoulders on his or her own as the cases are taken on contingency. Fronting such huge sums of money only to be met with a cap on damages makes it financially difficult for many lawyers to take on such cases, even those that indicate clear malpractice.
Sadly, legislators across the country continue to push for such protections, even in the face of recent court decisions declaring them unconstitutional. The hope is that decision makers wake up and realize the serious hardships these damage caps cause to ordinary Americans and make changes to empower innocent victims to hold doctors and hospitals accountable for their actions.
If you or someone you know have been injured as the result of a medical error and you would like to discuss your case with an attorney, please contact one of our experienced Kansas medical malpractice lawyers at the Warner Law Offices today. Our attorneys are ready and willing to answer whatever questions you might have and can be reached at (316) 269-2500.
Source: "Lawyers Scarce for Medical Malpractice Victims in South Dakota," by Jonathan Ellis, published at InsuranceJournal.com.