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Proposed bill hopes to limit malpractice awards for doctor error

If it passes, a controversial new bill in another state has the potential to set a precedent in medical malpractice lawsuits that could have far-reaching consequences even for citizens of New York. The proposed legislation hopes to limit medical malpractice litigation, requiring certification of merit proving that the evidence of doctor error or hospital negligence is strong enough to move forward. Moreover, the bill would cap limits on damages awarded for things like pain and suffering and other non-economic damages at $250,000.

At least one family is speaking out against the proposed bill. Their son was a victim of medical malpractice himself, when he awoke after a botched surgery at age 16 with a traumatic brain injury. Because of their successful medical malpractice suit, the family wasn't left to bear the burden of the significant ensuing costs on their own. The settlement they received allows them to afford the costly ongoing treatment and care their son will need for the rest of his life as a result of the surgeon's mistake.

The family claims that other severely injured victims of medical malpractice would be negatively impacted, saying that the bill feels like an attack on people like their son. Cases of medical negligence are extremely expensive, and limiting the damages received might make it economically impossible for some people to even bring the suit to begin with. Advocates of the bill, however, claim that it is necessary for the state's healthcare system to flourish, pointing to the high costs of medical malpractice insurance.

Severely injured victims of doctor error or hospital negligence often pay a high and life-long price for another's mistake. Medical malpractice suits are meant to provide some small compensation and help to offset the damage done. With such ever-changing and complex laws, victims of medical malpractice in New York would likely find the experienced legal counsel of an attorney invaluable if they hope to pursue justice.

Source: ourquadcities.com, "Family of medical malpractice victim speak out against proposed", Mike Colon, March 27, 2017

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