New NC Malpractice Law May Cap Damages
There may be a surge of malpractice suits filed before October 2011, according to reports about a reform bill that will take effect then. The bill could also change the number of malpractice cases that NC attorneys accept.
Malpractice Law Changes in NC
This bill passed the republican-dominated House and Senate even though:
1. Medical malpractice insurance companies are making more money than ever.
2. The percentage increase in the number of doctors coming into North Carolina is much higher than the percentage increase in the population in general.
3. The number of medical malpractice lawsuits continues to decrease each year.
4. Doctors in NC win 85% of the malpractice cases.
There is no "malpractice chair" in North Carolina. However, special interest groups ram-rodded this radical legislation with the help of the newly elected Republican majority who now "carry the water" for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce big businesses, the medical establishment and other self-interest groups who seek to strip the rights of the average working men and women in America.
Contrary to traditional conservative Republican values, the Republican Party, now controlled by big businesses, big banks and manufacturing interests, has wiped out hundreds of years of established law and stripped North Carolina citizens of the protection of the law from negligent acts of health care providers.
Emergency room doctors would also have a different standard of negligence in order to be found guilty. Currently there is no cap on malpractice damages. The special interest legislation is known as Senate Bill 33, or the Medical Liability Reform Law, and would impose a cap on non-economic emotional damages like pain and suffering. The limit would be set at $500,000. However, there will not be a cap on pain and suffering if a person meets two of the following requirements: is disfigured, loses the use of a body part, or sustains permanent damage or death and the defendant is found to be willfully and wantonly reckless.
NC Attorneys Accepting Malpractice Cases
Because the payouts would be less, the number of attorneys accepting malpractice cases may decrease. From 1998 to 2008 an average of 574 medical malpractice cases were filed in North Carolina, according to the NC Administrative Office of the Courts. Attorneys spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on some cases for expert witnesses and other necessary costs to prepare for trial. This means injured, suffering people may become desperate to find a malpractice lawyer in NC. Malpractice attorneys at Brent Adams & Associates are available to discuss your experience and explore your eligibility and options in filing a case.
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