March 4, 2013

162017_132140396847214_292624_nToday we have reached the milestone of two years of consecutive daily blog postings. Tomorrow, we start our third year and we look forward to keeping our readers current with regard to medical malpractice issues and interesting relevant medical news. We have learned a lot while researching the topics that have appeared in our 731 consecutive daily blogs (2012 was a leap year) and we have never been at a loss for finding interesting and relevant topics to blog about.

Nonetheless, we are constantly amazed how the negligence, incompetence, recklessness, and, in some cases, intentional acts of health care providers have led to terrible and permanent injuries that have affected not only the victims of medical malpractice whose lives have been changed forever through no fault of their own, but have also devastated victims’ families that are now overburdened with past and future medical expenses related to the medical malpractice injuries, the loss of the emotional and financial support from the victims of medical malpractice that they had previously provided to the family, and the forever-altered family life where the daily and long-term heartaches and suffering now overwhelm the family’s happiness, security, comfort, and connectedness that pre-dated the medical malpractice incident.

We continue to be amazed at the extent to which many states have arbitrarily, unfairly, unjustly, and unconscionably limited the right of innocent medical malpractice victims to be fully compensated for their losses, including their life-long pain, suffering, and emotional injuries resulting from medical malpractice. Many states have placed artificial limits on so-called non-economic damages that further injure medical malpractice victims and at the same time protect health care providers who failed to provide their victims with the minimum level of care that their professional colleagues determined to be required to comply with the standard of care under the circumstances.

For example, California limits the amount of non-economic damages (pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, and other nonpecuniary damages) to $250,000, no matter the age of the medical malpractice victim (it does not matter if the victim was nine or ninety when the malpractice occurred), the extent of the injuries (it does not matter if the victim suffered a broken bone or suffered quadriplegia as a result of medical malpractice), or the amount of the pain and suffering (it does not matter if the victim suffered limited pain and suffering for a limited period of time or will live with constant pain, at a pain level of ten-out-of-ten, for years or even decades into the future). California Civil Code Section 3333.2.

Many of the states that have implemented so-called “tort reforms” that solely benefit negligent medical providers at the expense of medical malpractice victims expressly preclude jurors who judge medical malpractice cases from being told about the limits on the amount of damages that medical malpractice victims will receive no matter the extent of their injuries and suffering and no matter the amount of damages that the juries may determine to be fair compensation. We are amazed that ordinary citizens remain silent when health care lobbyists spend vast amounts of money to influence legislative efforts to impose further and more draconian tort reform laws that harm people and their families. Why are citizens not outraged when their lawmakers tell them that they cannot be trusted to be told about the laws that affect their lives and their decisions?

For instance, Maryland’s medical malpractice law specifically states that juries are precluded from being told about the Maryland limit (cap) on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases: “In a jury trial, the jury may not be informed of the limitation…”   Annotated Code of Maryland, Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, Section 3-2A-09(c)(1).

Laws are supposed to protect those whose rights may otherwise be trampled by more-powerful and influential individuals and entities. Laws are onerous when they subvert the rights of the many to protect the purely financial interests of the few. The importance of the law’s intent to treat people equally and justly can be gleaned from the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Justice for everyone and the general welfare of all cannot possibly be achieved when medical malpractice laws are imposed that unjustly and arbitrarily target the innocent victims of medical malpractice while providing medical malpractice wrongdoers with imputiny and granting them immunity from being held fully responsible for the harms they caused others through their negligent acts and/or negligent omissions.

If you or a loved one may be the victim of medical malpractice within the United States, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice attorney to learn about your rights and responsibilities.

Click here to visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-295-3959 to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may be willing to investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

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