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New Bill May Limit Settlements For Medical Malpractice In DC

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2015 | Medical Malpractice

When you have been seriously injured as a result of medical negligence
in Virginia, you’re probably not thinking about the amount of money
you could receive in compensation. You’re most likely trying to
recuperate from your injury, wondering how the mistake could have been
made—and how to ensure this kind of error never happens again.

Unfortunately, some victims of malpractice will exploit their situation
for financial gain. This is bad news for all patients: a handful of frivolous
lawsuits have spurred legislators to stop victims “benefiting”
from their pain.

Nearly a year ago, Representative Phil Gingrey introduced a tort reform
bill that would significantly limit settlements in medical malpractice
cases. H.R.5, or the “Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-cost, Timely
Healthcare” (HEALTH) bill, was supposedly created to improve patient
access to health care by reducing the costs of potential malpractice suits.

Under the new legislation, victims of medical malpractice can expect:

  • A maximum of $250,000 for non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering)
  • A shorter statute of limitations on filing suit: three years after the
    injury occurs, or one year after the date of discovery
  • A greatly reduced amount of punitive damages (costs that the negligent
    doctor must pay as punishment for his mistake)
  • Greater protection for pharmaceutical companies: the new law would exempt
    drug companies from punitive damages if their product was approved by the FDA.

According to the Institute of Medicine, nearly 100,000 patients die every
year due to medical malpractice. As experienced
Fairfax medical malpractice attorneys, we know that these laws are made to attract successful doctors to practices
and reduce healthcare costs. However, it is unfair to punish victims who
have been seriously injured or even killed as a result of medical negligence
by slashing the amount they can receive in court.

At Shevlin Smith, our attorneys fight to get you the maximum possible settlement
in your medical malpractice case. To learn how we can help you, call Shevlin
Smith today at 703-721-4233 for a free consultation, or order our
FREE book,
Do I Have A Case? A Patient’s Guide to Virginia Medical Negligence Law.