Medical malpractice lawsuits enable patients, and their families, who have been suffered significant, permanent injuries or death as a result of preventable medical errors, to receive compensation. In 2008, more than 80 percent of malpractice payments went to victims who sustained quadriplegia, brain damage or death. Passen & Powell’s top-rated Chicago medical malpractice lawyers are fighting to preserve the right of patients to access the civil justice system.
Unfortunately, as we saw during the federal health care reform debates, the powerful insurance lobby has pressed for medical liability “tort reform” — in other words, taking away the right to have a jury award compensation to malpractice victims. Thankfully, organizations like Public Citizen, a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization, has been combating these scare tactics with actual facts.
The organization recently published a Fact Sheet regarding medical malpractice, and the impact of tort reform:
- In 2009, a study by Hearst newspapers found that approximately 200,000 Americans die each year from preventable medical errors and hospital acquired infections
- In 1999, the Institute of Medicine estimated that medical malpractice cost $17 billion to $29 billion annually for lost income, lost household production, disability and health care costs
- Medical liability tort reform failed in Texas. Since enacting in 2003: cost of diagnostic testing grown 50 percent faster than national average; cost of health insurance has more than doubled; growth of doctors per capita has slowed
- Medical malpractice lawsuits are rare: 2008 saw the fewest number of medical malpractice payments since 1990.
Fortunately, medical liability “reform” was not implemented in this year’s federal health care reform law. Not that this will stop the insurance lobbyists from continuing to push individual states to adopt such reform, or to attempt to re-introduce such measures at the federal level in coming years.
Each Chicago medical malpractice attorney at Passen & Powell understands the devastating impact medical negligence can have on the individual patient, and their families. We believe malpractice litigation serves as a strong deterrent to the medical profession — to place patient safety at utmost importance — and to implement safe practices in their profession. We will continue to fight against any efforts to “reform” the way patients seek justice for their injuries.
For a free consultation with a Chicago personal injury lawyer with Passen & Powell, call us at (312) 527-4500.