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States Seek to Limit Awards For Medical Malpractice Cases


Though hospitals are places where one expects to go to heal, there are often times when being in a hospital can result in further complications. This can be due to several reasons, but often involves infections which can be common in hospitals because of improper hygiene practices. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to pinpoint where an infection originated, explains a doctor in The Bronx.

A woman who went to a hospital because of a broken ankle eventually would need to have her foot amputated because of an incurable infection. She claims that the infection came from the hospital where her ankle was treated while the hospital claims that the foot was infected after she left the hospital.

In cases such as these, a cluster of infections in a certain hospital or medical center, make it easier to argue that the infection was spread at the treatment center. In the absence of clear evidence of the source of the infection, the costs involved in preparing a case can be a hindrance, says a nurse. Hiring medical experts is often one of the costliest parts of a medical malpractice case; lawyers often have to front the costs of these experts for their cases.

Counties like Westchester have enacted limits on the amounts of malpractice awards or are considering legislation which would do so. The idea behind these laws is that large awards in medical malpractice cases lead to higher health care costs for everyone. The state governments are attempting to limit the awards to arbitrary amounts in order to attract and retain doctors.

With the large upfront expenses fronted by law firms and the lower potential awards allowed under state laws, cases are becoming less attractive for law firms to accept. This could lead to difficulty in finding a lawyer to take a difficult case where there is not clear evidence and high probability of a payout, states a source.

The goal, for both the medical and legal professions is for less medical errors to occur and for those that do suffer to receive fair compensation.

If you know of someone who is considering a lawsuit due to a medical error, a NY City Medical Malpractice Attorney can help. Please contact a lawyer to discuss your case.

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