Challenge Accepted: An Uphill Battle for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

A newborn baby suffered brain injury after a physician chose not to perform a C-section on the child’s mother during delivery and continued to administer a contraindicated delivery drug. Because of the damage to the brain, the baby now needs 24-hour care for the rest of his life.

In a bittersweet victory, however, the family of the brain-damaged baby won a medical malpractice lawsuit against the negligent physician that caused the damage to the child.

Changes are coming

Stories such as the one above serve as a victory on the side of justice. Sadly, looming restrictions may just reduce such stories. The G.O.P. healthcare plan that the Republicans intend to use in place of the Affordable Care Act of Obama may spell uphill battles for medical malpractice lawsuits.

 Target of the restrictions

According to the New York Times, tightened rules within the GOP’s plan cover medical malpractice lawsuits and personal injury lawsuits because of defective drugs or medical devices.

The limits also specifically aim for the lawsuits made by low-income Americans and the elderly that have Medicare, Medicade, or some other private subsidized coverage under ACA.

 What the rules are

Now, the limits allow the plaintiff to receive economic damages that cover medical expenses or lost earnings. The rules will place a $250,000 limit, however, on “non-economic damages” that mean things such as compensation for pain and suffering.

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The rules also place limits on coverage claims, coverage provided by a federal program, subsidy, or tax benefit.

 Views from both sides

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed that the new rules would limit “frivolous lawsuits that unnecessarily drive up healthcare costs.” Democrats and medical malpractice attorneys, meanwhile, argue that the Americans the bill targets with have fewer litigation rights under the new healthcare plan.

In spite of these looming changes, the Affordable Care Act continues to be the law of the land. You can consult a medical malpractice lawyer here in Springfield, Illinois for a medical malpractice lawsuit. It will now be up to the skills of your lawyer to win this uphill battle once the GOP plan replaces the ACA.