Politicizing the Cost of Health Care by Blaming Trial Lawyers; What a Load of Crap!

Callifornia Lawyer Norman Gregory Fernandez discusses Medical MalpracticeYou have heard President Bush blame trial attorneys for the cost of health care being so high; you have heard a certain political party blame trial attorneys for the cost of health care being so high, and now another article is circulating on the Internet blaming trial attorneys for the cost of health care being so high. What you are hearing folks is flat out crap. It is time to air out the truth and call the B.S. for what it is; B.S.

We trial lawyers help personal injury victims including victims of medical malpractice, when nobody else will. We are usually the last and only recourse for persons who have been harmed. Do you think that a doctor, hospital, or other health care institution is going to just volunteer to compensate you for your losses?

What is Medical Malpractice? Medical Malpractice in a nutshell is a person suffering injuries or damages, as a result of a doctor or health care institutions failing to act as an ordinary professional in the community would. In other words, the doctor, hospital, or provider, causes you injuries by screwing up, usually with devastating results!

As we all know or should know, human beings are not perfect, and will sometimes make mistakes. Just like most commuters buy car insurance to protect themselves in case they screw up, doctors do the same thing.

It is not the fault of personal injury trial lawyers for a doctor or hospitals, screw-up, and it certainly is not the victims fault. We personal injury lawyers are the ones that go to bat for people who have been injured as a result of a doctor or hospital screw-up. It is our jobs and it is what we do. We help the victims to obtain compensation for their loss.

How could we be the ones who are responsible the high cost of medical care? In fact it is the insurance companies who are responsible for the high cost of medical malpractice insurance. I would like to think that the cost of malpractice insurance is based upon risk, but we all know the insurance companies exist to make a profit and that is it.

Now I like doctors, we all like doctors. They are the ones we turn to when we are sick. They make mistakes just like the rest of us, and they should be made to pay if lets say they cut off the wrong leg, fail to diagnose a serious condition, or leave tools in a patient after surgery. You get the picture.

With that being said, maybe doctors should adopt more stringent guidelines to discipline and police themselves, so that the bad doctors are weeded out. Maybe that will decrease their malpractice insurance rates.

California has had a cap of $250,000.00 on general damages for medical malpractice cases since the 1970’s. General Damages are damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, etc. Imagine only being able to get a maximum of $250,000 if a doctor cuts off the wrong leg, or fails to diagnose a cancer that would have been curable it caught in time, etc. Victims are still entitled to out of pocket losses.
So there it is.

The cost of health care is through the roof. If anything it is greed that is driving up the cost. If universal health care was adopted, then maybe our nation would see some relief.

By Norman Gregory Fernandez, Esq., © 2008

7 Responses to Politicizing the Cost of Health Care by Blaming Trial Lawyers; What a Load of Crap!

  1. They have capped the medical malpractice in Florida as well. No, it is not right. Medical costs are sky high and keep getting higher. $250,000 is not much money when the lawyer usually gets a third and costs. A lot of these cases $250,000 is a drop in the bucket.

  2. I agree with you Norm. Most people think that lawyers just cash in and go on vacation or buy a Hummer or “another” summer home. People do not realize the overhead that a lawyer pays out. To file suit is not cheap. The filing fees in Florida are steep. $250,000 is not a drop in the bucket if you are in Surgical Trauma Intensive Care. You get bills from doctors you never see. It is unfair……..my arm and legs are worth more than $250,000 to me!!!!!!!! A lawyer is the same as anything else……YOU GET EXACTLY WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!!!

  3. You can’t put a price on it Sandie, however you should be able to go into Court and get some compensation right? A certain political party and certain people want to take that right away from you or limit your recovery. This is what Tort reform means!

    Norm

  4. Sandie 250k is nothing! People involved in auto accidents that have suffered maybe a 10th if the injuries suffered in lets say an auto accident have an unlimited amount that they can recover. Why is government protecting negligent doctors and why do they blame us for their screw ups? It does not make sense does it.

    On another level, you cannot look at attorneys fees when you look at the cap. Bottom line is that you are not going to get anything without a lawyer. You could pay a lawyer hourly or by contingency to get you a recovery. If you pay hourly it would be much more than 1/3!

    My point is that we lawyers, especially those that do medical malpractice like me, attempt to get our injured clients a monetary recovery from negligent doctors who commit malpractice. How are we responsible for the high cost of medical care! We are not.

    Norm

  5. Indeed! We front out loads of money and time on contingency cases! Medical malpractice cases are the most expensive to prosecute because we have to hire expert doctors to opine to the malpractice. That is the only way to prove the case!!

    The 250k cap is a joke and does not even come close to compensating someone who has been savaged by a negligent doctor!

    Norm

  6. There are some benefits to this healthcare bill including tax incentives to small businesses to help cut the cost to them. Not all people who do not have coverage are dirtbags or freeloaders. By providing some form of coverage, our local hospitals don’t have to absorb all the bills they have to write off because of the uninsured. It’s millions of dollars for each institution that gets passed to the rest of us even the health insurance companies. I would rather support the uninsured up front than have service cuts from hospitals and doctors in my own town. Both parties are less than truthful!

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