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Medical malpractice caps may unfairly target some individuals

Colorado residents might be interested to learn about some new research that is being done on the award caps that are placed on medical malpractice lawsuits. In many states, compensation is capped at a certain amount for damages that are not financial. These non-economic damages could be things like the loss of a child, damage to a woman's reproductive system or permanent pain suffered by an elderly retired person.

According to researchers for the Rand Corporation, awards for medical malpractice claims that are subject to a cap on non-economic damages are reduced by an average of 15 percent. Claims that are most affected by these caps are lawsuits that involve pediatrics. Other areas of medical malpractice that are affected by award caps more than others include obstetrics, gynecology and cardiology.

Many people who have looked into this data have concluded that caps on non-economic damages unfairly target women, children and the elderly. Because there are no caps on financial losses in a medical malpractice claim, the family of a deceased corporate executive would receive much more financial compensation for their loss than a family that has lost a child, elderly grandparent or stay-at-home mother.

The injury or untimely death of any person can have a devastating financial and emotional impact on the individual or surviving family members. If the victim's injury was the result of some type of medical negligence, an attorney may be able to help their client pursue compensation from the liable parties. While helping the family to file a wrongful death claim, an attorney may be able to ensure that the claim seeks the maximum amount of compensation that the family is entitled to receive.

Source: The Huffignton Post, "Malpractice 'Caps' Treat Women, Children and Seniors as Second-Class Citizens", Joanne Doroshow, October 29, 2014

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