Medical Malpractice Law

Unlike many other areas of the law, where the framework and legal rules are managed by the federal government, the medical malpractice law in US has been under the control of state authority. Medical malpractice occurs where medical practitioner treats the patient in an act which is improper, unskilled or negligent manner when treating a medical condition. In recent years the medical malpractice law and insurance have become main focus throughout the country as there are excessive litigations and unreasonably high settlements and judgements. Many states have enacted legislation related to different facets of the malpractice issues to reduce the amount of litigations and control the damage rewards in the lawsuits.

Overview of medical malpractice law:

  • During the last three decades, the premiums of malpractice insurance have soared sharply and the health care providers are bringing more pressure on state legislatures to change many of the rules governing malpractice law and its lawsuits. As per the medical malpractice law twenty eight states in US have a limit on the damage awards in malpractice cases and intend to lower the premiums and reduce the severity of these claims.
  • Even though many states follow similar principles, the legal precedents that established the medical malpractice law in one state are different from the others. Many of the state legislatures have responded to the raising issues of the malpractice tort claims and enacted different statutes that changed various aspects of malpractice law.
  • Instead of approaching the court, some states have also established alternative dispute resolution procedures where the case will be resolved simply by arbitration rather than going through judicial proceedings. As per the medical malpractice law defendants who are found guilty to have negligently injured a person must pay all the damages including the estimated future losses.

Statute of limitations:

Many states have passed new medical malpractice law that relates to the duration of time that patients file a lawsuit in case of any damage or personal injury by the health provider. Typically the types of legal actions depend upon these statutes of limitation and influence the malpractice insurance companies to a great extent. All states have different statutes of limitation for malpractice claims and some of the state legislatures comprise limited time period to file a lawsuit while others extended the limitation after the injury has been discovered.

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