Every year, an estimated 225,000 people die from medical malpractice. From wrongful surgery, to undiagnosed illnesses, medical mistakes by trusted health care providers can be deadly. This figure does not include injuries caused by medical malpractice. Annually, approximately 1.5 million people are injured due to medication prescription errors alone.
Despite these staggering figures, less than 2% of those injured or killed by medical malpractice file a claim. Of those 2%, only 9,205 claims were actually paid in 2013. Physicians often complain that their malpractice insurance rates have increased in the past few years, but it is critical to note that medical malpractice insurance profits have increased in a rate well in excess of malpractice insurance premiums.
Despite record profits, greedy medical malpractice insurers need more.
Recently, medical malpractice insurance lobbyists have convinced members of Congress to introduce HR 1215, a sweeping and aggressive piece of legislation which will cripple a victim’s right to bring a claim. The lowlight of this bill is a nationwide cap on non-economic damages of $250,000.00. This means your family member could be paralyzed, lose a limb, or suffer permanent brain damage due to the negligence of a health care provider that they trusted, and would only be able to recover $250,000.00 for their permanent pain, suffering and disability.
I am proud to be a member of organizations like the American Association for Justice who fight these health insurance lobbyists to protect victim’s access to the justice system. It is an honor to stand up for the victims of malpractice in the courtroom, and in Washington, DC.
Doctors and nurses are heroes in our community. The life saving care they provide to their patients is admirable and important. However, mistakes are sometimes made, and when the stakes are high, the effect on the patient can be dramatic. We should make sure that when a mistake is made, the health care provider’s malpractice insurance should be willing to step up to the plate and pay for the damages it has promised to cover. Please call your member of Congress and ask them to vote against HR 1215.