Florida Victim Challenges Retroactive Cap on Medical Malpractice Winnings
Should there be limits on medical malpractice benefits? According to the Florida Supreme Court, the answer is yes. Although medical malpractice results in the deaths of 44,000 to 98,000 Americans every year, courts have recently upheld decisions lowering claims. Why did courts lower a women’s winnings after a hospital performed an unnecessary surgery on her leg?
Courts Lower Women’s Benefits Years Later
It is highly likely that Kimberly Ann Miles, a women who suffered needlessly owing to medical malpractice, will be seeking counsel from personal injury attorneys and/or injury lawyers. “A jury awarded the woman and her husband $1.5 million in pain-and-suffering damages, but lower courts reduced that amount to $500,000 because of limits in the medical-malpractice law, which was passed later in 2003,” The Orlando Sentinel explains. In other words, courts retroactivelyreduced Miles’s winnings. Miles is appealing the decision, and the Supreme Court will decide whether patients who began receiving benefits before 2003 are exempt from new laws. Miles’s team insists there is no written legislation or precedence to imply that the damages caps should be applied retroactively.
Why Can Courts Legally Cap Medical Malpractice Benefits?
Many Americans, reasonably, wonder whether it is legal and/or ethical to cap damages or compensation in medical malpractice lawsuits — particularly in lawsuits for pain and suffering, rather than economic or fiscal losses. It is a contentious issue, and many fear that capping benefits may further harm patients and take away their rights. In the end, however, the courts favored doctors, hospitals, and — most importantly — lower health insurance rates. Personal injury attorneys remind clients to keep all relevant documentation (including appointment cards, medical bills, and medical records), whether they are filing medical malpractice lawsuits or challenging caps.
Can courts reduce medical malpractice winnings? Unfortunately, the answer may be yes. Hang onto all important medical documentation, and talk to personal injury attorneys to know where you — and your case — stands.