Missouri bill would limit malpractice damages
3/5/2013 5:51 AM
Missouri legislators attempting to reform malpractice.
Many states have been attempting to pass bills that would reform malpractice and Missouri recently got in on the action.
According to the Bourbon Beacon, the Missouri House Health Committee recently passed a bill that would limit the amount of non-economic damages that could be awarded in a medical malpractice case to $350,000. These damages are defined as those to qualify the quality of life, pain, suffering and loss of a loved one.
Another bill that was proposed in the state by Sen. Bob Dixon would increase the standard of evidence for malpractice lawsuits. According to the News-Leader, Senate Bill 64 would change the standard of evidence to "clear and convincing," which is just one step below the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt" that is used in criminal trials.
Steve Garner, president-elect of the Missouri Association of Trial Lawyers opposes the bill, the source reported. He said these damages are hard to prove with evidence, which could lead to families not being paid out what they deserve.
"When we're talking about non-economic losses, we're talking about what makes people human," he said.
No matter what type of malpractice reform is passed, doctors should always consider obtaining an individual professional liability insurance policy. This type of coverage can potentially prevent a malpractice lawsuit from being financially damaging and career threatening.
When faced with a lawsuit, professional liability insurance can provide financial assistance for legal and court fees and settlement and judgment costs as well as legal defense.
Oftentimes, medical facilities will offer employees coverage but this won't always be extended. For example, if a lawsuit has a conflict of interest for the healthcare provider, a doctor could be on their own.
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