The Medical Malpractice Liability System

1515 Words Nov 15th, 2014 7 Pages
A tort action is brought about through provisions of private law and asserts that one party has experienced harm from the actions of another party and that the injured person seeks compensation for the harm (Pozgar & Santucci, 2009). Tort reforms are connected to shifts in medical malpractice law since the 1980’s when moves were made to change from court-decided Common Law to incorporation of statutes from many state legislatures (Waters, Budetti, Claxton, & Lundy, 2007). This paper will discuss the current state of tort law, the need for reform, and proposals for effective reform.
Tort Law Today The medical malpractice liability system in the United States has two main purposes: (1) to provide compensation to patients injured through negligence of providers who cared for them, and (2) to deter negligent practice behaviors (Kessler, 2011). Our current system falls woefully short of these two aims. Only one out of every fifteen patients who receive a healthcare-related injury receives compensation, and only one out of every six persons who receive compensation demonstrate evidence of negligence (Kessler, 2011). In addition, the legal system takes over four years to manage a tort claim, delaying compensation for persons whose cases have merit and impacting the accused provider over an excessive period of time (Baltic, 2013).
The Case for Reform Although tort law serves other subpopulations, the call for reform largely centers on medical malpractice (Rakoczy, 2013).…
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