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Medical malpractice damage caps remain controversial

People in Pennsylvania and around the United States seek medical care every day. The rising concern about instances of medical malpractice can leave patients wondering who they can trust when. Some medical errors may be clearly identified at the time they occur while others may not be noticeable for some time. The failure to diagnose cancer properly, for example, is something that may not be immediately detectable.

When people do become victims of medical negligence, the law allows for them to seek compensation. While in Pennsylvania, there are no limits on the amount that can be awarded to victims for damages, other states do impose such limits. The discussion about whether or not caps should be in place seems to be ever present, regardless of current state laws. In Missouri, the battle over this issue is once again heating up.

In 2005, the state enacted damage award caps which remained in place until 2012 when the State Supreme Court declared the limits unconstitutional. Last year the State House passed a new damage cap law but the legislation was unable to pass through the Senate. Now in March of 2014, the House has passed yet another law that would bring back these damage caps. The bill will move to the State Senate next.

People who believe that their worsened condition or delayed treatment is the result of an error could speak with an attorney to more fully understand the laws in this area. Learning when and how to seek compensation for medical errors can help victims to stay protected.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Missouri House approves limits on jury awards in medical malpractice lawsuits,” Marie French, March 5, 2014

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