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Malpractice caps subject of requested constitutional amendment

From state to state, the laws governing medical malpractice can vary greatly. These same laws can seem to be under frequent review and subject to change at almost any time. Pennsylvania residents can learn much about the tides affecting their own medical malpractice laws by watching activities in other states. Malpractice can be claimed for many reasons including problems resulting from surgeries, medication errors, birth injuries and more. No matter the cause of a claim, the specifics about a state’s laws will matter greatly.

Even when laws may appear to be clear, they may not be. Such is the case in Florida now. A conflict regarding caps on non-economic damages for medical malpractice claims has led to a request for a constitutional amendment. The supporters of the amendment, which must be approved by voters, are pushing for it in order to remove any question as to the authority and legal viability of the state’s current $500,000 cap.

The move comes in response to the Florida State Supreme Court’s recent ruling that the caps are in violation of another constitutional right regarding equal protection. The caps were approved and put into law in 2003 after a task force that was appointed in 2002 by the Governor proposed them as a means to keep costs in check. The members of that original task force are now requesting the addition to the constitution.

The range of serious injury that can result from a single action of a negligent doctor is great. Permanent disability or even death can occur and victims deserve compensation for injuries. Anyone who believes that they have been affected by a medical error may wish to get a legal consultation to understand the laws and their options.

Source: The Insurance Journal, “Florida Constitutional Amendment on Medical Malpractice Caps Urged,” Steve Miller, April 22, 2014

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