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Tort Reform And How Does It Affect You?

With the subject of national health care being at the forefront of discussion these days, the cost is often brought up as the most pressing problem today. One of the significant factors believ...

With the subject of national health care being at the forefront of discussion these days, the cost is often brought up as the most pressing problem today. One of the significant factors believed to be driving up the cost is frivolous lawsuits that are being initiated by those who feel that they did not get the proper standard of care while using the services of a doctor or hospital. The proponents of healthcare reform claim that these lawsuits are driving up the cost by causing physicians, hospitals and other healthcare providers to pay high premiums in malpractice insurance which they pass on to the patient.

The subject of Tort reform is at the center of this issue and although not limited to the subject of healthcare, tort has long been debated and argued in legal circles.† There are those that believe that without some sort of limit being set on the amount of damages being awarded, that the costs of healthcare and other services will continue to be driven upward, making it less affordable for the average person.†

The opposing side believes that these large amounts of damages being awarded are a way of keeping would be imposters and otherwise poor service providers in check. With tort reform in place, this would provide protection for large corporations and businesses leaving the common man without any recourse in the event they should suffer a life altering injury or loss of income.

There are those individuals who have not truly suffered any damages that use the legal system as a means to ďget something for nothingĒ at the expense of the entity they are suing and the taxpayer.† These cases can go on for inordinate amounts of time, with the cost continuing to climb while the case endures. Itís this type of individual abuse of the legal system that tort reform seeks to eliminate. Opponents of tort reform are concerned that people with a legitimate claim would be left to deal with the financial and physical consequences of negligence with little or no assistance from the courts.

Businesses should have some product liability in the event their product or service causes injury or financial difficulty.† The question has now become how much is too much.† While legal eagles continue to debate this question, itís up to the consumer to use reasonable judgment when using a product or undergoing a procedure.† Anyone undergoing any medical treatment should ask questions and make sure they have a clear understanding of whatís involved and the potential risk. As a patient, you do have the right to a common sense disclosure of benefit versus risk.† If you know what to expect, you can make an educated decision on your health care.

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