ERNST & YOUNG
It’s not often that mass overhauls of the medical malpractice insurance industry take place, but some legislators in Maryland are trying to do just that. The bill, which was recently introduced into both of the General Assembly chambers, would create what is known as a birth injury fund. Florida, New York, and Virginia already have funds like this, which are meant to provide immediate compensation to parents whose children suffer birth injuries in the states, but even the best sounding laws in the world have faults.
Both Sides have Strong Points
Like many things introduced into the Maryland legislature, the birth injury fund undoubtedly sounds good on paper. It would allow a parent to collect quick compensation for medical bills, lost time at work, and other financial difficulties related to a child’s birth injury. What many people aren’t pointing out, however, is the fact that it wouldn’t cover general damages such as pain and suffering.
Those who are against the law say that passage would reduce a doctor’s incentive to not act negligently during child birth. In reality, this is most likely accurate since one of the main incentives of avoiding negligent acts is the potential for facing extremely high malpractice insurance costs after making medical mistakes.
Inability to Sue
Sadly, the bill’s passage would completely remove a parent’s ability to bring forward a lawsuit against a negligent doctor who caused a serious birth injury in their child. Legislators believe that removing this ability, while still covering medical and related costs, would help medical establishments stay financially sound. Baltimore, Maryland medical malpractice attorneys point out, though, that hospitals could save money on malpractice lawsuits by simply ensuring that their physicians don’t act negligently.
If passed, the law would work much like current worker’s compensation laws. Compensation from the fund would be given regardless of who was at fault for the injury. In return, doctors wouldn’t face large lawsuits and potentially multimillion dollar settlements related to birth injuries.
Alternatives may Exist
Unfortunately, legislators aren’t taking into account the fact that birth injuries lead to a lifetime of necessary medical care. In addition, they’ve failed to account for general damages that people are usually able to recover, and these damages are meant to cover the injuries that cannot be financially quantified on paper.
Luckily, some language in the new medical malpractice law would still allow a lawsuit to be brought forward, but this, once again like worker’s compensation, would only be in cases of extreme negligence. Any parent whose child experiences one of these accidents will need to speak with Baltimore, Maryland attorneys. These professionals can definitely increase a person’s odds of getting a lawsuit brought forward, but sadly, this would ultimately be left up to the courts to decide.
While the bill is still being debated, it’s repercussions are far-reaching; and this means that anyone who plans on having children in Maryland needs to pay close attention. In the end, passage of the bill would be a victory to medical establishments in the state, but sadly, it would leave many parents whose children become victims of negligent doctors with years of uncompensated pain and medical costs.
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Have you or a loved one been injured due to negligence? We want to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you believe you have a case; time is an important factor. Interested in learning more? Get in touch with us so we can better evaluate and serve your needs in getting the justice your loved one deserves. You may very well be entitled to compensation.
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