Millions of Americans are harmed each year because of medical errors that should have been prevented. The vast majority of those victims will remain silent about their loss, often because they themselves do not immediately find out about the mistakes. Many times it isn’t until long after the care is provided that victims of medical malpractice become aware of the problem. This silence is one way that many citizens remain misinformed about the true scope of the medical mistake problem.
To help put faces onto the issue, Public Citizen is asking for Americans to share their personal stories of medical malpractice and loss. If you are someone you know has suffered because of one of these errors, the group is asking that you visit their website and fill out a survey about the incident.
In this way, the real lives and experiences of those who have dealt with medical mistakes can be shared with the world. It will go a long way to help lift the veil of silence that remains over much of the situation. The information will also help lawmakers who are currently debating legislation related to medical malpractice and the rights of those victimized by it.
Specifically, an introduced bill, H.R. 5, is particularly troubling for those who care about medical victims-the bill would apply to medical malpractice claims, nursing home lawsuits, and suits against insurance companies. It includes arbitrary caps on non-economic damages, and shortens the statute of limitations on many acts of negligence. It also eliminates joint and several liability and raises pleading standards. These changes would essentially make it harder for victims to win cases and, even if they are won, harder to collect the entire damage award reached by the jury.
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti reject these misguided efforts to legally handcuff victims. An honest discussion about the 98,000 patients killed every year by medical malpractice can never been had if we keep running through the same old attempts to eliminate victim rights. Please help to bring a real world perspective to this important issue.
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