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House passes measure to cap medical malpractice compensation

As we have reported here in our San Antonio legal blog, and countless other have stated in blogs, articles, news reports and editorials across the nation, efforts to cap compensation in medical malpractice litigation hurts one group of people: those who have been harmed by medical malpractice.

It is only people who can prove to a court that they have been harmed by a negligent doctor or hospital who will be affected. And they are the ones who will be hurt if legislation recently approved by the House of Representatives is also passed by the U.S. Senate.

The bill passed the House 218 to 210, according to The Hill. All Democrats voted against the measure, as did "19 GOP lawmakers from both the centrist and most conservative wings of the party," the publication stated.

The bill would slam a cap of $250,000 on noneconomic damages. What are noneconomic damages? Things such as pain, suffering, disfigurement, physical impairment, mental anguish and the like.

The caps would apply to lawsuits involving health insurance coverage provided by or subsidized by the federal government.

Of course proponents of the bill claim it will save money on health care. It is certainly possible that negligent doctors and hospitals will save money. And that it will be on the backs of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who die each year because of hospital medical errors (according to a study in the Journal of Patient Safety).

We do not know how the measure will fare in the Senate, but we do know that a conversation with an attorney experienced in VA hospital malpractice litigation can help make your legal options clear.

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