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Patients take issue with North Carolina malpractice law

According to a recent study, the amount of fatalities in North Carolina caused by traffic accidents and homicides combined is still lower than the number of deaths attributed to preventable medical mistakes, which injure and kill thousands of North Carolina residents each year. However, many of these patients say they are having difficulty securing compensation for these mistakes, largely due to a recently passed North Carolina law.

Medical malpractice lawsuits allow individuals hurt due to medical mistakes or errors to seek monetary damages to cover the medical bills, lost income, pain and other loss caused by the negligence of their doctors or other health care providers. North Carolina residents who have suffered significant financial, emotional or physical setbacks due to improper care should consider contacting an experienced attorney to learn more about more about filing a medical malpractice claim.

When North Carolina legislators passed Senate Bill 33 in 2011, they made it more difficult for patients in the state to receive compensation for malpractice. This is because the bill placed a $500,000 maximum on non-economic damages for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and similar factors. It also introduces stronger protections for doctors facing lawsuits, discouraging many attorneys from taking on otherwise valid medical malpractice claims.

"We should have jurors actually making these decisions about what fair compensation is worth. We shouldn't have politicians telling jurors what they can do," explained one attorney. He criticized the lawmakers for limiting access to the legal systems for individuals who received insufficient and damaging medical care.

Supporters of the bill say that preventing frivolous malpractice claims should help bring doctors to North Carolina and lower overall medical costs. An official with the North Carolina Medical Society argued that "Physicians believe that there is predictability in the system now." However, opponents are concerned that the legislation could prevent patients with legitimate concerns from ever getting the chance to bring their grievances before a jury.

Source: WSOCTV.com, "New NC law makes it harder for patients to sue for malpractice," Peter Daut, July 12, 2012

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