In Florida, caps on malpractice awards were put into place in 2003 under the administration of Jeb Bush — and while it has taken almost 15 years, injured patients have finally scored a victory in court against that legislation.
The legislation has been declared unconstitutional in a ruling from the state’s Supreme Court — which now says that the caps that were put in place were arbitrary, injurious to those who suffered the worst damages and showed absolutely no evidence that they’d done what they’d been designed to do — which was lower the malpractice insurance payments that doctors have to pay.
This ruling came about as the result of catastrophic injuries to one victim who was so severely injured by an anesthesiologist that she had to learn to eat all over again. She suffers unrelenting pain. Although the jury felt she deserved $4 million for pain and suffering, her award was greatly reduced due to the caps that were in place. She fought the reduction in her award under the mandated caps and won.
Until this reversal, even the most severely injured patient could only receive $1 million for pain and suffering, and most malpractice cases were limited to a maximum of $500,000.
Attorneys say that many patients with severe injuries simply settled for far less than the cases rightfully should have received because victims felt like the caps would make an expensive trial pointless — everything they gained would be lost to legal fees. The reversal in the law now gives the truly injured a good reason to fight and the ability to do so.
Anyone who has been injured at the hands of a negligent doctor or nurse, endured mistreatment in a hospital or suffered abuse while in a rehabilitation care facility or nursing home should try to hold those people financially responsible for the pain they’ve inflicted. An attorney can help you. Our firm has experience in handling professional malpractice claims and may be able to help meet your needs.