The Truth about Tort Reform in Illinois
The Truth about Tort Reform in Illinois

The Truth about Tort Reform in Illinois

Necessity for Tort Reform Greatly ExaggeratedIn 2005, the Illinois legislature passed the third set of tort reform laws in the state which capped the amount of damages available to victims of medical malpractice cases. Under the 2005 caps, injured patients were only entitled to recover a maximum of $500,000 from physicians and $1,000,000 from hospitals in non-economic damages (i.e. damages for pain and suffering, permanent disability and other intangible losses).The law was passed after a powerful coalition of physicians, hospitals and the insurance industry was able to convince the state legislature that Illinois was in the midst of a “health care crisis.” Provo personal injury lawyer

The coalition argued that the skyrocketing number of medical malpractice suits and large jury awards were causing an increase in medical malpractice insurance premiums, thereby driving doctors out of the state and resulting in decreased patient access to health care.This February, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the damages cap was a violation of the state constitution’s separation of powers clause. Despite this ruling, however, it is unlikely that this will be the last attempt by self-proclaimed “tort reformers” to limit the rights of people injuredby medical malpractice in the state of Illinois.In response to the growing public confusion over the true impact of tort reform on the health care industry, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) recently released a white paper to clear up some of this confusion. The white paper addresses each one of the arguments in favor of tort reform to show how these arguments rely on falsehoods.Claim 1: The Number of Medical Malpractice Claims is Skyrocketing in IllinoisCourt records and insurance companies’ regulatory filings both reveal that the number of medical malpractice claims filed in the state of Illinois prior to and after the 2005 tort reforms has been steadily decreasing.Illinois’ largest medical malpracticeinsurance provider, ISMIE, changed its reporting standards in 2003, which artificially increased the overall number of medical malpractice claims filed against its insureds. Prior to 2003, ISMIE counted a claim filed against a physician and medical corporation by a single claimant as one claim.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *