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The Truth on “Tort Reform”

An issue that has been discussed in countless political campaigns on both the state and federal level is that of “tort reform.” Those proposing such measures often argue that plaintiffs in civil actions are somehow negatively affecting the lives of average Americans. Often left unsaid, however, is that the entities that stand to gain from the implementation of “tort reform” are large corporations and insurance carriers – not the general American public.

Tort Reform Involves Compensation Caps

One of the most common proposals is to limit the access to a jury trial or to place a “cap” on the amount a jury can compensate a plaintiff. The 7th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law”.

Insurance Companies Are Usually Behind Tort Reform

However, with insurance company-backed tort reform, the idea is to disregard the clearly-stated text of the 7th Amendment. The goal is to disregard the constitutional right to a trial by jury, deny people access to courts, and take away the discretion of American jurors. Simply stated, the insurance carriers and corporations want to take away power from the American people to decide what is fair, in order to ensure that they can continue to increase their profit margins.

Tort Reform Does not Work

Furthermore, there is no objective data to show that “tort reform” accomplishes its stated goals. In medical malpractice actions, the argument is often that it will decrease costs for doctors and increase access to care for patients. However, in Texas, where medical malpractice actions have been “capped” for the past decade, this has not been the case. In fact, the only measure that seems to be consistent with the implication of “tort reform” is the profit margins of insurance carriers which continue to grow at the expense of our civil justice system.

Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C.

At Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., we believe that individuals who suffer injuries due to the negligence of another should be compensated for the full value of all associated costs, including medical bills, loss of wages, and therapy. We do not believe that the government – or insurance companies – have the right to place a limit on how much an individual can be compensated, just as there is no limit to how expensive proper recovery can be. If you are pursuing a personal injury claim, contact our offices today by calling 1-877-737-4806 or by filling out our online contact form. We will fight for you!