The idea of “tort reform” comes up every few years as insurance companies attempt to shift the cost of negligence to the injured parties and away from the insured person who caused the harm. With promises of lower health care costs, fear mongering of doctor flight, lower insurance costs, and tales of runaway juries and frivolous claims, insurance companies have pushed through caps on recovery in multiple states. So far, Arizona has not joined them, but it’s just a matter of time before the insurers try again.
Texas has caps which result in some of the most serious cases of negligence — brain damage, death, and catastrophic injuries — being uncompensated because the value of the case and the costs of bringing it, when combined with health insurers who want reimbursement for what they spent, would result in zero recovery to the family. This isn’t a situation of greedy lawyers run amok, but of health insurers pushing a “reform” agenda which only favors their bottom line while not reducing malpractice premiums, health care costs or any of the other myriad benefits supposedly resulting from being able to kill or injure people without consequence.
Here’s an example from Texas: