There is a long-standing tension between doctors and malpractice lawyers over tort reform. A recent survey from Medscape asked doctors their opinions on what should be done to reform the medical malpractice system. The most common suggestion was to implement pre-trial screening panels.
A pre-trial screening panel would investigate malpractice claims for medical merit before permitting them to go forward in trial. Currently, 17 states already use these. The intent is to throw out claims that lack merit to avoid court battles. While a negative decision by a screening panel doesn’t disallow someone to go to trial, the defendants can use the decision as trial evidence.
However, they have their detractors. Some states have outright banned the practice either through the courts or by the legislature. Also, some experts say that it’s difficult to screen cases early because there’s not enough time to discover everything about a case to make a clear decision. Attorneys believe that more research data is necessary to see just how effective screening panels are.
What was one of the lowest-rated suggestions? Stop making medical errors. Only 13% of doctors agreed with that one. Many physicians believe that the current legal climate is the main reason why malpractice litigation is popular.
For more information about the survey, read the entire article on Medscape.
Bottar Leone is ready to help you with your malpractice claim. If you live in the Syracuse, NY area, call our offices for a consultation.