JACKSON, Mississippi. A new bill passed by the house would limit pain and suffering damages nationwide to $250,000 for medical malpractice claims and nursing home abuse claims. According to The Hill, the new law would also place a three year statute of limitations on recovery. This means that medical malpractice victims would have a nationwide time limit of three years to make a claim. In cases where injury is discovered after the time limit, individuals would only have one year to make a claim from the date of discovery. Essentially, the bill would shorten the time limit to sue in states that have longer statute of limitations limits and it would lower the amount individuals could collect in damages in states where there are no limits or upper limits are higher than $250,000.
The law won’t impact the amount of money a person can recover for medical expenses and lost wages, but it would impact how much a person could seek in pain and suffering damages. Critics of the bill claim that the bill would prevent medical malpractice victims from seeking the full compensation they may deserve under the law. Unfortunately, pain and suffering damages are often poorly understood by the general public. These damages compensate victims for real damages and real losses. A medical malpractice victim who can no longer care for her children, or a surgical error victim who is no longer able to work in construction will experience a real measure of pain and suffering. An individual who is permanently disabled due to negligence will also experience psychological, as well as physical losses.
The damages could also hurt low income individuals and children the most. According to The Hill, women, low income individuals, and children are sometimes unable to seek economic damages because they may not have lost wages to collect. Some women are stay at home mothers who don’t get paychecks. Their damages may be better defined by an inability to care for children, or an inability to engage in normal life activities, all of which can be incredibly painful and damaging to their families and to the victims themselves. In many cases, these groups seek damages through pain and suffering recoveries.
According to the Washington Post, the cap on non-economic damages would affect claims for medical malpractice, surgical errors, side effects from drugs, nursing home abuse claims, and sexual assault in nursing homes. The bill has some potentially disturbing effects, as some of the damages from sexual assault are psychological in nature. Psychological care can be costly and is not always covered by insurance.
The bill won’t become law unless the Senate votes on the measure, but some are worried about the impact it could have if it passes. Democrats have called the bill “heartless” claiming that it would hurt quadriplegic workers, children, and nursing home residents the most.
If you or a loved one has been personally injured in a nursing home or due to negligence or neglect, you have important rights under the law and may be entitled to seek pain and suffering damages, lost wages, and a recovery to cover medical expenses. Contact the Jackson, Mississippi, personal injuries at Williams, Newman, Williams: Attorneys & Counselors at Law today to learn more about your rights. Our firm understands the unique challenges families face in cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. Visit us at http://www.wnwlegal.com/.

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