One of the ongoing games of political football in Oklahoma and around the country in recent years has concerned tort reform. Tort reform is basically a term used for a process that would limit certain types of damages that could be sought and recovered by people who have been harmed and file Oklahoma personal injury lawsuits as a result. Recent news has revealed that those who obtain the help of an Oklahoma personal injury attorney after being injured could face the prospect of having a $250,000.00 cap placed on the pain and suffering damages they can recover if an bill passes through the legislature. Below is an overview of this issue.
OKLAHOMA PAIN AND SUFFERING DAMAGES FOR INJURIES
Pain and suffering damages that are sought and recovered in Oklahoma personal injury lawsuits exist basically to provide compensation for those who have been harmed with regards to their loss in their quality of life. Therefore, there are no tangible costs tied to these types of damages awards as there are with medical bills, lost income and other forms of loss. However, there is also no possible way to quantify how much someone has suffered and how much pain he or she has experienced, which is why these awards can be subjective.
Advocates for this Oklahoma pain and suffering damages cap provide several supporting arguments to explain their position. Below are a few examples of the theories behind their belief:
Capping pain and suffering damages will attract more doctors to Oklahoma.
Medical costs will be lower with a cap on pain and suffering damages.
Doctors will be less likely to practice ‘defensive’ medicine.
There would be no limit on the recovery of economic damages.
Generally, these are the arguments being made in support of the measure that could become law at some point relatively soon.
LIMITS FOR PAIN AND SUFFERING DAMAGE LAWSUITS IN OKLAHOMA CITY
As one would expect, there are also several points that are often made in support of the opposition position, specifically that pain and suffering damages should not be capped at $250,000. A few examples of these points appear below:
There is already a law in place requiring an expert to agree that a professional negligence case has merit before it can proceed.
Filing otherwise valid Oklahoma medical or professional negligence cases could become cost-prohibitive for Oklahoma personal injury lawyers who would otherwise represent those who have been harmed.
The number of physicians in Oklahoma is already rising.
No two examples of pain and suffering are ever alike.
Therefore, advocates of a cap-free pain and suffering damages option will also continue to make their cases to the public and to the legislature that’s considering the bill.
Overall, this issue is one that is not new. While anyone would expect a law firm comprised of Oklahoma personal injury lawyers to be against a cap on pain and suffering damages, the fact of the matter is that these types of damages and instances of individual suffering do not fit into a neat mathematical equation. Therefore, those who have been harmed in any way should not hesitate to contact Atkins & Markoff today to schedule a free initial consultation.