The Controversial Tort Reform

Post 25 of 33

Tort law is a part of common law which deals with civil wrongs; tort means prejudice, so the cases falling into this category are usually cases of legal or medical malpractice. Medical negligence claims are the most common tort law cases, and they occur when a patient sues a physician for incompetence or negligence which lead to physical or mental damage. In this case, the patient has the right to obtain compensation. Tort law has existed under various forms ever since Roman law, which is what most Western law is based upon. More recently, advancements in the regimentation of tort law took place in England, in 1932, when a man managed to sue the proprietor of a bar for serving him beer with remnants of a slug in it.

Tort Reform Tort Reform picture

Although it can be generally difficult to prove negligence unless you manage to sustain all the elements of your claim, tort law was still pretty customer-friendly. All that changed with the tort reform, which aims to reduce tort damages and litigation. These changes have stirred up a controversy, because regular people felt it would no longer be easy for them to prove negligence claims in court.

On one hand, tort reform can be viewed as beneficial because it would eliminate most of the fake claims that only intend to squeeze money out of organizations or professionals. On the other, those who have real claims risk losing even more money on lawsuits that lead nowhere. In the English commonwealth system, tort claims were a means for people to obtain compensation if another party brought harm on their person or their property. Tort reform focuses mainly on personal injury common law rules, which could mean an obstacle for the claimants and their plaintiff.

In US law, the tort reform caused a lot of agitation, mainly for the same reasons. That is because those who advocate it propose limitations on the ability to file claims, which is exactly what the people feared. Some even went as far as saying that this reform is meant to protect companies and corporations and limit the rights of people. Other consequences of this reform could be a reduction of the awards for damages that one can receive, again a measure which infringes on the rights of those who might have righteous malpractice claims.

Others believe that tort reform can be a good thing, because it would reduce costs for litigation and provide people with the same compensation no matter the nature of the damage. In Australia for example, they have implemented a no-fault insurance scheme where accident victims receive equal compensation from the government.

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