The Limits of Medical Malpractice Recoveries in Texas.

“How Much Can I Get in My Texas Medical Malpractice Case?”

The “Caps” on Texas Medical Malpractice Recoveries

Under Texas law, medical malpractice recovery is limited to $250,000 for damages other than medical bills and lost income.  That means that if a negligent doctor kills a married mother of four children whose parents are still living, the four children, surviving parents and husband can share the $250,000 recovery.

It doesn’t matter how many doctors were negligent, and it doesn’t matter how many people are hurt by the malpractice:  for damages other than bills and lost income, $250,000 is all you can get.  And there is no adjustment for inflation, either:  so year after year the actual value you can recover is less and less.

If you happen to have a case in which both your doctors and a hospital were negligent, then the caps max out at $500,000.

What a jury thinks after hearing the evidence in your case doesn’t matter, either.  Your legislators have made a deal with malpractice insurers and the courts have to enforce that deal.  So your medical malpractice jury may assess a several million dollar verdict in your case–but the judge will have to reduce that award to just $250,000.

And the jury won’t know a thing about it.  This is an ugly, unfair and un-American law.


Consider this:  pro-business legislators always want limits on how much a jury can award an injured plaintiff.  But those same legislators have no problem with a jury sentencing another human to be executed in a criminal case.  So they think people like you are too stupid to assess money damages — but perfectly smart enough to decide that someone gets a lethal injection?

Don’t tell me that these legislators value “life” over money.  And don’t tell me that they care about consumers.  They don’t.  They value money coming into their campaign funds over everything.  Insurance companies have that money.  People injured by negligent doctors don’t.  Its just that simple.


Totally Unfair Consequences

There is no limitation on how much you can be sued for if you hurt a doctor in a car accident.  This is a one way limitation of liability for negligent doctors only.

This grossly unfair law was sold to Texans as necessary to stop a nonexistent “malpractice crisis”.  The only thing it stopped was injured people being able to get justice against bad doctors and their insurance companies.

As a result, the public ends up having to support people injured by malpractice through social security disability and Medicaid payments, while negligent doctors escape responsibility.

Politicians and Insurance Companies Sold a Big Lie-and Knew It

One of the big lies that insurance companies and medical lobbying groups tell is that medical malpractice verdicts affect medical costs to patients.

This just is not true. When these insurance companies and lobbyists want consumers to give up their  rights to a fair justice system and vote for “caps” on damages, they have to offer something in return.  What they offer is the lie that if injured people can’t get full justice for their injuries caused by medical malpractice, that somehow that will mean that the rest of us will have lower medical bills.

But this makes no sense when you think about it. Limiting what injured people can recover from negligent doctors in medical malpractice suits have never and will never lower your medical bills.

Caps on Medical Malpractice Recoveries Help Nobody Except Insurance Companies

Imagine that you are in a board room with the executives in charge of a medical malpractice insurance company.  Your job is to run the company at as big a profit as possible.

Then imagine that a law has been passed that saves the insurance company and the doctors it insures from having to pay for the damage and suffering caused by malpractice– and now the insurance company has millions of dollars in extra profits.  That money would have gone to people injured by malpractice to compensate them for their losses.

The Myth of the Insurance Company Lowering Premiums

Do you think that the insurance company executives will vote to make less profits next year and lower their company’s malpractice premiums?

Do you think that the insurance company will pay those profits to the doctors who bought malpractice insurance last year?

If such a suggestion were even made at an insurance company board meeting, everyone would laugh- because everyone would know it was a joke.

Laughing board members small

When insurance companies make profits they keep those profits.  and pay dividends to their stock holders and big bonuses to their top executives.  Money that should have gone to injured people ends up going into the pockets of rich executives.

Are malpractice insurance premiums cheaper now than before the unfair “caps” on your recovery were passed?

 No.  Of course not.

The Fantasy that Doctors Will Pass on Insurance Savings to You

But lets pretend that the insurance company actually cuts malpractice insurance premiums to some or all of its doctors.  When doctors get together with their business manager to discuss how much they will make this year, do you think that any of the doctors is going to say “we paid $10,000 less in malpractice insurance this year—instead of keeping that $10,000, lets split it up and pay it all to our patients”?


Of course not.  Any doctor who saves money on malpractice insurance is going to keep the difference and use it for a nicer car, a vacation, presents for his wife and children.

Have you medical bills gone down since the “caps” were passed?

Is your doctor charging less and spending more time with you?


That is why putting a “cap” on what people hurt by medical malpractice can recover from negligent doctors has never, ever, lowered medical costs to consumers.  And it never will.

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