There's two sides to the liability caps coin: one side shows that if we threaten with a big penalty for liability, the amount of incidents and malpractice will go down. On the other side, if a company or individual knows that their liability is capped at a certain amount they can afford, there's little incentive to make sure they never have to meet those liability caps.

Liability caps are designed to enforce the responsibility of high-risk fields such as oil companies and medical practitioners. In these fields where lawsuits and mishaps resulting in millions of dollars in damages occur on a fairly regular basis, the idea of liability caps came into play.

The purpose was to protect the companies and doctors from frivolous lawsuits that over claimed for non-economical damages - commonly known as "pain and suffering" or "emotional damages." The problem is that liability caps can work both ways - they deter companies/doctors that can't afford their maximum cap in liability from operating, or they allow those who can easily afford the cap to not worry about safety as much because they'll only be liable to a point.

My issue with medical malpractice liability caps is that they limit the amount of compensation deserving victims and their families are allowed. Liability caps provide little incentive to perform exceptionally because they limit the liability a doctor faces, especially if they also carry malpractice insurance. If you knew you could be liable for an infinite amount of damages should you wrongfully harm a patient, wouldn't you take extra precautions?

It's not just medical malpractice that suffers from liability caps allowing for a bit of slacking off in the safety and responsibility department. My article on the oil industry and liability caps talks more about the effect liability caps has on an industry that, as we've seen, has the potential to cause billions of dollars of damages in a matter of weeks.

Understanding liability caps is important when you are seeking to file a lawsuit, especially for medical malpractice. Virginia medical malpractice attorney Ben Glass has been fighting to help victims in the Virginia and D.C. areas for their medical malpractice claims. For more information, contact us today - 703-591-9829.

Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney
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