THE FIVE MYTHS OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE: MYTH #5

Myth #5: Tort Reform Will Lower Physicians’ Insurance Rates.

Tort reforms are passed under the guise they will lower physicians’ liability premiums. Not true!

While insurers do pay out less money when damages awards are capped…they do not pass the savings along to doctors by lowering premiums. There is little variance in premium levels between states that cap damages and states that do not. In fact, in 2009 the average liability premium in states without caps on damages was lower than the average premium in states with caps on damages.

Even the “industry experts” admit the myth is untrue:

Sherman “Tiger” Joyce, president of the American Tort Reform Association, admitted to Liability Week that tort reform measures do not reduce insurance premiums, saying, “We wouldn’t tell you or anyone that the reason to pass tort reform would be to reduce insurance rates.”

Victor Schwartz, general counsel of ATRA, told Business Insurance that, “[M]any tort reform advocates do not contend that restricting litigation will lower insurance rates, ‘and I’ve never said that in 30 years.’”

Dennis Kelly of the American Insurance Association (AIA) has said, “We have not promised price reductions with tort reform.” In addition, an AIA press release stated: “Insurers never promised that tort reform would achieve specific premium savings…”

My Take: I hope our readers will tell me where I am wrong in discussing the “5 Myths of Medical Malpractice”…I don’t think I am wrong but am willing to hear from the other side.

Dan Frith

Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at dfrith@frithlawfirm.com.