The civil justice system provides an opportunity for plaintiffs to bring claims under tort laws to get compensation for harm suffered as a result of negligence or wrongdoing. Unfortunately, the civil justice system could soon be changed in fundamental ways which make it harder for plaintiffs to be fully compensated for damages they have endured.
If these bills are signed into federal law, it will be even more imperative for injured plaintiffs to seek help from an experienced attorney.
It is always important to hire a good injury lawyer, but it will be more essential if reforms are enacted with the aim to limit opportunities to receive fair compensation.
What are the New Proposed Laws That Could Undercut Consumer Rights?
There are multiple laws currently being proposed which could affect the rights of consumers. Examples include:
- A law restricting the ability of the federal government to make payments to third parties as part of a settlement. The government often gives money to groups which are able to distribute the funds and use the money effectively to provide for those who have been harmed by wrongdoing. Republicans describe this practice as a settlement slush fund which funnels money to third party interest groups, and republicans have a plan to stop it by restricting the money the federal government can provide to third parties in settlements.
- A law limiting damages in malpractice cases: The federal government would join with a long list of states to impose limits on the amount of non-financial loss a victim of malpractice could be entitled to. Under the federal rule, victims would get a maximum of $250,000 in compensation for non-financial damage, such as pain. Unfortunately, sometimes $250,000 isn't enough compensation - which is why juries sometimes award more in compensation than this amount. If the federal law restricts the rights of malpractice victims to collect the actual fair amount of compensatory damages as determined by a jury, this is a denial of justice for those malpractice victims.
- A law imposing attorney sanctions for allegedly frivolous claims. This could be the most consequential change because, as Center for Justice and Democracy explains, a similar rule put into place in the past had to be rescinded because it was discouraging attorneys from taking civil rights cases.
These are just some of the examples of ways which laws could change to alter the civil justice system. It is important to work with an attorney if you have been hurt or damaged in some way, as your attorney will keep up-to-date with the newest rules and regulations and will do everything possible to help you get the maximum compensation available for losses.