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Why does Texas have such a messed up Civil system?

Discussion in 'Civil Court, Procedure & Litigation' started by Redemptionman, Jan 24, 2023.

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  1. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Law Topic Starter Active Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Texas
    You are capped at 250k against a hospital
    Civil law goes off paid medical expenses with insurance not total billable
    need state legislature approval to sue a state University a la Chris Bread or Mike Leach
    People in the state are just screwed when it comes to any type of meaningful compensation from any type of malpractice or personal injury

    no wonder the worse doctors in the country practice in Texas.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    One of the many great things about the USA, if you're unhappy where you reside, you're free to relocate to one of the other states/territories, or one of the 120 odd civilized nations on the planet.
     
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  3. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    The cap only applies to non economic damages, like pain and suffering awards. The cap does not include medical bills, lost income, etc that occurs from malpractice awards. Texas is not unique in this regard; a number of states cap non economic damages

    That's illogical. If the potential awards for malpractice were the lowest in the country, you'd expect doctors of all abilities to be attracted to practicing there. The lower the malpractice awards, the lower the risk of a potentially bankruptcy causing award. Bear in mind that even the best doctor may make a mistake from malpractice. Doctors are only human and like all humans they sometimes make mistakes. In addition to that, low malpractice awards in the state lower the malpractice insurance premiums the doctor has to pay, which benefits all doctors by letting them keep more money in their pockets. And Texas is hardly the worst state for quality of medical care. For example, see US News and World Report's ranking of state healthcare systems. Texas is in the middle of the pack. And as for which states are best for doctors to practice, Texas is again in the middle of the pack.
     
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  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Or one of many hundreds of uncivilized nations on the planet.

    Anyway, malpractice claims drive up the cost of malpractice insurance which, in turn, drives up the cost of medical care which, in turn, drives up the cost of medical insurance. The increased cost of medical insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays come out of your pocket.
     
  5. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Law Topic Starter Active Member

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    I think you missed what I was saying, Texas protects large business and their interests over the interests/ well beings of their citizens. Limiting non economic damages is LOL and only allowing billable paid out of pocket damages is especially LOL when you consider future medical costs. No way does this make sense and indirectly I am sort of affected especially if you do or have done business with an insurance company headquartered in said state.

    Someone has to pay rather it be the tax payers or the victims of PI or malpractice. I would be of the belief that the businesses and insurance companies should pick up the tabs rather than tax payers. Of course your opinion could vary.
     
  6. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Future medical costs, if sufficiently proven, may be included in the judgment with no cap as that is not a noneconomic damage. Again, the cap applies primarily to pain and suffering as that is by far the largest part of non economic damages in a PI case.

    Putting a cap on noneconomic damages doesn't affect the taxpayer because government benefits will not pay for that either. So long as the injured person can get paid all of his/her economic damages paid by the malpractice claim then not a penny of your taxes is spent on that person's medical care. So you aren't paying for anyone's malpractice claims by higher taxes unless the medical insurer/doctor goes bankrupt and can't pay all the claims. In any event, it's not the cap on noneconomic damages that would affect you.
     
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  7. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Law Topic Starter Active Member

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    Yes it does, because that person could not live the life they did before if they are injured worse enough. They have limits to recovery so what do you think that person does? SSDI or something similar.

    When you limit recovery and I am aware of an unwarranted windfall you limit that person from every being able to maintain a quality of life they had before the event.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2023
  8. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    A person who qualifies for SSDI or something similar will qualify regardless of the amount of any personal injury settlement.

    A person who is injured seriously enough for the claim to be worth several hundred thousand dollars is not going to maintain the same quality of life as before no matter how much or how little the personal injury settlement is.

    Ergo, both your arguments against caps fall flat.
     
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  9. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Law Topic Starter Active Member

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    How does it fall flat? So, you are saying that a person could go on disability regardless of making 3 million for a PI or one that makes 300k? the 300k will run out over the course of lifetime of suffering while the 3 million might make it possible to live out the rest of their days without worry of having to go on disability.
     
  10. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Exactly what I'm saying. SSDI is driven by the disability and the inability to "earn" income through employment. Assets don't count.

    Private disability policies are often like that, too.

    Donald Trump could become a quadripedic and still (with all his bazillions) qualify for SSDI.

    If that's so important to an injured person, he/she could have, and should have, purchased a private disability policy with an option for monthly benefits for life. The difference being that he/she would have paid for it themselves instead of the insurance buying consumer footing the bill.

    I will concede one thing to you. Caps and no-fault (where nobody gets pain and suffering), in theory, should result in reasonable insurance rates. In practice, I don't think it has accomplished that goal anywhere.

    Either abolish caps and no-fault, or eliminate pain and suffering universally (no exceptions, no loopholes) and require everybody to insure themselves against injury with their own injury coverage on their car insurance or private disability insurance. If they don't buy enough coverage, that's their problem.

    Of course, that's never gonna happen.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2023
  11. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Law Topic Starter Active Member

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    Of course not, your post is very well thought out and explained. The problem is too many people know how to work the system. It should be like the old days were at fault party had to pay through wage garnishment or liens the amounts owed for damage caused from an accident. I am not even sure if their rates increase from having min limit coverage and causing many hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. Basically what I am saying them trying to correct a problem which didn't exist in the first place didn't keep insurance companies from making more money.

    The way these caps work, it makes accident victims path to recovery very difficult unless they get hit by a big truck driver with a large company carrying extraordinary amounts of coverage.
     
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  12. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I was facetiously going to ask you if you wanted to revert back to the Stone Age.

    Insurance (the concept of spreading risk) has been around for thousands of years. Primitive man hunted in groups so that if one or two got gored by the prey, the rest of the group would survive to bring home the food.

    Property insurance has been around for centuries becoming prevalent with the advent of ocean-going trade between European empires and their colonies. Google Lloyds of London to learn more about that.

    Liability insurance is a relatively recent development with the advent of Employers Liability insurance during the 1800s. Later known as Workers Compensation insurance, it was developed so that injured workers did not have to experience the burden and cost of suing the employer for negligence when the worker was unemployed and broke due to his injury.

    Liability insurance to protect a person from the consequences of his own negligence was a product of the late 19th century and exploded (no surprise) with the development of the automobile.

    You're right, before that a "tort feasor" had to pay for his negligence out of his own pocket. But that's not a viable solution as most liability judgments can be discharged in bankruptcy.

    Whether you argue for or against caps and/or no-fault, they are often necessary to avoid the chaos of lawsuits that take years and are accompanied by prohibitive costs of litigation.

    9/11/2001 - 4 planes hijacked. The World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon destroyed. Thousands killed. Tens of thousands injured, many developing life-long disabilities of varying extents.

    Faced with the prospect of a myriad of lawsuits putting airlines out of business or requiring a monumental bailout, the airlines and the federal government developed the Victims Compensation Fund allowing victims and/or their families to be compensated without having to incur the costs and time involved in litigation.

    For the VCF to be successful, there had to be caps on the pay-outs. Naturally, many objected to caps, especially those who believed that their lives were worth more than the lives of others.

    Guess what, more than 80% of the victims agreed to be bound by the VCF's settlement caps. For the last 20 years or so, the VCF has been compensating victims.

    To learn more about the VCF watch the movie Worth on Netflix. It's a docudrama.

    Home - Netflix
     
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  13. Paddywakk

    Paddywakk Member

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    Did something happen to you or are you just throwing this out for discussion?
     
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  14. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to guess that redemption has had an unpleasant experience in the past. Based on his posting history and anger filled comments on this site.
     
  15. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Law Topic Starter Active Member

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    You do a lot of guessing, Not sure how you got anger filled out of anything I posted.

    Those are facts.
     
  16. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    It's the impression I get from your posts about insurance companies.
     
  17. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Law Topic Starter Active Member

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    nothing is more personal than personal injury, LOL

    I have been burned by BAD insurance companies which is why the one you pick is so important. However, that does not pertain to here since this is really about Texas and its limits on damages which is a model that other states will adapt eventually.
     
  18. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    In any case where the plaintiff has suffered a permanent injury no court award can possibly return them to the life they had before. Money is no substitute for not being able to walk any more, for example.

    The problem is that noneconomic damages can be abused as there are no set standards for determining how much that should be. A number of juries have let their emotions overcome reason and award outrageous amounts of pain and suffering damages, for example. Without a cap by the legislature in place, it ended up being the appeals courts that would end up capping the award. Either way, really large amounts of noneconomic damages are going to be chopped down. The result otherwise would be massive increases to insurance premiums or insurance companies refusing to write those policies, which we all ultimately end up paying for either directly or indirectly.

    ETA: My state has a cap on on pain and suffering awards of $250,000, too. Yet in a recent case the firm I'm associated with won nearly $10 million in damages for the plaintiff. (I had no part in litigating that case.) The cap didn't prevent awarding the plaintiff a large enough award to cover all the medical and related costs needed to live his life to the fullest extent possible given his injuries.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2023
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  19. Redemptionman

    Redemptionman Law Topic Starter Active Member

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    How many defendants? a worthless judgement is just that without pockets deep enough to cover it. Or did this just happen to be Bad Faith and they hit the over in any case if not capped that will be appealed.
     
  20. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    One defendant, which was a government agency with sufficient insurance to cover the entire award. And no, this was not an instance of a bad faith claim against the government agency or its insurer. The award was instead reflective of the serious permanent damages the plaintiff suffered.

    You started this thread by asserting that Texas has the worst legal system in large part because of the $250,000 cap on non economic damages. But Texas is hardly alone in having that kind of cap. So your assertion on that score doesn't hold up. A number of states have caps like that. And guess what? It hasn't broken the personal injury award system. Only a minority of personal injury cases got pain and suffering awards over $250,000 to begin with. So the cap doesn't affect most PI lawsuits. What it does do is prevent those overly high awards that juries sometimes award because of emotion overriding logic or for a desire to "punish" the defendant.
     
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