Possible New Legislation Regarding Medical Malpractice
Under a bill now being considered by the North Carolina General Assembly, plaintiffs and defendants involved in a patient negligence/malpractice lawsuit against a hospital or doctor could agree to have their case settled under binding arbitration. A court would select the arbitrator or the two sides could agree on one arbitrator.
After agreeing to enter the procedure, hearings would begin no later than ten months after the agreement, and a decision would have to be issued within two weeks of the hearing’s close. Also, the number of appeals would be limited. Obviously, this new system will allow cases to be heard and resolved much more quickly.
This legislation is an attempt to hold hospitals and doctors accountable and to allow victims of malpractice to seek justice for injuries suffered more quickly. The proposed legislation caps damages at medical malpractice cases at $1 million.
The impetus for this legislation is the simple fact that many people injured or killed by the malpractice of physicians or hospitals cannot find a lawyer to take their case because the cost to litigate such a case is way too high.