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The Impact of Tort Reform in Oklahoma

Tort reform is the concept of limiting or “capping” the amount of money injured victims can receive in a personal injury case (also known as a tort claim). Caps usually apply to non-economic damages such as mental and physical pain and suffering. As a result, caps affect the most severely injured such as burn patients and non-wage earners such as children, stay at home moms and the elderly.

Who favors tort reform?
The Chamber of Commerce (corporate interests), hospitals, insurance companies, and doctors all have an interest in minimizing the compensation paid to victims and advancing tort reform. The Republican party — both on federal level and in Oklahoma — has strong ties to the entities that economically benefit from tort reform, thus tort reform has been a part of the Republican agenda for several years.

Can I still file a medical malpractice claim?
While recent developments in Oklahoma tort law have affected the ability to recover for medical malpractice claims, it is important to know that you do have rights against negligent physicians, nurses, hospitals and other entities responsible for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one. Our attorneys will begin an immediate investigation and help you take appropriate steps to assert your legal rights.

Recent changes in medical malpractice law include the following:

  • There are now damage caps on noneconomic damages. The cap is $400,000 in medical malpractice cases.
  • You cannot file a medical malpractice claim until you have an expert report. While it can be difficult to find another physician or medical professional to testify against your doctor or a hospital in your case, our firm has extensive resources in and out of state. We are routinely able to call on experts and professionals in the medical field with the knowledge and willingness to testify in cases of negligence.

Heather Mitchell has played an active role in educating people about tort reform and has worked at the legislature fighting for patients and against special interests. For more information about the impact of tort reform, please contact our office. You can also write your local representatives regarding this issue and its impact on victims and their families.

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