Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Law Changes Required
To identify two areas that need legislative attention and law change to prevent abuse
NY needs two law changes in Personal Injury and Medical MalpracticeInjury cases are brought and prosecuted in NY under the CPLR also known as the Civil Practice Laws and Rules. Two amendments are needed. First defendants should be required to include in their answer to any complaint a Certificate of Insurance Coverage, identifying all applicable insurance coverage with limits, including excess that exists to satisfy the claim. Penalties for non-compliance and mis-information can range from striking of an answer to making a carrier liable beyond its actual coverage. This change will avoid attempts to withhold coverage details or worse, hide applicable coverage. A certificate requirement already exists for plaintiffs bringing medical negligence cases who must attest that they have conferred with a medical professional who has agreed the case likely has merit. Also in the field of medical malpractice, exists the claim of lack of informed consent. This is the failure of a doctor to fully disclose the potential risks of a procedure, usually surgery. Most consents are obtained through the signing of a pre- printed form that is "fed" to the patient as they are being rolled into the operating room. In this day of modern technology, informed consents should be required both in writing and in digitally recorded audible form. The keeping of a taped recording will uncloud every mystery surrounding this vital part of the doctor patient relationship and ensure that the only meritorious informed consent claims are prosecuted.
Medical Malpractice Law ChangeSee above for changes required concerning lack of informed consent and the usefulness of having procedure risk/benefit discussions recorded.