A birth injury lawsuit is essentially a subset of medical malpractice lawsuits. In the majority of cases where another party is found liable for causing or contributing to the birth injury that party is a medical professional who did not provide a reasonable standard of care. Therefore when tort reform advocates argue for changes to the medical malpractice system, birth injury victim advocates should stand strong in opposition. It is important for advocates to be well versed in the debate to have logical points to rebut those who seek to mislead others about the need for changes to the tort system.
One good starting point is a comprehensive primer published by an author at the Cato Institute. An economist professor published the policy analysis asking the question, “Could Mandatory Caps on Medical Malpractice Damages Harm Consumers?” The author explains that a key argument of many tort reformers is that capping awards will lead to reduced medical costs. While this arguments works well in political debates, it is much more questionable when examined closely. Beyond that questionable claim, tort reformer also fail to take into account the effects that caps would have on the victims of medical malpractice. They also do not consider the effects of the lost incentives that lawsuits have to ensure high quality care.
The Cato Institute paper looks at all available data and finds that malpractice awards actually do track the extent of damages. In other words, in general the amount of damages awarded is usually reflected by the extent of injuries that the malpractice caused the victims. Settlement amounts and jury awards are not arbitrary numbers without connection to harm, as some critics maintain.