Commentary: Binding Early Offers versus Caps for Medical Malpractice Claims?

10 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2007  

Jeffrey O'Connell

University of Virginia School of Law

Abstract

Like damages caps, early offer reform promises reduction in the costs of medical liability cases. In contrast to damages caps, early offer reform offers advantages to both claimant and defendant. Under early offer, the defendant would have the option to offer an injured patient periodic payments for the patient's net economic losses as they accrue, but not payments for noneconomic losses (pain and suffering). If an early offer were made and accepted, that would settle the claim. This commentary explains how an early offer reform might work and summarizes data from a recent closed claim study of medical malpractice cases in Texas and Florida. The data show widespread opportunities for successful early offers and provide evidence that substantial per case savings would result.

Suggested Citation

O'Connell, Jeffrey, Commentary: Binding Early Offers versus Caps for Medical Malpractice Claims?. Milbank Quarterly, Vol. 85, No. 2, pp. 287-296, June 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1067169 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0009.2007.00487.x

Jeffrey O'Connell (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States
804-924-7809 (Phone)
804-924-7536 (Fax)

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