Legal professionals have opined that these are changes proposed in the justice system that in the process have the ability to reduce litigations and damages (Ruschmann and Alan 39). Historically, the tort system was established to provide a framework for compensations and the amounts and interests that different parties were liable to pay. The damages proposed in the tort system also include tangible damages like loss of property or body harms inflicted on individual and their reputations (Ruschmann and Alan 43).
In United States the idea generated heated political arguments as a result of the avocation of procedural limits on the ability to file claims and placing a ceiling on the awards of damages (Ruschmann and Alan 45). However, in other countries it has been ascertained that any individual who initiates legal responsibility lawsuits must pay judicial court as well as a myriad of legal expenses in the situation that they lose a particular law suit case. Moreover, the principles of the tort system expect those responsible for causing harms to others to compensate them with financial provisions as may be decided by the court from time to time. This is because legal scholars have argued that such harm causes loss of income in form of medical costs or loss of wages (Ruschmann and Alan 45).
Types of tort reform
There are several types of tort reforms and includes expert witness reforms that is aimed at changing the requirements to be an expert witness in terms of knowledge repository, skills, experience and training before being allowed to testify on a particular issue in court. Studies have established that this reform also include determining whether a specialist in a particular area may be allowed to provide testimonies in court. Joint and several liability reforms is another type that is aimed at ensuring that limits are adjusted for a plaintiff to recover all the damages irrespective of the individual share of liability (Ruschmann and Alan 52). For instance, in a medical case where a physician is found to have contributed more in harming a patient than the hospital, if the physician is not able to raise the huge magnitude of damages, the hospital may be expected to pay the huge magnitude damages to the victim.
Goals of tort reform
In United States, there has been a lot of debate on the need to initiate and enact tort reforms at the federal level ever since the republicans won the control of the house (Ruschmann and Alan 55). All the debates are aimed at helping the local citizens understand the provisions and benefits of tort reforms in the state. According to the proponents of the idea, these are reforms that are aimed at changing how the judicial system works. Jurists have opined that the major goals of tort reforms include making it extremely difficult for injured people to file a lawsuit, making it extremely difficult for injured people to obtain a jury trial and placing limits on the amount of money injured people receive in a lawsuit (Ruschmann and Alan 56). However, many people argue that they do not believe that the proposed legislations will transform the legal system but instead it is aimed at shifting balance in the system.
Accomplishing the goals
Fundamentally tort law has its purpose revolve around awarding full compensation to individuals harmed by actions of others. It is assured that it aims to offer the affected individual a chance to restore their financial position by placing the obligations on individual responsible for causing the harm. Legal experts have affirmed that tort reforms have aided in reducing the number of filed cases in the judicial system thereby reducing the backlog of cases (Fleming 18). This is made possible by making it difficult for an individual to file a case or claim compensations. The proponents of the reforms argue that in United States an excess of over 15 million cases are filed per year, such cases are over saturated claims and those without strong grounds of claim.
There are several negative effects of these reforms as legal experts have opined that they the potential to increase injury rates among Americans. The tort laws were enacted to help reduce the rate of injuries by holding those responsible for such injuries liable. This means that tort reforms have extremely made it difficult to uncover life threatening hazards to the members of the community. This has impacted negatively on protection of people from harm caused by others by discouraging legal proceedings on such issues (Fleming 34). These negative impacts have been felt on the transport and health industry for instance the Ford company lawsuits and the effects of Fen-phen drug that helped protect people.
Legal practitioners have assured that the current level of tort reforms is good due to the fact that the procedural mandate efficiently reduce the number of case in the judicial system (Fleming 28). However, several proposals have been brought forward by legal practitioners to replace certain sections of the tort compensation with a social security framework to serve victims without respect to causation.
Fleming, John G. The Law of Torts. Sydney: LBC Information Services, 2002. Print.
Ruschmann, Paul, and Alan Marzilli. Tort Reform. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers,
- Internet resource.