OK, maybe this American Medical Association article didn’t have quite the same headline I used. But according to them, tort “reform” in the form of capped damages means there will be lower insurance rates.
In other words, if the burden of a terrible loss is heaped upon the victim and not the tortfeasor, then the person that caused the injury will be better off.
So why have a cap? I bet if we lowered the cap to zero, that premiums will go down even further. Really great, huh? Especially if you are the insurance company or the person that caused the injury.
Of course, there are also other ways to bring down premiums. Like getting rid of bad doctors and not engaging in a white coat of silence. In New York, 7% of doctors are responsible for 68% of the malpractice payouts.
Does this mean there should be no damage caps at all? Of course not. New York doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all cap on damages, and we do just fine (see How New York Caps Personal Injury Damages). The question of artificial damage caps really boils down to this: Who should bear the burden of a loss, the one that caused it or the one that suffered it?
(hat tip to Kevin M.D. for the link, though I’m guessing he has a slightly different view)