Tort is a term used to describe a civil wrongdoing that causes someone harm and injury, or to suffer loss. Negligence can be considered tort, as well as injury and cases of medical malpractice. Calls to amend the existing torts are making a huge buzz and have become one of the most controversial topics being debated hotly. Proponents of tort reform simply want to put a stop to lawsuits that are frivolous and ridiculous. They also want the tort system to be inexpensive. The opposition, however, claims that a reform would only give corporations an excuse not to pay just compensations or be held accountable even with a legitimate tort claim. Is a tort reform really good or bad?
List of Pros of Tort Reform
1. Reduced court costs
By amending the rules on what are considered legitimate torts, the courts would not have to spend huge amounts of time and money on lawsuits that are dubbed as frivolous. Court sessions are best used on more important cases. So, if the number of tort cases is reduced, the amount spent on hearing such cases will also be reduced.
2. Limit damages
One of the two elements that a tort reform wants to achieve is to fix punitive damages. If passed, the defendant would not have to pay more than the compensatory cost. If the amount can be settled outside the court, the defendant does not have to be sued, because the plaintiff already knows he will not get more than the agreed settlement. This would prove most beneficial for corporations and insurance companies.
3. Better use of juries
With tort cases reduced, juries would not have to be used and made to sit through frivolous cases. Their time and effort are best used on bigger, more important lawsuits. This only shows that a tort reform will be beneficial for the court in many ways.
4. Eco-friendly option
When tort cases are lessened, not only does the court benefit, but the environment as well. This is because less paper will be used when there are only a few cases that have to be presented in court.
List of Cons of Tort Reform
1. Adds insult to injury
One of the things that advocates of tort reform want changed is the statute of limitations. When approved, this can mean literally adding insult to injury to the victims, because more time restrictions will be imposed on them. Not only will they have a limited time frame to file their case, but they also have to bear heavier burden of proof.
2. Reduces accountability
Those opposing tort reform strongly believe that it is designed to allow the one at fault to walk freely and without paying for anything, especially with the punitive damages out of the way. So the injured party suffers more, while the plaintiff walks.
3. Results in more cases of negligence
Because the person at fault may not be punished for any civil harm, he could just continue on his injury-and-negligence spree. What are the odds of him doing the same thing to someone else, knowing that he can get away with it over and over again?