Lawmakers Pass Bill to Provide Liability Protection for Healthcare Providers

patient in a hospital bed

House Bill No. 2016 was passed on June 4 to provide COVID-19 relief that will include, among other provisions, protections for healthcare providers from lawsuits, unless gross negligence or reckless conduct can be proven. These protections prevent workers who have fallen ill or families of deceased workers from pursuing the financial compensation they’re entitled to.

Enacted by the Kansas state legislature, the bill gives county commissioners authority to apply regulations to their local communities.

Some main points of the bill include:

  • Healthcare providers are immune from civil liability for damages, administrative fines, or penalties related to the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Protections are extended to claims that may arise from acts, omissions, or decisions made during any state of disaster emergency

While legislators who helped to pass the bill say it will support businesses and health care providers during a challenging time, this immunity also makes things difficult for those who have fallen ill or been killed by COVID-19. Those who are responsible for negligence should be held accountable for their actions, especially if they’ve forever altered the lives of innocent individuals.

By protecting businesses, hundreds of thousands of Kansas essential workers who put their lives on the line every day to provide for themselves and their families are now at risk. Workers deserve to feel safe and supported by their employers and their government as they head to work each day. The bill will now prevent countless ill workers and their families from being able to pay their medical bills and make up for lost wages as a result of being impacted by COVID-19.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice claims are filed against medical professionals when a hospital, doctor, or some other healthcare professional causes injuries to patients as a result of negligence. It’s important to know that victims do not have successful claims for medical malpractice if they were simply unsatisfied with their treatment or results. To prove medical malpractice occurred, individuals must show that the medical professional owed the patient a duty of care and breached that duty by causing injuries. Victims must also prove that the injury led to specific damages, including medical expenses, lost wages or earning capacity, physical pain, and mental anguish.

The most common types of medical malpractice claims include:

  • Failure to diagnose: If doctors fail to diagnose their patient, their existing injuries and illnesses are left untreated and can become worse. A claim is viable if the victim can show that their conditions would have been made better if the doctor made a different diagnosis.
  • Failure to warn patient of risks: All doctors have a duty to warn patients of known risks of treatments or procedures before they administer them, known as a duty of informed consent. Patients may choose to not go through with treatment if they know the risks involved.
  • Improper treatment: This can include the doctor administering the wrong treatment, or the right treatment but in an incompetent way or in a wrong dosage.

Award-Winning Representation

The committed legal team at Ralston, Pope & Diehl, LLC has helped countless injured clients through our experience and litigation skills since 1985. For decades, we’ve recovered damages for those injured in accidents including car accidents, premises liability, work injuries, and more, which has earned us awards and recognition among our peers and throughout the state. We’ve received inclusion in the Super Lawyers list, achieved an AV Preeminent® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®, and have been named by the U.S. News and World Reports in the “Best Law Firms in Kansas” list. We put our clients’ needs first in all that we do, and are available to lend support during an emotionally challenging time.

Call (785) 200-9465 or contact us online if you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an accident caused by negligence. With more than 130 years of combined legal experience, our personal injury attorneys can be trusted to handle your case.