We’ve all heard of tort reform, but what does it mean?

It seems like we hear the phrase “tort reform” a lot – from politicians, lawyers, and consumer groups – but many of us don’t know what it means. As Americans, we owe it to ourselves to understand tort reform, the debate surrounding it, and its implications for our courts.

First, let’s dissect “tort reform.” A tort is defined as:

A wrongful act other than a breach of contract for which relief may be obtained in the form of damages or an injunction.

Currently, if you’re the victim of a “tort,” you can pursue justice – or “relief” – in our civil courts in the form of a “tort lawsuit.”

If we “reform” our tort system, victims will see their access to our courts reduced – and in some cases, eliminated. Victims will no longer be able to hold negligent individuals and corporations responsible for their actions.

Though tort reform comes in many forms, its goals are to:

  • Make it more difficult to file lawsuits.
  • Make it more difficult to obtain a jury trial.
  • Limit the compensation victims can receive.

Now that we know the basics of tort reform, find out more about its history, who’s behind it, and how it could erode your rights.