Medical Malpractice is a complex and difficult area of law, and you need a specialist in this area – an attorney experienced in dealing with the specific provisions of the medical malpractice law, and the difficulties in proving a medical malpractice case.
Special Medical Malpractice Law
- A person is limited to recovering $250,000 for their pain, anguish, emotional injury, suffering, in a medical malpractice. This is true even if the doctor caused you to lose a limb, or causes you to go blind, or causes the death of a loved one. This limit was established in 1977 and it has not been changed since.
You can still recover any out of pocket medical bills, past and future, and any wage loss, past and future. But the pain and suffering is limited.
- You must bring your law suit within 1 year of the injury. If the malpractice occurred at a County or Regional hospital, you must file a claim within six months. This often catches people unaware, so it is important to talk to a lawyer soon after your injury.
If you did not know about the injury, and this is not unusual in medical malpractice cases, you have one year from when you knew or should have known of the injury and its cause. So, there may be a way around the one year limitation, depending on the facts of your case.
If your loved one died due to medical negligence, you have one year from the date of death to file your law suit.
Children – under 18 years old – have 3 years to bring their law suits, and may have more if they were injured when they were younger than 8 years old.
- Negligence can only be proven by the testimony of another doctor. While you may feel certain that a doctor made an error, the lawyer still must hire a doctor to be an expert at trial to testify that your doctor was negligence and that his negligence caused your injury. This second issue is called causation. The defense attorneys often concentrate on this issue and argue with their own medical experts that even if the doctor was negligent it did not cause the injury in question. This is always a big and complicated issue in medical malpractice cases.