Dates and time limits are often crucial in life, and they are significant in the law. In particular, for someone injured because of the negligence of a health care provider, there is a particular time limit that is critical. It is when a person can no longer seek relief under the law, called a statute of limitations.
In a medical malpractice case, the statute of limitations can be tricky. If you believe a health care provider wrongfully injured you, contact a personal injury law firm in Las Vegas for a free review of your case.
There have been some sensational cases of medical malpractice. One occurred in 2003 when the prestigious Duke University Hospital performed a heart and lung transplant without ever checking the blood type of the organ donors to see if they matched that of the recipient. After the transplants, the patient suffered severe brain damage, and her body went into shock and shut down. The hospital covered up the error for 11 days to make matters worse.
Another notable case of medical malpractice occurred in 1995. The patient was supposed to have a diseased leg amputated, and the surgeon removed the wrong leg. In this case, as in many amputation cases that go wrong this way, there were a series of mistakes made.
Not all medical malpractice cases are as glaringly obvious as the examples above. Some injuries are not evident for weeks, months, or even years after treatment.
Examples of cases involving medical malpractice include:
- Unnecessary treatment
- Surgical errors
- And many more
What is Medical Malpractice?
According to Black’s Law Dictionary, medical malpractice describes “the improper or poor performance of a physician, dentist, and other medical professionals.” The patients mentioned above would probably agree that physicians performed poorly in their cases.
Nevada law defines professional negligence as a failure of a provider of health care. The provider in rendering services failed to:
- use the reasonable care, skill, or knowledge
- ordinarily used under similar circumstances
- by similarly trained and experienced providers of health care
In short, the provider failed to provide the recognized standard of care when treating the patient. As a result, the patient suffered damages. Also, a provider of health care covers numerous professional occupations, including licensed physicians. If you suffered a severe injury from a physician or another provider of health care, the best way to see if you can seek relief is to speak with an injury lawyer in Las Vegas.
When a Professional Negligence (Malpractice) Claim Is Supported
A professional negligence claim is a lawsuit. The lawsuit must be filed within a specific time, particularly:
- one year from the date the patient discovered or should have discovered the injury or
- three years from the date the health care provider inflicted the injury.
Remember the patient mentioned above who had the wrong leg amputated? No doubt he knew about the error as soon as he woke up. So, one year from that is when he would have had to file suit. By the way, his cases against the surgeon and hospital settled for $1.15 million.
The heart and lung transplant patient who died two days after the surgery was a 17-year old girl. Since the hospital covered up the “mistake” for 11 days, the statute of limitations was tolled, or halted, for those 11 days. Duke University Hospital and the deceased patient’s family arrived at an undisclosed settlement agreement.
Winning a Medical Malpractice Case
Physicians, nurses, and hospital administrators are impressive people, and juries tend to believe them. So, it should come as no surprise that malpractice cases are complex for patients to win. More often than not, the doctor, hospital, or other providers of health care wins at trial.
There are thousands of preventable deaths each year in U.S. hospitals. The number varies from over 200,000 to under 10,000, depending on who did the study. Regardless, if you suffer a severe injury due to the negligence of a health care provider, you have the right to seek compensation. Using a knowledgeable and skilled injury lawyer in Las Vegas with experience in medical malpractice cases. Your Las Vegas injury attorneys understand the challenges to preparing, presenting, and winning your medical malpractice case. To show medical malpractice occurred, the lawyer must establish the following:
- That there was a doctor-patient relationship
- That the doctor was negligent
- That the doctor’s negligence caused the injury
- That the injury caused specific damages
Those damages may include:
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- Ongoing medical bills
- Loss of earning capacity
- And more
Defenses Against Medical Malpractice Claims
Remember the discrepancy in how many preventable deaths occur each year? This happens because of the complex laws and attorneys of the medical malpractice insurance industry. These laws and practices effectively allow the insurance industry to delay, deny, and defend against such claims. In order to prepare, an injured person must show that the medical provider breached the standard of care required for the treatment provided. Lawyers for the providers will seek to baffle and confuse the issues. The injured party’s attorneys must show that the doctor or hospital acted negligently. To do so requires acquiring basic information, including:
- Complete medical records
- Acquiring an expert affidavit
- Expert medical testimony
- Convincing proof that the injured party did not contribute to the injury
- And more
In Nevada, it is mandatory to have a settlement conference. An experienced injury lawyer in Las Vegas will be as prepared for this as for a trial.
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If you or a loved one suffered serious injury because of the negligence of a health care provider, visit The Schnitzer Law Firm online at theschnitzerlawfirm.com or call (720) 960-4050 for a FREE CONSULTATION. They are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day.