What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is negligence by a health care provider, in which care provided deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient.
What is needed to be successful in a Medical Malpractice case?
A plantiff must establish four elements for a successful medical malpractice claim:
1. A duty was owed - a legal duty exists whenever a hospital or health care provider undertakes care or treatment of a patient.
2. A duty was breached – the provider failed to conform to the relevant standard of care. The standard of care is proved by expert testimony or by obvious errors (the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur or the thing speaks for itself).
3. The breach caused an injury – The breach of duty was a proximate cause of the injury.
4. Damages – Without damages (losses which may be pecuniary or emotional), there is no basis for a claim, even if the medical provider was negligent
Is there a statute of limitations in Massachusetts for a Medical Malpractice case?
Any medical malpractice action for injury or death must be brought within three years after the cause of action accrued. (A cause of action for medical malpractice accrues when a plaintiff learns, or reasonably should have learned, that he has been harmed as a result of the defendant's conduct.) Teller v. Schepens, 381 Mass. 621, 411 N.E.2d 464 (1980).
What damages can I collect as a result of medical malpractice?
Damages, or compensation, are awarded in medical malpractice claims based upon the type of injury and cause. The most commons forms of compensation include payment for:
• Medical Bills
• Lost Wages
• Physical Disability
• Mental Disability
• Pain & Suffering