Key Things You Should Know Before Filing a Malpractice Claim in Boston, MA
Medical malpractice is a sub-class of personal injury in which the injured party is harmed by the negligence of a medical practitioner. Patients may become ill after consulting with their doctors, but that does not necessarily mean that they’re qualified to file a medical malpractice claim.
There has to be a clear case of negligence by the medical personnel whereby their actions or inaction led to severe injuries on the patient. Simultaneously, to file a successful claim, you also have to prove that the injuries you sustained were a result of the at-fault party’s negligence. Examples of negligence by a medical practitioner include failure to diagnose a terminal illness, birth injury, misdiagnosis, and incorrect drug prescription.
A medical malpractice claim in Massachusetts, like other states, can be complex and difficult to file successfully. That’s why it is important to hire a skilled malpractice attorney. There are several malpractice lawyers in Boston and some of them even have their own specialties, such as Boston MA birth injury lawyers.
The key things you should know before filing a malpractice claim in Boston include:
Statute of Limitations
In most cases, a medical malpractice claim must be filed within three years of the event. However, exceptions are made in cases where there is a delay in the discovery of the injury, in which case, the countdown starts after the injury is discovered (the discovery rule).
A different statute of limitations applies to children below the age of six, in which case the statute of limitations may run for up to six years. Furthermore, a medical malpractice claim against a political body must be pursued within two years of the event, unless the injury wasn’t discovered on time.
When it comes to personal injury cases, Massachusetts is a shared fault state and this extends to medical malpractice cases as well. A medical care provider may argue that the injured party suffered their injuries as a result of their own negligence. However, as long as the victim’s fault does not exceed the defendant’s, they may recover some compensation for their injuries.
Vicarious, Joint, and Several Liability
Joint and Several Liability is a right of injured Massachusetts citizens which allows them to pursue and regain full judgment against the at-fault party.
Vicarious Liability holds the employers of an at-fault party responsible for the negligence of their employees, especially if the at-fault party wrongfully injured the victim while working. Therefore, the management of a hospital can be held liable for negligence as long as it is proven that the at-fault individual or individuals work for them.
The state of Massachusetts sets a limit of $500,000 in the compensation for the damages caused due to medical malpractice. This means that a victim of medical malpractice cannot recover more than $500,000 in compensation. However, in a case where the case goes to trial, the injured party may recover more than the capped price if the jury is convinced that the damages sustained are permanently debilitating.
In a personal injury case against a charitable organization, the damage cap is usually set to $20,000, although the at-fault employee of such an organization can still be liable for more than that. This means that the guilty healthcare professional can still pay for more damages even if the hospital doesn’t go past the $20,000 cap.