A medical malpractice case is a challenging and complex area of the law. In fact, many people who believe they have a legitimate claim will never see the inside of a courtroom because they are unaware of all the obstacles ahead. That’s why it is wise to retain a lawyer who can help solve the complications associated with medical malpractice. Here are some things that may make it harder for you to win your claim:
• The Statute of Limitations Has Expired on Your Claim
Most states have strict time limits on filing medical malpractice claims — usually two years from the date of injury or one year from when you discovered (or should have discovered) that your injury was caused by medical negligence (or at least could have been prevented). If you don’t file within this timeframe, then your case will be dismissed automatically without going before a jury or judge for consideration.
• Inability to Prove Negligence
To win a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must prove that negligence occurred (or did not occur) on the part of your doctor or another medical professional. You must also prove that this negligence caused your injuries and losses. This can be difficult because many doctors follow protocols and procedures for treating patients based on their training and experience. Sometimes, these protocols do not work well for all patients, but this does not mean that doctors are negligent in using them. A personal injury lawyer in Kingston will have access to network of professionals who can help with your case.
• Liability Issues
To win a lawsuit against a doctor, you must also prove that they owed you a duty of care and breached this duty by being negligent. For example, if you were injured in an auto accident and the other driver did not have insurance, there is no one to sue. However, if your doctor failed to diagnose cancer in time and it resulted in your death, then the doctor may be liable for your death because he owed you a duty of care.
However, if your physician failed to diagnose cancer but did everything else correctly, there would be no liability — even though your treatment could have been better. This is why doctors are protected from lawsuits when they follow accepted medical standards of care.
• Damages Issues
In some cases, it’s impossible to recover damages because there is no monetary value for pain and suffering — or because pain and suffering are too subjective for any judge or jury to decide on its merit. For example, how much should be awarded for this type of pain if you had cancer surgery years ago and now have chronic back pain from scar tissue from an incision during surgery? The answer depends on the severity of the injury, how long it lasts and other factors. A personal injury lawyer can give you an idea of what kind of compensation you may be entitled to after a successful medical malpractice lawsuit has been filed.