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Restrictions on Awards for Medical Malpractice

by David Zevan on Jun. 18, 2014

Accident & Injury Medical Malpractice Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Wrongful Death 

Summary: States laws impact the amount of damages a victim of medical malpractice can receive. Consulting with an attorney who is well aware of the laws in your state will benefit your case greatly.

St. Louis Medical Malpractice Lawyers discuss how laws affect medical malpractice damages.

People can turn to medical malpractice laws of the state for compensation due to injuries caused by medical negligence. However, there is a limitation on when the case should be filed. Certain procedures in filing should also be followed. The damages to be paid and person liable may be affected by some laws in the state.

Laws Limiting Medical Malpractice Cases

A statute of limitations governs medical malpractice cases in some states. This statute provides the deadline for the filing of these cases in the civil court system. Some states have a deadline of two years following the date the injury was suffered.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. These exceptions include leaving foreign objects inside the body following a surgery causing the injury or failing to give details or offer the results of a test. In these instances, the person injured generally has two years after the injury was discovered instead of two years after the surgery or test date.

Limitations and Payments for Joint Damages

Limitations or caps are imposed by many states on damages due to medical malpractice. These limitations affect punitive damages or damages for distress and pain. However, some states have indicated that these limitations violated the constitutional right to a trial by jury.

These states have special rulings for joint damages or damages for cases where at least two medical professionals played a part in the injury of a person. This ruling will put a greater liability on a defendant who caused more than fifty percent on the injury in a medical malpractice case. On the other hand, an individual who contributed less than fifty percent of the injury will typically pay the same percentage the individual contributed to the injury.

Affidavit and Professional Requirement

It will be necessary to file an affidavit of merit within ninety days after the medical malpractice complaint was filed basing on the medical malpractice laws of some states. The affidavit should indicate that consultations were done with a competent professional in connection to the case. It should also indicate that the professional agreed on the negligence of the defendant resulting to the injury. Separate affidavits are necessary when there are at least two defendants in the case. The affidavits should indicate the role of the defendants in the injury of the plaintiff.

The injured plaintiff or medical malpractice attorney of the plaintiff should sign the affidavit, which should include the name, address, and professional qualifications of the competent professional who provided the opinion of the negligence of the defendant. The absence of the affidavit may result to a dismissal of the case.

Aside from the testimony of the competent professional on the affidavit, some states require a testimony from an expert to demonstrate that the actions of the defendant in the treatment of the injured patient did not meet acknowledged medical care standards. The article or dissertation written by an expert who gives the testimony during the hearing can be utilized as evidence in the case.

If you or a loved one have suffered due to a medical error, consult with a medical malpractice attorney who is well aware of the laws in your State.

Zevan and Davidson Law Firm
1 N Taylor Ave
St Louis, MO
Phone: (314) 588-7200

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