Idaho Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Knowledgeable Idaho Medical Malpractice Attorneys
We trust healthcare practitioners with all aspects of medical care, from treating routine matters and advising on well-being issues to some of the most complicated surgeries. However, these individuals do make mistakes that lead to more severe medical problems and, in extreme cases, even death. Idaho law does allow an injured patient to recover compensation when a professional is negligent or reckless in providing care, but it takes a dedicated medical malpractice lawyer to protect your rights.
Our medical malpractice legal team at Hansen Injury Law has the in-depth knowledge necessary to pursue complex claims and tackle the legal issues involved with a case involving medical errors. We are at your side in settlement negotiations, but we are prepared to take the battle to court if an offer does not fully compensate you for your losses. Our Idaho medical malpractice lawyers have assisted many clients in these types of cases, and we can help you, too.
Holding Healthcare Providers Responsible for Medical Mistakes
The definition of medical malpractice is any act or omission by a doctor, committed at some point during treatment of a patient, that deviates from the generally accepted norms of healthcare practice and causes injury.
- Elements of a Medical Malpractice Cause of Action: There are four sets of facts an injured victim must prove to succeed on a medical malpractice claim:
- A professional duty of reasonable care on behalf of the provider, which typically exists upon establishment of a patient-physician relationship;
- A breach of this duty, through an error, act, or failure to act, in accordance with the accepted standards of medical practice;
- Causation between the breach of the duty and injury to the patient; and,
- Damages to the patient as a result of the breach.
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- Pre Litigation Conference: A medical malpractice case is similar to a personal injury case in some respects, but state law provides for an additional step before filing a lawsuit. The Idaho medical malpractice statute requires a claimant to submit the matter to a hearing panel formed by the Idaho Board of Medicine, under a process known as a prelitigation screening. The panel
- Reviews the evidence, including medical records regarding diagnosis, treatment, and other care;
- Interviews witnesses who may be called to testify; and,
- Provides insights regarding the patient’s claims, including the likelihood of success at trial.
The findings of the panel are not binding on the patient, but going through the prelitigation screening is a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit for medical malpractice.
- Statute of Limitations: As with other personal injury cases, Idaho has enacted a statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. You have two years from the date that the alleged act of malpractice occurred to file a lawsuit, or your claim is barred by law. However, there are exceptions for incidents where a foreign object is left inside the patient or a provider engaged in fraud to conceal the mistake. In such a case, you have one year from the date of discovery to sue.
Note that the clock on the statute of limitations is paused during the mandatory prelitigation screening.
Statistics on Medical Malpractice
There are many different types of medical errors and acts that may lead to a claim for medical malpractice and some of the more common issues, according to statistics, are:
- Diagnosis-Related Errors: Researchers estimate that around 80,000 to 100,000 patients suffer permanent injury or death in the US every year due to mistakes that are preventable.
- Prescription Mistakes: According to the National Institutes of Health, the average person admitted to a hospital experiences one medication error every day during hospitalization.
- Anesthesia Mistakes: 45 percent of all anesthesia injuries involve respiratory issues that lead to brain damage or death in patients.
- Surgical Errors: On average, 4,000 people are injured due to a surgical error every year.
- Birth Injuries: Approximately 28,000 infants born in the US suffer from birth injuries, which amounts to around one out of every 9,700 births.
- Medical Errors in General: Johns Hopkins Medical reports that there are more than 250,000 fatalities every year due to medical mistakes, making them the number three cause of death in the US.
Your Rights as a Victim of Medical Malpractice
If you suffered injuries due to a medical error, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. Idaho law provides for two types of damages in a medical malpractice case, including:
- Economic Damages: When losses are out-of-pocket or can be easily determined by reviewing documents, they are economic in nature. Examples are:
- Medical bills related to treating your injuries, which may include rehabilitative care, surgery, physical therapy, and other treatments;
- Lost wages, if you were unable to work as a result of your injuries; and,
- Costs related to future medical care that may be necessary to treat your injuries.
- Non-Economic Damages: These are subjective damages that you cannot easily prove with paperwork, but you no doubt endure both physical and emotional loss. Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Losses due to the impact on your personal relationships;
- Loss of future wages; and,
- Other damages based upon your specific circumstances.
Statutory Cap on Non-Economic Damages
cap on non-economic damages in personal injury cases, including medical malpractice. The statutory limit is variable, based upon the amount of $250,000 designated in 2004. Every year on July 1, the cap is adjusted by the annual living wage as calculated by the Idaho Industrial Commission. The cap applies only to non-economic damages, however, so you can still obtain compensation for all economic losses.
Consult with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Idaho Today
Medical malpractice cases share some similarities with personal injury claims, but these matters are much more complicated in many ways. There are additional hurdles due to the pre-litigation screening, and the nature of your injuries may require the support of knowledgeable medical experts. For more information, please contact the Idaho medical malpractice attorneys at Hansen Injury Law to schedule a free, no-obligations consultation. We can tell you more about your legal options after reviewing the circumstances of your injuries. Our experienced lawyers serve clients in Boise, Meridian, and throughout Ada County, ID, and we are here to help.