When you stay in a hospital, you trust that the doctors and medical staff will take care of your needs, and hopefully improve your physical condition. In some cases, your condition may worsen, or you may receive further injury.
This may be a result of medical negligence, and can sometimes occur in the form of a hospital mistake. If you have been injured because of a hospital mistake, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim. Once your medical needs have been addressed, talk with a medical malpractice attorney about your options for compensation.
Common Hospital Mistakes
Hospital mistakes and medical negligence can take many forms. In order to file a medical malpractice claim, you must be able to prove negligence.
The following are a few examples of common hospital mistakes:
- failure to diagnose a disease or injury;
- improper medical treatment;
- improperly administered medicine; and
- anesthesia error.
Statute of Limitations in a Medical Malpractice Claim
Ask your attorney about statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. If you attempt to file after the cutoff time, you will not be eligible to recover any damages.
The statute of limitations is 2 years from the date of the injury. If the injury is not immediately discovered, a claimant has 1 year from the date he discovers or should have discovered, the injury to file a medical malpractice claim. Under no circumstances can be filed more than 6 years after an injury occurred.
The statute of limitations in Hawaii is different for a minor. If a child is 10 years or younger, a claim can be filed up until his 10th birthday or the 6-year statute of limitations, depending which is longer.
Laws can change at any time, so you should speak with an experienced malpractice attorney who can provide the most up-to-date information about medical malpractice laws and help file your claim.
Damage Caps in a Medical Malpractice Claim
There is a limit to what you can receive in a medical malpractice claim, whether the medical negligence occurred because of a hospital mistake or a doctor’s mistake. The limit on damages for pain and suffering is $375,000.
This does not apply to other types of damages that may be recovered such as:
· loss of enjoyment of life;
· loss of intimacy/affection with a spouse; and
· mental anguish.
These types of damages are more subjective and harder to price. An experienced Honolulu medical malpractice attorney will be able to gather supporting evidence and witness testimony to demonstrate the toll a hospital mistake has taken on your life.
Hawaii provides a review panel for potential medical malpractice cases. The panel will review the details of the Honolulu hospital mistake before your complaint can be filed in court.
After reviewing the details of the Honolulu hospital mistake, the panel will determine if medical negligence was to blame. If so, the panel will set an amount on damages that you may recover. You and your Honolulu medical malpractice attorney have the option to reject the panel’s offer and take your Hawaii medical malpractice claim to court.
The Role of an Attorney
If you take your Hawaii medical malpractice claim to court, a judge may rule that the case first go through arbitration. This requires a third party to hear each side of the Hawaii medical malpractice claim in an attempt to settle outside of court before a trial is considered. This 3-step process of panel review hearing, arbitration, and the trial can be time-consuming.
A Honolulu medical malpractice attorney will be able to handle many of these proceedings for you and help you to decide whether settling through a panel hearing or arbitration is in your best interests. When it’s not, you’ll want a Honolulu medical malpractice attorney who is willing to go to trial for you.
Contacting a Honolulu Medical Malpractice Attorney
After a serious medical malpractice accident in Hawaii, you should spend your time focusing on your recovery, not dealing with insurance adjusters, never-ending paperwork and complicated legalese. Hawaii attorneys Davis Levin Livingston will fight for your rights while you focus on healing. We serve accident victims on Oahu, Maui, the Big Island, Kauai and beyond. Contact us today for a no-cost case evaluation – (808) 740-0633.