When you go to the doctor, you’re putting your faith in them to protect not just your health, but your life. When a mistake happens and results in the unthinkable—injury or even death—a lawsuit sometimes results. When you get hurt due to the negligence of a healthcare professional, you may be entitled to compensation.
However, malpractice cases such as this can get very complicated very fast, and it helps if you understand medical malpractice before you even file a case. Learn the ins and outs of the different kinds of medical malpractice cases, what malpractice is, and how the right attorney is important in your case.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is defined as any situation where a medical professional displays negligence in their practice. It often (though not always) results in accidents that can cause severe harm. While there are many unfortunate incidents that occur in hospitals, not all are caused by malpractice. For this to be the case, the physician or other healthcare practitioner must have made an error that was entirely preventable.
What Are the Aspects of a Malpractice Case?
There are a number of factors that must be met before any case can be considered actionable—that is, a case where you can file a lawsuit. These all come down to the ability to prove negligence.
In order for a case to meet the definition of negligence, three main factors must be present. First, a duty of care must be owed. In this case, that need not be proven—all doctors swear an oath to do no harm, and under the law have a heightened duty of care towards their patients or anyone they agree to help. Second, you must be able to prove the doctor breached that duty, and that this breach was what resulted in your harm, either directly or proximate.
“Proximate cause” is a legal term. It essentially means that while the doctor’s action didn’t directly cause you to get hurt, you would not otherwise have gotten injured but for the actions of the doctor. This “but for” aspect is what “proximate” means.
Nevada Malpractice Statutes
Nevada, like most states, has its own laws and statutes surrounding malpractice suits. The first of these is the statute of limitations. In Nevada, you have only three years to file a case after the occurrence of the malpractice incident, or one year following the discovery of the injury. This can create something of a gray area that can make it complex to understand when you may file.
Second, there are damage caps as to how much you can seek. These caps are specific to non-economic damages and total $350,000. That means that while there’s no limit on the damages you can get on medical bills, lost wages and the like, you can only collect up to $350,000 for things like pain and suffering, emotional damages, loss of relationships and the like.
Working with a Malpractice Attorney
If you’re facing medical malpractice and you need help or advice with your case, working with a medical malpractice attorney in Nevada is your best bet. Contact Eglet Prince for a free consultation about your case today.