Most people rely on their doctors to provide insight on staying healthy, identify when they need treatment, and avoid mistakes during the course of their care. Unfortunately, thousands of medical errors occur nationwide each year. A 2018 study by Johns Hopkins found that more than 250,000 people died from medical errors every year.
Remember, only a small fraction of medical errors result in death. For the thousands of people that survive a medical mistake, the road to recovery could be challenging. In some cases, these medical errors could leave a patient with life-long effects.
If you were a victim of a negligent medical error, a seasoned personal injury attorney could help. By filing a lawsuit, you could seek monetary compensation from the medical professional that caused your injury. To get started, schedule a consultation with a Somerville medical malpractice lawyer today.
Filing a Somerville Malpractice Lawsuit
There are some important requirements to understand before filing a medical malpractice suit. Every lawsuit, including malpractice claims, must comply with the statute of limitations. This statute serves as the deadline to bring a claim. In a medical malpractice action, that deadline is three years from the discovery of the injury. Any negligence claims, the time frame to file a lawsuit begins to run starting on the day of the injury. However, some medical injury cases are different, as patients do not always discover the medical error immediately.
In a malpractice case, the three-year window begins running once the patient is aware of the injury. However, there are other limits on bringing these actions. A plaintiff must also file suit within seven years of the medical error, no matter when the injury was discovered.
There are other unique requirements for these claims that a Somerville medical malpractice lawyer must understand. After a plaintiff files a lawsuit and the defendant answers, a plaintiff or their attorney must present what is known as an “offer of proof.”
This offer of proof includes evidence that the plaintiff’s claim is valid, and that the defendant medical provider was the cause of their injuries. A tribunal made up of a Massachusetts superior court justice, a licensed physician, and an attorney will review the claims before the lawsuit proceeds any further.
It is the tribunal’s job to determine if the case has merit. Should the tribunal agree that the claims are valid, the plaintiff can proceed as if it were any other lawsuit. However, if the tribunal does not see substantial evidence that the defendant is liable, a plaintiff must post a bond with the court to cover the defendant’s legal fees should they ultimately lose the case.
By law, this bond is set at $6,000. However, each court has the authority to increase the bond if they choose. The plaintiff has 30 days from the tribunal’s decision to file their bond. If the plaintiff or their Somerville medical malpractice attorney fails to file the claim on time, the court is entitled to dismiss the case entirely.
Contact a Somerville Medical Malpractice Attorney Right Away
The process of filing a medical malpractice claim could seem discouraging, especially if you are unsure how much your claim could be worth. When you discuss your case with a Somerville medical malpractice lawyer, they could advise you on your chances of recovery and what those damages might be.
If you or a member of your family has suffered a medical injury, you have the right to seek compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Reach out right away to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.