When you visit a doctor or another type of medical professional, you expect competent care. Unfortunately, medical mistakes lead to a number of injuries and even deaths in Massachusetts and across the U.S. each year. If you or someone close to you has been hurt by a medical professional’s negligence, we can help. From his Kingston office, knowledgeable Plymouth County medical malpractice lawyer Michael S. Mehrmann has years of experience handling these types of claims. You can rest assured that we will vigorously advocate for your rights throughout the legal process.Bringing a Claim Against a Negligent Health Care Provider
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), medical errors are the third-leading cause of deaths in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. In fact, JAMA found that medical mistakes cause 250,000 deaths each year. In 2012, over $3 billion was spent in medical malpractice payouts. These statistics highlight the alarming rate of medical malpractice cases around the country. Medical malpractice can occur in a variety of ways, including:
- Failure to diagnose;
- Inaccurate diagnosis;
- Surgical mistakes;
- Birth injuries;
- Brain injuries;
- Faulty medical devices;
- Medication mistakes;
- Diagnostic errors;
- Failure to provide sufficient follow-up care; and
- Nursing home negligence.
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional causes an injury or death by failing to adhere to the ‘standard of care’ that another medical professional in the same specialty would have used in the same or similar circumstances. Put another way, the standard of care is understood to denote the generally accepted practices and procedures used by medical professionals in the same geographic area when treating patients suffering from the same condition under the same or similar circumstances. In order to establish liability, a medical malpractice attorney in Plymouth County must prove certain elements. The medical professional must have owed a duty of care to the patient, the medical professional must have breached this duty of care, and the medical professional’s breach must have been a direct cause of the patient’s injury.
If medical malpractice is successfully established, the plaintiff may be able to recover significant compensation for their harm. The legal term for such compensation is ‘damages.’ In Massachusetts, as in other states, both economic and non-economic damages may be available. Typically, a plaintiff can recover medical expenses (hospital costs, medication costs, and rehabilitation costs), lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other losses stemming from the malpractice. If you have lost a loved one due to health care negligence, a Plymouth County medical malpractice attorney may be able to seek wrongful death damages as well, such as funeral and burial costs, medical expenses prior to the death, loss of companionship, and more. In certain rare cases, a plaintiff may be entitled to punitive damages in a medical malpractice case. These damages are designed to punish a defendant for particularly egregious wrongdoing, usually an act that signifies a wanton disregard for the safety of the patient. Each case is different, and the exact amount of compensation that a plaintiff will be entitled to receive will depend on the specific facts of the case.
All states have specific deadlines for filing medical malpractice claims, and Massachusetts is no exception. These deadlines are known as statutes of limitations. Under state law, medical malpractice claims must be filed in civil court within three years of the malpractice. Failing to file within this time frame could mean giving up your right to compensation altogether.Contact a Knowledgeable Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Plymouth County
If you or someone close to you has suffered an injury due to a medical professional’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At the Law Offices of Michael S. Mehrmann, we can thoroughly assess the merits of your case and help you hold a negligent medical professional accountable. We represent people in Kingston, Plymouth, Marshfield, Hanson, Carver, Pembroke, and Duxbury. To learn more about how we may be able to help you with your medical malpractice claim, call (781) 585-3911 or contact us online for an appointment. We also can assist people who need a product liability lawyer or guidance in other types of personal injury claims.