An instance of medical malpractice may be detrimental to your overall health in addition to causing you untold pain and suffering. If you have been a victim of negligence by your health care provider, you can sue for injuries caused by their medical malpractice.
The law on medical malpractice varies across states, and below, we look at aspects of Massachusetts laws that might affect your medical malpractice case.
Statute of limitations
Usually, there exists a legal time frame beyond which you may not sue for medical malpractice in Massachusetts. You have three years from the malpractice incident to instigate civil proceedings against the health care provider in question. Exceptions to this rule include a late discovery of injuries caused by medical malpractice, whereby you may sue even after the three-year window has expired.
Different restrictions apply to minors and cases with special circumstances. However, there is an overarching deadline of seven years from the time the medical malpractice happened, after which you cannot sue unless it involves foreign objects left in your body.
Damage caps in Massachusetts medical malpractice cases
There is a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages, which may include pain and suffering, disfigurement or a lower quality of life occasioned by your medical malpractice injuries. However, if the injuries are substantial, such as permanent disability, the cap on these damages will not apply.
On the other hand, economic damages like lost wages caused by your injuries and medical costs incurred in seeking treatment have no legal caps.
Here is what you need to prove
Medical malpractice hinges on negligence, and to prove it, you need to consider the following four elements:
- Establish a duty of care owed to you by the health care provider
- The breach or violation of such duty of care
- Injuries or harm suffered as a result of the breach
- Effects of the said injuries sustained following the malpractice
Since a medical malpractice lawsuit is a civil case, proof does not have to beyond a reasonable doubt. Still, it’s necessary to proceed carefully to ensure you are adequately compensated for your medical malpractice injuries.