Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor harms their patient by failing to fully complete their duties. In order to make a case for medical malpractice, you must be able to identify certain elements of your doctor’s care including, a doctor-patient relationship existed, the doctor was negligent in their care, this negligence resulted in your injury or illness, and you have suffered damages because of this injury. These are the basic requirements to prove medical malpractice across the country. However, each state has the ability to determine their own stipulations about malpractice.
In order to prove medical malpractice, in Massachusetts, you must be able to indicate that your doctor or other health care provider violated the standard of care. This is the generally accepted practices or procedures that are used to treat a specific kind of illness or injury. You will need to provide evidence from medical experts to indicate the standard of care expected for your specific case and where your physician deviated from this care. Additionally, in order to ensure that you are able to make your case of medical malpractice, you must also be aware of the Massachusetts statute of limitations, which determines the time period in which your claim is valid. In the state of Massachusetts, you must file your claim within three years of when you learned about your injuries. Additionally, you may not file a claim for injuries discovered more than seven years after the incident that caused them. These time limits are extremely strict and can prevent even a valid case from reaching the court. Therefore, you must move quickly if you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice. Lastly, it is important to note that Massachusetts places caps on the amount of compensation, known as damages, that you may receive. Although there are no caps on compensatory damages, such as the cost of treatment and lost wages, there is a $500,000 cap on noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering or mental anguish.
Many of these restrictions may appear to be arbitrary and unnecessarily specific, and often times they are. There is no discernable reason why a claim is any more valid at two years and twelve months than it would be at three years and one month. Despite this very frustrating fact, if you want a judge to even consider your malpractice case, you must follow these strict requirements.
These specifications about Massachusetts medical malpractice law are essential for anyone wishing to pursue a lawsuit. This process is particularly complex and often takes place over a long period of time. Deviating from these laws and requirements, failing to complete necessary paperwork, or any other number of minor errors can seriously affect your ability to receive compensation. However, an experienced Boston medical malpractice lawyer can help ensure that you do not make any of these mistakes that could be devastating to your efforts.