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Medical Malpractice: How Long to Claim the Compensation
Medical negligence is a unique type of personal injury claim. Unlike other types of personal injuries where the injury is evident to the naked eye, a medical malpractice issue may not be noticed until a later date. It is essential that once the injury has been discovered that you seek advice from an OKC medical negligence attorney to protect your rights.
Your rights as an injury victim are limited by the Statue of Limitations. In most cases, a person only has two years from the date in which the injury occurred to seek compensation for their losses. The importance of this is that the date was from when the injury occurred, not when it was discovered. Time is always of the essence when a medical malpractice injury is discovered.
Understanding The Statute of Limitations
The Statute of Limitations is a set of laws that are designed to protect all parties in legal action. The Statute of Limitations applies to both civil and criminal cases. By establishing a time limit for a case to enter into the court system, the court protects each party from not receiving a fair trial.
Over time, information can get lost, memories fade, witnesses move away or die, evidence erodes, and the information is forgotten. All of these factors can negatively impact a case for either side of a legal issue and prevent a person from having a fair trial. The court limits how long a person has to start a case or be tried for a crime to avoid all of these problems.
To protect your rights as an injured party, it is always in your best interest to contact an attorney about your negligence case as soon as possible after the event occurred. This helps you start the trial process in enough time so that you are not impacted by the Statute of Limitations.
What Qualifies As Medical Negligence?
Medical malpractice or negligence occurs when a medical care provider harms a patient by their standard of care. The standard of care is measured by what other medical care providers would have done under the same circumstances. An example would be a broken arm. If your care provider saw that you had a seriously broken arm the standard of care would be to x-ray the arm, set the bone if necessary and place it in a cast for healing. However, if your medical care provider looked at your arm and decided that against obvious symptoms your arm was sprained and then gives you a sling and an ace bandage to wrap it, negligence occurred.
It is very important to understand that for negligence to occur in a medical setting that it must be a result of the standard of care. Not getting the results you wanted from treatment does not qualify as malpractice. For the best information on if your case is malpractice, speak with your injury attorney.
Common Types Of Medical Related Injuries
Any type of injury could occur as a result of medical negligence. However, there are certain injuries that seem more common to the medical field. Some of the more common forms of medical malpractice include:
• Failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis and unreasonable diagnosis of a condition
• Failure to treat a condition correctly or at all
• Overtreating a condition or excessive treating
• Prescription errors
• Surgical errors
• Infections after a surgery caused by care
• Birth injuries to mother or infant
This is just a generalized list of the types of injuries that could occur. If you believe that you have been injured by a medical care provider, speak to an OKC medical negligence attorney about your case.
Who Can Be Sued For Medical Malpractice?
Under Oklahoma law, anyone who is licensed to provide medical care can be sued for malpractice if they injure a patient. This includes:
• Physical Therapists
• Hospital or Clinic workers in charge of providing care
The law also allows patients injured by medical care to seek compensation from companies that provide medical services. This includes organizations such as:
• Testing Facilities
• Ambulatory Care
• Radiology Centers
• Pain Management
• Medical Daycare Services
• Medical Groups
If you believe that the actions or non-actions of a medical business were the cause of your injury, you must speak to an attorney about your case. Your attorney can help you seek compensation against all of the parties responsible for your injury,
What Can I Sue For When I Have A Medical Malpractice Injury?
When you have been injured by a medical care provider, Oklahoma law will allow you to seek damages for your losses. The state allows for three types of damages: economic, non-economic and punitive.
Economic damages are those damages that include, but are not limited to the following :
• Lost income current and future as a result of the injury
• Lost retirement contributions both current and future due to the injury
• Lost benefits as a result of the injury
• Medical expenses both current and in the future to treat injury
• Costs associated with an injury such as transportation to medical care
• Service costs due to the injury such as home care, landscaping or similar costs
Non-Economic damages are limited to a total of $300,000. These damages include:
• Pain and Suffering
• Loss of Consortium
• Loss of Enjoyment
Punitive damage is reserved for the types of injuries considered intentional by the court. They are not awarded often and are limited to $100,000.
Filing A Medical Malpractice Claim
When a person approaches a medical care provider for treatment of a condition, they do so under the belief that they will receive the best medical care. This trust is something that should not be broken by a negligent act. Malpractice not only injures the patient, but it also harms the entire medical industry.
Injuries caused by the negligence of a medical care provider can be complicated cases. If you believe that you have been injured by a medical care provider, you should speak to an OKC medical negligence attorney. Your attorney will protect your rights as an injury victim and start the necessary legal work to seek compensation for your losses.