When a person visits their physician or goes to a hospital, they expect to receive the competent and compassionate care they deserve. Sadly, medical mistakes happen with alarming frequency. They often have a significant impact on the lives of the patient and their family.
When a medical professional or a hospital administers inadequate care that harms a patient, a malpractice lawsuit could provide the injured with some potential for financial relief. Malpractice suits can be complex and going up against the healthcare community can be intimidating, but you do not have to do it alone. Consult with a Kenosha medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you discover your injury to get a head start on your claim.
Failure to Meet Standard of Care Triggers Liability
An unfortunate medical outcome may not be a reason to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit. Poor results can occur even when a medical professional renders exemplary care. What distinguishes an unsatisfactory outcome from medical malpractice is if the professionals met the prevailing standard of care.
What is the Standard of Care for Medical Professionals?
The standard of care reflects what a similarly trained professional would offer under the same circumstances. It does not require treatment equal to what a renowned expert in the condition would offer, or even the best available care in the area. A medical professional commits malpractice when they fail to provide treatment that complies with what one would reasonably expect from a similarly qualified person.
Sometimes the failure to meet the standard of care is obvious. Operating on the wrong body part or failing to take the patient’s medical history into account is clearly malpractice. Other failures may not be as clear, however, such as misdiagnosis. A Kenosha healthcare negligence legal advisor could consult with medical experts to determine whether the standard of care was met in a particular case, and if not, whether a personal injury suit is warranted.
Limitations on Available Damages in Kenosha
When a medical provider’s malpractice caused harm to a patient, a judge or jury may grant an award of money damages to the injured person. This money is meant to compensate the patient for their injuries and offset their losses. Any expense that the patient incurred or will incur because of their malpractice-related condition can be included in a damage award.
Some losses harmed patient may experience are not so easy to quantify. These are called non-economic damages and they can compensate a patient for:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Embarrassment and humiliation
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
Because these losses are subjective, a medical malpractice representative will need to persuade the judge or jury that the patient’s suffering and other long-term personal losses merit compensation. Wisconsin law §893.55(b) limits the amount of non-economic damages a plaintiff can collect in a medical malpractice suit to $750,000.
How Long does a Patient Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
A patient has only three years after an injury to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. If the patient did not discover the injury immediately, the law permits them to file suit within one year of the date they discovered their condition. However, if five years have elapsed since the injury occurred, the patient may not bring a medical malpractice lawsuit, even if they just discovered the injury.
Seeking advice from an attorney soon after the discovery of an injury is a wise move. A local healthcare negligence legal representative could preserve a patient’s right to sue by ensuring all filing deadlines are met.
Consult a Kenosha Medical Malpractice Attorney to Determine if You Have a Case
Healthcare malpractice lawsuits can present many challenges, which is why you need an aggressive attorney from the Law Offices of R. F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. handling your case. Medical malpractice insurers will defend these cases vigorously and use obstructive tactics until a plaintiff with a legitimate claim gives up.
Get a professional who will fight hard to get you justice from the medical providers who harmed you. Schedule an appointment for a complimentary case review with a Kenosha medical malpractice lawyer today.