Medical Malpractice

Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Attorney

 

Speak with an Attorney today. Call us at 617-752-2371 email team@tflawllc.com or visit our contact page to get started.

 
Boston Medical Malpractice Lawyers

You trusted a medical professional with your health or your loved one’s health. However, something went terribly wrong. As a result, your condition may have worsened, or a loved one may have died. You deserve answers. We know that medical malpractice brings pain and confusion into the lives of victims and their families as well as many financial burdens. We provide compassionate and professional service and pursue compensation that will help our clients to move past the challenges they are facing.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Not all negative outcomes are the result of medical malpractice. Malpractice occurs only when a medical professional fails to adhere to an applicable standard of medical care, and an injury or death occurs as a result. In other words, the medical professional failed to do what a reasonably careful professional would have done if facing the same or similar circumstances.

 

Medical Malpractice in general:

  • Negligence in the medical care and treatment provided by a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional
  • IT IS NOT simply having a poor health outcome
 

Who can be held liable?

  • Doctors
  • Radiologists
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Hospitals/urgent care
  • Surgeons
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Dentists
 

How to prove?

  • A healthcare provider was negligent
  • The negligence caused the injury
  • You sustained a loss or damages as a result of that injury
 

Types of compensation:

  • Reasonable medical expenses
  • Lost wages/loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and mental suffering/ loss of companionship
  • Any impairment or loss of bodily function
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Loss of chance of survival
   

Speak with an Attorney today. Call us at 617-752-2371 email team@tflawllc.com or visit our contact page to get started.

 

What is negligence: Failure of a responsible person either by omission or by action to exercise an appropriate degree of care

Standard of care = what an average medical provider in the field would do. Usually proven by expert witnesses who have extensive experience in same type of medicine at the same level of expertise and in the same region as the defendant

Preponderance of the evidence → after all the evidence has been weighed the matter is more probably true than false – (this is the standard)

Statute of limitations- generally within 3 years of the date of injury Malpractice is not known or reasonably knowable = action does not accrue until plaintiff becomes aware of the injury known as the discovery rule

M.G.L. c. 260, §4 Child under the age of 6 – may be extended up to 6 years (but must be brought by child’s 9th birthday)

M.G.L. c. 231, §60B

  • All medical malpractice cases first be filtered through a tribunal which consist of a single justice of the superior court, a physician licensed to practice medicine in the state, and an attorney
  • Tribunal will weigh the plaintiff’s proof and decide if evidence is sufficient to proceed
  • Tribunal rules against plaintiff can still proceed if plaintiff files a $6,000 bond
  • Tribunal can increase or decrease the bond amount
 

*Strict Statute of Repose – no suit may be brought more than 7 years after the negligent act occurred

 

Elements:

  • Defendant was negligent
  • Defendant negligence was cause of the injury to the plaintiff
  • Plaintiff sustained damages as a result of the negligence
    (usually requires expert testimony from medical providers in the same field)
 

Elements expanded:

  1. A health care patient relationship existed (hired or received healthcare from a health care provider)
  2. Doctor was negligent ( prove doctor caused a harm in a way that a reasonable competent professional in the same circumstance would not have done) *will need medical expert witness to establish appropriate standard of medical care)
  3. Doctor negligence caused the injury (more likely than not the doctors action or inaction caused the injury directly)
  4. Injury resulted in damages (patient suffered additional compensable harm – could be form of physical pain, mental anguish, or medical bills/lost wages)
 

Comparative negligence:

  • Medical provider may claim the plaintiff was negligent and his own negligence was a contributory cause of the injury
  • Plaintiff’s negligence can not be greater than that of the defendant or that combined negligence of all the defendants
  • If plaintiff was negligent the award will be reduced by the % of plaintiff’s negligence
 

Joint & Several Liability

  • Plaintiff to recover the full judgment against any responsible defendant or all defendants
 

Vicarious Liability

  • Employer is liable for the negligence of its employees, agents, or servants if the person was negligent in the course of his/her employment
  • Medical corporation liable for acts and omissions of its staff
  • Hospital liable for their staff and employees
  • Doctors are not usually employees of the hospitals where they work
 

Caps on damages → M.G.L. c. 231, §60H (damages other than medical expenses capped at 500k)

Plaintiff may not recover more than $500,000 for pain and suffering, loss of companionship, embarrassment, and mental anguish unless the jury determined that there is a “a substantial or permanent loss or impairment of a bodily function or substantial disfigurement, or other special circumstances in the case which warrant a finding that imposition of such a limitation would deprive the plaintiff of just compensation for the injuries sustained."

**Person who is awarded compensatory damages for lost wages or loss earning capacity isn’t winning- they are being compensated for what they otherwise would have had.

 

There is a cap on charitable organizations that limit damages to $20,000

Certain hospitals have this designation and most hospitals are considered charities, but this does not apply to the negligent employee who can still be sued directly. See, M.G.L 231 §85K- does not protect the individual employee even if hospital is considered a charity.

 

Collateral Source Rule → allows defendant to seek reduction of judgment if part has been or will be paid by a collateral source (health insurance)

 

Several situations where you can have your medical treatment and bills paid for:

  1. Suffer an injury at work (compensation would come from workers compensation and your employers compensation insurer would pay your costs)
  2. Involved in a car accident ( in MA every driver must purchase PIP (personal injury protection) generally provides coverage up to $8,000 in medical costs and lost wages – no matter who caused the accident)
 

Do I have to go court?

  • Often doctor or healthcare provider malpractice insurer will offer out of court settlement

 

 

Below are three common Medical Malpractice areas. Click the button to for a downloadable PDF to learn more.

Birth Injuries

 

Click To Download

Cancer Diagnosis Delay

 

Click To Download

Surgical Errors

 

Click To Download
 

Speak with an Attorney today. Call us at 617-752-2371 email team@tflawllc.com or visit our contact page to get started.

 

Below are three common medical errors. Click the button to for a downloadable PDF to learn more.

Wrongful
Death

 

Click To Download

Hospital
Negligence

 

Click To Download

Failure To Diagnose/Misdiagnosis

 

Click To Download

Medical Malpractice Videos

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