We are often asked whether we accept medical malpractice cases. We proudly do! Changes in the law over the last decade have made these claims expensive to prosecute and limit certain kinds of damages. An attorney must carefully and fully investigate claims before filing. Here are some of the things you should immediately know about medical malpractice:
1. The Statute of Limitations is Generally One Year. Generally speaking, you have a year after a medical malpractice event to sue. There are certain circumstances where the time may be longer for different reasons, but it is generally one year. Believe it or not, this is a very short time frame to put together a substantial medical malpractice case. Several months can be needed to properly investigate a claim.
2. You Cannot Even file a Case without a Physician Affidavit Supporting your Claim. Medical malpractice is unique in that you must file the complaint with a supporting affidavit of a physician who supports your claim. No other cause of action requires this level of proof at that early stage, before you even have access to all information and an opportunity to interview witnesses, obtain documents and seek other information to support you claim. We tell clients that the law requires you to prove your case before it is even filed. The process of having another physician review the case and give opinions for you can take
months, so you must retain an attorney to help you right away.
3. Your Other Doctors Probably Won’t Help you after all. We hear all the time that our clients’ other doctors told them “you need an attorney” or “that doctor really messed up” or “off the record, this was malpractice.” Yet, when lawyers call and lawsuits are filed, these comments often disappear. The reality is that we have a close-knit medical community and doctors are afraid to testify in court against other doctors they may see at medical conferences, hospitals or even the golf course. Never assume your case is easy because another doctor told you there was an issue.
4. Some Doctors Intentionally Do Not Have Medical Malpractice Insurance. Sadly, there are many doctors that intentionally choose not to carry medical malpractice insurance for victims. These doctors—who are often not the most reputable—believe that having insurance makes claims more likely. The doctor does not have to disclose his insurance or limits until sued.
5. Don’t Go it Alone. In our experience, we have never seen a medical malpractice case resolved without an attorney. You simply cannot represent yourself in these legal matters. The laws are difficult to understand and no one in the industry will take you seriously—including judges—without an attorney.
7432 W. Sahara Ave., Suite 101, Las Vegas, NV 89117