When you or a loved one gets sick or is injured, you turn to medical professionals like doctors and nurses to make things right. What happens, however, when instead of making things better the intervention of medical professionals makes your or your loved one’s situation worse? What if, for example, a routine surgery meant to correct an easily-treated condition shortens your lifespan considerably? Or what if a doctor’s failure to correctly read an X-ray image leads to a failure to take timely measures to treat an easily-cured disease?
There are many different kinds of personal injury cases, but few are as complicated as medical malpractice lawsuits. The complexity of these suits is due in part to the belief that the prevalence of these suits is to blame for skyrocketing healthcare costs. Here are five things about medical malpractice suits in North Dakota to keep in mind:
- You only have two years from the date you are injured or the date you should know you suffered an injury to file a lawsuit. If you wait too long, you are not able to obtain any compensation.
- A medical practitioner is only “negligent” if a reasonable doctor in the same area with the same background would not have acted in the way the medical practitioner in your case acted. If reasonable minds could differ as to whether the doctor provided appropriate treatment, your claim will fail.
- You may only receive up to $500,000 for your pain and suffering. Like many other states, North Dakota has imposed a “cap” on the amount of compensation individuals can receive for noneconomic damages like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
- You need an expert opinion. North Dakota law requires that medical malpractice plaintiffs obtain an expert opinion within three months of filing a medical malpractice case, in most cases. This expert opinion is meant to help assure the court that the plaintiff’s claim is not frivolous but instead is supported by enough evidence to suggest malpractice may have taken place.
- Your attorney will need to discuss alternative dispute resolution options with you such as arbitration and mediation. Before a medical malpractice case can be filed, the parties must generally make a good faith attempt to resolve the dispute using one or more of these methods.
Let a North Dakota Medical Malpractice Lawyer Help You
Because of the complexity of medical malpractice claims, having the assistance of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help the claims process run more smoothly as well as increase your chances of succeeding in your quest for compensation and damages. Attorneys Tim O’Keeffe and Tatum O’Brien of O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys can help you comply with the statutory requirements necessary to bring a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. Contact your North Dakota personal injury lawyers at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Attorneys today by calling (701) 235-8000 or (877) 235-8002.
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