When a person living in Maine is in need of medical care, whether it is a routine visit or surgery, they place their health in the hands of medical professionals. In most instances, the patient receives the proper level of medical care. Unfortunately, there are times when they become injured or even die due to the actions of those that they have put their trust in, giving them grounds for a medical malpractice case. For those who find themselves needing answers, here are some Maine medical malpractice FAQs that might help.
Anytime you are given treatment, or experience a lack of proper treatment, that causes you harm, it could qualify as medical malpractice. This includes any departure from the accepted standards involving a patient’s medical care, health care or even safety that involves negligence. A few examples of this include a delay in treatment, misdiagnosis, errors in prescriptions, improper follow-up or a substandard level of treatment.
The incident can be either intentional or unintentional.
Negligence refers to any situation where the care you receive does not meet the standards that would be recognized by other true similar professionals.
Physicians and physician assistants, nurses, therapists, paramedics and even dentists can all be charged. In fact, anyone deemed as a professional provider of health care can be held responsible.
In order to qualify as a medical malpractice suit in Maine, the victim has to be able to prove three things:
Three years from the date of the action.
In some cases they can be very similar, depending on the circumstances. Medical negligence can result in injury or harm to a patient, but it is not necessary in order to qualify as negligence. Medical malpractice results in complication, injury or death as a result of an action by a professional. Medical negligence is actually a part of medical malpractice, so a lawsuit can have components of both in it.
The easiest way to describe it is this:
In medical malpractice cases, studies show that juries often side with the medical professional over the victim. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a waste of time. It does, however, mean that if you pursue one of these cases, you will need to have your facts and all pertinent information complete and in order as much as possible to help your chances.
You have to understand a few things before entering into one of these cases:
Unfortunately, there is no set time frame. One determining factor to the time involved can be based on The Health Security Act, which is the law governing medical malpractice for the state of Maine. It has put quite a few legal obstacles in place that have to be fulfilled before your case can even reach a jury. This adds considerable time to the process.
When comparing it to a standard lawsuit case, you can expect a medical malpractice case to take on average between two to three years just to go to trial, whereas a car accident case would typically go to trial in about a year.
No. Under the collateral source rule, compensation that you are rewarded by the courts cannot be reduced simply because you have received compensation from another source, which in your case is your insurance company.
The law which governs any Maine medical malpractice claims is also known as The Health Security Act. You can find information on this subject in different places. One is at the State Law and Legislative Library located in Augusta. You can also visit one of the many County Law libraries located throughout the state. Or simply go online and search under the term “Maine Revised Statutes”.
Additionally, learn more about the limits on damages in malpractice cases, medical malpractice in nursing homes, and medical malpractice during surgery in the blog.
If you suspect you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice, find out how Nichols & Churchill can help you with your case.