When visiting a medical facility such as a hospital or doctor’s office, people trust that their injury or condition will be diagnosed and treated professionally and properly. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
As a result of medical error or malpractice, many patients are suffering unnecessary injuries in Hawaii. This often leads to the filing of medical malpractice claims.
Why Does Medical Malpractice Happen?
Qualified, good physicians are always wanted and appreciated in Hawaii. However, sometimes even the best medical professionals fail to provide patients with the right medical care while they conduct a procedure. This usually happens when they are in a rush.
Medical malpractice also occurs due to omissions or negligent acts by nurses, doctors, and other health care providers. In addition to medical negligence, it may also happen when inexperienced or careless medical workers do something that a competent physician wouldn’t have done.
It’s not uncommon for physicians to fall below the appropriate standard of care, which often has severe consequences. That may cause an existing condition to get worse, resulting in a new injury or increased severity of the disease. Unfortunately, it leads to wrongful death sometimes.
Common Acts That Leads to Medical Malpractice Cases in Hawaii
- Delayed treatment and delayed diagnosis
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis
- Surgical errors and retained surgical foreign objects
- Medical and medication errors like administering the incorrect medication (or the wrong dose of medication) and inappropriate treatment for illness or injury
- Birth injuries that occur during childbirth and injuries caused by medical negligence in prenatal care
- Anesthesia errors
Whatever the case, the victims of medical malpractice need to contact a Hawaii law firm or a Honolulu personal injury attorney promptly.
Things to Know Before Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Hawaii
It is always a good idea to have all the facts and information at your fingertips before contacting a law office. Here are some things to keep in mind when filing a medical malpractice case.
Hawaii’s Statute of Limitations When Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
First, you need to familiarize yourself with the statute of limitations. It’s a state law that determines the maximum amount of time that persons involved in a dispute need to initiate court proceedings or file a lawsuit.
With that in mind, you should take legal action and file a lawsuit immediately after the occurrence of medical malpractice. If you miss the deadline, the health care facility or physician you want to sue is highly likely to request that the lawsuit be dismissed by the court. Once the request is granted by the court, your lawsuit and all your efforts will come to naught.
When it comes to medical malpractice claims, the statute of limitations varies from state to state. According to the Hawaii Revised Statutes, medical malpractice lawsuits have to be filed within 24 months from the date the illness or injury occurs. This is codified in section §657-7.3 of this statute.
There are some exceptions, though. This applies to cases where patient harm doesn’t manifest immediately after medical error happens. It is typical for unnoticed and dormant damages.
Even so, medical malpractice lawsuits that involve such cases must be filed within 6 years. This is specified by the statute of repose in Hawaii.
Types of Damages Victims Could Claim
Victims may be eligible for a variety of damages, depending on how much they’ve been suffering and what type of medical malpractice case is in question.
- General damages – These damages include everything from emotional trauma and mental anguish to physical pain and damages that affect the quality of life and/or earning capacity of the injured party.
- Special damages – These are tangible, measurable losses like future medical expenses, lost wages, medical bills, etc.
- Punitive damages – The legal recompense for these damages is aimed at punishing defendants for wrongdoing, no matter if it’s considered intentional or negligent. In Hawaii, there are strict rules for this type of award.
Basic Elements of Medical Malpractice Cases in Hawaii
If you want your claim to be valid, your Hawaii medical malpractice case must include the following essential elements:
- A breach of duty. It happens when the patient gets improper medical treatment or care due to the failure or negligence of the healthcare provider. Note that the claim will be valid only if the hospital, physician, nurse, or another medical provider was responsible for providing care to the ill or injured patient.
- The injury or disease of the patient (victim of medical malpractice) occurred as a result of the healthcare provider’s actions.
- The patient either suffered some kind of damage or was ill/injured.
Choose the Right Hawaii Attorney for Your Medical Malpractice Claim
Do you believe your family member or you have suffered an unnecessary injury, illness, or another health complication due to medical malpractice? Contact a Hawaii personal injury lawyer for an initial consultation.
You want to find Hawaii medical malpractice attorneys having the necessary expertise to handle your case successfully. Whether you’re looking for a lawyer in Honolulu or an attorney in Maui County, narrow down your search by practice areas, such as plastic surgery negligence, birth injury, wrongful death, cardiology medical errors, and the like.
Let’s discuss your case! After reviewing medical records, we provide legal advice and legal services to victims based on the case evaluation.
Contact Cain & Herren ALC
Do you need consultation or legal assistance with a personal injury claim? Contact Cain and Herren ALC at (808) 242-9350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our law offices are open Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm. You can also learn how to visit our law firm in-person, or message a specific attorney by visiting our contact page.
Cain & Herren ALC – Attorneys with a Heart!
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