When it comes to health care professionals, most people implicitly trust their doctor or dentist to have the right education and skills.

However, at Swartz & Swartz PC., we know that not all health care providers are worthy of our trust. Medical malpractice is a serious legal issue that occurs when the medical care and treatment provided by a doctor, nurse, or another healthcare professional has been negligent. Sometimes even well qualified medical professionals make careless errors that have a significant impact on their patient’s lives.

This specific type of negligence can take many forms; from botched surgeries, failure to diagnose; a misdiagnosis, even errors that occur during childbirth, can all be considered medical malpractice. According to Justia, there are currently 312 medical malpractice cases filed with the United States District Court – District of Massachusetts.

So, how do you know if your medical malpractice suit will go to trial? According to a 2012 study, Outcomes of Medical Malpractice Litigation Against US Physicians, only about half of medical malpractice cases go to trial. Fewer than 5% result in a verdict. Over 95% of medical malpractice claims result in out-of-court settlements. Our experience with medical malpractice suits tells us that hospitals and doctors sometimes want to settle to avoid the potential of facing a bigger judgment in court. At the same time, patients want to settle to receive compensation as soon as possible and avoid a lengthy legal process, but only if the resolutions fairly accounts for all injuries suffered.

Sometimes even well qualified medical professionals make careless errors that have a significant impact on their patient’s lives.

Like many types of lawsuits, the process for medical malpractice cases can be complex. Generally speaking, a patient has three years to get their medical malpractice lawsuit going. This time frame is usually measured from the date the patient suffered the harm because of a medical error. However, Massachusetts’ “discovery rule,” says that time doesn’t start ticking until the patient knows or should know that it was a medical provider’s negligence that likely caused them harm, or, when the patient is made aware that their injury was likely caused by a medical error.

Once a medical malpractice lawsuit is filed, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 231, section 60B says that, within 15 days after the defendant health care provider has filed its response to the lawsuit, the plaintiff (or the plaintiff’s attorney) must present an “offer of proof” to a special tribunal made up of up of three people: a justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court; a licensed doctor who practices in the same area of as the patient’s injuries; and an attorney.

However, if the tribunal decides there is not enough evidence of liability, the malpractice lawsuit can only proceed if the plaintiff files a $6,000 bond within 30 days to pay for the defendant’s legal fees and court costs. If any of these steps are missed, the medical malpractice lawsuit will be dismissed.

Medical malpractice cases are unique and require a sophisticated team of educated and proven professionals. At Swartz & Swartz, P.C., we have a team of attorneys and professionals dedicated to medical malpractice cases. We work closely with some of the most knowledgeable and renowned medical experts in the country, and have a proven track record of successful recoveries on behalf of victims of medical negligence.

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Mr. Swartz, our Managing and Principal Attorney at Swartz & Swartz P.C., is a nationally recognized and respected trial attorney as well as consumer advocate. His practice focuses on cases involving negligence, torts, products liability, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and other claims involving catastrophic injuries.

 

 

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