One of the most frightening and disconcerting personal injury claims in Las Vegas is medical malpractice. You sought medical care in order to improve an illness or injury, not to deal with additional problems afterwards. However, there is a significant difference between malpractice and not having the results you were hoping for. In Nevada, there are laws in place to prevent this type of frivolous lawsuit. If you are considering filing a medical malpractice claim, you have to make sure you understand how the process must be done in this state.
When you are filing your claim, you will need to supply an affidavit that is provided by a medical expert. This affidavit must provide supporting evidence relative to your claim of medical malpractice, and explain the omission or cause of the negative result of your treatment. Additionally, it must be filled out by an expert witness that either currently practices in the same field, or has practiced in one that is very similar to the field relating to your claim.
There are some special circumstances that do not require the affidavit. These cases possess a clear indication that the bad outcome was due to the actions of the medical personnel or physician. While the doctor or hospital can still dispute the claim, these special circumstances include:
• Situations where a foreign object or substance was left inside the body after surgery – this does not include prosthetic devices or medications.
• Burns that were the result of radiation, chemicals or heat used in the course of treatment
• Injuries occurring due to fire or explosion that were caused by substances that were used as a part of the treatment
• Surgical procedures that were performed on the wrong part of the body, or on the wrong patient
• Injury to other body parts that were not involved in the overall treatment process
Statute of Limitations
In Las Vegas, the statute of limitations, which is the amount of time in which your claim must be filed, is one year after you discover or should have discovered the bad outcome, or within three years of the actual date that the injury occurred, depending on which date is earlier. This limit is in place to decrease the attractiveness of filing a claim for attorneys, who generally want to take their time reviewing records. Additionally, most respectable attorneys also want enough time to make their decision on whether to take the case, while still allowing time for you to find another attorney if he or she declines.
While these requirements may seem strict, they are in place to protect doctors from having to deal with unnecessary malpractice claims. While there are cases where serious oversight occurs, there are still many others who attempt to file a malpractice claim based on outcomes that may have occurred regardless of the manner in which the condition was treated. By adhering to these laws, you will be able to determine the validity of your case, and seek the appropriate action.