Rhode Island Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Did you sustain injuries due to the negligence of a medical professional? If so, contact Crowe & Harris, LLP to discuss your legal options for pursuing a medical malpractice case. You deserve financial compensation for the suffering you endured, and we’ll help you fight for it.
When you visit your doctor, the last thing you think is that you’ll end up with an injury or an adverse side effect. You assume you’ll be in excellent hands. Unfortunately, doctors, nurses, and medical facilities make mistakes that could cause physical, emotional, and financial harm.
Medical malpractice cases are complicated and necessitate an in-depth investigation, enabling us to gather the facts, preserve crucial evidence, and identify key witnesses. We have the experience and resources to navigate the most complex cases and secure a substantial recovery.
We understand the trauma victims of medical malpractice experience, and we’ll be by your side through every step of the case. We’ve been repeatedly named a Best Law Firm by U.S. News & World Report for a reason: our total dedication to our clients.
Our Rhode Island medical malpractice lawyers will work hard to seek the justice you deserve. Call us for a free consultation at (617) 404-3417.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice comes in many forms. If any type of medical professional makes an error or fails to provide adequate care, that’s known as medical malpractice. We have the experience, resources, and knowledge to handle medical malpractice cases including, but not limited to, the following:
- Birth injuries
- Cancer diagnosis and screening
- Wrongful death
- Wrong or late diagnosis
- Hospital negligence
- Anesthesia accidents
- Surgical errors
- Stroke and TIA
- Robotic surgery
- Cardiac surgery
- Emergency room treatment
- Medication errors
Negligence Laws That Could Help Your Case
There’s a legal theory of negligence you must prove if you want to file an insurance claim or lawsuit in a medical malpractice case. Negligence refers to a party that fails to exercise its duty of care to prevent another from harm. There are five elements you must show existed to be successful in your case:
- Duty: The at-fault party owed you a duty of care;
- Breach of duty: The at-fault party breached their duty of care;
- Cause in fact: If it weren’t for their actions or inaction, you wouldn’t have suffered harm;
- Proximate cause: Their breach of duty was the direct cause of your injury; and
- Damages: Your injury resulted in financial and intangible losses.
To prove that a medical professional was negligent, it’s important to show that they did not provide the appropriate medical standard of care for the given circumstances. Specifically, we’ll show that the medical professional who treated you failed to provide the same level of treatment that a similarly trained health care provider would have provided for your condition.
Individuals within the medical field are supposed to undergo extensive education and training. When a hospital or medical facility hires them, they must first perform a thorough background check and confirm proper licensing and experience.
If a doctor, nurse, or other staff member makes a mistake that causes patients harm, they become liable for the resulting expenses and suffering. If their employer failed to complete the necessary background checks and prior employment verification, liability would fall on them.
Calculating Economic and Non-Economic Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case
When a medical provider’s negligence causes injuries, the victim typically suffers a range of losses known as damages. Economic damages refer to the actual monetary costs, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost income and future earnings
- Out of pocket expenses
Non-economic damages are the physical and emotional pain associated with an injury, such as:
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
Since calculating non-economic damages can be a challenge, insurance companies will use some of the following factors to come up with a fair number:
- Type of injury and the degree of severity
- If the patient made a full recovery or developed a permanent impairment or disability
- Duration of medically necessary treatment
- Total economic damages associated with the medical malpractice incident
- Impact on qualify of life
- Available evidence proving negligence
- Total hours and wages lost due to the inability to work
- Insurance coverage listed on the at-fault party’s liability policy
Generally speaking, if someone suffers a severe injury, the compensation should be higher than if they suffer a minor injury. When you spend months recovering, you tend to rack up expensive medical bills. Your financial award should cover all your economic and non-economic damages, so you don’t have to pay for anything out of pocket. Our Rhode Island medical malpractice lawyers will review your case thoroughly to ensure the compensation you receive is fair.
Rhode Island Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
In many cases, the insurance company will provide an adequate settlement so the injured victim can avoid fighting for compensation at trial. However, some instances require suing the at-fault party. If we can’t negotiate a full and fair settlement with the medical provider’s insurance company, or they provide a low settlement offer, we can file a lawsuit.
Rhode Island follows a three-year statute of limitations. It’s a strict deadline you must comply with if you want to hold the medical professional liable for their actions in the civil court system. If you don’t file your lawsuit within three years from the date of your injury, you will lose your right to pursue financial compensation. However, there’s an exception to this rule.
The discovery rule allows injured parties to sue the negligent party past the three-year deadline. Under this rule, you can file a lawsuit within three years from the date you discovered your injury. For example, if a surgeon left gauze in your body that didn’t cause symptoms until five years later, you could sue them for damages despite the statute of limitations having passed.
If the victim of medical malpractice was a minor under the age of 18 at the time of the injury, their case must be filed before his or her 21st birthday. Rhode Island also extends the statute of limitations if the physician knowingly conceals the error, flees the state, or if the victim is found mentally incompetent.
Legal Options if a Loved One Died From Medical Malpractice
You could file a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one died due to a healthcare professional’s negligence. In Rhode Island, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is three years. That means you must sue within three years of the death date or when you first became aware that medical malpractice was the cause of death.
State laws define wrongful death as the death of one party caused by another due to their:
- Wrongful act;
- Neglect; or
- Default of another.
The only person allowed to pursue damages is the administrator or executor of the deceased’s estate. Typically, the executor or administrator is responsible for carrying out someone’s final wishes stated in the will and finalizing the estate. They can file the lawsuit on behalf of the estate for monetary damages associated with the final, fatal injury or illness.
The damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Companionship, care, guidance, advice, and comfort the deceased would have provided to the family if they survived;
- Cost of funeral and burial; and
- The total value of wages the deceased would have earned if they lived an average lifetime.
You might be able to seek punitive damages as well. Instead of compensating the beneficiaries for economic and non-economic damages, it’s a way of punishing the at-fault party for their actions. It’s a rare financial award juries only provide if death resulted from willful, malicious, reckless, or wanton conduct or gross negligence. You must provide sufficient evidence that shows the healthcare provider acted in such a way. It’s a complex process, but one of the medical malpractice lawyers from Crowe & Harris, LLP will help you build your case.
Crowe & Harris, LLP Legal Fees and Costs
We understand the suffering you endured. You likely can’t return to your job, and you’re struggling to pay your medical costs. If you’re not earning income, you can’t pay for household expenses or support your family. It’s a stressful and overwhelming experience for anyone. We want to ensure you don’t face additional financial hardships while seeking legal action against the negligent medical provider. That’s why we work on contingency.
A contingency fee is one that doesn’t require upfront fees or costs. You won’t have to worry about paying us while we’re working on your case. We don’t collect any legal fees unless we recover an insurance settlement or monetary award from a lawsuit. If we don’t secure compensation for you, you won’t have to pay us any money.
We also provide an initial free consultation. There’s no risk in meeting with one of our Rhode Island medical malpractice lawyers to discuss the details of your situation. We’ll review the information you provide and offer advice and guidance. We’ll inform you of your legal options and determine the best course of action for winning the maximum compensation you deserve.
If you were the victim of medical malpractice, call Crowe & Harris, LLP immediately. When you hire our Rhode Island personal injury firm, we’ll work hard to effectively and efficiently reach a favorable outcome. We’ll fight vigorously to protect your rights and ensure fair treatment throughout the legal process. You can depend on us to be by your side the entire time to help you through this devastating experience.
To find out more about our legal services and how we can help, call (617) 404-3417 to speak with one of our Rhode Island medical malpractice lawyers. We’ll put your mind at ease and help you get on the road to recovery.