Raleigh Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Experienced Raleigh Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Medical malpractice occurs when a physician, surgeon, nurse, or other healthcare practitioner falls short in his or her duties of care to patients, resulting in patient harm. Those in the medical field owe high standards of care to patients at every step of the medical process. An act of negligence in any form could mean life or death to the patient.
North Carolina Medical Malpractice Laws
Before you can secure money damages from an at-fault physician or provider, you must understand and obey the state’s medical malpractice laws. These laws are in place to bring consistency and clarity to civil claims, as well as to protect the rights of both patients and healthcare providers. The following are three laws we believe are the most important for plaintiffs:
Statute of limitations
- A patient has three years from the date of injury, two years from the date of a wrongful death, or one year after discovery of an injury to file a medical malpractice claim in North Carolina. If a patient doesn’t discover an injury until later (e.g. if a surgeon leaves something in a patient), he or she has four years after the incident maximum to bring a claim.
- North Carolina limits how much compensation a single plaintiff can receive from a defendant in a medical malpractice claim. When it comes to non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, a plaintiff can receive no more than $500,000 in compensation. Starting in 2014, the state will adjust this cap for inflation annually. The damage cap will not apply in cases involving permanent or disfiguring injuries, or in cases involving gross negligence or intentional malpractice.
Medical witness requirements
- To bring a medical malpractice claim in North Carolina, the plaintiff must hire at least one expert witness to file a sworn affidavit stating the expert has reviewed the medical records and can testify that the defendant did not adhere to accepted standards of care.
Riddle & Brantley Helps Individuals and Families Seek Justice
North Carolina medical malpractice claims have a different burden of proof in emergency situations compared to other types of personal injury lawsuits. Instead of only needing to prove that a defendant was “more likely than not” negligent, the plaintiff will need to show “clear and convincing” evidence of the physician or hospital’s malpractice. This can be more difficult and require a skilled Raleigh personal injury attorney’s assistance.