Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury claim. The basic premise is that a patient believes his or her healthcare provider negligently caused an injury while that patient was under the doctor’s care. There are certain elements victims must prove to show they have a valid medical malpractice claim. For this reason, the assistance of a Hawaii medical malpractice lawyer is crucial.
Keep in mind that you must file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Hawaii within two years of the injury date. Missing this deadline can refute your claims to fair compensation, which comes in the form of damages. Hiring a medical malpractice lawyer in Hawaii is important in order to recover maximum award amounts while ensuring that you comply with civil procedure rules set by the local courts.
Immediately After You File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Hawaii
After going through the Medical Inquiry and Conciliation Panel (“MICP”) process, you must file what is called a Complaint with the court of proper jurisdiction in order to initiate a medical malpractice lawsuit. Thereafter, the civil procedure process begins. Several actions take place including hearings, sharing evidence, and filing motions.
This is the period that is the most time-consuming part of the case. It can be difficult and emotionally taxing for any Plaintiff.
Resolution Through Mediation or Jury Trial
Almost every lawsuit is encouraged and sometimes required to go before a mediator or arbitrator in hopes of settling the case out of court. The outcome is usually quite successful, and generally results in the parties agreeing to stipulations and sums. In short, it is one method for settling your case out of court.
If mediation/arbitration does not result in a settlement, then a trial is the next course of action. The majority of trials take place in front of a jury and could take several days to complete, depending upon the amount of evidence and examination both parties will present.
Compensation for Medical and Non-Medical Expenses
“Damages” is a term of art describing the formal legal term for monetary compensation you receive for your injuries. You will likely be awarded damages for your past medical expenses and future medical expenses, if any. There is no limit to medical expenses incurred under a medical malpractice claim.
A court can also award you for non-medical expense damages known as non-economic damages. This is reserved for pain, suffering, and mental anguish awards.
Comparative Negligence Plays a Role in Compensation Awards
Hawaii is what medical malpractice lawyers refer to as a comparative negligence state. Comparative negligence is the court or jury assigned responsibility to both parties to the case for contributing to the injury in the form of allocation of percentages amongst the parties. In short, your medical malpractice case could be partially your fault in the eyes of the court or a jury.
For example, if a doctor injures you during surgery, 100% of the liability falls upon your provider. However, if you do not follow through on your medical care plan and injure yourself further, then liability begins to shift back to you if you are claiming these injuries in your lawsuit, as well.
Consider Speaking with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Hawaii
There are many moving parts to a medical malpractice lawsuit. At Lowenthal & Lowenthal, LLLC, our medical malpractice lawyers in Maui want to help you prevail in the courtroom. You can request a free consultation by calling (808) 242-5000 or by submitting our request form.