The nuts and bolts of a Medical Malpractice claim in Nevada

FIVE MOST IMPORTANT TAKE AWAYS REGARDING MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS

  1. Call an Attorney immediately if you are the victim of Medical Malpractice
  2. Damages for Pain and suffering are capped in Nevada
  3. Damages for medical bills, lost income and future medical needs are not capped.
  4. The time to bring your claim is strict and short.
  5. You must have a medical expert before you file your claim.  Call TheOnelawyer.com now. 702-450-4868

As patients we look to our medical professionals to help us make critical decisions about our health. We want to trust the doctors and their staff. Unfortunately, sometimes their treatment and opinions may fall below the standard of care; often causing grave injury or even death to the patients they are sworn to serve. This does not mean that every time there is a bad result in medical care that it rises to the standard of medical negligence. However, there are circumstances when a Doctor’s negligence contributes to or causes serious injuries and sometimes even fatal injuries to their patients. In these cases,  you need to seek legal advice immediately. You need an attorney to file a claim against doctors for professional negligence due to the complexity of the laws. A lot of people do not realize how critical the timeline is when you are the victim of medical malpractice. Nevada’s medical negligence claims are governed by NRS chapter 41A and there are numerous requirements under the statute that the plaintiff must meet to go forward. Without significant legal training, medical malpractice is one area that you cannot handle yourself. If you believe that you have been a victim of medical malpractice call our office today. TheOneLawyer.com, Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq.  has been helping injured people for over 15 years and we are available 7 days a week for a free consultation to discuss your possible medical negligence action. 

Under NRS 41A, there are many parts to the statute that are required to be followed to bring your claim against your medical professional. The following are the basic requirements and elements of bringing a medical malpractice claim in Nevada under the statute.

 Professional negligence defined 

In Nevada, professional negligence is defined as the failure of a provider of healthcare, such as a doctor, specialist, or licensed medical professional, to “use the reasonable care, skill, or knowledge ordinarily used under similar circumstances by similarly trained and experience providers of healthcare.“ NRS 41 A.015.  This may sound like a simple test however there are volumes of case law that govern whether a providers actions were “reasonable“ and that will be the subject of expert testimony.

Experts are necessary

In Nevada, the statute requires that a plaintiff obtain a medical expert to establish that their treating provider was negligent under the statute. NRS 418A.071 requires plaintiffs to submit an affidavit signed by a professional who works in the same field of medicine as the accused provider. The affidavit must be detailed and must provide a basis to substantiate the claim of negligence against your treating provider in detail. The affidavit cannot simply state that the provider was negligent. The affidavit must meet criteria that establishes that the doctor who treated you fell below the standard of care. In addition, the professional or doctor signing the affidavit that will be attached to the complaint must be properly qualified to render such opinions. Sometimes it is necessary to find an expert physician who is from out of state to critique the treating doctor and state that their care fell below the standard. A claim cannot be originated or filed in Nevada against a treating doctor without such an affidavit. This is contrary to most every other area of negligence in Nevada law. 

Usually, you can file your lawsuit and obtain information before having to retain experts. In the field of medical malpractice it is just the opposite. You have to obtain an expert affidavit to establish that your treating doctor was negligent before you filed a lawsuit. At TheOneLawyer.com, Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq.  has worked with hundreds of injured victims over the years to obtain compensation for injuries sustained as a result of negligence. If you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice call our office today for a free consultation. 

 Causation 

The injured victim must have evidence that the medical negligence caused their injury. In order to win a lawsuit as an injured victim, the expert testimony of one or more doctors must establish that the injuries you sustained are a direct and proximate result of your doctors’ negligence.  NRS 41A .100 states that expert testimony must establish that the defendant doctor fell below the accepted standard of care and that breach, in fact, caused the injury sustained by the plaintiff. It will not be enough for an expert to simply state that the doctor was negligent. They must be willing to testify and state in their affidavit that the negligence of the doctor caused the injuries sustained.

Time allowed to bring a lawsuit. 

Perhaps one of the most critical elements of the medical malpractice statutes in the state of Nevada is that a medical malpractice claim must be filed within three years of the injury or one year of its discovery.  NRS 41 a .097 is very clear on these timelines. Often time’s medical malpractice is not discovered for a significant period of time. For example a missed diagnosis of cancer may not be caught for several years until the cancer grows and causes symptoms. A missed diagnosis of a disease similarly may not be revealed until the injured victim suffers violent symptoms which are recognized by a new medical provider. 

In instances where the medical negligence is not realized until years after, it is critical to contact an attorney as soon as you are diagnosed. One year may seem like a long time but the clock ticks quickly and most people are so overwhelmed dealing with the medical care and injury that they are suffering from that calling an attorney is not first on their list. An attorney can start working on your case right away while you are receiving treatment. It takes time to find the right expert and collect the necessary records to prepare a complaint on your behalf against the original negligent doctor. Therefore, if you are diagnosed with an injury or illness that you believe should have been diagnosed or addressed by a prior doctor called Law Offices Of TheOneLawyer.com, Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. immediately. We can evaluate and assist you regarding your possible medical Malpractice claim at no charge for the consultation.

Damages allowed to compensate victims of medical negligence

Unfortunately Nevada voted years ago to allow caps on non-economic damages in the state of Nevada. You are still entitled to any of your wage loss, all of your medical bills and most importantly all of your future medical care. However pain and suffering is limited to $350,000. Although most people and attorneys agree this number is ridiculously low to compensate some of the heinous medical malpractice cases that are brought, it is nonetheless the law in Nevada. An attorney can retain the proper experts that can demonstrate your future lost income as well as your future medical bills to establish the full extent of your injury in order to establish the damages you are legally entitled and make sure you receive all of the compensation you deserve. Under NRS 41 8.35, the scope of economic damages suffered as a result of medical negligence are the cost of medical bills, lost wages and future medical bills and there is no cap on these economic damages. It is only damages for pain and suffering that you are capped in the state of Nevada at $350,000. This is another reason it is extremely important to obtain counsel to handle your medical negligence claim. At TheOneLawyer.com, we have helped thousands of people recover damages for injuries they have sustained as a result of the negligence of someone else or a medical professional. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice and sustained an injury call our office immediately to set up a free consultation. 

Special cases where negligence is automatic

In Nevada, there are some situations that are so egregious that the legislature decided they will be considered negligent automatically. In that case, that means that the defendant has to prove why he should not be held liable. In every other area, the plaintiff must carry the burden of truth and prove their case. Under NRS 41A 100(1) the following situations are instances where the negligent medical provider or doctor is considered to be at fault under the law

1) Situations where a surgical procedure is conducted on the wrong patient or a wrong part of the patient’s body. For example a surgeon removes the good kidney and leaves the bad kidney in the patient.  This sounds like it cannot happen in this day and age but unfortunately it does.

2) A situation where a patient who sustains an injury to a part of their body other than the part being treated. For example an incision is made in the wrong area and sutured up prior to the real procedure. Or a situation where a patient is transferred to a gurney for surgery and a limb is broken in the process.

3) There must have been someone in the legislature who sustained some kind of burn during a treatment because there are two types of instances that involve automatic negligence regarding burns. The first is where a burn is caused by heat, radiation or chemicals during any type of medical treatment. In such a situation, you are automatically entitled to your medical bills and pain and suffering.

4) Another situation where negligence is automatically assumed involving a burn is when there is an explosion or a fire started by a substance used during your treatment. This would be a rare circumstance however it has happened.

5) The most common automatic negligence is invoked when a foreign substance other than medication or a prosthetic is accidentally left in the patient’s body. You have probably seen x-rays (there are numerous examples on the Internet) where surgical instruments and sponges etc. are left inside the patient’s body during a surgical procedure. If this happens, you are entitled to all medical costs to remove the foreign item, the pain and suffering associated therewith and any future medical needs that are required as a result of the instrumentation being left inside the patient.


CONTACT TheOneLawyer.com

At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer, we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients. Medical malpractice cases can require lengthy litigation and are complex in nature.  The stakes are very high for the doctors accused in these cases and they will fight for their reputation. Laura Payne-Hunt., Esq. the one at TheOneLawyer.com has many years of experience representing injured plaintiffs and can provide aggressive representation. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice call TheOne Lawyer.com today

If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured. We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com,  Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada  with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims. Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.