Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice Claims
It has been reported that more than 100,000 people per year die as a result of medical malpractice. The vast majority of those cases do not result in medical malpractice lawsuits for a variety of reasons.
We are the Law Offices of Jan M. Weinberg, a Hawaii-based personal injury firm. We have represented the victims of personal injuries caused by medical malpractice in cases involving surgical malpractice, obstetric malpractice, anesthesia malpractice, nursing malpractice and emergency care malpractice.
1. What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is conduct by a physician/health care provider, which fails to meet the standard of care required for treatment. Medical malpractice may result from an act or from failure to act. In order to prove a breach of the standard of care, it is necessary to have the expert testimony of physicians or other health care professionals who are qualified to evaluate whether the standard of care has been breached. We will have your case evaluated by highly qualified physicians in the specialties required to determine whether there were breaches of the standard of care and whether these breaches resulted in injury or death.
2. What Is Informed Consent?
A physician owes a duty to his patients to advise them of the recognized material risks of different medical procedures and treatment, including medications. This duty includes advising the patient about the intended results of a proposed treatment as well as recognized alternative treatments or procedures. If a physician fails to adequately advise his patients of the material risks of treatment, there is a breach of the duty of informed consent. If a patient is injured by the failure to obtain informed consent, that is a legal basis for a medical malpractice case. Cases involving breaches of informed consent do not necessarily require expert testimony to establish the breach.
3. What Do I Need To Prove In Order To Have A Medical Malpractice Claim?
You must prove that a breach of the standard of care or failure to obtain informed consent resulted in injury. It is not sufficient to prove malpractice if there is insufficient proof that the malpractice caused an injury. Likewise, a patient can have extremely serious medical problems which are not necessarily the result of any malpractice.
Your case needs to be carefully reviewed by a competent medical malpractice attorney who relies upon highly qualified medical consultants to determine whether there has been a breach of the standard of care. We have reached numerous successful outcomes; read about our results here.
4. What Time Limit Is There On Filing A Lawsuit?
Under Hawaii law, patients have two years from the date they knew or should have known, that they were injured as a result of medical negligence, but in any event not more than six years. For injured minors less than 10 years of age, the statute of limitations is six years or until the 10th birthday, whichever occurs later; for those over age 10, the statute is six years.
5. How Medical Malpractice Suits Work In Hawaii
Before a lawsuit for medical malpractice can be filed, a claim must first be made with the Medical Inquiry Conciliation Panel (MICP) of the State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. The filing of a claim with the MICP stops the running of the statute of limitations during the pendency of the administrative claim and for a period of 60 days after the MICP proceeding has terminated.
Cases are normally presented to a two-member panel, composed of one attorney and a physician appointed for the case. The MICP panel is empowered to issue a ruling on malpractice and on damages. The hearing and the decision are confidential. No transcript or written record is made of the MICP hearing. The hearings normally take several hours.
Find Out If You Have A Claim
Contact the Law Offices of Jan M. Weinberg for a free consultation to discuss your case. Medical malpractice cases are sent for confidential review by qualified physicians at our expense. As in other contingency fee cases, if we file a suit in your case, our office will advance all the costs of the litigation. Should you have questions concerning the fees or costs in medical malpractice cases, feel free to discuss them with us. Call 808-796-5706 to discuss your options.