The High Court of Nevada recently addressed the issue of the statute of limitations pertaining to malpractice lawsuits within the state. The court affirmed that the normal two-year statute of limitations on a malpractice lawsuit can be tolled or suspended while an underlying case is resolved. This decision may have further implications for some medical malpractice lawsuits, as well.
What Is Nevada’s Medical Malpractice Law?
A medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within a very clearly specified time frame, generally two years from the date of the alleged malpractice. However, if an injury involves birth defects or brain damage to a child, the time to file a lawsuit expires on the child’s tenth birthday.
Unlike many states around the country, Nevada does not limit or “cap” the damages awarded in medical malpractice suits. However, punitive damages are limited to $300,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded to a plaintiff.
Nevada mandates that medical malpractice claims must be reviewed by a panel before they are filed in court. The panel reviews evidence available and decides if there is a reasonable probability that the claimant or his or her family member was indeed harmed by malpractice and can then seek compensatory damages.
After the panel review, the plaintiff and defendant must attend a settlement conference which is overseen by a judge. If the conference fails to settle the case, then the two parties may proceed to trial.
It should be noted that if the review panel declares that there was no apparent malpractice, and the court rules in favor of the defendant, the plaintiff is responsible for legal and court costs.
Medical Malpractice in the United States
The website newsmaxhealth.com reports that doctor errors kill over 500,000 people around the country every year. According to some sources, misdiagnosis is the biggest problem. If a doctor misdiagnoses the condition, the treatment that follows may be harmful or even deadly. Physician overconfidence may be one of the main causes of doctor error. Additionally, new strictures on the medical profession may be harming rather than helping patients. If a doctor has to see too many patients to see in one day, he or she may misdiagnose the condition due to being rushed.
What Should I Do If I Have Suffered From Physician Malpractice?
If you or someone you love has suffered the trauma of medical malpractice, do not attempt to handle the legal and medical technicalities by yourself. You need the help of a successful Las Vegas medical malpractice attorney who will be sure to advance your case and protect your rights. Time may be running out, so contact Bernstein & Poisson in Las Vegas to discuss your case immediately.