Understanding Medical Malpractice in Massachusetts

Medical negligence is an unfortunate outcome, often attributed to an overburdened medical care system. Many parties can be held liable for negligence, from hospitals to doctors, nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, dentists, and pharmacists.

Medical malpractice is defined as negligence in the medical care and treatment provided by a healthcare professional. There are many different types of medical malpractice claims. Injury from the following can be the result of medical negligence:

  • failure to correctly diagnose a condition
  • a misdiagnosed illness
  • failure to adequately communicate with other medical providers
  • prescribing the wrong medication or wrong dosage
  • premature discharge or poor aftercare
  • leaving a foreign object inside the body

These are merely a few circumstances that can result from medical negligence. If you believe you have suffered an injury or a family member has passed away due to medical malpractice, contact us to discuss your situation. Massachusetts has specific legal requirements regarding medical malpractice cases. For example, when a claim can be made, damage limits and evidence requirements are strictly enforced.

Proving your healthcare provider was negligent can be a difficult task. Massachusetts requires your medical malpractice attorney to take part in a tribunal panel to review evidence of negligence. A tribunal consists of a judge, an attorney, and a licensed healthcare provider in the same field as the defendant. The purpose of a tribunal is to determine if a case has enough evidence to support a negligence claim. As evidence is presented, judges look to the physician member of a tribunal for insight regarding clinical information.

If your case is found to be the result of negligence, you are entitled to compensation related to the following:

  • medical expenses that have been incurred or that will be incurred in the future
  • lost wages
  • loss of earning capacity
  • pain and mental suffering
  • loss of companionship
  • temporary or permanent impairment or loss of bodily function
  • scarring or disfigurement

Additionally, Massachusetts law recognizes when an individual is injured, other family members may be affected. For this reason, spouses, children, and parents of an injured individual can bring their own claims against the wrong-doer for their own loss. This type of claim is known as “a loss of consortium claim.”

To get your malpractice case started, you will first meet with a malpractice attorney to discuss the details of your injury. An investigation will take place to gather legal research and complete a review of all the relevant medical records. Hiring a medical expert to review medical records is often necessary. Once a case is determined to have enough evidence to move forward, an official complaint can be filed with the court, and a tribunal panel will be established.

The strict rules surrounding medical negligence cases require working with an experienced malpractice attorney. If you or a loved one has experienced medical malpractice, contact our office to assist your claim.


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