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Massachusetts Medical Malpractice

When someone in Massachusetts is injured or dies in a medical setting--either because of a medical professional's actions or because of his or her inaction--the patient, or his or her family, will often consider filing a Massachusetts medical malpractice lawsuit.

What Is Medical Malpractice in Massachusetts?

According to Wikipedia's definition of medical malpractice:

Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a healthcare provider in which the care provided deviates from accepted standards of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient. Standards and regulations for medical malpractice vary by country and jurisdiction within countries. Medical professionals are required to maintain professional liability insurance to offset the risk and costs of lawsuits based on medical malpractice.

Do You Have a Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Case?

At a basic level, you must prove two things to be successful in a Massachusetts medical malpractice case:

  • The doctor or medical professional treating you made a mistake
  • You were harmed as a result of that mistake

In determining whether the Massachusetts medical professional made a mistake, the Massachusetts court will look at the medical standard of care. In other words, what is the generally accepted method of treating patients in your area with similar medical problems? For example, the standard of care for a 90-year-old pneumonia patient in Massachusetts would not necessarily be the same standard of care for a 45-year-old pneumonia patient in Arizona.

Not only must you prove that the Massachusetts doctor's act or omission was a mistake, but you must also prove that this mistake injured you.

In other words, you probably do not have a valid Massachusetts medical malpractice claim if your doctor treated you according to the medical standard of care in Massachusetts. And you probably would not have a valid medical malpractice claim if you were not harmed by the doctor's treatment even if it did violate the standard of care in Massachusetts.

Who Can Commit Medical Malpractice in Massachusetts?

Doctors, nurses, dentists, technicians, hospitals, and hospital workers can all commit medical malpractice, according to the American Bar Association.

Your Massachusetts medical malpractice attorney can advise you whether you have a valid Massachusetts medical malpractice claim and against whom you have a potential claim.

How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Every state has a statute of limitations, or time period in which you can file a civil lawsuit against another party, such as a doctor, nurse, or hospital. The Massachusetts medical malpractice statute of limitations is three years.

If you and your Massachusetts medical malpractice lawyer are unable to negotiate a settlement with the party at fault in your medical malpractice case, you should consider filing a lawsuit before the statute of limitations runs out. If you do not file a lawsuit within this time period, you give up your right to sue.

Additional Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Resources

The Bureau of Justice Statistics information on medical malpractice trials

American Bar Association's medical malpractice resources

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation's report on Medical Malpractice Law in the United States

About the Massachusetts Medical Malpractice Tribunal

Massachusetts physician information

Lawyers.com medical malpractice information

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