The Basics of Medical Malpractice Law in Massachusetts

When you visit a healthcare provider, you expect to receive competent care. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If you or someone close to you has been harmed by a medical professional’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates P.C. , our highly skilled Massachusetts medical malpractice attorneys can help you resolve complex medical malpractice claims. With extensive experience, we can help you settle or litigate these claims.

Sadly, medical mistakes are surprisingly common. A study conducted by the American Medical Association found that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. Medical malpractice can happen in a number of ways including, but not limited to:

  • Anesthesiology errors;
  • Diagnostic errors;
  • Surgery errors;
  • Emergency room mistakes and hospital errors;
  • Failure to provide sufficient follow up care;
  • Serious infections;
  • Medication errors;
  • Wrongful death.

Just because a bad or undesirable outcome took place does not mean that medical malpractice occurs. Rather, medical malpractice takes place when a patient is injured by a medical professional’s violation of the standard of care. Put another way, medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to use the level of care that a reasonably competent medical professional would have used in the same or similar circumstances, thereby causing injury to the patient. To establish malpractice, the plaintiff must prove the following elements: i) the medical professional owed the patient a duty to adhere to the accepted standard of care; ii) the medical professional breached the duty by violating the standard of care; and iii) the medical professional’s breach was a direct and proximate cause of the patient’s injury.

It is important to note that Massachusetts follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. Under this doctrine, a medical professional may claim that the plaintiff’s negligence was a contributory cause of the injury. As long as the negligence of the plaintiff does not exceed the defendant’s, or the combined negligence of all the defendants, the plaintiff may still be able to recover some form of compensation. However, the award will be reduced by the plaintiff’s percentage of fault.

Ordinarily, a medical malpractice claim in Massachusetts must be filed within three years of the date of the injury. There are some exceptions, which may extend this time frame and an attorney will be able to tell you if any exception applies after thoroughly reviewing your case. However, in the vast majority of cases, failure to file within this legal deadline could mean losing your right to compensation altogether.

If you have been injured by a medical professional’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates P.C. , our seasoned Massachusetts medical malpractice attorneys are committed to holding negligent healthcare providers accountable for the harm that they cause. Medical malpractice cases are complex and having an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference in your case. Contact us today by calling 1-800-262-9200 or reaching us online.

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