Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
When the actions of a medical professional cause harm, it can be a shocking experience. It is one that you never expect. When you seek medical care, you hope it will improve your health and quality of life; not diminish it. Nothing can change what has happened to you. But filing a medical malpractice lawsuit may help you to recover compensation for the harm. In most cases, a medical malpractice lawyer can help.
Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim
To file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Vermont, one must establish the elements of a medical malpractice. Jury Instructions published by the Vermont Bar list three things that a plaintiff must prove in order to win their case:
- That a reasonably skilled and prudent health care professional faced with a similar situation would have had a particular degree of skill and would have exercised a particular degree of care;
- That the medical professional involved in this case did not have this degree of skill or exercise this degree of care; and
- The lack of skill/degree of care was the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
It is important to note that injury alone is not enough to bring forth a medical malpractice case. The plaintiff must prove a breach of the medical standard of care and causation.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a cap on the amount of time that a plaintiff has to bring forth a lawsuit after suffering harm at a physician’s hands. There are two statutes of limitations in Vermont for medical malpractice cases:
- Three years from the date of the cause of action (occurrence of the act of medical malpractice); or
- Two years from the date that you discovered the injury and malpractice.
In most cases, you cannot bring a medical malpractice suit later than seven years after the act of malpractice. However, if a doctor or medical professional leaves an in the patient during surgery and is not discovered until a later date this does not apply.
Certificate of Merit
So, your suit must fulfill the elements of a medical malpractice claim and that you file within the statute of limitations. You must also be sure that your complaint (lawsuit) has a certificate of merit. A certificate of merit is a legal document that you will provide to the court. It has proof that you have met with a qualified medical expert who has reviewed your case, and believes that there is a reasonable likelihood that the doctor against whom you are filing suit breached the medical standard of care owed to you.
Call Our Vermont Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
If a medical professional has harmed you via a breach of the standard of care owed to you, you deserve compensation for your injuries. For a free consultation with our Vermont medical malpractice lawyers at the offices of Sabbeth Law, call us today or send us a confidential message using the contact form on our website. Sabbeth Law is happy to review cases free of charge.