Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim in Vermont or New Hampshire? We Can Help.
Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States—only behind heart disease and cancer. When a doctor deviates from the standard course of treatment for an illness, makes a diagnostic error, or directly causes an injury, it can leave patients in an awkward and potentially dangerous position.
Many patients are reluctant to sue their doctors or to disagree with them on their treatment. They may believe that their doctor knows what is best for them. Some may not understand the medical jargon involved with their case. This is why many victims of medical malpractice in Vermont do not call a medical malpractice attorney, even when they suspect they’re the victims of medical malpractice. But not filing a medical malpractice claim when your doctor is negligent can put your future care in jeopardy and could be life-threatening.
When considering filing a medical malpractice suit in Vermont, it is important to remember that there is a difference between failed treatment and negligence. Unfortunately, even the best treatments for a disease or illness may not work with every patient. If your doctor has properly diagnosed your problem and is fulfilling its treatment as effective as possible, they are most likely not liable for malpractice.
However, if you were misdiagnosed (which includes failure to diagnose a condition or injury that they should have) or given a dangerous treatment or were not informed of the risks of a particular treatment, then your doctor may be negligent and therefore liable for medical malpractice. A doctor is liable for medical malpractice in Vermont if one of those failures caused additional injury, including rapid deterioration.
Additionally, you can only file a claim against the doctor directly providing you and your loved one treatment. You cannot bring a suit against someone else’s doctor for malpractice, even if you think they are incorrectly treating their patient. As a Vermont medical malpractice lawyer, Sabbeth Law will help analyze these factors during a free consultation.
The state of Vermont has a statute of limitations of 3 years on medical malpractice suits. If you do not file your claim within 3 years of your injury or improper treatment, you may not be able to collect a settlement even if your doctor is liable. If you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice, it is important to act quickly and decisively.
Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim
To file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Vermont, one must establish the elements of 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.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Vermont
If you believe you may have suffered from medical malpractice in Vermont , call me at 802-457-1112 or get a free evaluation by clicking here.