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  • Ann Sheeley

Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer? Legal Options for Medical Malpractice Victims in Rhode Island

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

When we seek medical care, we place our trust in healthcare professionals to provide competent and ethical treatment. However, there are instances when medical professionals fail to meet these standards of care, resulting in medical malpractice. Unfortunately, medical malpractice can and does occur, leaving patients with worsened conditions, serious injuries, or even loss of life. If you or a loved one believe you may be a victim of medical malpractice in Rhode Island, understanding your options for legal recourse and compensation is crucial.


In this article, Rhode Island Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice Lawyer Ann Sheeley discusses the legal avenues and resources available to individuals who have experienced medical malpractice in Rhode Island.


Understanding Medical Malpractice

Hiring a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in RI

Medical malpractice refers to the negligence or misconduct of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other medical personnel.


To establish a medical malpractice claim in Rhode Island, the following criteria must be proven:


1. Duty of care: Demonstrating that a healthcare professional and patient relationship existed, and the healthcare provider owed a duty of care to the patient.

2. Breach of duty: Establishing that the healthcare professional breached the standard of care by failing to provide treatment or acting negligently, which another competent healthcare provider would not have done in similar circumstances.

3. Causation: Showing that the healthcare professional’s actions/breach of duty directly caused the injury or harm suffered by the patient.

4. Damages: Proving the injury resulted in physical, emotional, or financial harm.


Common Causes of Medical Malpractice

Diagnostic Errors. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis is a leading cause of medical malpractice. Inaccurate interpretation of tests, failure to recognize symptoms, or a lack of thorough examination can result in incorrect diagnoses and inappropriate treatments.

Surgical Mistakes. Surgical errors, such as wrong-site surgery, leaving surgical instruments inside the patient's body, or operating on the wrong patient, can have severe consequences.

Medication Errors. Administering the wrong medication, incorrect dosage, or failing to consider a patient's allergies or drug interactions are common medication errors.

Informed Consent: Medical malpractice can occur when medical professionals fail to obtain “informed consent “from patients before conducting procedures or treatments. Informed consent means providing patients with comprehensive information about the risks, benefits, and alternatives, allowing them to make informed decisions about their healthcare.


Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations simply means the deadline for filing a lawsuit after an accident or injury. In Rhode Island, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is generally three (3) years from the date the injury occurred or should have been discovered through reasonable diligence. However, there are exceptions for cases involving minors and cases where the injury is discovered after the three-year limit. It is important to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Rhode Island to understand the specific time constraints that apply to your particular situation.


How to File a Medical Malpractice Claim

Navigating a medical malpractice case can be complex. Since every victim’s situation is unique, it is essential to consult with an experienced Rhode Island medical malpractice attorney who can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your harm or injury, determine if you meet the criteria for a medical malpractice claim (mentioned above), and if yes, guide you every step of the way through the legal process. Your attorney will gather evidence, consult medical experts, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your best interests in court, all of which increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation.


How Long Does It Take to Settle a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

The length of time it takes to resolve a medical malpractice lawsuit can vary significantly. Generally, the process involves several stages, including investigation, filing the complaint, discovery (gathering evidence), pre-trial motions, negotiations or mediation, and potentially a trial. Each of these stages can contribute to the overall length of time it takes to settle the lawsuit. Some cases are resolved within months, while others can take several years from start to finish.


In certain cases, medical malpractice claims are resolved through settlement negotiations outside of court. Your attorney should work hard to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. However, if a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to trial. It is crucial that you hire an attorney with trial experience, who can present a compelling case in court, advocate for your rights and fight to the end to obtain maximum compensation for you injuries and damages.


Compensation and Damages

If successful in your medical malpractice claim, you may be entitled to various types of compensation and damages, including:

a. Economic damages: Medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and future medical needs.

b. Non-economic damages: Pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.

c. Punitive damages: In certain cases where the defendant's actions were exceptionally reckless or intentional, punitive damages may be awarded to the victim.


Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

At Sheeley Law, we understand how stressful and confusing it can be if you or a loved one were injured or harmed by a medical professional. Seeking the assistance of an experienced Rhode Island Medical Malpractice Lawyer. like Ann Sheeley is essential for navigating the legal process, ensuring your rights are protected, holding those who harmed you responsible, and securing the compensation you deserve. Sheeley Law will handle your case with care and compassion, while aggressively and efficiently litigating your case, so you get the results you need...because RESULTS MATTER.


For a free consultation, contact us at 401-619-5555 or asheeley@sheeleylaw.com.



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