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The basics of medical malpractice in Rhode Island

Rhode Islanders have the right to seek compensation in the event that a medical error occurs.
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    January 18, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Every day, residents throughout Rhode Island seek medical care. From basic preventative care to in-depth treatments for serious conditions, the need for trust in the medical treatments and care provided is something that is shared by all state residents.

In addition to the right to appropriate health care, Rhode Islanders have the right to seek compensation in the event that a medical error occurs. Understanding the basic statutes of limitations and other guidelines in the state can be helpful if faced with such a situation.

What is considered a medical error?

Within the larger medical community, there is what can be termed a general standard of care. This is a basic view of the actions or lack thereof that would constitute the right actions on the part of any health care provider or facility. If a situation occurs where this standard is found to have not been followed, medical malpractice is said to have occurred.

There can be some interpretation surrounding the standard of care or the deviation from it and this interpretation is commonly at the crux of any such legal claim. The nature of errors can range greatly and may include birth injuries, missed diagnoses, surgical errors and more.

When can a malpractice claim be filed in Rhode Island?

The state of Rhode Island has a standard statute of limitations of three years from the date an incident occurs in which medical malpractice claims may be filed. There are, however, some exceptions to this rule, including:
- The discovery rule starts the three-year statute from the time that an injury is discovered, understanding that this may not always be the same date as the date of the actual injury.
- Claims relating to injuries sustained by minor children must be filed before time the person reaches the age of 21.
- Different statutes may be enacted in cases involving fraudulent concealment of events, a defendant who has left the state or a mentally incompetent victim.

Regardless of the nature of a case, it is always important to seek advice from an attorney as soon as a problem is suspected. Waiting too long could prevent proper action from being taken when it is needed.

Damages and responsibility in Rhode Island

While many states have limits on damage awards for medical malpractice cases, Rhode Island does not. The state also has what is known as shared responsibility which means that a single medical error can be attributed to more than one party. Any settlement or judgment award can be split between the various parties accordingly.

Proper legal counsel is of high importance

Whether you suspect a medical error on behalf of an individual provider or on the part of a clinic, hospital or other facility, it is imperative that you work with a lawyer that has vast experience in this area. The rate of medical errors is serious and should not be taken lightly.

Article provided by The Law Office of Mark B. Morse
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