Although most of us have great relationships with our doctors and healthcare providers, on some occasions there could be a mistake, some error in judgment, or a technique which causes a serious health problem or even death. This kind of an error is called negligence and health care providers can be sued for these slip ups in medical malpractice actions.
Healthcare providers typically include surgeons, doctors, nurses, dentists, clinics, hospitals, and medical corporations. The mistakes that may give rise to a malpractice suit include incorrect diagnoses or treatments, delays in providing necessary treatment, and surgical errors.
In North Carolina you cannot sue a health care provider unless you have first received all relevant medical records and you have had those records reviewed by an expert doctor. This expert doctor must be willing to testify that his or her colleague has violated the local standard of care among other medical professionals. Only an attorney who has the knowledge and experience in dealing with medical providers can help ensure that you obtain all the relevant medical records necessary to meet this burden and advance your case.
In a medical negligence case which does not result in death, with one exception, you must file your case within three years of the health care provider’s negligent act or within one year of discovering the injury, whichever is earlier. In no event may you file a claim more than four years after the doctor’s negligent act.
The exception is when a foreign object, such as a sponge or clamp, was left in your body after surgery. In that case, suit must be filed within one year of discovering the object, but in no event, more than ten years after the object was left in your body after surgery. If you are unsure of the appropriate time frame related to your possible case, consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to make sure you do not miss the deadline. If the medical negligence results in the death of the patient, the case must be brought within two years of the patient’s death, but no more than three years from the healthcare provider’s negligence.
It is always advisable to consult with an attorney whenever a legal matter arises. It is important to seek out an attorney with experience and success in the often highly complicated area of medical negligence.
M. David Bland is a civil litigation attorney at Weaver, Bennett & Bland, P.A. Contact David at Weaver, Bennett & Bland, P.A. at (704) 844-1400. The information contained in this article is general in nature and not to be taken as legal advice nor to establish an attorney-client relationship between the reader and M. David Bland or the law firm of Weaver, Bennett & Bland, P.A.
Weaver, Bennett & Bland, P.A. serves clients in North Carolina and South Carolina. Located in the town of Matthews between Mecklenburg and Union Counties in North Carolina since 1982, we proudly provide legal services throughout Charlotte, Matthews, Mint Hill, Stallings, Indian Trail, Monroe, Marvin, Wesley Chapel, Weddington, Waxhaw, the Ballantyne area, and other surrounding communities in the Greater Charlotte area. Our clients range from national corporations and major banking institutions to individuals and local companies.