Charlotte Injury Lawyer Matt Arnold answers the question: “What is Maximum Medical Improvement and how does it effect my claim?”
When we are sick, injured, or otherwise needing medical attention, we expect our medical professionals to treat us with care and attention so that we can get back to our “normal,” healthy selves. Doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other medical staff/providers are responsible for the well-being and care of people and therefore are held to a standard of care to provide to their patients. Even with care requirements, mistakes can happen that result in additional injuries or damages to an individual. This sometimes results in a legal claim for medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury suffered by an individual who is injured by a medical professional. In order to be successful in a medical malpractice claim, the injured party must prove that the defendant was negligent in some way that caused their injuries. There are four elements to negligence: duty, breach, causation, and damages. To be successful, all four must be proven by the injured party. As applied to a medical malpractice case, this means:
- The doctor, nurse, or other party had a duty of care to the injured individual;
- The medical provider breached that duty of care;
- The breach of the duty of care resulted in the injuries for which the plaintiff is seeking compensation; and
- There are actual damages from the injury.
The standard of care for medical providers is the appropriate procedure for caring for patients that the medical community of the area is. Depending on the location of the plaintiff and defendant, the standard of care for various medical procedures and practices can vary. Breaching this duty of care means that the provider has failed to provide the treatment, approach, or service that the medical professionals in the area would. If this failure has caused injury and damages to the plaintiff, the defendant might be liable for damages to the plaintiff.
Types of Damages Available
There are two primary types of damages available to injured parties – compensatory and punitive.
- Compensatory Damages: These are damages that, when awarded, are meant to return an injured party to the way they were prior to the injury. These are the damages that are the direct result of the malpractice: medical bill, lost wages, and other quantifiable results of the injury.
- Punitive Damages: These are damages meant to punish the defendant for their actions and deter others from committing the same type of act. Punitive damages are less frequently awarded and are only available in limited circumstances.
When can a Medical Malpractice Case be Filed?
There is a time frame in which a medical malpractice suit can be filed. It is in your best interest to seek legal help immediately following an injury to avoid issues with the statute of limitations expiring. Generally, there is a three-year statute of limitation in medical malpractice cases in North Carolina.
If you have been injured by the negligence of a healthcare provider, contact the personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC. We know that an injury can have devastating effects on your life. We work hard to get you the compensation for your injuries to which you are entitled. Now taking cases throughout the Charlotte region with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and the new location under renovation in Monroe. Contact us, for a free consultation, call us at 704-370-2828 or click here for additional resources.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
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