You have three years after the medical malpractice injury or one year after discovering the injury to file a claim, whichever occurs first, per Nevada’s medical malpractice statute of limitations, which is found in Nevada Revised Statutes section 41A.097. A statute of limitations is a law that establishes a time limit for filing a claim and appearing in court.
You have rights if you have been the victim of medical malpractice in Nevada. However, you must ensure you file a medical malpractice claim in Nevada before the statute of limitations expires. This guide will help you navigate the statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
You put your faith in medical experts to provide the best care for you and your family. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Medical malpractice affects thousands of people in Nevada and across the country each year. If fact, 10% of all deaths in the United States are now due to medical malpractice, says a Johns Hopkins Medicine study.
When a health care professional makes a medical error that injures a patient, this is known as medical malpractice. You must show your health care provider was negligent or malicious in purpose to have a successful medical malpractice claim. Negligence occurs when a medical provider owed the patient a duty that was breached, resulting in injury and damages.
You must prove your health care provider owes you a legal duty of care before you can file a medical malpractice claim. Various medical practitioners and facilities are liable to uphold this duty, including doctors, surgeons, hospitals, pharmacists, and pharmaceutical companies.
A Breach in the Established Duty
Breach of duty for medical providers arises when they fail to meet the medical standard of care. A violation medical standard of care occurs when, given what the health care provider knew at the time, another health care provider with similar experience and medical background would have made a different decision than your provider.
Injuries and Damages That Resulted from a Breach in Duty
You must show that the injuries you sustained due to the breach of duty were not unforeseen or random to file a medical malpractice claim. You must also demonstrate that the injuries caused damages, which could be either economic or non-economic.
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice
Misdiagnosis, failure to treat, prescription errors, surgical errors, and birth injuries in children are all common medical malpractice lawsuits.
A misdiagnosis could result in treatments or medications that are unwarranted or too late. A delayed diagnosis could also have devastating effects on a patient. A misdiagnosis can happen when one of the following occurs:
- Failure to detect signs and symptoms
- No medical tests were ordered
- Test findings are lost
- Medical errors
Failure to Treat
Understaffing and insufficient protocols are common reasons why health care professionals fail to treat patients. When a medical provider fails to treat a patient, it may be considered medical malpractice for the following reasons:
- A patient was prematurely discharged from therapy or a hospital.
- A medical professional does not order medical testing or follow up with a patient.
- A health care provider does not consider the patient’s medical history.
The doctors who prescribe the drugs, pharmacists, and pharmaceutical corporations could all be responsible for prescription medication errors when they occur. Filling out the medicine script inaccurately and failing to recognize drug interactions are two common mistakes that can lead to medical malpractice claims.
Common surgical mistakes include:
- Operating on the wrong body part or the wrong person
- Leaving surgical tools inside a person
- Failing to follow medical procedures
- Anesthetic complications
Birth Injuries to Children
Various events can result in birth injuries in children, which include:
- Prenatal treatment or delivery that is not up to standard
- Failure to recognize fetal distress
- Improper C-section
- Mishandling a baby
Filing an Affidavit of Merit
Plaintiffs in Nevada must also provide an affidavit of merit. Outlined in Nevada Revised Statutes § 41A.071, this affidavit from an expert medical witness declares that their case has merit. In the affidavit of merit, the medical expert must:
- Support the claims filed in the lawsuit
- Identify the health care professionals or providers who committed medical malpractice
- Outline the medical malpractice committed by the professionals or providers
While your medical malpractice claim may be dismissed if you fail to file an affidavit of merit, Nevada courts give you an opportunity to file the affidavit to continue your lawsuit.
What to Do if You Suspect You Are a Victim of Medical Malpractice
If you suspect you are a victim of medical malpractice, do not reach out to the health care provider. Instead, you should see a different medical doctor, keep a history of your medical records and medical journey, and reach out to a personal injury attorney.
See a Different Medical Doctor
If you suspect you have been the victim of medical misconduct, it is critical to see a second health care provider as soon as possible to ensure your health doesn’t worsen due to the first provider’s malpractice.
Keep a History of Your Medical Records and Medical Journey
You should request any medical records before filing a medical malpractice claim. This includes any details about symptoms, prescriptions, lab results, diagnoses, and medical history.
Also, keep a record of your medical journey before and after the medical error. To record your experience, write down your feelings and thoughts you have in a diary. Concentrate on writing about your emotional and physical problems and how the medical mistake has affected your life.
Reach Out to an Attorney
Medical malpractice claims can be very complex. A medical malpractice attorney may be able to help file your lawsuit.
De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers have been helping victims of medical malpractice for over a decade. Contact our law firm today to get started with a potential medical malpractice claim.