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How Does Malpractice Differ from Other Personal Injury Cases?

Medical malpractice is a complex issue. Because of this, many aspects of this type of case will be different from other personal injury claims, even though it is a type of personal injury claim. Here are the most important areas in which medical malpractice differs.

Medical malpractice cases are subject to a different statute of limitations. In Utah, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is four years. When the injury in question is caused by medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is reduced to two years. While there are things that can alter this, those factors are rare.

Medical malpractice awards for non-economic damages are capped at a different level than those for other personal injury claims. In Utah, the cap on non-economic damages for personal injury is $400,000. In a malpractice case, the limit is $250,000. As with other personal injury cases, this cap only applies to non-economic damages. Any amount sought for lost wages and medical bills, that is economic damages, can be higher than the cap.


Finding Ways To Keep Up With Attorneys

Malpractice cases often need expert witnesses. In a general personal injury case, most of the evidence is presented by witnesses or in the form of exhibits. This is because the series of events in the case are usually straightforward. In a medical malpractice case, however, the plaintiff must prove that the doctor in question was responsible for their (the plaintiff’s) care, that there was a standard of care that was expected of any doctor in that situation, that the doctor in question failed to meet that standard of care, and that that failure resulted in the injury in question. This requires the testimony of medical professionals. Unlike regular witnesses, expert witnesses must be hired.


Case Study: My Experience With Settlements

Unlike a standard personal injury case, a malpractice case can take a very long time. It can take years for a case to come to completion, from the time of the injury until a settlement or judgment is reached. Indeed, people filing claims should be aware that it will likely be between three and five years before their case concludes.

The length of a medical malpractice case makes paying attorney’s fees for the duration of the case difficult for most people. Many attorneys will accept clients on a contingency basis instead because of this. This means that the lawyer will not charge you for their work by the hour, or for any of the other costs associated with pursuing the case. If the case results in a cash award, however, the lawyer will take a part of that award as compensation. The specific percentage will vary, depending on the case and the attorney, but it will generally be between 30 and 50 percent. This amount will be known to you before the case concludes.

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January 22, 2013 This post was written by Categories: LawyersMalpracticeRepresentation Tagged with: AttorneysLawyersRepresentation
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