Rhode Island medical malpractice: FAQs

Medical malpractice can lead to serious injuries. In some cases, legal remedies are available. These remedies can include monetary awards to help cover the costs that result from the injury. Patients that suffer injuries in these situations likely have a number of questions. Some of the more common include:

  • What is medical malpractice? The law generally defines medical malpractice as an injury to a patient that results from a medical professional's failure to conduct themselves in accordance with the accepted "standard of care."
  • What is the accepted "standard of care" in medicine? This legal term generally refers to what a reasonably prudent medical professional in a similar situation would or would not do to care for the patient. A victim generally needs expert testimony to establish a physician's practices fell outside of this level of care.
  • When does a patient have a medical malpractice case? It is important to note that a negative outcome is not enough to establish a medical malpractice case. As noted above, there must be a violation to the accepted standard of care for the procedure in question.
  • Why don't more injured patients pursue a medical malpractice claim? It is very common for insurance companies to attempt to settle a potential claim promptly. A quick settlement avoids litigation and is not always in the patient's best interest. A quick settlement can result in removing any future legal remedies before the full extent of the injury is known. As such, it is wise for anyone injured due to the action or inaction of a medical professional to seek legal counsel before accepting a proposed settlement.

These are just a few of the questions that injured patients need answered before moving forward with a medical malpractice claim. An attorney experienced in this area of the law can answer any questions you have about your accident and potential legal remedies.

An important note about medical malpractice claims in Rhode Island

Those who are injured due a medical professional's negligent or reckless practice of medicine can hold the professional accountable through a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is important to note that there is a time limit that can bar these claims. Each state has its own limit, generally set by the state legislature. In Rhode Island, state law sets this limit at three years of the time of the incident that led to the injury.

There are some exceptions to this rule. In some cases, for instance, the three-year time limit will not begin to toll until after a person would have "reasonably discovered" the injury. An attorney experienced in these matters can review the details of your injury and discuss the options that are available for legal relief.