Actionable Malpractice Laws
What is “Actionable Malpractice”?
“Actionable malpractice” generally refers to those medical malpractice claims that would be accepted and adjudicated in a court of law. If a legal claim is “actionable”, it means that there is a sufficient legal basis for the court to proceed with the trial.
On the other hand, if the case isn’t actionable, the court may dismiss the claim even before trial begins. This is to avoid wasting valuable court time and resources on claims that are too far-fetched or that have no legal basis. Whether or not the claim is actionable or not is a major concern in the field of medical malpractice, because so many frivolous lawsuits are filed every year for malpractice.
When is Malpractice Considered Actionable?
Before trial begins, the plaintiff’s claims will be reviewed to check for various factors that would make the claim actionable. These may include:
- The likelihood that plaintiff will prevail on their claim
- Whether or not there was an actual violation of malpractice laws
- Whether the damages being requested are too little or too high- if too they’re too little, the claim may be dismissed; if too high, the claim may also be dismissed as unreasonable, or may be subject to state limits on damages
- Whether the plaintiff is actually liable
- Whether the statute of limitations has expired
In particular, the issue of damages is a major concern when analyzing whether a medical malpractice claim is actionable. Again, many people file lawsuits for medical malpractice; however in the process, they may go overboard when stating the amount of damages they should receive. Even though they may have a valid injury to be claimed, stating an unreasonable damages amount can cause a case to be rejected.
Also, the issue of the statute of limitations is important. The statute of limitations refers to the time window within which the injured person can file a lawsuit with a court. Usually, the person will have a certain number of months or years to file a lawsuit once they discover that they were subject to malpractice.
This can vary by state and according to the type of malpractice issues involved. The statute of limitations is sometimes tricky and usually requires the assistance of a lawyer.
What if I Believe I Have an Actionable Medical Malpractice Claim?
In order to make your claim presentable to your lawyer and to the court system, you should already begin compiling data and evidence that would support your legal claim. This can include:
- Any medical records or reports documenting the injury
- Receipts, testimony, and witness statements that might show how the malpractice occurred
- Personal records or logs that reflect when the malpractice occurred
- Evidence of financial losses associated with the malpractice, such as additional hospital bills, medicine costs, and lost wages (if applicable)
Again, courts can generally tell right away if a malpractice claim is outlandish or fake. Falsifying information in connection with a lawsuit is risky and even lead to criminal consequences. Remember to be completely honest and as accurate as possible, especially when attempting to calculate figures for monetary damages.
Should I Hire a Lawyer if I Have Questions About Actionable Malpractice Laws?
Medical malpractice laws are very, very different from state to state. If you feel that you have a viable medical malpractice claim, it’s in your best interests to speak with a lawyer immediately. Your attorney can help review your claim to determine whether claim is actionable and whether you should pursue a lawsuit. If necessary, your lawyer can represent you in court and assist you in obtaining the appropriate damages award for your losses.
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Last Modified: 10-30-2012 02:58 PM PDT
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