In 2016, Johns Hopkins Medicine released the results of a study that revealed that medical errors account for more than 250,000 deaths a year in the United States, making it the third leading cause of death in the nation, behind only heart disease and cancer. If you or your loved one were injured due to a medical mistake in Reno, you may be eligible for compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, these cases are often complex and you should seek guidance from an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
According to the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient. Not all medical mistakes are malpractice, however. They must involve a violation in the standard of care expected of health care professionals in similar situations with similar patients and result in an injury that the patient would not have endured in the absence of negligence. Some common examples of medical malpractice include:
Nevada’s medical malpractice laws apply to health care providers. A health care provider is defined as any individual or entity that is licensed or otherwise authorized to perform medical treatment or services on patients. This can include:
The researchers in the Johns Hopkins study acknowledged that most of the medical errors they studied weren’t due to bad doctors, but rather to systemic problems such as poorly coordinated care, fragmented insurance networks, the absence or underuse of safety nets and protocols, a lack of accountability and unwarranted variation in physician practice patterns.
According to a 2018 article from Modern Healthcare, the most common source of medical malpractice claims is diagnostic errors, as revealed by a new study. The study found that about one-third of all medical negligence claims are related to errors in diagnosis. Surgical and procedural claims account for 24 percent of malpractice cases, while medical management claims account for 14 percent. Approximately 36 percent of the diagnosis claims resulted in the death of the patient, and 36 percent of these complaints occurred in outpatient settings. About one-third of the diagnosis claims were the result of the doctor failing to take a complete medical history. More than half involved errors related to lab testing.
Medical malpractice falls within the arena of personal injury law. However, the procedures and requirements involved in medical malpractice cases are considerably more complex than other injury cases. Here are the highlights of Nevada’s laws pertaining to medical malpractice:
Nevada’s modified comparative fault rule is in place in medical malpractice cases. What this means is that even if you are partially at fault for the injuries you suffered, you can still file a lawsuit against other at-fault parties. However, any damage settlement or award you receive will be reduced by the amount of responsibility you bear. For example, if you are found to be 20 percent responsible for your injuries, your award will be reduced by 20 percent.
If you or your child have suffered an injury due to medical negligence in Reno, we would love to explore your legal options with you. We also serve clients in Lake Tahoe, Sparks, and Carson City. For a free consultation, contact us online or by calling (775) 600-6000.