There are many types of lawsuits in Alaska that can be handled by many different attorneys. When it comes to Alaska Medical Malpractice, however, there are certain rules and regulations that differ from car accidents, slip-and-falls and other claims which, if not known and not followed by an attorney, can result in a plaintiff recovering no compensation for what could be a tragic event with significant damages.
When a doctor, hospital or other medical provider fails to provide a reasonable standard of care and a patient is harmed as a result, this constitutes Alaska Medical Malpractice. There are many challenges to medical malpractice claims that experienced attorneys know and are able to overcome.
First, Alaska requires that any claim for medical malpractice be brought within two (2) years of the date of incident; or, at least, the date any claim is discovered. While this is like other personal injury claims, the following differences are notable:
- Medical malpractice claims can neverbe brought more than ten years after the occurrence of the malpractice (with a few exceptions);
- Alaska caps non-economic damages at $400,000 or $8,000 per year of the plaintiff’s remaining life expectancy. If there is permanent disability or sever disfigurement, these limits are raised to $1,000,000 and $25,000, respectively.
- If it is determined that a plaintiff is in part responsible for his or her injuries, any award may be reduced in a percentage equal to the amount of fault attributed to him;
- Expert witnesses who testify for either side must be trained in the same specialty as the accused defendant.
Also difficult is the fact that doctors, hospitals and other medical providers are typically represented by attorneys hired by large insurance companies with vast resources. They can afford to retain the best experts and spend the most money on top attorneys and creative presentations and arguments that are adept at convincing juries that a plaintiff’s injuries are not at all due to the actions of the doctor, hospital or other medical provider.
This is why it is important to retain your own attorney that is skilled and experiences in Alaska medical malpractice claims, and for several reasons.
First, knowing that an attorney has a good track record gives you instant comfort and trust, something you will need as your case progresses.
Second, the same qualities (such as a proven track record) may lead to a quicker and better settlement. Indeed, if the defendant’s attorney knows that your attorney can successfully prosecute your medical malpractice case, he will be less likely to risk a large jury verdict and more apt to want to settle before trial.
As you can see, there are some important factors that must be considered prior to bringing your medical malpractice claim. An experienced attorney is someone that will help you achieve the maximum recovery that you deserve.