Doctors are under pressure to make the correct diagnosis every single time. When they fail to do so, the potential outcome can be devastating to both the health and the pocketbook of the patient. The medical profession learns very early that when a patient presents symptoms in an emergency room or in their offices that there is a wide array of diagnoses available. Medicine is a difficult profession, which is why it takes so long to train as a doctor. They are taught how to distinguish between the different maladies and make an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan.
But doctors do get it wrong, and they must be held accountable for their mistakes. If your condition has worsened as a result of misdiagnosis or a failure to treat symptoms, please contact Jed Kurzban. He is the person to call if you need a medical negligence lawyer in Hawaii.
What is medical negligence and failure to treat in Hawaii?
Medical negligence (failure to treat) covers a wide variety of situations. Here are the major situations where this claim applies:
- All of the available treatments were not discussed with the patient.
- The patient didn’t have insurance, therefore they were not treated.
- Knowing that a medical condition was present and not treating it.
- Specialists were not brought onto the case when the opportunity was presented.
- The correct diagnosis was presented as an option, but the tests were not performed to rule that option out.
- Misdiagnosis and treatment for that wrong diagnosis which ends up worsening the prognosis.
- Dismissing presented symptoms as minor or inconsequential and allowing them to get worse.
Failure to treat can result in more difficult or expensive treatments down the road when the patient finally receives the right diagnosis. What may have been a localized infection at the time may spread throughout the body, meaning the difference between a short antibiotics regimen and a hospital stay. Catastrophic injuries may also develop as a result of failure to treat. These can include organ failure, paralysis, or even death. Almost always, failure to treat means additional medical bills, along with the possibility of in-home care, special medical equipment, and other items that might not have been needed if there had been an earlier diagnosis.
What is the time limit to file a medical negligence claim in Hawaii?
Victims of medical negligence in Hawaii have a limited amount of time to file lawsuits to recover the compensation they deserve. The Hawaii medical malpractice statute of limitations states that these claims must be filed within two years from the date the injury or illness occurred or from when a person knows they sustained the injury or illness. However, no medical malpractice lawsuit in Hawaii may be filed more than six years from the date the alleged mistake occurred, regardless of when the error was discovered.
Types of compensation available and a Hawaii medical negligence case
Any person injured because of a failure to treat or medical negligence in Hawaii may be entitled to various types of compensation for their losses. At Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli, and Pratt P.A., our qualified and experienced team regularly helps clients recover the following:
- Full compensation for medical expenses
- Coverage of any lost income if a victim cannot work
- General household out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering damages in
- Loss of quality of life damages
The elements of negligence for a Hawaii medical malpractice claim
There are generally four elements of medical malpractice that need to be present in order for a claim to be successful. This includes the following:
1. There was an established doctor-patient relationship
This means that you actually hired the doctor to be the doctor in your case. You cannot have just been chatting in a non-formal setting about your case. Sometimes your doctor will get opinions from other doctors in a hospital, but those doctors aren’t considered directly involved in your care.
2. The doctor was negligent
You must be able to demonstrate that your doctor was performing in a manner outside of how a competent doctor would perform. While your doctor might not have a good bedside manner, they must still be “reasonably skillful and careful” in their treatment of you.
3. The doctor’s negligence and failure to treat was the cause of the injury
Would the injury or medical condition that came about have happened if the doctor had not been negligent in performing their duties? Because of the misdiagnosis or failure to treat, were there other injuries that developed? This must be proven in court to show that the doctor you are suing is the responsible party.
4. That injury led to specific damages
Even if malpractice happened as a result of failure to treat, it’s necessary to demonstrate that there indeed were damages. If there was no discernable harm, there isn’t necessarily a case that can be brought against the doctor. If you have, as a result of the doctor’s negligence, lost work and earning capacity, incurred more medical bills, or suffered pain and anguish, then the likelihood of a successful case rises.
Contact our Hawaii medical negligence attorneys for a free consultation
When injuries happen as a result of failure to treat, you need a medical negligence attorney in Hawaii. Jed Kurzban has spent over 25 years representing clients who have experienced paralysis and organ failure and has also assisted families of those who need a wrongful death attorney in Honolulu. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 866-377-3676.