Request Legal Help Now - Free

LAWSUITS NEWS & LEGAL INFORMATION

UTAH MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Lawsuits


Utah medical malpractice claims are essentially negligence claims made against doctors, hospitals or other healthcare professionals or organizations. They cover missteps like delaying treatment, giving the wrong medicine, using a defective medical device, failing to deliver a baby on time, or even just neglecting  to give the patient enough information to make a reasonable medical decision. These are only a few of the reasons patients or their families may file Utah medical malpractice lawsuits.

FREE UTAH MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWSUIT EVALUATION

Send your Utah Medical Malpractice claim to a lawyer who will review your claim at NO COST or obligation.
GET LEGAL HELP NOW
Injured patients and families may recover damages for their out-of- pocket medical expenses, loss of earning potential, pain, suffering and the wrongful death of a loved one. To succeed, however, a medical malpractice lawsuit in Utah must meet certain very particular requirements. That is why an experienced Utah medical malpractice attorney can make all the difference.

PROVING UTAH MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

Healthcare fraud doctor handcuffs thumbDoctors and hospitals make mistakes. A mistake is not necessarily the same as medical malpractice, however.  From a legal perspective, proving medical malpractice requires four things:
  • The medical professional or organization must  have had a duty to care for the patient – usually this means that there must have been a doctor/patient relationship;
  • The provider performed that duty so badly that it did not meet the commonly accepted standard of care;
  • The patient was injured; and
  • The injury was caused by failure to meet those standards of care, and not by some other cause.
Medical malpractice lawsuits that go to trial often depend heavily on expert testimony about what the prevailing standard of care is – what a reasonable and competent doctor or medical organization would have done in a given circumstance.

WHOSE FAULT?

Medical calamities often have more than one cause. For example, the surgeon may have left a clamp inside the patient’s body, but that might have been discovered had the radiologist not misread the film, and the damage might not have been so bad if the patient had not resumed skydiving sooner than advised.

Utah has adopted what is often referred to as a “modified comparative negligence” standard with a 50 percent threshold. If the court determines that a plaintiff shares the responsibility for what happened to him or her, the plaintiff can still recover some damages, unless the fault is equally shared or the plaintiff is more responsible than the medical provider for the harm suffered. In those situations, the plaintiff gets nothing.

In addition, those who give free help in an emergency (Good Samaritans) are also protected from simple negligence lawsuits, as are certain governmental entities.

DOLLAR LIMITS ON DAMAGES

Utah does not limit awards for economic damages. These are the patient’s or family’s out-of-pocket costs for medical treatment, for example. Noneconomic damages, such as permanent disability, disfigurement, blindness, loss of a limb, physical pain, suffering, inconvenience, emotional distress and loss of consortium, are capped,however. The limit depends on the date of the injury and is adjusted by the Utah legislature each year.

TIME LIMITS FOR UTAH MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWS

In Utah, the medical malpractice statute of limitations—the time limit on when a lawsuit must be filed—is relatively short. The basic rule is that medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed no later than two years of the date the injury was or should have been discovered. There is also a maximum limit of four years, regardless of when the injury was discovered. These are rules with many exceptions and refinements, however – for lawsuits brought on behalf of children, in cases of wrongful death or foreign objects being left after surgery,  to name a few. It is important to consult with an attorney about the specific facts.

MORE PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS

Ninety days before filing a Utah medical malpractice lawsuit, an injured person must notify each health care provider of their intention to file a lawsuit. The notice must include:
  • The date, time, and location of the alleged injury to the patient;
  • The identity of all medical providers involved in the patient’s care;
  • Specific allegations of misconduct by each medical provider; and
  • The extent of the injured party’s injuries.
The patient is also required to file a request for “pre-litigation panel review” of the claim with Utah’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing within 60 days of providing the “notice of intent.”

Once these requirements are met, a panel will decide whether the claim is valid. If an injured person disagrees with the panel’s decision, he or she may file an official “affidavit of merit.” Recent Utah court decisions have made it clear that even with an adverse decision, a plaintiff may file a Utah medical malpractice  lawsuit .
 

UTAH MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Legal Help

If you or a loved one has suffered similar damages or injuries, please fill in our form and your complaint will be sent to a lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
Published on Aug-24-20


ADD YOUR COMMENT ON THIS ISSUE

Fields marked * are mandatory. Please read our comment guidelines before posting.

*Name:

Note: Your name will be published with your comment.

*Email Address:

Your email will only be used if a response is needed.
*Your Comment:

Are you the defendant or a subject matter expert on this topic with an opposing viewpoint? We'd love to hear your comments here as well, or if you'd like to contact us for an interview please submit your details here.

Request Legal Help Now! - Free