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Clarification About Timeline For Malpractice Given By High Court

The High Court of Nevada addressed the issue of the statute of limitations pertaining to malpractice lawsuits within the state. The court affirmed that the normal two-year statute of limitations on a malpractice lawsuit can be tolled or suspended while an underlying case is resolved. This decision may have further implications for some medical malpractice lawsuits, as well.

What Is Nevada's Medical Malpractice Law?

  • A medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within a very clearly specified time frame, generally two years from the date of the alleged malpractice. However, if an injury involves birth defects or brain damage to a child, the time to file a lawsuit expires on the child's tenth birthday.
  • Unlike many states around the country, Nevada does not limit or "cap" the damages awarded in medical malpractice suits. However, punitive damages are limited to $300,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded to a plaintiff.
  • Nevada mandates that medical malpractice claims must be reviewed by a panel before they are filed in court. The panel reviews evidence available and decides if there is a reasonable probability that the claimant or his or her family member was indeed harmed by malpractice and can then seek compensatory damages.
  • After the panel review, the plaintiff and defendant must attend a settlement conference which is overseen by a judge. If the conference fails to settle the case, then the two parties may proceed to trial. It should be noted that if the review panel declares that there was no apparent malpractice, and the court rules in favor of the defendant, the plaintiff is responsible for legal and court costs.

Medical Malpractice in the United States

It was reported in 2018, that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, John Hopkins claims that over 250,000 patients in the U.S. die every year from medical mistakes and others report that that number is as high as 440,000 a year. It is time to hold doctors and other medical professionals accountable for any negligence or reckless behavior.

Have You Been a Victim of Malpractice?

If you or someone you love has suffered the trauma of medical malpractice, do not attempt to handle the legal and medical technicalities by yourself. You need the help of an experienced Las Vegas attorney who is devoted to advancing your case and protecting your rights.

Time may be running out, so please do not hesitate to contact Bernstein & Poisson to discuss your case.