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Idaho Medical Malpractice FAQ

Answering the questions you need to ask

Medical malpractice is a complex area of law, and many injured patients don't know where to begin. That's why the Law Firm of Joseph F. Brown, MD, JD, PLLC - Physician and Attorney at Law compiled this list of frequently asked questions and answers.

If you think you may have been a victim of medical malpractice or negligence, contact us today for a free case evaluation. Don't delay getting the help you need to get back to your life at the level of quality it should be.

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What is malpractice?

Malpractice refers to occasions when an injury occurs as a result of a medical provider's action, or inaction, that does not meet established standards of care. Due to the nature of medical malpractice, these occurrences can result in significant damages. Some common examples of medical malpractice include giving a patient the wrong medication, failing to perform a medically indicated test or failing to appropriately communicate treatment information to another medical provider.

The law does not expect medical providers to be perfect, only to follow established standards of care. As such, not every negative patient outcome is a result of malpractice; the onus is on the patient (or the patient's attorney) to prove that the medical provider failed to follow standards of care. These cases are costly and take a long time to pursue. They are also usually somewhat complex, which is why an attorney with resources and experience is needed to pursue a positive outcome.

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How do I know if I have a case?

The healthcare we receive in the United States is some of the best in the world. However, there can still be mistakes made, errors committed, and negligent actions that result in the harm of a patient. There are more ways to err than you might think. Malpractice cases can range from wrongful diagnosis to errors that result in death. They can even extend to the field of psychiatric medicine, where the incorrect administration of medication can go so far as to lead to possible side effects such as non-stop twitching or impaired memory. Other examples include:

  • Surgery performed on the wrong site or wrong patient
  • Misdiagnosis and accompanying treatment for non-existent condition
  • Childbirth injuries
  • Anesthesia errors - administering the wrong amount can kill or permanently disable a patient
  • Delayed diagnosis - a delay in diagnosis means a delay in care. This could be life threatening.

If a physician or healthcare practitioner's negative actions have injured you or caused a death, you should contact us for a consultation on your case.

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What has to be proven?

Doctors and hospitals are held to a standard of care. We have to prove that that was violated, and can do so using our legal knowledge and extensive experience. We also need to prove:

  • The presence of a doctor-patient relationship
  • Medical negligence
  • Negligence resulted in an injury
  • That injury resulted in damages to the body, mind, or quality of life of the patient

To ensure a case is viable in court, we typically consult an independent doctor for their expert medical opinion. We have legal expertise in brain and spinal injuries, both of which can cause permanent disability.

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How long do these cases take?

The time for a case to reach settlement differs from case to case. We work to get results for you as quickly as possible and have a system designed for our clients to achieve settlements in a timely manner.

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How much does it cost?

We work on a contingency basis. This means you don't pay a dime for a consultation or services unless we are successful in securing your awarded settlement.

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How much can I recover?

This entirely depends on the injury, how it happened and if it was preventable. Many medical errors are, and most are caused by miscommunication, improper treatment, or failure to diagnose. These mishaps can create devastating circumstances for a patient that deserved care and received pain in return. Physical and emotional trauma are taken into consideration, as well as a thorough examination of the case and injuries sustained.

Generally speaking, the more severe the injuries, the more compensation someone is entitled to for their losses. Possible disability, loss of quality of life, past and future lost wages and medical costs are also taken into account when we fight for your deserved compensation.

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What is Idaho's statute of limitations for a malpractice suit?

As with any other suit, there is a time limit for how long you have to decide to file. After this period, the opportunity for compensation is lost. The statute of limitations in Idaho is generally two years.

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What is the "Locality Rule"?

Idaho has some laws regarding medical practice that are specific to the state. One is known as the "locality rule". The Idaho Supreme Court established a standard of care that involved a locality rule. This means that doctors are not held to a national standard of care, and instead holds them to the standards of health care providers in the same community, which is defined as "that geographical area ordinarily served by the licensed general hospital at or nearest to which such care was or allegedly should have been provided." This rule can seem to make things swing in the favor of healthcare providers, since they are not held to a national standard of care.

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Office Location

Law Firm of Joseph F. Brown, MD, JD, PLLC
3854 S. Naples Ave.,
Meridian, ID 83642
(208) 789-2222