When you go to a doctor or healthcare provider, you are trusting them with a very precious thing… your life or the life of a loved one. So, it can be very frustrating and confusing when a serious injury or death occurs because of medical negligence.
“There’s nothing frivolous about medical malpractice. In fact, a study by researchers at John Hopkins Medicine found that 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors,” says Thomas Bumgardner, an attorney with the Law Office of Thomas D. Bumgardner, PLLC.
Medical malpractice happens when a hospital, doctor or other healthcare professional causes injury or death to a patient through a negligent act.
Our law office in Ballantyne has experience representing medical malpractice cases including:
- Surgical injuries
- Failure to diagnose
- Injuries from delays in diagnosis
- Hospital injuries
- Serious medication side effects
- Brain injuries
Statute of Limitations in North Carolina
If a patient believes they are a victim of medical malpractice in North Carolina, they must file a claim within three years of the negligent act, or within one year of discovering the injury, whichever happens first.
The only time a patient can take longer than four years to file a claim is if they discover a foreign object in their body after surgery. Once the foreign object is found, the patient must file a medical malpractice claim within one year of discovering the item.
Medical Malpractice Damages in North Carolina
There are three different types of damages that a patient can seek in the medical malpractice cases.
- Compensatory Damages – This money covers the cost of past, present and future medical bills brought on by the negligent act.
- Non-Economic Damages – This is money for a patient’s pain and suffering. Senate Bill 33, which was passed into law in 2011, put a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages in North Carolina. That amount has since been adjusted to meet with inflation every year. The cap also doesn’t apply to cases where a patient suffered severe disfigurement, loss of the use of a body part, permanent injury or death.
- Punitive Damages – The damages are meant to punish the hospital, doctor or healthcare professional for their negligent behavior.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in North Carolina
Medical malpractice claims can be a very complex issue and we can meet with you by scheduling an appointment with the Law Office of Thomas D. Bumgardner to discuss your situation and claims. Filing the claim can also be equally complex so let us take help you through this process.
You and your family have rights to know what went wrong and why. We want to help represent your legal rights and to help you recover any monetary justice that could be rightfully yours.
Call our office at (704) 870-4779 so we can get you the information you need and the justice you deserve.