Nebraska Medical Malpractice: Laws, Claims and Damages
UPDATED: March 7, 2012
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NEBRASKA MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
A patient in Nebraska may file a suit for medical malpractice when a health care provider has negligently injured them. When a Nebraska health care provider acts below the standard of care set by the industry they work in, resulting in injury to the patient, the provider is medically negligent. Medical negligence is an actionable tort in Nebraska, and the patient may sue the health care provider to recover damages for their injuries. The following are the most common examples of medical negligence in Nebraska:
- Mistakes or delays in treatment or diagnosis;
- Failure to treat or diagnose an illness;
- Mistakes in prescription;
- Birth injuries.
A patient that feels they have been injured by the medical negligence of a Nebraska health care provider should immediately contact an experienced Nebraska medical malpractice attorney to discuss their claim.
Who Can Be Sued in a Nebraska Medical Malpractice Case?
In Nebraska, any medically negligent health care provider may be sued for medical malpractice. A health care provider includes medically licensed individuals such as doctors, nurses, physical therapists, midwives, and psychologists. Health care providers can also include entities or organizations such as hospitals, assisted living facilities, medical clinics (including free clinics), medical groups, and medical day care centers. If an injured patient is unsure whether the person or organization that injured them falls under the definition of a health care provider, they should contact a Nebraska medical malpractice for advice on this and more.
Nebraska Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
The Nebraska statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims depends on whether you have been injured by the medical negligence of a health care provider as a minor or as an adult. If you are injured as a minor, the statute of limitations does not begin to run in Nebraska until you reach the age of twenty. However, if you are injured as an adult, you must file a claim for medical malpractice within two years of the act or omission that led to the injury, or if the injury was not discovered until some time after this period, within a year of discovery. However, a patient may not, under any circumstances, bring a medical malpractice claim more than ten years after the date of the negligent act or omission.
Failure to bring a medical malpractice claim within the Nebraska statute of limitation can mean a total loss of recovery for the patient. For this reason, a Nebraska medical malpractice attorney should be contacted as soon as the patient believes that they have been injured by the medical negligence of a health care provider.
Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims in Nebraska
An injured plaintiff may collect economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages in a Nebraska medical malpractice suit. Noneconomic damages account for all losses outside of purely financial ones, including loss of companionship, physical disfigurement, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages are awarded as a deterrent against the malicious conduct of health care providers, as they are only awarded when the defendant has acted in a malicious manner in injuring the patient.
While there are no limits on the different types of damages, Nebraska does limit the total amount of damages that a plaintiff can recover to $1,750,000. Further, the defendant health care provider is only liable for $500,000 out of this maximum amount. Any amount over $500,000 will be paid from the Nebraska Excess Liability Fund.
When a patient is ready to file a claim for medical malpractice, they should contact a Nebraska medical malpractice attorney to assist them in assessing the recoverable damages for their claim.
Filing a Nebraska Medical Malpractice Claim
If you believe you have been injured by the medical negligence of a Nebraska health care provider, you should enlist the help of a Nebraska medical malpractice attorney to ensure that you build the best case possible. There may be several defendants involved in one claim, and it is important that they are all identified and listed in a medical malpractice complaint.
Additionally, health care providers often will have an entire team of defense attorneys, experienced and specifically trained to build a strong case in defending the health care provider, so having a medical malpractice attorney on your side can help level the playing field. Further, building a strong medical malpractice case can require hiring and gathering testimony from expert witnesses, taking depositions, and making multiple court appearances. Because a Nebraska medical malpractice case can quickly become complex, only an attorney with expert knowledge of the law should be hired to assist you in filing your claim. This will ensure that you receive the best recovery possible while avoiding mistakes that could be detrimental to your case.
Nebraska Medical Malpractice Laws
- Insurance: Healthcare provider; Defined: Chp. 44, §2803.
- Courts; Civil Procedure: Actions on professional negligence: Chp. 25, §222.
- Insurance: Action to recover damages; Limitation of action: Chp. 44 §2828.
- Insurance: Action for injury or death; Maximum amount recoverable: Chp. 44, §2825.