Wisconsin Medical Malpractice: Laws, Claims and Damages
UPDATED: August 7, 2012
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WISCONSIN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
In Wisconsin, medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider injures a patient by administering substandard medical treatment. A health care provider has a duty to act within a certain standard of care when providing medical treatment to all patients. If the health care provider acts below this standard of care, resulting in injury to the patient, then the health care provider has been medically negligent. Medical negligence is actionable, meaning the patient may bring a medical malpractice action against the health care provider. Typical examples of medical negligence in Wisconsin include:
- Delays in treatment, unreasonable treatment, or failure to treat a condition;
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition;
- Errors in prescribing or filling medication;
- Injuries occurring during birth.
A Wisconsin medical malpractice attorney is a valuable resource if you believe that you have been negligently injured by a health care provider, so do not hesitate to contact one right away.
Who Can Be Sued in a Wisconsin Medical Malpractice Case?
Any Wisconsin health care provider can be held liable for medical malpractice. This includes individuals such as nurses, doctors, dentists, psychologists, physical therapists, and any other person who is licensed to provide treatment to a patient. The definition of health care provider can also include entities such as hospitals, clinics, medical groups, emergency care, and nursing homes. If you believe that the health care provider that injured you is certified and/or licensed to provide medical services in Wisconsin, contact a medical malpractice attorney to determine if filing a medical malpractice case is the right option for you.
Wisconsin Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
Meeting the Wisconsin statute of limitations is the first important step in filing a medical malpractice case. Failure to do so will result in an invalid claim and the loss of a chance of recovery for your injuries. In Wisconsin, a party must file their claim either within one year of discovering the injury, or within three years of the negligent act, whichever is later. This means that if the patient does not discover the injury right away, they can still bring the claim more than three years after the date of the negligent act. However, in no case may the injured patient file a claim more than five years after the negligent act. For minors under the age of ten, the statute of limitations differs. In these cases, the claim must be filed by the minor’s tenth birthday, or else within the normal three-year statute of limitations.
Because filing your claim in a timely manner is of the utmost importance, contact an experienced Wisconsin medical malpractice attorney as soon as you believe that you have a valid basis for a medical malpractice claim.
Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims in Wisconsin
An injured party may recover economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages in a Wisconsin medical malpractice suit. Compensatory damages, which make the plaintiff “whole,” encompass both economic and noneconomic damages. Wisconsin caps the amount of noneconomic damages (such as for pain and suffering, disfigurement, or loss of consortium) that a party can claim at $750,000. If the court finds the defendant health care provider was malicious in injuring the plaintiff, then punitive damages become available to the plaintiff as well. The best way to get an accurate assessment of your recoverable damages is to contact a Wisconsin medical malpractice attorney for a review of the facts of your claim.
Filing a Wisconsin Medical Malpractice Claim
Filing a medical malpractice claim should only be done with the assistance of a Wisconsin medical malpractice attorney. These claims can become extraordinarily complex, and in order to obtain the proper recovery, you need someone with expert knowledge of the law to help you. Since plaintiffs must begin by demonstrating the proper standard of care that the health care provider should have utilized, an expert witness is often needed to testify on your side. Handling an expert requires detailed knowledge of the fine points of the law, something that only an experienced attorney can offer.
Furthermore, depositions may be necessary, while court appearances over an extended period of time are the norm for medical malpractice claims. In order to ensure that all negligent parties are held responsible, all defendants must be identified at the outset, which means that there could be multiple defense attorneys to deal with throughout the process. These attorneys work for big medical malpractice insurance companies, and have the knowledge and experience to build a strong case for the health care provider on the opposing side. Since any mistake made along the way could result in dismissal of your claim, or a loss of recoverable damages, be sure to contact an experienced Wisconsin medical malpractice attorney prior to taking any action.
Wisconsin Medical Malpractice Laws
- Insurance: Definitions: Chp. 600, §3.
- Limitations of commencement of actions and proceedings: Medical Malpractice; limitation of actions: Chp. 893, §55(1).
- Limitations of commencement of actions and proceedings: Medical Malpractice; limitations of damages: Chp. 893, §55(4).