You went to the hospital for medical care, but you left in a worse condition than you entered. Whether you’re dealing with a new injury or a worsened medical condition, you deserve to be fully and fairly compensated for all that you’ve been through. And to do that, you need to know how to sue a hospital in Arkansas.
Our team of skilled Little Rock medical malpractice attorneys meets with victims of medical negligence for completely free case evaluations. If you have any additional questions about the process of suing a hospital after reading this blog, please contact us so that we can schedule you for a complimentary informational meeting at your earliest convenience.
In this blog, we’ll discuss…
- The types of errors and negligence for which you can sue a hospital.
- How to prove that hospital negligence contributed to your injuries or harm.
- Why you need a credible medical expert to testify on your behalf.
When Can You Sue a Hospital?
Hospitals are responsible for the actions of both their staff as well as doctors with admitting privileges. So, if you were harmed while in the care of a hospital in Little Rock, Pulaski County, or anywhere else in Arkansas, you may have legal standing to sue the facility.
Acts for which you may be able to sue an Arkansas hospital include:
- Diagnostic errors
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesiology errors
- Prescription drug errors
- Birth injuries
- Poor infection control
While health care technology and practices have certainly progressed at tremendous rates over the past several decades, not every poor health outcome is the result of medical malpractice. If you’re unsure whether your current condition was inevitable or was caused by a doctor’s negligence, we strongly encourage you to seek a second opinion and to schedule a free case evaluation with McMath Woods P.A.
How To Sue an Arkansas Hospital
As with any type of legal matter, there are steps that you must follow when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Let’s review some of the most important steps involved with the process of suing a hospital in Arkansas.
To recover compensation for your damages and losses, you’ll have to prove that the following four elements of negligence are present in your case:
- The at-fault party (hospital) owed you a duty of care.
- The hospital violated that duty of care.
- The violation of the duty of care caused you harm.
- You suffered verifiable damages as a result of your injuries or harm.
Having an attorney on your side during this process can be extremely helpful. While hospitals exist to treat the sick, ill, and wounded, they are also large businesses with their own interests. These facilities have their own teams of attorneys and the backing of big insurance companies.
Proving that each of the above elements was present will be challenging when the hospital is countering your assertions at every turn. An attorney with expertise in cases involving complex acts of medical negligence will be an invaluable asset to the overall success of your claim.
Civil claims have a lower required threshold for evidence compared to criminal cases. In a medical malpractice case, you don’t need to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, you only need to prove that it is more likely than not that something happened.
You will still need sufficient evidence to prove your case, though. At McMath Woods P.A., we regularly help clients collect, review, and analyze evidence like:
- Medical records
- Hospital records
- Doctor notes
- Imaging and blood test results
- Prescription drug history
- Pictures and videos of injuries
- Second opinions
- Expert witness testimony
Finding an Expert Witness
Unlike many other states, Arkansas does not require you to provide an affidavit or certificate of merit when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Instead, you’ll need to secure testimony from a minimum of one medical expert.
In particularly complex cases, testimony from multiple credible medical experts may be helpful. For example, cases involving multiple layers of negligence, negligence by multiple parties, or systemic negligence within a facility can be greatly aided by testimony from more than one expert witness.
There is one notable exception to this requirement. If the jury can readily comprehend and understand the alleged negligence, you are not required to present testimony from an expert witness.
However, since medical claims are typically complicated and require a deeper understanding of medical terminology, functions, and procedures, securing testimony from a credible medical expert is generally advisable—even if you think your case doesn’t need it.
What Compensation Can I Recover in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
The compensation you are entitled to is greatly contingent upon individual factors that are unique to your specific case. However, you can generally expect to recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages.
Your economic damages are your tangible financial losses, such as:
- Past, current, and future medical bills
- Lost wages and benefits
- Reduced earning capacity
Non-economic damages compensate you for non-financial losses, like:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment in life
In a small percentage of cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. This type of compensation is only awarded as a way to punish at-fault parties for particularly egregious or malicious behavior. Punitive damages must not exceed $250,000 or three times total compensatory damages, whichever is greatest.
McMath Woods P.A.—Standing Up for Patients All Across Arkansas
All it takes is a single act of negligence to change a person’s life forever. If a hospital’s negligent actions or omissions caused you to suffer harm, you deserve help. And McMath Woods, P.A. is the Arkansas law firm that will fight for you to get the help you need.
An attorney is standing by to speak with you. Please contact us online or by phone to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation.
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