Across the world, cancer is the second leading cause of death. In 2018 alone, 9.6 million people died after losing their battles with cancer. In 2019, the American Cancer Society predicts that nearly 2 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer, and more than 600,000 will lose their lives to cancer.
Certain cancers, such as cervical cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and oral cancer, have high cure rates if detected early. These cancers are also some of the most commonly diagnosed forms of the disease.
In the United States, the most common cancers are:
- Lung and bronchus
- Urinary bladder
The American Cancer Society also predicts that more than 6,000 Rhode Islanders will be diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and that more than 2,000 will die because of cancer. In Massachusetts, more than 40,000 diagnoses are predicted and more than 12,000 deaths are anticipated.
Medical Malpractice Claims in Rhode Island and Massachusetts
If a medical professional is negligent, and that negligence results in harm to a patient, that patient has the right to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the medical professional.
To prevail in a medical malpractice claim, the patient must show:
- The medical professional owed the patient a duty;
- The medical professional breached this duty by failing to provide services that met the applicable standard of care; and
- Due to this breach, the patient suffered damages.
When medical professionals agree to treat a patient, they must provide treatment that meets the standard of care in that medical community. The standard of care refers to the treatment that a competent medical professional of similar professional background would have provided in the same situation.
To show that a medical professional breached the standard of care, it is necessary to consult with a medical expert. The medical expert usually provides an affidavit that lays out the errors the defendant medical professional made and how those medical errors could have been avoided. For example, perhaps imaging should have been conducted to detect masses in a patient’s lungs, or perhaps detailed bloodwork should have been ordered.
Finally, the patient must demonstrate the damages he or she has suffered as a direct result of the medical professional’s negligence. Damages may include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of employment benefits
- The cost of remodeling a home to accommodate a health condition
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim?
In both Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the statute of limitations in a medical malpractice claim is three years. Generally, this limit begins at the time the medical error occurred.
Medical Malpractice Claims Are Complex
Medical malpractice claims are among the most complicated legal claims in the field of law. They require a detailed understanding of injuries and disease, as well as the legal theories and laws that impact these claims. Therefore, it is important to consult an experienced Rhode Island medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible if you believe that you were injured because of a medical error.
At Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd., We Have Helped Clients Prevail in Medical Malpractice Cases
Being diagnosed with cancer is a terrifying experience, and it is devastating for patients to learn such a situation may have been entirely avoidable. Our attorneys fight to make sure our clients obtain the compensation they deserve after becoming victims of medical negligence. To schedule a free consultation with our firm, contact us today.