Do you know the steps to take to file a negligence lawsuit against a medical professional in Arkansas? If you think you may have a medical malpractice case in Arkansas, you’ll want to make sure you understand the legal issues and determine if your case has the elements necessary to be successful. In this article, we’ll explore some key Arkansas rules on medical malpractice.
Time Limits for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Arkansas
Every state has a very specific deadline for filing medical malpractice lawsuits. The deadline is called a statue of limitation. They can be somewhat complex because they may contain multiple separate deadlines.
- The Standard Deadline – The first part of the statute of limitations gives victims of medical malpractice a certain number of years after the malpractice occurred to file a lawsuit. The standard deadline in Arkansas for medical negligence or malpractice is two years. That means, if you don’t file your medical malpractice lawsuit within two years, you lose your right for compensation – unless you fall within one of the exceptions I’ll discuss next. Keep in mind, the courts in Arkansas rarely apply an exception, so consulting an attorney as soon as possible is critical.
- The Discovery Rule – The second part of the statute of limitations is called the discovery rule. The discovery rule is an exception to the standard deadline. It’s applicable in situations where the victim could not reasonably have learned that he/she had a medical malpractice case. In Arkansas, the discovery rule only applies in malpractice cases that are based on a foreign object that was left in the patient’s body.
- The Statue of Limitations for Minors – The third part of the statute of limitations is the deadline for minors (children under age eighteen) or their parents or legal guardians to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. In Arkansas, the minor child statute of limitations only applies to children under age nine.
Types of Medical Malpractice Claims
Most medical malpractice lawsuits can be put into one of the following main categories:
- Negligence affecting pregnancy and childbirth
- Mistakes in prescribing or administering medication
- Surgical errors
Misdiagnosing is the leading type of physician error. The most commonly misdiagnosed diseases or conditions are infections, tumors, heart attacks, blood clot in the lung, and heart disease. The result of misdiagnosis can be fatal.
Negligence Affecting Pregnancy and Childbirth
Some of the leading types of medical malpractice during pregnancy and childbirth are due to:
- Excessive and unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Placental abnormalities
- Mother’s gestational diabetes
- Excessively long labor
- Hemorrhage of the mother during labor
It’s important to note that pregnancy is complex and just because it didn’t go as planned does not automatically mean the doctor is at fault. The patient can only win a medical malpractice lawsuit if he/she can prove that the doctor was negligent.
Mistakes in Prescribing or Administering Prescription Drugs
Medical malpractice relating to medication is widespread. Medication errors can result from administering the wrong medication, or from too much or too little medication. Medication errors can also result from the physician prescribing the wrong medication or the wrong amount.
Mistakes by the surgeon or anesthesiologist during the surgery happen from time to time. The most common surgical errors are damaging a nerve, failing to control bleeding, and leaving a foreign body (like a medical sponge) inside the patient. In rare cases, surgeons perform the wrong operation, sometimes on the wrong part of the body or the wrong patient.
Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim in Arkansas?
Call Daniels Law Firm Today and Get the Compensation You Deserve