Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Little Rock, Arkansas
Even the most experienced professionals can sometimes make mistakes. Often, these are relatively harmless errors, but when they’re made by a medical professional, the consequences can be catastrophic. If you’ve been injured as the result of medical malpractice or negligence, or if someone you love has been injured or lost their life, you may be entitled to seek damages to cover your expenses and losses.
At Cortinez Law Firm, we specialize in personal injury cases and will fight on your side to pursue the compensation you and your family deserve. We’re proud to serve all our community members in the Little Rock, Arkansas, area including Conway, Benton-Bryant, Cabot, and all of Central Arkansas. Call us today to schedule a consultation.
Medical Malpractice in Arkansas
To bring a medical negligence or malpractice suit against a healthcare provider in Arkansas, you have to prove the provider failed to observe an established level of care and due to that negligence, you were injured. Because patients and juries are lay people that are not expected to have a working knowledge of medical practice standards, it’s often necessary to have an expert witness testify on your behalf since the burden lies with you to prove they neglected their duty of care.
In most cases, you have two years to file a claim from the date of the malpractice, though there are several important exceptions. The first is called the “discovery rule” which states that the statute of limitation begins only when the patient could have reasonably known about the harm. In Arkansas, this only applies to cases where a foreign object is left in the patient’s body (such as a sponge).
The second major exception is for minors under the age of nine. The parents of these patients have until the child’s 11th birthday to file a malpractice claim. If the malpractice could not have been reasonably noticed at the time, then they have two years from the date of discovery to file.
Who Can Be Sued for Medical Malpractice?
Arkansas law allows you to file a suit against any medical care provider that contributed to the malpractice, not just a doctor. This could include nurses, specialists, clinicians, home healthcare agencies, nursing home medical staff, hospital medical staff, or physical therapists. In general, anyone who is licensed or certified to provide healthcare services can be sued for malpractice.
Basic Elements of a Claim
To make a claim, know that the burden of proof is upon you. You first must show that there was an official doctor/patient relationship and with this came a certain duty of care that the provider must show the patient. Second, you must prove that the doctor was negligent and breached their duty of care. Third, you must clearly connect this breach of duty to your injury. And fourth, you must prove that the injury resulted in economic or non-economic damages.
This is not an easy thing to do, and you can increase your chances of a successful claim by hiring an experienced attorney who can help gather evidence, find supporting documentation, consult expert witnesses, and present your case to the courts.
In Arkansas, there is no cap on the damages you can seek in a medical malpractice lawsuit. In general, you can seek damages for any expenses related to your injury, including medical care, rehabilitation, loss of income, or pain and suffering. However, the state does allow for liability to be shared between the defendant and the plaintiff.
Under the "modified comparative negligence" rule, your damages can be reduced by the amount you are found to be at fault for the malpractice occurring. For example, if your total damages due were $200,000 and you were found to be 20% at fault, then you would only receive $160,000. If you are found to be at least 50% at fault, then you are prohibited from seeking any damages.
Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving Little Rock, Arkansas
If you’re in the Little Rock, Arkansas, area and would like to speak with an attorney about a potential medical malpractice claim, call Cortinez Law Firm today. We’re a family-run business committed to standing up for the rights of our fellow Arkansans and helping citizens seek the justice they’re due.