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The Importance of Following All New Hampshire Medical Malpractice Procedural Laws

June 5, 2019

Medical errors are currently the third leading cause of death in the United States, with some estimating over 250,000 people die as a result of preventable medical mistakes. When someone is injured or killed as a result of a medical professional’s negligence, they can pursue a New Hampshire medical malpractice claim against the responsible parties. Medical malpractice claims are very similar to other New Hampshire personal injury claims. However, there are additional requirements that must be followed; otherwise, a plaintiff runs the risk of losing their right to file a claim and recover for their injuries or loss.

Perhaps the most important place to start when discussing the procedural requirements of a medical malpractice case is how long a plaintiff has to file their lawsuit. Medical malpractice timing requirements are outlined in the various statutes of limitations. Typically, a plaintiff must file a medical malpractice claim within three years from the date of the occurrence giving rise to the claim.

In some cases, a plaintiff may not know about their injuries until a later date. For example, if a doctor misdiagnoses a plaintiff’s illness, the plaintiff would not immediately know of the doctor’s mistake. In these cases, a plaintiff can bring the claim within three years from the date they discover that they may have a claim, or three years from the date that such discovery should have been made with the exercise of reasonable diligence. Note that minor children whose claim arose before their 18th birthday have until they turn 20 to file a claim.

Another important consideration in any New Hampshire medical malpractice lawsuit is the pre-litigation screening. The New Hampshire pre-litigation screening process is designed to more efficiently resolve claims by allowing a plaintiff to present their case to a board consisting of a chairperson (usually a retired judge), a lawyer, and a medical professional. When possible, the chairperson will choose a medical professional who practices in the same field as the defendant. The board will issue an opinion, which is not binding on the parties, but may influence their decision to settle the case. If the panel unanimously sides with one party, the losing party can still take the case to trial, but the jury will be informed on the panel’s decision. Importantly, if the parties agree to bypass the pre-litigation screening process, they are able to proceed directly to trial.

Have You Been the Victim of Medical Malpractice?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured as a result of a medical professional’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation through a New Hampshire medical malpractice lawsuit. At Peter Thomson & Associates, we represent victims of medical malpractice in cases against the medical professional responsible for their injuries, including doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. We employ an extensive network of expert witnesses nationwide to help prove our clients’ cases. To learn more about how we can help you pursue a claim for compensation, call 800-804-2004 to schedule a free consultation today. We represent clients across New Hampshire, including in Concord, Nashua, Portsmouth, and Manchester in all types of personal injury cases, including New Hampshire car accidents and slip-and-fall claims.