The Idaho Medical Malpractice Guide was created by Hepworth Holzer to help individuals obtain maximum compensation for their claim.
Tips for a Successful Result in Your Case
Our first tip is to get immediate treatment. We understand that it is probably extremely difficult for you to go back to a medical care professional after you were harmed by one, but we want to assure you that getting treatment for the injuries you suffered is paramount. You must treat your health as a priority. You may need surgery or extensive treatment. Make sure you seek medical attention right away. If you don’t, you risk facing two serious consequences. First, your injuries will not get better. Second, your case will not be as successful. Insurance companies look to see if you delayed getting treatment. They will try to devalue your claim by saying you lied about the severity of your injuries.
Another tip our Boise medical malpractice lawyers suggest is meeting with us for a free initial consultation. We want you to sit down and get to know the lawyers who could take your case to success. It would be a mistake to hire just anyone to represent you. We understand you may know someone who did your real estate or did your relative’s divorce or worked on your traffic ticket, but you want to hire someone who specializes in medical malpractice.
Lastly, we strongly encourage you to avoid talking to the insurance company that represents the medical professional who harmed you. They have been specifically trained to get you to say something that will harm your claim. If they call you looking to get a recorded statement, you have no legal obligation to give them one. In fact, you have every right to refer them to your Boise medical malpractice lawyers.
Boise Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
You need to act urgently, as you are under a two-year time limit to get your case filed. Medical malpractice is a little different than most other injury cases because medical malpractice isn’t always so apparent right away. For example, if you were given the wrong prescription, you may not know until a few weeks or months later. Let’s say a pharmacy filled a similar looking pill in your bottle that was supposed to control your high blood pressure. Something like that might not be apparent right away. In that case, the statute of limitations begins when you discover the error. You would be allotted two years from the date you discover the malpractice.
Medical Mistakes Require Proven Boise Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Get the Leading Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Boise
If you’ve been injured by a medical mistake, you need medical malpractice attorneys with top skills. Charlie Hepworth leads the team of Boise’s best. The experienced Boise medical malpractice lawyers with Hepworth Holzer, LLP, will work to ensure that you receive proper compensation for injuries you received from negligent medical care. No firm in Boise has more experience, expertise, or success representing people like you dealing with tragedies resulting from medical errors by doctors, nurses, and/or hospitals. Death or injury that results from a needless and preventable medical error can be devastating. If you or a loved one has been harmed because of a medical professional’s mistake, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Among others, we handle medical malpractice claims in the areas of Birth Injury, Surgical Mistakes, Misdiagnosis and Failure to Diagnose, & Medication and Prescription Errors.
What Is Medical Malpractice or Medical Negligence?
Medical professionals, hospitals, and other health care facilities must abide by established standards while providing care to patients. A medical malpractice case involves situations which arise when health care professionals fail to provide medical care that complies with recognized standards and results in devastating injuries or death. These can include mistakes made during surgery, medication errors, or misguided care due to misdiagnoses.
These cases are also referred to as medical mistake cases, medical negligence cases, and medical error cases.
Why Get An Initial Free Case Review From Hepworth Holzer?
The lawyers of Hepworth Holzer, LLP, have handled numerous medical malpractice cases over the past 25 years across Boise and in other states. We can often give you a quick initial evaluation to help you understand whether proceeding further is worth your time and energy.
Medical malpractice cases are among the most challenging types of cases. There are special rules applicable to these cases that make them harder to pursue. In short, medical cases are complex, and our expertise is valuable in each step of the process, including:
- Helping prospective clients evaluate the merits of their claims;
- Gathering medical records from doctors, hospitals and other health care facilities;
- Submitting claims to the Boise State Board of Medicine for review, as required by state law;
- Arranging for review of records by highly qualified medical experts who will testify in depositions and at trial, if necessary;
- Conducting discovery by taking depositions of the defendant doctor, hospital employees, defense experts, etc.; and,
- Handling trials and conducting settlement negotiations in an effort to help our clients accomplish their goals.
There are important time limitations on your claim, so contact us as soon as possible.
Our History of Extraordinary Medical Malpractice Verdicts & Settlements
The lawyers of Hepworth Holzer have a long history of obtaining exceptional verdicts and settlements for our clients in medical malpractice cases. Some of the verdicts and settlements we have accomplished include:
- A trial verdict of $7.55 million in a case of hospital negligence that resulted in the death of a healthy 40-year-old man;
- A trial verdict of $6.15 million for the surviving husband and two small children of a 28-year-old woman who died during surgery as a result of errors by multiple people involved with managing a blood replacement process at the conclusion of the orthopedic surgery;
- A $5 million settlement in 2015 for a woman who suffered paralysis due to failure by the hospital to diagnose a spinal abscess;
- A trial verdict of $4.2 million in a case against physicians who misdiagnosed a neck fracture, resulting in quadriplegia;
- A $2.7 million settlement for a young woman who sustained life-threatening injuries as a result of a drug prescription that was excessive; and
- Numerous settlements in excess of $1 million involving various types of medical negligence scenarios.
Our attorneys have vast experiencing helping victims of medical malpractice collect due restitution. There are not better Boise medical malpractice attorneys.
Time Limits For a Medical Malpractice Claim
Many clients wonder about the time limits that apply to cases against hospitals or medical professionals. There are specific time limits, and it’s important to be familiar with the specific time limits, as they can vary depending on the situation. For example, if the medical provider is an employee of the state, there are special notice provisions that the lawyer and the individual need to be familiar with as part of the process of filing that claim in a timely fashion. The general rule in Idaho is you have two years from the time when you’ve been harmed until the time when you must file your lawsuit before you lose the right to file the lawsuit, but that’s a very general rule, and there are multiple exceptions depending on the circumstances.
While there’s a two-year statute of limitations that applies to many cases in Idaho, there are a variety of cases that are limited by different specific rules. You need to consult a lawyer that specializes in medical malpractice cases, who understands how those statute of limitations rules apply to your specific case. The bottom line is, consult an experienced professional with experience in medical malpractice cases so they understand the answer to the time limitations that apply to your case. At Hepworth Holzer we understand those issues, and we can give you guidance on those questions.
Qualifying a Medical Malpractice Claim
If medical care did not make you better, would you have a medical malpractice case? There is no easy answer to that question, but consider a few general observations. Medical malpractice cases require you to prove that the doctor did something wrong or that the healthcare provider did something wrong that prevented you from making a recovery or that actually caused harm in the course of the care being provided. The simple fact that you didn’t get better as a result of the care provided really is not a very strong indication that you have a medical malpractice case.
Medical malpractice cases are complicated and they require significant injuries in order for them to be cases that lend themselves to the litigation process. There’s no simple answer to the question of whether your failure to recover is the fault of the doctor. The best answer is you need to consult a lawyer who is experienced with medical malpractice cases and they can give you the guidance you need in order to decide whether you have a case worth looking into further or not. If you have questions about medical malpractice cases, please contact the Hepworth Holzer law firm. We’re experienced with those cases and would love to help you.
Choosing a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Are there any special considerations that one should have in mind when choosing a medical malpractice attorney in Idaho? The simple answer to that question is it is important to hire a lawyer who has a well-established history of handling medical malpractice cases. Medical malpractice cases have multiple special rules that apply to them in the state of Idaho. You need to have a lawyer in Idaho who is familiar with all those special rules, and that all underscores the importance of hiring someone who has handled multiple medical malpractice cases and focuses a substantial portion of their practice on handling medical malpractice cases. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer is critical to having a good experience with a lawyer handling a medical malpractice case.
At Hepworth Holzer several lawyers in our firm have substantial experience with medical malpractice cases and we would be happy to help you with answering your questions or giving you the guidance you need your situation.
Cost of a Medical Malpractice Claim
How much does it cost to file a medical malpractice case in Idaho? The filing of the lawsuit is not necessarily particularly expensive, but once you file the lawsuit, then there’s substantial expense. The term filing a lawsuit, typically for a medical malpractice case, means that you have gathered the medical records, submitted the medical records for review to one or more medical experts, made a determination along with your lawyer that it makes sense to proceed with pursuing the medical malpractice case, and have actually filed the lawsuit.
Those initial steps can involve thousands of dollars, but probably those initial steps can be completed for less than $10,000 and in many cases for less than $5,000. Filing a medical malpractice case requires investment of money with medical professionals and with gathering information before you can even file the lawsuit, and that’s just the start. The expense of the process takes off dramatically from there, and most medical malpractice cases involve the investment of tens of thousands of dollars, if not more than a hundred thousand dollars with certain cases.
Because of the costs involved with medical malpractice cases, it’s important to investigate them thoroughly and to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced medical malpractice lawyer so that you’re making a good decision whether to file the case or not. At Hepworth Holzer we have substantial experience with handling medical malpractice cases and we can help you with making a decision of whether it makes sense to start the process of investigating your case or not.
Medical Malpractice Cases in Boise
Is there anything special about medical malpractice cases in Idaho? The answer is yes. Ask yourself, can a lawyer who does not have substantial experience with handling medical malpractice cases be a good choice of a lawyer to handle your case? The answer to that is no. You need a lawyer who has substantial experience with handling a medical malpractice case because there are multiple special rules that apply to medical malpractice cases. The cases are complex and require somebody who has handled similar cases to be able to recognize the issues that the case will involve, and you need a lawyer who can help you find the right experts. You need a lawyer who can appear in court and do a good job of representing you in court.
Medical malpractice cases are special for a variety of reasons. As such, you need an experienced and competent medical malpractice lawyer who knows all the special issues that go along with handling a medical malpractice case.
If you have questions about a medical malpractice case, contact the Hepworth Holzer Law Firm. We have a lot of experience with those cases and we can help you understand what you need to know to decide whether moving forward with your case makes sense or not.
Not Wanting to Sue Your Personal Doctor
If you live in a small town and you have a relationship with your doctor in your small town, but you feel that your doctor has made an error that has caused you harm, what can you do about that situation? That is a challenging situation. We have found that when the case involves the relationship between a doctor and a patient in a small town, those cases can be very, very difficult cases. I’d say the reasons can vary, but I’d say the most obvious reason is that the jury that will be impaneled to consider the case will likewise come from that smaller community or the county where that small community is located, and many of the residents of those smaller communities and those smaller counties will know the doctor, respect the doctor, and perhaps even have a doctor/patient relationship with the doctor. That presents a very challenging dynamic that has to be evaluated carefully.
There are some solutions that can be identified to overcome that challenge. For example, it could be that the doctor is an employee of the hospital, so rather than name the individual doctor, you can name the hospital entity for the mistake made by the doctor who is an employee of the hospital. That’s one possible way to address the small town issue. That may not be an adequate way to address the issue, it’s just a possible solution to consider. There are certain situations where you can file the case with a court outside the community where the doctor resides. It could be that the small community you live in is just a small community in a much larger county, and the case that you file will be in that much larger county, and it’s not likely that residents from your small community would be chosen to participate on the jury that your case involves.
Again, these are complicated questions that you need a trained professional to help you evaluate, but the question is a good one, and it’s an important one. It’s a question that a good lawyer would recognize and would discuss with you and help you understand whether that dynamic is so problematic that it prevents you from being able to likely be successful with your claim. Again, these medical malpractice cases, whether they’re in small communities or small counties or large communities and a large county, they’re difficult cases. They’re complicated cases that involve complex issues, and you need a qualified professional to help you evaluate and understand the best course of action to take.
At Hepworth Holzer, we have experienced lawyer who have handled medical malpractice cases throughout the state of Idaho, in smaller communities as well as in the larger areas, and we’d be happy to evaluate your specific situation to help you understand whether it makes sense to pursue your case or not.
Damages Available in a Medical Malpractice Case
What types of damages can you recover in a medical malpractice case in Idaho? The answer is that all medical malpractice cases involve the recovery of medical expenses that had to be incurred due to the medical error involved. In some cases, those medical expenses are very substantial and other cases those medical expenses may not be nearly as substantial.
For example, let’s say that the patient died as a result of the medical error involved; the medical expense leading up to the death may not have been significant, but that doesn’t mean the case isn’t significant. The case could be very significant if there’s a death involved, so wrongful death cases are a specific category of medical malpractice cases that have their own set of damages that can be recovered. In a non-death medical malpractice case, typically those cases involve recovery of medical expenses, both past, meaning from the time of the incident to the time of the trial, and future, meaning from the time of trial into the indefinite future. Recovery of medical expenses is an important category of compensation.
Many people are harmed to the point where it interferes with their ability to work, so recovery of lost wages or lost income is an important category of damages that are commonly sought in medical malpractice cases. Another category is what I’ll generally refer to as pain and suffering. That’s a term that literally refers to the physical pain and suffering that you experienced throughout the course of whatever occurred. It doesn’t mean just the incident that resulted in the harm; it also involves the long-lasting effects of the harm. There are other damages other than the physical pain and suffering. It’s the disruption of your relationship with other family members. It’s the inability to engage in normal day-to-day activities. It’s the inability to engage in recreational habits or undertakings that you’re fond of doing. In addition to the out-of-pocket losses that come with medical expenses or lost income, the pain and suffering damages can be the most important damages that you’re claiming, and they can be substantial.
In Idaho, unfortunately, our legislature has adopted limits on how much you can recover for pain and suffering. In a medical malpractice case, there is no limit on how much you can recover for medical expenses that you’ve incurred or for income that you have lost. There’s not an artificial cap that applies to the loss of those types of damages. When it comes to pain and suffering, however, Idaho’s legislature has adopted a cap that limits how much you can recover, and the current amount of that cap is in the neighborhood of $350,000. What that means is your injury could be catastrophic and could have life-long consequences for you, but the damages you can recover for pain and suffering for that injury can be limited, legally, by laws adopted by our legislature.
It’s important to be familiar with these laws and important to understand that, at the very outset, you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who is familiar with those laws and can explain those to you as you’re discussing whether you want to proceed with your case when you first consult with them. If you have questions about damages and medical malpractice cases, feel free to contact the Hepworth Holzer Law Firm and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.
Definition of Medical Malpractice
The question is, what does the term medical malpractice mean in Idaho? The term medical malpractice refers to a medical professional, whether it’s a doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, or some other type of healthcare provider – the question regarding what is medical malpractice is if the medical professional has failed to provide care that complies with the standards expected of similarly trained medical professionals, and if the failure to provide competent care causes serious injury, that is a situation that is typically referred to with the term medical malpractice. It’s important to recognize that mistakes happen, and sometimes those mistakes don’t result in any harm at all. If a medical professional makes a mistake but it doesn’t cause harm, that would not be a case that makes sense to pursue because there’s been no harm.
There are cases where the medical professional makes a mistake and it causes harm but not significant harm, or it’s harm that can be corrected without significant additional care or significant disruption of the individual’s life. Again, it’s likely that that type of case is not going to be a case that a lawyer can help you with.
These are complicated questions, and there’s no simple formula for what a medical malpractice case is that you should pursue and what case is not a case you should pursue. The answer is to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. They can answer your questions and can give you good guidance as far as the next steps to take or not take. We at Hepworth Holzer are very experienced with medical malpractice cases. We’ve been handling medical malpractice cases for decades, and we would be happy to answer your questions and give you good guidance if you have questions about medical malpractice.
What Happens During a Medical Malpractice Case
What happens during the course of a medical malpractice case in Idaho? The answer is that there are several steps that almost all medical malpractice cases will involve. The first step of the process is gathering all of the information related to the incident in question. That typically involves gathering medical records, gathering imagining studies, gathering any information that relates to the incident that is believed to be the medical malpractice incident in question. That’s step one; you have to gather the underlying information.
Step two is that information has to be reviewed by a medical professional in order to make a determination of whether there has been medical malpractice. There are lawyers who have substantial experience with handling medical malpractice cases, but those lawyers don’t have the medical expertise to tell you whether you have a medical malpractice or not without first consulting with a medical professional who specializes in the medical issues involved in your case. Before the lawyer can even help you determine whether you have a viable medical malpractice case or not, it will be necessary for that lawyer to consult with one or more medical professionals who can review the medical records and the medical information that relates to your case and advise the lawyer whether it looks like there has been medical malpractice that has caused a serious injury.
Once a determination is made that there appears to be a viable case, Idaho has special rules that apply before you can proceed with filing a lawsuit, and those special rules require you to file a complaint with the Idaho Board of Medicine. The Board of Medicine conducts a review of the case. They interview the participants, both the patient and the doctor, and they generate a written report that generally comments on whether the Board of Medicine believes the case has merit or not. The findings of the Board of Medicine are not binding. In other words, if the Board of Medicine finds in your favor, that doesn’t mean you win; it doesn’t even mean that the finding of the Board of Medicine will be admissible in evidence. Likewise, if the Board of Medicine finds that your case does not have merit, that doesn’t prevent you from pursuing your case; it’s just the opinion of the Board of Medicine giving you some feedback about whether they believe you have a meritorious case. Every case in Idaho has to be submitted to the Board of Medicine for review before a lawsuit can be filed. Once the Board of Medicine has completed their review, then a lawsuit is typically filed, if it’s determined by the lawyer and the individual that that’s the next step they want to take.
Once the lawsuit is filed, a lot happens. You have to find and retain medical experts to help you prove your case. Those experts have to review the records, review depositions of the participants in the incident, and render opinions about whether there was in fact medical malpractice. The defense will do the same. They will hire experts to defend against the case. Once experts are retained by both sides, those experts’ depositions will be taken. The depositions of the parties will be taken. The depositions of the healthcare providers will be taken. There’s a lot involved with pursuing a medical malpractice case.
Once all the experts have rendered their opinions, then, in many cases, there’s an effort to explore settlement of the case before the case goes to trial. With medical malpractice cases, because of a number of considerations, many times medical malpractice cases will not resolve before trial, and then those cases go to trial. Those trials are typically jury trials, so they’re submitted to a jury to resolve the case.
The medical malpractice process from beginning to end is a complex, time-intensive, difficult process that involves a lot of cost to both sides. For all of those reasons, the medical malpractice case should involve very serious injuries to justify the expense, and the time that it will take, and the disruption of everyone’s lives that will be involved before choosing to pursue a medical malpractice case. Again, this is a complex question and usually involves a multi-faceted answer. If you have questions about medical malpractice cases, please call the Hepworth Holzer Law Firm and we’ll do our best to guide you through this process.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers Refusing Your Case
If a lawyer handles medical malpractice cases, what would prevent that lawyer from handling your case? That’s a difficult question to answer. For one, make sure you’re talking to a lawyer who handles medical malpractice cases. The question assumes that the lawyer has a background with handling those cases, but that’s very important to begin with. Secondly, there are many reasons why a lawyer with experience handling medical malpractice cases may choose not to handle your case.
There’s not a single answer or even a few answers to that question. It’s complicated and differs from case to case. It is the exceptional medical malpractice case that we’re able to help with because there are a lot of things that go into the determination of whether a case makes sense to pursue that involves medical malpractice. Rather than trying to give you a few answers that may not apply to your situation, you should consult with one or more than one medical malpractice lawyer. If one lawyer who has a history of medical malpractice works tells you they cannot help you, then ask that lawyer for a referral to another medical malpractice lawyer and contact a second lawyer to see whether you get a similar answer to what the first one said.
These are complex cases, and the determination of whether it makes sense to pursue the case is typically a complex determination or certainly can be, so make sure you’re consulting with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. If you have questions about your case that involves medical malpractice issues, please feel free to call Hepworth Holzer Law Firm and we’ll do our best to answer your questions.
Settling a Medical Malpractice Case Out of Court
The question is, can you settle your medical malpractice case without going to court? The answer is that you’ll need an experienced lawyer who has substantial experience with handling medical malpractice cases to do that. An overwhelming majority of the time, you’ll have to file a lawsuit to pursue your medical malpractice case. The question was whether you’ll have to go to court, so my interpretation of the term “going to court” is do I have to file a lawsuit, and the answer to that is there’s a strong likelihood that you will have to file a lawsuit as part of pursuing your case.
Not all medical malpractice cases where lawsuits are filed actually end up going to trial. There are a significant percentage of medical malpractice cases that are filed that do end up going to trial, but not all. Will there be an opportunity to settle the case before going to trial? In most cases, you will have an opportunity to explore settlement. Ultimately, the decision of whether to settle your case or not rests with you, the client, with the benefit of the advice from your lawyer, but it’s not necessary to go to trial in all cases in order to get a satisfying result.
These are complex questions that involve in depth answers and you’ll need very, very experienced and competent representation if you are pursuing a medical malpractice case. At Hepworth Holzer we have a long history of handling medical malpractice cases, and we would love the opportunity to visit with you about your situation and give you the best advice we can.
Call Our Idaho Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
Contact our experienced Boise Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Hepworth Holzer today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
We are committed to helping individuals and families throughout Idaho navigate the world of personal injury litigation as quickly and efficiently as possible. Let us get results for you and your family.
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