Dedicated Vermont Medical Malpractice Attorneys Ready To Help You
First, a shocking statistic—medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the US, behind only heart disease and cancer. You might think that statistic does not apply in Vermont, with its world-class hospitals such as the University of Vermont Medical Center and the Central Vermont Medical Center. Vermont, however, sees its share of deaths caused by medical malpractice.
What Is a Medical Malpractice Claim?
A medical malpractice claim asserts that the defendant failed to meet the applicable standard of care in their treatment of you. You are also asserting that this error actually caused you enough harm to justify the amount of damages that you are asking for.
Some examples of medical malpractice include:
- Failure to diagnose an illness,
- Misdiagnosing an illness;
- Committing a surgical error;
- Prescribing the wrong medication, and
- Committing an anesthesia error.
The foregoing is only a small sampling. Hundreds or even thousands of medical errors are possible.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Vermont medical malpractice lawyer. Just fill out our online contact form or call one of our offices in Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, or Troy.
Vermont Medical Malpractice: The “Certificate of Merit” Barrier
Vermont requires you to submit a “certificate of merit” with your initial complaint (the document that formally initiates the lawsuit). A court can waive the certificate of merit requirement under certain circumstances. If it is required, however, and if you fail to submit it, the court will probably dismiss your complaint. Normally, the court will allow you another opportunity to submit with the certificate of merit attached.
The certificate of merit is a sworn statement affirming that you or your lawyer has consulted with a qualified medical expert who reviewed your evidence and (i) determined the applicable standard of care, (ii) believes there is a reasonable likelihood that the defendant failed to meet the standard of care, and (iii) has concluded that the defendant’s failure to meet the standard of care is what cause the harm you are complaining of.
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The Use of Expert Witnesses
Nearly every medical malpractice lawsuit uses expert witnesses. Even if the case does not go to trial (and most cases don’t), both sides will probably use expert witnesses to establish the persuasive power of their position.
Expert witnesses are used to:
- Establish the standard of care that the healthcare provider should have exercised under the particular circumstances of the case; and
- Determine whether the provider met this standard.
In some cases, both sides will call expert witnesses.
The Professional Expert Witness
In all likelihood, your expert witness will be a “professional expert witness” whom you must pay to provide testimony. You can be sure that the defendant will bring this fact to the court’s attention to discredit your witness. Because the use of professional expert witnesses is so common, however, it is unlikely that your witness’s professional status will hurt your case.
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