Medical Malpractice Tort Laws

    Medical malpractice happens when medical practitioner or a health care specialist acts in a negligent or misbehaving manner while performing medical treatments. Malpractice can occur either from taking an inappropriate action or by the failure of taking a medical action properly. Examples of medical malpractice include: failure to diagnose a disease, failure to provide proper treatment for a medical condition, and unreasonable delay in treating a diagnosis.

    The laws and rules governing malpractice lawsuits vary significantly in each state. In Washington D.C., the following are medical malpractice rules and laws:

    Malpractice damages limitation. The District of Columbia is not limited with regards to the damages in malpractice actions.

    Collateral source rule. Even if the plaintiff has compensation from his insurance or other sources, this cannot reduce the liability of the defendant.

    Expert witnesses rule. To establish the governing standard of care in the states’ medical malpractice cases, there should be a testimony of expert witnesses.

    Joint and several liability. Under this rule of joint and several liability of the District of Columbia, if more than one individual is responsible for another person’s injury, each defendant is individually liable for the whole judgment amount. If one of them lacks the capabilities to pay, the others are the ones obligated to pay for the entire judgment amount.  Hawaii medical malpractice

    Laws of limitations. Only within three years of the date of injury must medical malpractice actions be commenced. In the District of Columbia, the limitations period starts to apply on the minor’s legal age, eighteen.

    Attorney fees limitations. There are no limits on attorney fees in the District of Columbia.

    Additional rules. The District of Columbia established a law regarding contributory negligence– that a plaintiff will not be able to recover damages if it can be proven that he contributed to his own injury.

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