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Increasing Number of States Adopting “Loss of Chance” Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

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The Story: Minnesota’s Supreme Court recently handed down a decision that makes it the twenty-third state to adopt “Loss of Chance” medical malpractice lawsuits.The “Loss of Chance” or “Lost Chance Doctrine” differs from standard medical malpractice lawsuits in that it allows a patient to sue if a doctor’s negligence brought an increased rate of mortality or otherwise-decreased rate of survival.

 Under “normal” malpractice suits, injured patients can sue physicians due to pain and suffering, loss of wages, resultant medical bills from the original malpractice, and other factors. Loss of chance lawsuits, however, allow patients to sue if their lives have been shortened by a doctor’s actions. Such lawsuits do not need to prove that a patient would have survived his or her condition, or that it would have improved, had the doctor not performed the procedure; the patient merely needs to show that the procedure elevated their chance of harm or injury. Minnesota’s decision came after a baby developed a rare form of cancer at only two weeks of age; due to physicians’ missing the extent of the cancer, she is now, at seven, expected to have only a 5% chance of surviving.

If you’ve suffered devastating injuries from a physician due to his or her medical malpractice, we know how terrible the effects can be: an inability to do one’s job or lead a normal life, terrible pain and suffering, and exorbitant medical bills on top of the ones you’re already paying. You should consider speaking to a medical malpractice attorney if you’re suffering under these conditions; an injury lawyer with a specialty in medical malpractice will be able to help you recover the most amount of damages to help defray your medical costs and replace your lost wages.

You can also click here to read about a medical malpractice case we argued in which we secured a $1,250,000 settlement for our clients due to a surgical error.

Randy E. Appleton
Elizabeth City & Outer Banks Personal Injury Lawyer
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