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Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice Suits

Medical malpractice (medical negligence) involves a legal claim for personal injury that results from the carelessness or negligence of a doctor or other health care provider. These cases involve injury caused by sub-standard medical care; that is, medical care that one should have been able to count on receiving. Injuries can be severe and devastating to the victim. If a medical professional’s treatment is beneath the accepted standard of care and causes injury, there may be a liability.

Montana has unfortunately enacted a fair amount of special legislation aimed at protecting careless medicine, by limiting the amount a victim can recover, short deadlines to file, and special administrative procedures to discourage claims against bad doctors. In other words, Montana has specific laws that protect negligent and frankly bad physicians, but those laws do nothing to help or affect competent physicians.

One significant component of the special legislation is the Montana Medical Legal Panel (MMLP). The MMLP is an administrative and non-binding process aimed specifically at “prevent(ing), where possible, the filing in court of actions against health care providers and their employees…” MMLP proponents claim of course that it is meant to only discourage frivolous lawsuits, but it is an intimidating, costly and onerous process that discourages legitimate claims from unrepresented medical malpractice victims. It works, and the practical effect of the MMLP process has been to shield negligent and careless doctors, creating a health care system that often avoids accountability.

Non-economic damages are also limited in Montana to $250,000. MCA 25-9-411. This is yet another form of special legislation aimed at protecting careless medical providers.

As a community, we all have a strong interest in fostering affordable, accessible, and competent health care. However, it is difficult to understand how letting negligent and careless health care providers off the hook in any way helps our communities achieve affordable and competent care. Instead, bad doctors create a system of below-standard health care and greater costs. Holding negligent doctors accountable helps the community foster a higher quality health care system.

If you are a victim of medical malpractice, contact Duckworth Law. We review personal injury cases from medical malpractice in Polson, Lake County, Flathead County, the Flathead Reservation, and all across Montana.

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The information on this website is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Nothing on this website is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult with an attorney regarding your individual case.