medical malpractice_MEDICAL MALPRACTICE-NEVADA

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					MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

     NEVADA
Medical Malpractice/Professional
         Negligence
“Medical malpractice” means the failure of a physician,
hospital or employee of a hospital, in rendering services,
to use reasonable care, skill or knowledge ordinarily
used under similar circumstances. (NRS 41A.009)
“Professional negligence” means a negligent act or
omission to act by a provider of health care in rendering
of professional services, which act or omission is the
proximate cause of a personal injury or wrongful death.
(NRS 41A.015)
ELEMENTS OF NEGLIGENCE
Duty to care-There is an obligation to conform to a recognized
standard of care.
Breach of duty-There must be a deviation from the recognized
standard of care.
Injury- Actual damages must be established.
Causation- The act or conduct in departing from the recognized
standard of care must be the cause of the plaintiff’s injury, injury was
caused by a breach of duty and the injury was foreseeable.

Plaintiff must prove all elements to recover damages suffered as a
result of a negligent act.
  Economic vs. Non-economic
          Damages
Economic damages includes damages for
medical treatment, care or custody, loss of
earnings and loss of earning capacity. (NRS
41A.007)
Non-economic damages includes damages to
compensate for pain, suffering, inconvenience,
physical impairment, disfigurement and other
nonpecuniary damages. (NRS 41A.011)
        Statute of Limitations
Any malpractice action for personal injury or wrongful
death must be brought within 4 years from the date of
injury, or 2 years after the plaintiff discovers or through
the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered
the injury whichever occurs first for those cases
occurring before October 1, 2002. (NRS41A.097)
Cases after October 1, 2002: 3 years from the date of
injury or 1 year after the plaintiff discovers, whichever
occurs first.
      Statute of Limitations
Brain damage or birth defect extended until child
attains 10 years of age.
Sterility-period of limitation is extended until 2
years after the child discovers the injury.

(NRS41A.097)
           Several Liability
In an action for injury or death against a provider
of health care based upon professional
negligence, each defendant is liable to the
plaintiff for economic damages and
noneconomic damages severally only, and not
jointly, for that portion of the judgment which
represents the percentage attributable to the
defendant. (NRS 41A.045)
            Damage Caps
In an action for injury or death against a provider
of health care based upon professional
negligence, the injured plaintiff may recover non-
economic damages, but the amount of the
noneconomic damages awarded in such an
action must not exceed $350,000.
(NRS 41A.035)
               Damage Caps
  No cap for economic damages.
  Punitive damages may be awarded if there is evidence
  that the defendant was guilty of oppression, fraud or
  malice….these damages may not exceed:
   3X the amount of damages if the amount awarded is
  $100,000 or more or
  $300,000 if the amount of damages awarded to plaintiff
  is less than $100,000.

(NRS 42.005)
           ATTORNEY’S FEES
   An attorney shall not contract for or collect a fee
    contingent on the amount of recovery for representing
    a person seeking damages in connection with an
    action for injury or death against a provider of health
    care based upon professional negligence in excess of:
    40% of first $50,000 recovered
    33 1/3% of the next $50,000
    25% of the next $500,000 recovered
    15% of the amount of recovery that exceeds $600,000.

(NRS 7.095)
    Collateral Sources/Periodic
             Payments
In an action for injury or death against a provider, based
upon professional negligence, the defendant may
introduce evidence of any amount payable as a benefit
to the plaintiff as a result of the injury or death. E.g..
Disability insurance.
The plaintiff may enter evidence of any amount that the
plaintiff has paid or contributed to secure his right to any
insurance benefits concerning which the defendant has
introduced evidence. E.g.. Cost paid to obtain disability
insurance.
     Collateral Sources/Periodic
              Payments
 At the request of either party, money damages
 or future damages of the judgment may be paid
 in periodic payments vs. lump sum if the award
 equals or exceeds $50,000 in future damages.

(NRS 42.021)
NATIONAL PRACTITIONERS DATA BANK

The data bank became operational in 1990 and was
part of an act passed by Congress in 1986.
The data bank is used to collect and release
information on the professional competence and
conduct of physicians, in an effort to restrict
incompetent practitioners from moving from state to
state in order to avoid discovery of previous
substandard performance/conduct.
NATIONAL PRACTITIONERS DATA BANK

To be eligible to query the data bank the entity must
be:
A board of medical examiners or state licensing board.
A hospital
A health care entity that provides services and follows a
formal peer review process to further quality health care.
A professional society that follows a formal peer review
process to further quality health care.
 NATIONAL PRACTITIONERS DATA BANK

• To be eligible to report to the data bank:
1. An entity that makes a medical malpractice payment.
2. A board of medical examiners or a state licensing board
   taking an adverse action against a physician.
3. A health care entity that takes an adverse clinical
   privileging action as a result of professional review.
4. A professional society that takes an adverse
   membership action as a result of a professional review.
COMMON CHARACTERISTICS OF
      “RISKY” CASES
 Poor or unexpected results-Outcome may be direct
harm or a result that although not harmful per se is less
tan expected after care.
Seriousness of Injury-Injury sustained is permanent and
serious involving death, disability or disfigurement.
Weak physician-patient relationship-The single greatest
deterrent to litigation
COMMON CHARACTERISTICS OF
      “RISKY” CASES
remains a strong physician-patient relationship
which is based upon strong and positive
communication/interaction skills.
 Uncertain financial future-Potential plaintiffs are
frequently unemployed, underemployed, single
or recently divorced, retired or students.
   COMMON CHARACTERISTICS OF
         “RISKY” CASES
   Strong support group-Especially if family/friends are in
   the medical/legal profession.
   Common phrases that may indicate patient is going to
   sue:
“I want to make sure this never happens again.”
“I want to teach you a lesson.”
“I am not interested in the money, it’s the principle.”
QUALITIES THAT HELP MINIMIZE RISK
         FOR PHYSICANS
Communicative
Caring
Friendly
Competent
Thorough
Interested
Sincere
Good listener
Takes time
Prompt
  QUALITIES THAT HELP MINIMIZE
      RISK FOR PHYSICANS

Remember:
   Patient perception is EVERYTHING!

   PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR
             FUTURE!!