In February 2023, a woman with “locked-in syndrome” won a $47 million verdict in a medical malpractice case, although she is expected to receive only a portion of the award. Amy Geiler filed a lawsuit in 2020, claiming that MountainView Hospital and Mountain’s Edge Hospital in Las Vegas failed to properly treat her low sodium levels during hospitalization following a fall. Due to the rapid increase in her sodium levels by the doctors, Geiler developed locked-in syndrome, leaving her unable to move but able to communicate through blinking.
After a five-week trial, the jury awarded Geiler $47 million, with $35 million for noneconomic damages. However, due to Nevada’s cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases, this amount will be reduced to $350,000. Geiler is expected to receive between $4 million and $5 million from the total settlement, which covers medical expenses and lost wages.
While the consequences of medical malpractice can be devastating, it’s essential to understand its various facets. For instance, mistakes in the emergency room can lead to severe consequences for patients. Moreover, understanding the importance of maximum medical recovery can be crucial in these situations. In the most tragic cases, families might even have to consider pursuing a wrongful death claim due to the negligence of healthcare professionals.
Medical malpractice in Nevada occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from the accepted standard of care, resulting in injury or harm to a patient. These cases are often complex, involving intricate legal and medical concepts. To successfully pursue a claim, victims of medical malpractice must demonstrate negligence on the part of the healthcare provider and prove that this negligence directly led to the injury or harm suffered.
In Nevada, to successfully prove medical malpractice, four essential elements must be established: duty, breach, causation, and damages. Here are examples of each element:
Expert testimony plays a vital role in medical malpractice cases, as it helps establish the appropriate standard of care and whether the healthcare provider breached this standard. These experts, typically experienced medical professionals, can provide insight into the acceptable practices within their field and highlight any deviations that may have occurred. Their testimony helps demonstrate the negligence of the healthcare provider in question, making it an essential component of a successful medical malpractice claim.
Collecting the necessary evidence is vital for a successful medical malpractice case. This includes obtaining relevant medical records, testimonies from witnesses, and any other pertinent documentation. Thoroughly reviewing these records can uncover details that help substantiate a claim, such as inconsistencies in treatment, missing documentation, or discrepancies in the healthcare provider’s actions. Additionally, gathering evidence of the patient’s damages, such as medical bills and records of lost wages, can strengthen the case and help ensure fair compensation.
In Nevada, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is typically two years from the date of the injury or when the injury should have been reasonably discovered. However, there are several exceptions and nuances to this rule that may affect the deadline for filing a claim:
Many medical malpractice cases are resolved through settlements rather than going to trial. This can save time and resources, but it is essential for patients to carefully consider their options and weigh the potential outcomes. A successful settlement negotiation requires a clear understanding of the case’s value, a thorough analysis of the evidence, and a willingness to compromise. Patients should be prepared to evaluate settlement offers critically and ensure that any accepted offer adequately compensates for the harm suffered.
If you or someone close to you has been injured due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, an attorney can help gather evidence, navigate the statute of limitations, negotiate settlements, and advocate for the patient’s best interests. Contact us or call 702-680-1111 today for a free consultation.
As founder of Gina Corena & Associates, she is dedicated to fighting for the rights of the people who suffer life-changing personal injuries in car, truck and motorcycle accidents as well as other types of personal injury. Gina feels fortunate to serve the Nevada community and hold wrongdoers accountable for their harm to her clients.
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