The laws governing medical malpractice law in Idaho can be complex and confusing. Anyone who is anticipating involvement in a medical malpractice law suit should take the time to learn about what is involved. The following are some of the restrictions and requirements of a medical malpractice case.
Introduction to Statute of Limitations
Medical malpractice law in Idaho is covered by a statute of limitations which requires that the case be filed within two years of the cause of injury. There are two specific exceptions to this. Injury that is caused by a foreign object in the body has a statute of limitations two years from the discovery of the injury. When the person injured is a minor, or insane, at the time of the injury, the two year period does not begin until the child reaches majority or after the disability has ended. The two year period can not be delayed more then six years. While not specifically exempt, medical malpractice cases involving state agencies are subject to additional restrictions, including the requirement that all claims be filed with the Secretary of State within 180 days of the discovery of the injury.
Idaho State Malpractice Laws at a Glance:
Idaho State Tort Law Statute of Limitations Two years from date of original injury. In the case of foreign objects, the later of one year from discovery or two years from injury. Damage Award Limits Punitive limit of $250,000 or triple the amount of compensation damages. Limit of $250,000 for noneconomic damages.
Joint Defendant Liability Proportionate liability for defendants. Exception made in cases of intentional harm.
Expert Witness The expert witness must have field knowledge and expertise in practice standards.
Attorney FeesNo limits on attorneys fees
Prior to being brought to trial, all cases of medical malpractice law in Idaho must be brought before a panel run by the Idaho state board of medicine for mediation. These proceedings are informal and non-binding.
Guide to Comparative Negligence
If the person injured is partially responsible for the injury, they can still bring suit so long as the medical professional being sued is at greater fault then the person injured. In cases where more then one medical professional is involved, the responsibility for the injury is compared between the injured party and each individual medical professional. In such cases, it is possible for the law to determine that some but not all of the medical professionals may be liable for damages. Additionally, a hospital may only be held liable for the negligent acts or omissions of its employees and agents. Injury caused by doctors who practice at the hospital, but are not employed there, can not be brought against the hospital, only against the doctor.
The Requirement of Expert Testimony
For any case involving medical malpractice law in Idaho, the injured party must provide expert testimony that the defendant did not meet the appropriate standard of health care practice. This introduction is not a complete discussion of the relevant laws, but should provide a basic understanding of some of what is involved in medical malpractice law in Idaho.