Medical malpractice law in Rhode Island, much like the medical malpractice law in other states, is subject to all manner of constant litigation and efforts by attorneys to interpret and redefine the law. While so many individuals are busy attempting to sue doctors and physicians under the medical malpractice law in Rhode Island, it can be somewhat difficult to understand the exact letter of the law and exactly what the rights of the victims might be. While the state statute specifically provides for malpractice rights for the patient, the efforts of attorneys can turn these lawsuits aside, despite the fact that some of them have merit. While it is important to understand that although medical malpractice law is set by state lawmakers, practicing attorneys make their living by interpreting the laws in different ways. In this way, medical malpractice law in Rhode Island is always fluid and always subjected to interpretation by attorneys and plaintiffs.
Rhode Island State Tort LawStatute of LimitationsThree years from date of original injury, after injury was discovered or death, including suits brought by agents for those deemed incompetent.Damage Award Limits
No limits for damages. However, the collateral source rule requires the jury to reduce damages awarded by a sum equal to the difference between total benefits received and total amount paid to secure benefits by plaintiff.
Joint Defendant LiabilityProportionate and separate liability are not separated.Expert Witness
The expert witness must demonstrate sufficient training/education levels. Published statements presented to the court which are found to be relevant and whose author is recognized as expert, are admissible as evidence.
Attorney FeesNo limits on attorneys fees.
Naturally, with so much effort at litigation and different types of court battles, the law can be somewhat difficult to interpret in a concrete fashion. What ever is decided today could be changed tomorrow or some type of new precedent can come along and redefine the way that the concept of medical malpractice in Rhode Island is defined. With so many individuals making so much effort at interpreting the law in their own fashion to suit themselves, it is only natural for the law to evolve in some manner, eventually becoming something far different than what was originally construed by the state lawmakers in the original statute. While it is only common for this type of evolution to occur, it is hard to believe that this is what the lawmaker's intentions originally were.
In the case of those who feel that they have suffered from medical malpractice, it is their right to file suit against the offending physician and make their case in a court of law. Until such time as the judge has made his ruling, the situation is considered to be fluid and is usually difficult to understand. It is also important to keep in mind that each case is substantially different and nothing is cut and dried in the battle for recognition by medical malpractice law in Rhode Island. As long as attorneys continue to engage in legal wrangling in the courts, the law will continue to evolve and continue to represent different things to different people.
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