Written by attorney John Michael Phillips

Medical malpractice law in New Hampshire

Medical malpractice law in New Hampshire is subject to a three-year statute of limitations, and joint tortfeasors are both generally and severally liable.

Statutes of Limitations in New Hampshire

New Hampshire's two-year statute of limitations on malpractice suits has been held to violate the state's constitution. The general statute of limitations is three years, and if the injury could not have been discovered reasonably at the time of the act or omission, the statute runs form the time the plaintiff discovers or if the plaintiff should have discovered the injury.

New Hampshire State Malpractice Laws at a Glance:

New Hampshire State Tort Law Statute of Limitations Two years from date of original injury or two years after injury is discovered. Damage Award Limits No limits.

Joint Defendant Liability Proportionate liability for defendants Expert Witness The expert witness must be trained and qualified to provide care in the defendant's field of expertise.

Attorney Fees Fees based on sliding scale. If case is settled out of court the limit is 25% up to $50,000.

Contributory or Comparative Negligence in New Hampshire

New Hampshire's modified doctrine of comparative negligence stipulates a claimant's action is barred only if his or her fault exceeds the combined fault of all defendants, and is diminished in proportion to the degree of his or her faults.

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Joint and Several Liability in New Hampshire

Joint tortfeasors are generally jointly and severally liable in New Hampshire, except for tortfeasors less than 50 percent at fault. They are only severally liable. Additionally, a right of contribution exists among joint tortfeasors who are jointly and severally liable.

Vicarious Liability in New Hampshire

New Hampshire courts have not considered whether the theory of ostensible or apparent agency can be used to assign liability to a hospital for physicians who are not its employees.

Expert Testimony Required in New Hampshire

Medical malpractice claimants need to present expert testimony to support their claims.

Damage Caps in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in cases of medical malpractice.

Damages recoverable in an action over wrongful death, damages may not exceed $50,000 unless the recovering party is a spouse, child, parent, or any dependent relative. Damages are never awarded for losses of society and companionship in wrongful death cases in New Hampshire except to a surviving spouse, and these are capped at $150,000.

Immunities in the State of New Hampshire

Compensatory damages are limited to $250,000 per claimant and $2,000,000 per occurrence. Interest may be added, but not punitive damages in tort actions against the state.

Governmental units of the state of New Hampshire, including any county, city, town, or other corporate body within the state, can be held liable for damages in a bodily injury action arising out of the operation of its premises.

No Arbitration Requirement in New Hampshire

The state of New Hampshire does not stipulate that medical malpractice actions need to be referred to binding arbitration.

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