We’re trial lawyers. Our core competency – above everything else – is trying cases to juries. And we specialize in beating giants.
We’re trial lawyers. Our core competency – above everything else – is trying cases to juries. And we specialize in beating giants.
It’s not medical malpractice any time something bad happens involving a doctor or nurse. We have to first understand whether the doctor deviated from the standard of care. That is, we need to figure out: would a reasonably careful doctor have done anything differently? If yes, then this could be medical malpractice. But we also need to evaluate and understand causation: did this doctor’s malpractice cause your injuries, or would the injuries have happened no matter what?
We never want to encourage someone to file suit if we’re not confident that we can win the case and make it worth that person’s time and energy. And we don’t want to give someone false hope by telling them that they have a case, if we’re not confident that the doctor deviated from the standard of care and caused harm. Our job is to be honest with people and tell them the truth.
So how do we figure it out? The first thing we’ll do is order all of your medical records. We’ll review them and consult with an expert physician in the relevant field – sometimes more than one – to determine whether your doctor or nurse deviated from the accepted standard of care. We’ll consult with more experts to determine whether your doctor’s malpractice caused your injuries.
If the answer to these questions is yes, then we’ll probably tell you that you have a strong case and should move forward. If not, we’ll tell you that, too. We’ll tell you the basis for our opinion, and also give you the contact information of other medical malpractice attorneys we trust so you can get a second opinion.
So, of course you can sue the doctor or nurse or other medical professionals who committed malpractice. But they may not have enough insurance to fully cover the damages that they caused. It’s important to think about other potential defendants as well.
Hospitals and health clinics that employed the doctor or nurse can also be held legally responsible for malpractice in many instances. For example, hospitals and clinics are legally responsible for the acts of their employees, including doctors and nurses. Many hospitals will argue that the doctor in question wasn’t technically an employee, but was instead operating as an independent contractor who just had hospital privileges. But there are legal tests and factors that courts weigh when determining whether a doctor was an employee or contractor. We can use discovery to get valuable information – including the degree of control exercised by hospital, practice requirements and guidelines, and degree of supervision – to create a fact question on whether the doctor was an employee or contractor. The contract between the hospital and doctor is not dispositive of the question, and frankly, has minimal relevance.
If we can show that the doctor or nurse was an employee of the hospital, then the professional’s malpractice is treated as an act by the hospital. And the hospital can rightly be held responsible to ensure that your losses are fully covered.
Another way to hold hospitals and clinics responsible is to demonstrate that the hospital was negligent in its policies and procedures as compared to the standards set by a reasonably safe and effective health care center.
A statute of limitations is the amount of time that the law allows you to bring a lawsuit after a negligent act. Generally speaking, you must bring suit within that amount of time or you lose your right to sue over the malpractice.
In Minnesota, you’ve got 4 years from the date of the medical malpractice to sue, with a few exceptions.
The first exception is if the malpractice results in death of a patient, in which case you’ve only got 3 years from the date of the malpractice.
The second exception – a major exception – is called the “discovery rule.” In some, limited situations, the doctor’s negligence or harm isn’t apparent right away. If a patient can show that the medical error wasn’t discovered – and could not have reasonably been discovered – at the time the mistake was made, then the 4 year statute of limitations clock might be paused.
And the third exception is if the injured patient was under the age of 18 at the time of the medical malpractice. In that case, the 4 year clock is paused and the deadline to file suit is extended until 1 year after the patient’s 18th birthday.
If you think you might have a medical malpractice issue, you should contact a Minnesota Medical Malpractice Lawyer right away for an analysis of how much time you have to bring your case.
First, Minnesota requires plaintiffs bringing a medical malpractice case to serve an affidavit stating that:
The affidavit is usually completed and signed by the plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawyer. It needs to be served right at the outset of the case, along with the Summons and Complaint (the legal document saying the facts of what happened and why we believe the doctor committed malpractice).
Second, the medical malpractice plaintiff in Minnesota must serve another affidavit that states:
Each expert must sign this affidavit, and it needs to be served on the defense within 180 days of initiating suit.
If you don’t comply with these requirements, a court can dismiss your case.
Please consult with a Minneapolis Medical Malpractice Lawyer today if you need help bringing a medical malpractice case.
You’re asking the right question. You should absolutely have an idea of what you’re fighting for before you get into a medical malpractice suit. Your Minnesota medical malpractice attorney will go over this with you in detail, but here are some basic concepts.
The value of your case depends on a number of different factors, but the most important are:
There are no caps on damages in Minnesota. You are eligible to recover a number of different types of damages for medical malpractice, including:
There’s a procedural requirement in Minnesota where you first need to get someone appointed as trustee for the next of kin. That trustee is empowered to bring the wrongful death case on behalf of the next of kin.
The basic elements of the medical malpractice case remain basically the same: we must prove that the physician was negligent in providing medical care, and that negligence caused your loved one’s death.
In a wrongful death case, the next of kind are entitled to damages for their suffering due to the loss of their loved one, including the loss of:
Our guarantee at Madia Law is that we rise and fall together with our clients: we only collect a fee if you recover compensation. We’re a contingency based firm, which means that we will invest our time and resources in your case for years without collecting a penny from you. If we win or get you a settlement, then you pay us a contingency fee from that amount. If we don’t get you anything, you don’t owe us anything.
We also offer free consultations. Call us today.
First, get a medical malpractice lawyer. Interview a few, and choose the one that feels best to you.
Your lawyer will get your medical records and review them with experts. If we think you have a case that will be worth your time and energy to pursue, we’ll tell you and get the case going with a Complaint and Certificate of Expert Review. Shortly thereafter, we’ll send affidavits from our experts stating their opinions to the defense.
We’ll then start discovery, which generally takes between 9 months and a year. During this time, we’ll request documents from the other side, conduct depositions, and sharpen our expert reports.
At the end of discovery, the defense will usually make a motion to exclude our experts from trial, or a motion for summary judgment (to dismiss our case), or both. We’ll have done the leg-work in discovery to beat these motions. Sometimes we may make a motion to exclude the defense expert, but I often like to let them testify in front of a jury (even when I could probably win a motion in limine), because I want the jury to see the defense expert squirm to try to justify his absurd opinions in defense of the doctor.
Then we get to go to trial.
You can expect, overall, an 18-24 month process if your case goes all the way through trial. The case can settle at any time, from Day 1 through the end of trial, if both sides agree on terms. We have found that the best way to secure fair compensation in settlements for our clients is to make clear to the defense that we’re ready for trial, and we’re going to win.
Call our Minnesota Medical Malpractice Lawyer today at 612.349.2723 for a free consultation, or fill out our free consultation form below. You need help from someone who knows what they are doing, to: a) get all of your medical records; b) get them to an expert for evaluation; c) do a legal analysis of your case; and d) get your case served within the statute of limitations, along with the Certificate of Expert Review.
Emergency rooms are chaotic, and medical professionals often have to make split-second decisions. Regardless, these professionals are still held to a high standard of care for their patients. In fact, the chaotic nature of their job makes it imperative that ER doctors are held to a higher standard for care.
If a doctor prescribes the wrong drug or dosage, or fails to note serious drug allergies, the consequences can be severe. Pharmacists also owe a duty of care to fill prescriptions with the correct medications.
This is because if your treating physician bases your treatment plan on an incorrect radiologic test result, that could either worsen the condition or leave it untreated.
When someone suffers a severe bowel injury because of a surgeon’s negligence, it is extremely important to seek help from a Minneapolis bowel injury lawyer who has experience representing injured patients in claims like yours. I know you may be wondering if you are eligible for compensation, and I know that you may be agonizing over the decision of whether to trust another doctor to help you heal from your serious injuries.
We have a process that works in getting exceptional results for our clients.
We are trial lawyers who prepare every case for trial from Day 1. Investigation and legal research are the first things we do, and we spend a lot of time on them. Because we haven’t filed the case yet, we have complete control – the defendant has no say and we want to use this time wisely. We interview witnesses that can help us prove the case. We’ll ask you for all relevant documents in your possession and review those carefully as well. We also will spend some time conducting legal research about unique issues in the case. We pull the jury instructions that the judge will ultimately charge the jury with after closing arguments at trial.
Our next step is typically to send a demand letter to the defendant. In the letter, we thoroughly lay out: the facts surrounding the defendant’s misconduct; the applicable law (including statutory and case citations) that make clear that the defendant broke the law; an analysis of your damages and the defendant’s monetary exposure; a demand for a monetary amount to settle the claim; and an instruction to preserve all relevant evidence, including electronic evidence. The point of this letter is to give the defendant a chance to do the right thing and pay a fair amount before litigation, and to give the defendant an opportunity to present any defenses or evidence it wants us to consider before moving forward. Sometimes we skip the demand letter if there are strategic reasons to move straight to filing, but we typically give defendants a chance to do the right thing.
If early negotiations fail, great – we file a Complaint and serve the defendant with it. A Complaint is a legal document that states the facts of what happened and alleges how the defendant broke the law. It formally starts the lawsuit. Many lawyers draft complaints in a general and relatively vague way, just to get it done and filed – because that’s all that’s really required. We take a different view. We view the Complaint as our first chance to tell your story to the judge, and we take it seriously. So we draft detailed complaints and include legal citations to statutory and judicial authority on unique points. Sometimes we’ll include a number of exhibits, diagrams, or other demonstrative aids to help the Court understand our claims. A secondary benefit of this approach is that defense lawyers reading the Complaint can become educated on the problems of their case and the state of the law – sometimes this leads them to reach out to us shortly after service of the Complaint to re-initiate settlement negotiations. Of course, by that time, the price for settlement has gone up.
Some lawyers view written discovery as a necessary evil – something to get done and out of the way before depositions. Not us. Written discovery is a gift and an opportunity. We spend a great deal of time crafting requests for documents and interrogatories (questions for the defendant to answer in writing) that are specific, detailed, and tailored to get what we need to prove our case. Many lawyers – even great ones – think written discovery is a waste of time because defense lawyers typically answer them on behalf of their clients and can try to stonewall with legalese and objections. We view this as a wonderful opportunity. In our experience, most defense lawyers can’t help themselves when answering discovery: they over-state their defenses and make assertions that their clients will not be able to support in testimony. So we get to commit the defendant to defenses that they can’t back up, leading to contradictions, confusion, and chaos in their depositions later on. We also use Requests for Admission – which many lawyers don’t. The Federal Rules and Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure allow us to ask defendants to “admit” certain facts. We send them RFAs that are very difficult for them to deny. Of course, they do it anyway, but that sets them up later for cost and fee-shifting, which the Rules mandate for defendants that deny RFAs that are later proven true. And usually, we can get the defendants’ own witnesses to admit facts that their defense lawyers denied in RFA. That’s a great situation that leads to more chaos and confusion on the defense side.
One last point on written discovery – we send multiple waves of it throughout discovery. We typically send 3 or 4 sets of written discovery requests to defendants throughout discovery. This compounds the problems for them, because the defense lawyers continue to overstate their defenses, but now run into contradictions from not just the defendant witnesses’ deposition testimony, but also their own previous discovery responses. This makes for a great record that we can present to the judge at dispositive motions, and use for impeachment at trial.
This is our chance to question relevant witnesses, on the record with a court reporter (we typically videotape important depositions as well). We get to confront the defense witnesses with all of the evidence we’ve developed through written discovery and document production. By this time, the defendant put its witnesses in an impossible position through its written defenses, which are often untrue and indefensible. So the witness has to either lie to support the defense, or admit it’s not true. That’s a dilemma that works for our clients either way, no matter which option the witness takes. We use depositions to expose contradictions, create a record for dispositive motions, lock witnesses into their stories so that we can impeach them later at trial, and sometimes, to show defense lawyers how hopeless their case is. We often calls from defense counsel shortly after depositions of their clients, seeking to re-start settlement negotiations.
The defendant will usually make a motion for summary judgment after discovery, asking the Court to throw out the case without having a jury trial. Because we’ve hit discovery so hard – both through written discovery and depositions – this is a tough motion for defense counsel to write in our cases. We draft our response for the Court and now get to bring everything together: the admissions, contradictions, nonsense, and obvious fact disputes that we’ve uncovered through discovery. We tell a compelling story that wraps everything together for the Court and makes clear that the defense motion has to be denied, and the defendant needs to face a jury for its conduct.
Sometimes, we’ll even make an affirmative motion for summary judgment, asking the Court to grant judgment in favor of our client without a trial. These motions are generally rare for plaintiffs to make, because the defendant can usually point to some fact dispute on its intent or some other factor that necessitates a trial. But we make affirmative summary judgment motions significantly more than is typical for plaintiffs, and that’s because the work we put in during discovery helps build a fantastic record to do so.
After the Court denies the defense motion for summary judgment, the defendant has only 2 options: 1) do the right thing and pay you a fair amount to our client to settle your claim (usually much, much more at this point than the defendant could have paid at the beginning of the case to settle); or 2) face a jury for its conduct and risk an enormous verdict. This is the dilemma that we have been creating and forcing the defendant into for the entire case. We’ll engage in settlement negotiations at this point from a position of extreme strength, mainly because most defendants are (rightly) terrified of facing a jury to defend their conduct.
This is, candidly, our favorite part of the case – why we went to law school: to hold the powerful accountable before juries. We prepare heavily for trial, including: detailed witness preparation, focus groups, and mock trials. At this point, the potential outcomes and consequences for the defendant are much more severe than if it simply did the right thing at the beginning of the case and paid a fair amount to compensate our client for its misconduct. As we advocate to the jury for our client, we’re also mindful of protecting the record so that defendants will be unsuccessful in attacking the verdict in post-trial motions or appeal.