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Medical Malpractice - Hawaii

Professional Negligence


Deadlines to File Professional Negligence / Medical Malpractice Claims in Hawaii

The deadline for filing most professional negligence / medical malpractice claims in court in Hawaii is two (2) years from Accident Lawyer Hawaii - Deadlines the date when the plaintiff knew or should have known of the negligence of the medical care provider and that injuries resulted therefrom. It is not necessary for an expert to advise the injured party that there was professional negligence which caused the injuries before the statute of limitations will start running. It should be noted, however, that there are exceptions to this rule- for example, claims against the City and County of Honolulu and the various other Counties must be filed with the appropriate agency within six (6) months of the date of the accident. It is sufficient to start the running of the 2 year (or 6 month) period, if the injured parties have knowledge of the facts which establish an actionable claim. Buck v. Miles, Hawaii Sup. Ct. No. 20368 (Jan. 25, 1999). Some statutes appear to indicate that there is also a maximum limit of six (6) years from the date of the alleged negligence in which to file a medical malpractice claim. You must file your claims in court prior to the expiration of such deadlines, or your claims may be lost—regardless of their merit. To be wise it is recommended that you immediately contact an attorney after an accident giving rise to injuries occurs- please do not hesitate to :

Contact Accident Lawyer Hawaii now for a free evaluation of your case.

Medical Malpractice & Professional Negligence Claim Information

Generally a medical malpractice claim arises where a medical Accident Lawyer Hawaii - Medical practitioner has negligently caused injury. Medical treatment is negligent if if fails to meet the standard of care generally provided to patients. A physician must also obtain "informed consent" to any medical treatment which he/she provides to a patient. Since medical malpractice claims are very expensive to pursue, there must be very substantial damage caused by the malpractice to merit bringing a claim.

Examples of Professional Negligence / Medical Malpractice Claims

Some examples of potential medical malpractice claims are:

Accident Lawyer Hawaii - Medical

-Administration of incorrect medicine causing injury

- Failure to diagnose or incorrect diagnosis causing injury

- Improper or incorrect medical treatment causing injury

- Improperly performed surgery

- Improperly administered anesthesia

- Failure to obtain informed consent to a medical procedure

- Implantation of non-approved medical devices


Researching a Medical professional

American Board of Medical Specialties. The AMBS listing of most medical specialty boards- click on "Who's certified?"

Medical Board of California- Physician License Information. California provides the ability to research disciplinary information about physicians licensed in California.

For medical professionals in the state of Hawaii, you may also find the information in the InjuryLawyerHawaii website to be helpful-
Hawaii Medical Experts- reviews and links


Select Hawaii Court Opinions on Professional Negligence and Medical Malpractice

GARCIA v. KAISER FOUNDATION HOSPITALS, JUNE 9, 1999 The Hawaii Supreme Court holds (1) that an employee's claims against a health care plan provided by his employer (Kaiser) for failure/refusal to provide timely treatment for hip necrosis and a herniated disk are are preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and (2) that such claims against health care providers must go through the Medical Claims Conciliation Panel (MCCP) under HRS section 671-12 (1993) prior to the filing of the complaint or they are subject to dismissal.

AGA v. HUNDAHL, MARCH 24, 1995. The Hawaii Supreme Court holds that privileged peer review committee documents may become discoverable if they are relied upon by a medical expert in forming his opinions (for the defense of a medical malpractice action)- but that in order to preserve such an objection the party seeking discovery must move for an in camera inspection of the same by the trial court prior to trial.

BLAIR v. ING, SEPTEMBER 10, 2001 The Hawaii Supreme Court holds that (1) there is no requirement that a judgment be a ruling "on the merits of the claim" as opposed to a dismissal in order for a party to be a "prevailing party" for purposes of attorney's fees [overruling Yoshida v. Nobriga, 39 Haw. 254 (1952); Schubert v. Saluni, 9 Haw. App. 591, 855 P.2d 858 (1993); Shanghai Investment Co. v. Alteka Co., Ltd., 92 Hawai`i 482, 993 P.2d 516 (2000) and others] and (2) awards $23,008.83 in attorney's fees and costs to a defendant in an accounting malpractice case dismissed on motion.

PIEDVACHE v. KNABUSCH, AUGUST 27, 1998 The Hawaii Supreme Court holds that the limit for attorney's fees in a state District Court action in 'the nature of assumpsit" (failure to comply with post-closing real estate covenants) is 25% of the jurisdictional limit of $20,000 - hence $5,000.00. (apparently would apply by analogy to real estate agent "malpractice")


Standards of Care for Nurses

In addition to the responsibility of accurately following medical instructions which have been given, at times nurses also have an affirmative duty to intervene and to clarify or to correct inconsistencies in those instructions. Examples of clinical situations in which a nurse has a duty to intervene include:

-The dose of a medication is excessive or inadequate.

-IV fluid orders are incomplete or inconsistent.

-The nurse is concerned about fetal heart rate monitoring in a patient in labor.

-The postoperative laparoscopic cholecystectomy patient begins having symptoms of an acute abdominal process.

-The patient has widely divergent intake versus urinary output.

-The patient is allergic to the medication the physician orders.

 

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With proper foundation, the Hawaii courts recognize that a personal injury damage award should adequately compensate for actual losses sustained - past, present or future. "[D}ifficulties often arise in ascertaining... what sum will produce adequate compensation." The duty of juries in such cases is "to draw reasonable and probable inferences from the facts and circumstances in evidence and "to form, under proper instructions from the court, such reasonable and probable estimate, as in the exercise of good sense and sound judgment ... will produce adequate compensation." "There is no sound reason ... for throwing any part of the loss upon the injured party.". Coney v. Lihue Plantation Co., 39 Haw. 129 (1951)










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