Medical malpractice cases have slightly different rules compared to other personal injury cases. Let’s go over a few of those differences, and help you figure out your first step to receiving the compensation for your injuries that you deserve.
What is the statute of limitations?
A statute of limitations is a law (that usually varies from state to state) setting time limits for various cases, after which you’re usually unable to file a lawsuit.
For medical malpractice, Montana’s statute of limitations states that your case must be filed within 3 years of the date of your injury, or within 3 years of you discovering the injury. In addition, the law also says that lawsuits may NOT be filed after 5 years have passed.
Rarely, your time limit may be paused in situations where your medical provider was aware that they caused an injury, but didn’t inform you. In these cases, the standard 5-year time limit does not apply.
How to file a medical malpractice claim in Montana?
Before you may file a malpractice lawsuit, you’re typically required to file a claim with the Montana Medical Legal Panel. This is aimed at preventing people from filing frivolous lawsuits and ensuring that only legitimate cases make it to court.
Your application to the panel must include:
- Details of your healthcare provider’s negligent or harmful action/inaction
- Dates, names and addresses of all treating healthcare providers
- Contact information for all witnesses
- A statement authorizing the release of your medical records to the panel
After that, a hearing will be held, where each side makes an introductory statement, witnesses testify, and evidence is produced. The panel then considers whether there is sufficient evidence that your injury was caused by the negligence of your healthcare provider, and may issue a (non-binding) suggested financial reward to the victim.
The panel also has the power to discuss and approve a settlement that, if agreed to, will be binding for both parties.
How much money can you get from a malpractice case in Montana?
Montana has state laws which limit or “cap” non-economic damages for malpractice cases, limiting the amount you can receive from your settlement. Currently, that cap is set at $250,000.
These are for non-economic damages, meaning compensation for negative side effects of your injury that aren’t easily calculated—such as pain and suffering, stress, loss of enjoyment, etc.
This cap does NOT apply to economic damages, which cover things like lost wages and healthcare costs.
How do I get started?
If you’re looking for help getting the maximum allowed payout for your malpractice injury, contact us immediately by calling or filling out the form below. And remember—the longer you wait, the less likely you’ll be able to recover any damages at all!