Doctors are indispensable members of society, perform a crucial role for health care, and, in the vast majority of cases, they are wonderful professionals with hearts of gold. But there are exceptions! If you've been injured to the negligence of your doctor, call a tough smart lawyer at (808) 243-2431.
To further complicate matters, the shortage of doctors of all types in Hawaii has been the topic of multiple media stories, documenting the dire need of our island home for qualified health professional. As such, in 1990, sweeping reforms (sometimes called "tort reform") were passed which made it even more difficult for injured plaintiffs to sue negligent doctors.
The law regarding Medical Torts in Hawaii is available as Chapter 671, styled "Medical Torts," in the Hawaii Civil Remedies Code. If you have a case, as this area is quite complex, I strongly suggest that you consult with a lawyer. Call me. I'll screen it, and if it's something that I think should be handled by a specialist (sometimes called board certified lawyers), I will make a referral.
Typically, the procedure requires that a sort of pre-suit "Inquiry" is filed and arbitrated in Honolulu before you can file a lawsuit. The arbitration is not binding, and if the case doesn't settle, the plaintiff's lawyer then must file a lawsuit in order to win his case. Furthermore, to add even more complexity, before you can file your "Inquiry," you are required to consult with another doctor who must state his opinion that medical malpractice has occurred. Typically, although this is a negligence type of case, the issue is whether the doctor in question deviated from the standard of care. However, the scenario is like the Fox watching the henhouse, because the standards of care are usually provided by the doctors, and it seems change on a case by case basis. It's a moving target, if you will. Although there are righteous experts out there that will stand up for you and testify that malpractice was committed, physicians predictably are hesitant to testify against their fellow doctors.
On a final note, lets say that you got an infection, or the surgery helped, but you don't think your a hundred percent. These may be predictable and expected results that are not the result of negligence. On cases where a surgery is botched, or the wrong limb is removed, or a surgical towel is left in the client, there is a clearer picture of what happened, that it was clearly negligence, and that the patient was badly injured. These are the cases that win. Stated differently, doctors are not Gods. If the surgery went as well as could be expected in light of the situation, there's probably no lawsuit. But don't trust yourself to make this decision.
CALL A TOUGH SMART LAWYER: CALL JOHNNY BROWN, THE INJURY LAWYER AT (808) 243-2431.
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