Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys
Massachusetts Bar Association 1911
Plymouth County Bar Association
The American Trial Lawyers Association

Medical Malpractice

The knowledgeable Brockton medical malpractice attorneys at Sousa & Sousa are industry leaders in malpractice law. Our highly-trained staff and team of experts can help you bring a successful claim for damages. We have recovered compensation for patients harmed by the negligence of health care providers in Easton and surrounding Massachusetts.

Medical malpractice is a specific area of tort law focusing on the medical profession. Under basic principles of negligence, professionals like doctors and other health care providers owe their patients a certain standard of care. The more “specialized” the doctor, the higher the duty of care. Obstetricians, for example, are held to a higher standard than general practitioners if a mistake during delivery causes birth defects. Physicians who hold themselves out to be “experts” in their field are also expected to know more about their area of practice.

When a medical provider’s negligent conduct causes a patient’s injury or death, any responsible party becomes liable in damages to the victim or family. Doctors, nurses, other health care professionals can breach their duty of care to patients in a variety of ways, from rendering an improper diagnosis and treatment to simple neglect. Even the most subtle mistakes during routine procedures can result in severe injury or even death. Malpractice is possible at any stage of medical treatment and can give rise to a legal claim.

Common causes and consequences of medical malpractice include:

  • Complications with anesthesia
  • Improper diagnosis or treatment
  • Fraud in completing patient charts
  • Over or under-medicating patients
  • Failure to obtain informed consent
  • Delayed response to patient distress
  • Birth defects
  • Developmental issues
  • Hemorrhage or bleeding
  • Sepsis or lethal infections
  • Brain or spinal cord injury
  • Paralysis, coma, or death

Under Massachusetts law, a hospital can be held “vicariously liable” for the negligent acts of the physicians or health care providers practicing there. This means injured patients or surviving family members may have a cause of action not only against the negligent doctor or nurse, but also against the hospital that employs them. Even if the caretaker or nursing assistant is contracted by an agency providing “temporary” workers for certain shifts, the hospital can still be held liable if one of their agents is negligent, causing injury to the patient. If the hospital had a “right to control” the agent’s activity, the hospital can be held liable in damages.

In most cases, expert testimony will be necessary to support medical malpractice claims. Because both sides will want to present experts, medical malpractice claims can be complex and quite lengthy. That is why it is imperative to consult an attorney experienced in medical malpractice law. Successful claimants are entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost income, and other disability benefits. State law caps damages for loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and other general damages at $500,000 unless the patient suffers a permanent impairment, substantial disfigurement, or “other circumstances” that would warrant a finding that the limitation would deprive the patient of just compensation.

If you or a loved one was injured by medical malpractice, contact the experienced Easton medical malpractice lawyers at Sousa & Sousa immediately. Massachusetts law requires that a medical malpractice action for injury or death be filed within three years after the cause of action “accrues.” This means injured patients or surviving family members have a limited time to file a claim from the time they learn or “reasonably should have learned” of harm caused by a medical professional’s conduct. The statute of limitations is the same for minors. At Sousa & Sousa, we understand the devastating nature of your loss and are dedicated to helping you recover the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation call our Brockton/Easton office at 508-230-5300 or contact us online.