Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) can occur as a result of a healthcare professional’s medical negligence. Proving medical negligence can be a complex issue. The widely misunderstood nature of CRPS contributes to the complexities of the legal process. Additionally, the patient must provide sufficient evidence to rule out other possible causes of the condition. CRPS patients who believe that they were victims of medical negligence should seek legal advice as soon as possible, preferably by retaining a qualified CRPS attorney.
What Is Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional fails to provide a patient with the level of treatment that is expected in the medical community. Each medical professional is expected to follow a “standard of care” when treating patients. Standard of care is a legal term discussing the reasonable degree of care and competency that each patient should receive when being treated.
Standard of care includes basic principles such as:
- Diagnostic and treatment processes that should be followed in certain situations, such as appropriate testing for a patient’s discussed pain symptoms
- Proper and appropriate execution of diagnostic and treatment procedures, which typically prevent injury from occurring unless otherwise noted
- A reasonable level of education, training, and experience for those practicing a certain field of medicine
- The right for patients to be informed of medical and financial implications of certain procedures before consenting
- Honest and ethical treatment of each patient’s condition without interference by the physician’s interests
Proving Medical Negligence
In order to win a CRPS lawsuit, the plaintiff, or patient filing the lawsuit, must be able to successfully prove that the condition was a result of the doctor’s medical negligence. This can be difficult, and will require expert testimony. Expert testimony is typically provided by another healthcare professional with similar experience, qualifications, and expertise as the defending doctor. The expert’s testimony is then used to evaluate whether or not the doctor in question committed medical negligence based on the field’s standard of care.
CRPS Medical Negligence
Several types of medical negligence have been reported to cause CRPS. For example, a Georgia couple was awarded $5.4 million in compensation after a technician caused nerve damage in the patient’s elbow while drawing blood for medical testing. There have been several reported cases of CRPS after unnecessary or erroneous surgery. If a surgeon injures a nerve during an operation which leads to the development of CRPS, the patient may be eligible to file a CRPS lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations
Each state has its own statute of limitations for medical negligence lawsuits. The statute of limitations is essentially a time limit each patient has to file a lawsuit against a medical professional or entity. If the patient fails to file the lawsuit within this time period, he or she loses the ability to file a lawsuit and earn financial compensation for injuries. Depending on the state, the statute of limitations typically ranges from two to four years. The statute of limitations begins on the date the medical negligence incident occurred, or when the patient had sufficient evidence to suspect that medical negligence occurred.
Hiring a CRPS Attorney
CRPS patients who believe their condition was caused by medical negligence should speak with an experienced CRPS attorney as soon as possible. A CRPS attorney can help to evaluate details of each case to determine if the case is legitimate. A CRPS attorney can also discuss the state’s statute of limitations and confirm that the patient’s claim is still valid. After deciding to move forward with the case, the CRPS lawyer can help with virtually all aspects of the legal process. This not only improves chances of success, but helps to give patients peace of mind during the complexities of the lawsuit.
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