When a patient is injured as a result of a Montana doctor's error or medical malpractice, they may be entitled to seek monetary compensation. However, before a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed with the court, as a prerequisite, the case must be presented to the Montana Medical Legal Panel.
The purpose of the Montana Medical Legal Panel is to:
"prevent, where possible, the filing in court of actions against health care providers and their employees for professional liability in situations where the facts do not permit at least a reasonable inference of malpractice and to make possible the fair and equitable disposition of such claims against health care providers as are or reasonably may be well founded."
Montana Code Annotated §27-6-102.
In other words, Montana imposes this additional obstacle for medical malpractice plaintiffs to discourage individuals from filing frivolous injury-related lawsuits.
There are specific requirements, pursuant to Montana law, that must be completed in order to submit a case to the Montana Medical Legal Panel. The first step is to submit an application that conforms to the requirements of Montana Code Annotated §27-6-102. After the healthcare provider responds to the application a hearing is scheduled before a panel of six members made up of Montana licensed physicians and Montana attorneys.
A hearing will then take place where both sides will make statements, witnesses will testify, and medical records and documents may be introduced as evidence.
Following the hearing the panel will determine:
1. Whether there is "substantial evidence that the acts complained of occurred and that they constitute malpractice," and
2. Whether there is "a reasonable medical probability that the patient was injured" by the acts complained of.
Proving medical malpractice requires that you establish the appropriate medical standard of care and prove the doctor breached this standard of care. Montana doctors have a duty to possess and exercise the reasonable and ordinary degree of learning, skill, and care possessed and exercised by physicians of good standing in the same area of practice or in similar locality in Montana.
Montana medical malpractice lawsuits are complicated. Most cases will involve extensive and complex medical records and testimony from multiple medical experts and doctors, and consequently will require in-depth legal medical malpractice knowledge and experience. In addition to the procedural requirements, it is imperative that claims are brought prior to the Montana medical malpractice statute of limitations.
Paoli Law Firm has successfully represented many clients who have been victims of medical malpractice.
We have assisted clients with presenting their case to the Montana Medical Legal Panel, with filing lawsuits, and in obtaining the monetary recovery they deserve. Paoli Law Firm has extensive experience and knowledge in formulating the appropriate strategy for Montana medical malpractice cases, proving liability, and retaining qualified medical expert witnesses. If you believe you have a medical malpractice claim, call the experienced attorneys at Paoli Law Firm to discuss your potential claim.