Understanding medical malpractice laws in Oklahoma

There are several laws in place that dictate how medical malpractice lawsuits in Oklahoma work.

Suffering an additional illness or injury due to a medical professional's mistake is more than just painful - it is frustrating, and it is unnecessary. Fortunately, Oklahoma enables people to hold these parties accountable and recover compensation for their losses. The following points illustrate what people should know when they believe they may have a case.

What constitutes medical malpractice?

There are a number of ways that a medical professional could commit a mistake. Generally speaking, anytime that a doctor, nurse or other professional deviates from the standard of care and causes someone harm, it could be considered negligence.

Getting specific, there are several common examples of medical malpractice, such as the following:

  • Failing to diagnose, delaying a diagnosis or misdiagnosing an issue
  • Operating on the wrong body part or the wrong person
  • Giving the wrong medication or wrong dosage to a patient
  • Failing to deliver a baby in a timely manner
  • Failing to respond to someone's vital signs or reactions

Unfortunately, it can be hard to detect some of these mistakes right away. For example, someone whose cancer was misdiagnosed may not realize it until months or even years later.

How soon must I file a lawsuit?

Under Oklahoma law, all medical negligence lawsuits must be filed within two years of the incident or from the date that the victim has learned about the injury. Someone who fails to initiate the claim in that timeframe may lose the chance to recover compensation.

Is there a cap on the damages I can receive?

Yes. Oklahoma law states that there is no limit on economic losses, such as medical bills or property damage. However, no one may receive more than $350,000 in non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering. This applies to every suit, no matter if there are multiple defendants or multiple actions.

How do I prove medical malpractice?

In order to prove that someone has suffered due to medical negligence, most courts hold that there must be proof that the patient was under the care of the defendant, that the defendant did not provide the standard of care, and that the deviation from the standard of care is what caused the additional injury.

The most important part of the case will be to illustrate how the defendant strayed from the standard of care. This typically requires expert testimony from a physician who practices the same type of medicine with the same type of patients. It is also imperative for victims to detail each of the damages they have suffered, saving receipts and making a timeline of events to support their claims.

Proving medical malpractice and securing compensation can be an extremely detailed process. People who have concerns about this topic should speak with a personal injury attorney in Oklahoma.