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Have a malpractice claim? Check the statutory requirements

Most Minnesota residents would agree that someone who harms others should be held accountable for their actions. For instance, recently this blog discussed the number of medical mistakes that are made by doctors which result in harm to patients. These mistakes cause not only serious injuries, but deaths to occur, despite the fact that these tragic incidents could have been prevented if the proper medical care had been provided.

Minnesota law enables injured patients to hold doctors accountable through a medical malpractice action. However, before this personal injury action can be successful, the individual must meet certain requirements. This is true of any case, but particularly medical malpractice cases, which have different requirements under the law unlike other types of cases.

For example, under Minnesota law, a malpractice action against a health care provider may require the plaintiff to serve an affidavit on the defendant, in addition to the typical summons and complaint that are served when the negligence action is commenced. The affidavit must state that an expert, whose opinions could be admissible at trial, reviewed the facts of the case and determined that the defendant caused injury to the plaintiff by deviating from the applicable standard of care.

If the affidavit requirement is not met, it can result in serious consequences, including dismissal of the claims that require expert testimony. In other words, even if the plaintiff has a good claim to assert against the doctor, that claim could be dismissed by the court before the trial ever happens if the plaintiff does not meet the statutory requirement. Accordingly, it is vital that individuals understand these requirements and what must be done to successfully pursue their claims.

Source: The Office of the Revisor of Statutes, "145.682 Certification of Expert Review; Affidavit," accessed on March 5, 2016

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