The deadline for filing most professional negligence / medical malpractice claims in court in Hawaii is two (2) years from the date when the plaintiff knew or should have known of the negligence of the medical care provider and that injuries resulted therefrom. It is not necessary for an expert to advise the injured party that there was professional negligence which caused the injuries before the statute of limitations will start running. It is sufficient to start the running of the 2 year period, if the injured parties have knowledge of the facts which establish an actionable claim. Buck v. Miles, Hawaii Sup. Ct. No. 20368 (Jan. 25, 1999). Some statutes appear to indicate that there is also a maximum limit of six (6) years from the date of the alleged negligence in which to file a medical malpractice claim.
Generally a medical malpractice claim arises where a medical practitioner has negligently caused injury. Medical treatment is negligent if if fails to meet the standard of care generally provided to patients. A physician must also obtain “informed consent” to any medical treatment which he provides to a patient.
Examples of Professional Negligence / Medical Malpractice Claims
Some examples of medical malpractice claims are:
- Failure to diagnose
- Improper medical treatment causing injury
- Improperly performed surgery
- Improperly administered anesthesia
- Failure to obtain informed consent to a medical procedure
- Implantation of non-approved medical devices