In New Hampshire, a medical malpractice lawsuit is typically filed in New Hampshire Superior Court. Under New Hampshire law, the filing of a medical injury case in state court triggers the formation of a medical “screening panel” to consider the claims before a case is presented to a jury trial.
Purpose of Medical Screening Panel
Since 2005, the medical screening panel was adopted so that claims for medical injury are resolved as early as possible and inexpensively as possible. According to RSA 519-B:1, “presentation of claims to a medical review panel is intended to help identify both meritorious and non-meritorious claims without the delay and expense of a court trial.”
Pretrial Screening Panel Procedures
In a medical injury action, the injured party or their representative present their case to the panel. Next, the person accused of professional or medical negligence makes their responding presentation. Before the medical review panel, these presentations involve presenting evidence, such as medical records and witness testimony, including medical experts.
Findings of Medical Screening Panel
At the conclusion of the presentations, the panel shall make its findings regarding negligence and causation in writing within 30 days by answering the following questions:
(a) Whether the acts or omissions complained of constitute a deviation from the applicable standard of care by the medical care provider charged with that care;
(b) Whether the acts or omissions complained of proximately caused the injury complained of; and
(c) If fault on the part of the medical care provider is found, whether any fault on the part of the patient was equal to or greater than the fault on the part of the provider.
If you have been injured as a result of medical negligence, please contact our experienced New Hampshire personal injury attorneys at (603) 288-1403 or fill out our online contact form.