Medical Malpractice in Rhode Island

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Statute of Limitations: 3 Years

Discovery: 3 Year from Discovery

Liability Rules: Pure Comparative Negligence

Limits: None.

What You Should Know

Medical Malpractice cases are for patients who have been misdiagnosed, harmed before, during or after any medical treatment, or injured due to lack of treatment. Each state has their own set of laws and practices surrounding medical malpractice cases. Below we cover a general outline of what you need to know in the case of filing a medical malpractice in the state of Rhode Island.

Statute of Limitations

A Statute of Limitations is the deadline or time period in which you have to file a medical malpractice case. In Rhode Island, a patient has three years to file a claim from the point in which they discovered, or should have reasonably discovered, that they were injured or experiencing pain due to an act of omission or negligence by their physician or healthcare provider.

Here is what must first be established or able to be proven in order to file a claim:

  • The physician or health care provider owed the given patient any ‘duty’. For example, further treatment, alternate care, guidance, etc.
  • The standard of care for the given illness or ailment failed to be met. Each surgery or treatment has a set of conditions, or standards, that must be met in order to be considered acceptable, or at the most basic level, complete.
  • There is a compensable injury. Unfortunately not all injuries are compensable. A worst case scenario for medical malpractice is fatality. However, if there are reconcilable damage to the patient that can be rectified to some degree, that will help in filing a claim.
  • Lastly, not only does it have to be proven that the standard of care was breached, but also that it was the cause of harm or damage to the patient. For example, if indeed a doctor did neglect the standard of care for a given treatment, but that was not the cause of harm or injury to the patient, it may not be enough to open a case.

Informed Consent

Prior to performing any surgery or treatment, a doctor must first notify his patient of the risks involved, if any. Once the information has been laid out in a way that the patient is able to understand and determine if they would like to proceed with the surgery or treatment, their agreement is considered informed consent. In short, the patient is informed of the risks involved in undergoing the surgery or treatment being suggested and they have given their consent to
continue. If the patient did not give any form of informed consent, then they are more likely to win a medical malpractice case due to the fact that healthcare providers and physicians are required to warn their patient’s of any risks involved in undergoing the proposed procedure or treatment.

Expert Witness

Even further, an expert witness is required to finalize and determine whether medical malpractice actually took place to cause the noted pain and injury the patient is experiencing. The expert witness is a person who is a knowledgeable, and experienced, practicing physician or healthcare provider that would have all the necessary background in order to determine if neglect or omission occurred. These testimonies are required and an integral part of a medical malpractice claim.


Without proper attention and support, a medical malpractice case in Rhode Island may be very difficult to manage without experienced guidance and knowledge. For medical malpractice cases, it is best to hire a professional attorney. At Buckingham Barrera Law, we offer the highest care and service. If you find yourself dealing with neglectful physicians or healthcare providers, give us a call us for a free consultation.

How Can We Help You?

If you or a loved one have been injured in the state of Rhode Island, contact us at 432.570.1919 or email us using the form below for your free, no-obligation consultation. The Buckingham Barrera Law Firm has helped thousands of people in multiple states get the compensation they deserve for their injuries.