Successfully pursuing a medical malpractice claim requires knowledge and experience. Hawaii has created an administrative process you must follow. Then, you need sufficient proof by expert medical witnesses that the doctor or other healthcare provider breached their professional duty of care, and that breach caused your serious injuries.
You’ll see from the summary of Hawaii’s medical malpractice statistics, below, that there are fewer medical malpractice payments and actions taken compared to the number of complaints made.
While you’re entitled to move forward with the medical malpractice claim process without counsel attorney, we recommend you work with experienced attorney Matt Menzer. To improve your chance of winning your medical malpractice claim and receiving compensation, you need someone who knows the law inside and out. You need someone with extensive experience proving these types of claims. Matt Menzer has over 30 years of experience helping the victims of medical malpractice.
Claims with the Medical Inquiry and Conciliation Panel
In Hawaii, you can’t jump straight into a lawsuit. Before you can file an action against the medical provider, you have to start your claim by filing a complaint with the Medical Inquiry and Conciliation Panel (MICP), which is part of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
The three-person panel provides a non-binding reconciliation process. The panel reviews the evidence and offers an opinion. During this time, you and the medical provider might enter into settlement negotiations. If you’re unable to resolve your claim during this process, you can move on to filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
As of November 2019, the MICP had received 119 inquiries, according to the 2019 Annual Report. Two inquiries were rejected because they didn’t include a Certificate of Consultation, which is required by law, and another six were dismissed, withdrawn, or otherwise terminated. The MICP had heard 40 inquiries by the end of November.
In prior years, the MICP received:
- 2018: 80 claims
- 2017: 72 claims
- 2016: 91 claims
- 2015: 101 claims
- 2015: 121 claims
In 2018, (as of November 30), two inquiries were rejected for not including a Certificate of Consultation, according to the 2018 Annual Report. Six inquiries had been dismissed, withdrawn, or otherwise terminated. The MICP had heard 60 inquiries.
Medical Malpractice Payments in Hawaii
The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) keeps track of adverse action reports (AAR) and medical malpractice payment reports (MMPR). An AAR is a report involving an action other than a medical malpractice payment, conviction, or judgment against a healthcare practitioner, such as a professional sanction or the loss of their medical license. An MMPR is used by medical malpractice payers, such as an insurance company, to report a payment made for a healthcare practitioner.
In 2019, there were 28 MMPRs and 23 AARs involving physicians (MD and DO) in Hawaii, according to the NPDB’s Data Analysis Tool. This figure doesn’t include all medical malpractice claims made against doctors in the state—only reports of malpractice claims that resulted in payments or adverse actions. In 2018, there were 17 MMPR and 24 AAR against doctors throughout Hawaii.
Additionally, there were two MMPRs and 51 AARs against medical practitioners other than physicians (MD and DO) in Hawaii in 2019. These medical practitioners include chiropractors, dentists, hygienists, nurses, physician assistants, optometrists, pharmacists, social workers, psychologists, therapists, and more.
You Need to Work with a Hawaii Medical Malpractice Lawyer Right Away
Experiencing a difficult medical complication or believing the doctor or other healthcare provider made a mistake in your treatment isn’t enough. You need evidence that the medical provider acted in a way that a reasonable medical provider in the same field wouldn’t have behaved. You have to have evidence they acted in a way that was inappropriate and careless based on professional standards. You also have to have expert medical evidence that the professional errors made by the medical provider caused your injuries.
The best way to gather this type of evidence is to work with an experienced lawyer like Matt Menzer. Matt has many years of experience successfully handling medical malpractice claims in Hawaii and Washington. He can secure the best medical experts to testify on your behalf.
In 2018, people submitted 80 claims to the MICP. But the NPDB shows only 29 medical payments involving all types of healthcare practitioners were reported in Hawaii that year. A lot more claims are made each year than are resolved with compensation. You need an experienced and knowledgable lawyer to improve your chances of having a claim that is resolved with a monetary settlement or court award.
We work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront or hourly fees. You only pay us after we win compensation for you.