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What is a medical malpractice tribunal?

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2015 | Doctor Errors

Before medical malpractice victims can achieve compensation for their damages, they typically have to engage in a number of legal proceedings. In the state of Massachusetts, one of the mandatory steps is to have your medical malpractice lawsuit reviewed by a panel of experts in order to determine the validity of your claims. Therefore, it is helpful for medical malpractice claimants to familiarize themselves with what a medical malpractice tribunal is and how it functions.

The Massachusetts Medical Society is responsible for maintaining selections of volunteer physicians that take part in the state’s medical malpractice tribunal proceedings. The MMS explains that medical malpractice tribunals were instituted in the state in 1976, and are intended to review the evidence presented by malpractice claimants in order to rule out frivolous complaints.

A medical malpractice tribunal is comprised of a licensed physician, a court judge and an attorney. It is the responsibility of the members of the tribunal to review the evidence presented by the plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit and decide whether or not the case should proceed to litigation. It is estimated that a little over 15 percent of all medical malpractice claims made in the state are rejected by tribunals.

The role of the physician in the tribunal process is to analyze the clinical aspects of a case and determine whether there is factual evidence to support the claims of the plaintiff in the case. In the event that the tribunal finds that there is not sufficient evidence to support the plaintiff’s claims, he or she may be obligated to post a $6000 bond in order for the case to proceed.

The merits of an individual case play a major role in whether and how claims are regarded by a Massachusetts medical malpractice tribunal. Consequently, the information provided here may not be relevant in every instance.