Under state law, a patient may pursue a civil claim called medical liability or medical malpractice against physicians or other health care providers if the health care provider causes injury or death to the patient through a negligent act or omission. To recover damages, the patient must establish:
- The physician owed a duty to the patient.
- The standard of care and that the physician violated that standard.
- A compensable injury.
- The violation of the standard of care caused the harm suffered by the patient.
This page summarizes the state laws that require an affidavit or certificate of merit from a medical expert for a medical liability or malpractice case to move forward and proceed through the judicial system and whether states have set any standards for who can qualify as a medical expert.
Twenty-eight states have requirements for filing an affidavit or certificate of merit in order for a medical liability and malpractice claim to move forward.
Thirty-two states and Guam have provisions regarding minimum qualificiations for expert witnesses who testify in medical liability and malpracticey cases.
The box allows you to conduct a full text search or use the dropdown menu option to select a state.
Heather Morton is a program principal in Fiscal Affairs. She covers financial services, alcohol production and sales, and medical malpractice issues for NCSL.