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-seven states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico have specific provisions providing for alternative dispute resolution (arbitration, mediation or settlement conferences) in medical liability or malpractice cases. Seventeen jurisdictions—Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Utah, Virginia, the Virgin Islands and Wyoming—have requirements that medical liability or malpractice cases be heard by a screening panel before trial.
The box allows you to conduct a full text search or use the dropdown menu option to select a state.