Can claims for medical malpractice be brought in Thailand?
Thai law provides that claims for medical malpractice may be filed in Thai courts. Such claims have their basis in Thai law as liability for wrongful acts.
What is the statute of limitations for malpractice claims?
Claims for compensation must generally be brought within one year of the day the injury took place. Certain exceptions apply, most notably where claims also fall under the ambit of the criminal law, where the time limit is that prescribed by the applicable (criminal) law, assuming the period of prescription is longer.
What kind of evidence is required to bring a claim?
It must be established that a medical practitioner acted negligently or unlawfully, by way of the failure to meet established and accepted standards of medical practice in the jurisdiction, and that injury or death resulted from such an act. For this reason, the most important evidence, at least initially, will be that provided in the form of a medical opinion from a practitioner providing a suitable attestation to this effect.
What is the scope of compensation?
Thai courts tend to limit damages in malpractice claims to actual, quantifiable losses. This usually involves the award of expenses and damages for loss of earnings, both present as well as future. It is unusual for a Thai court to award damages for such 'intangibles as pain and suffering, disfigurement, emotional shock etc. and any such awards are likely to be minimal, if awarded at all. For this reason, damages as a result of medical malpractice in Thailand are, under current provisions, extremely unlikely to result in the levels of awards seen in western jurisdictions, particularly the United States.
What you should do if you are a victim of medical malpractice
- Document your interactions – Make sure to document your conversations with your health service providers. Anything else that could be important for your lawyer to know to help your case move forward.
- Request for medical records – Medical records from your health service provider are vital documents to your case. Your hospital should be able to issue these documents upon request.
- Find a lawyer – Hiring a medical malpractice attorney with a proven track record and a deep understanding of litigating medical malpractice cases is your final step. Asking your lawyer about your participation in the preliminary case hearing is a good way to determine whether they are qualified to handle your case or not.
If you or somebody you love is seeking representation and needs legal assistance, please feel free to contact us.