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Medical Errors In Australian Hospitals | Medical Errors Deaths Per Year

3. Finally, hospitals with specialized capabilities or facilities (e.g., burn units, specialized cardiac care units) must accept transfer patients from other hospitals if the specialized hospital has the capacity to treat them. This provision of EMTALA stops reverse dumping, where specialized hospitals won’t take indigent patients from other hospitals.
Most doctors have their patients’ best interest in mind, but there are some who – by greed or neglect – fail to put patients first. Individuals who discover a delayed, missed, or wrong diagnosis may want to speak to a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer about their rights and ability to hold a negligent physician accountable for health outcomes, pain, and suffering.
Once you have figured out what kind of case you have, you will need to prepare your documents and file your lawsuit. Sometimes you can obtain forms for your lawsuit from either the clerk of court or local law libraries, but not always. Similarly, legal aid groups may be able to help you complete your paperwork, evaluate your claims, and give you advice on what to file, where, and how much your filing fees will be. When your paperwork is ready you will need to file it with the clerk of court, pay a filing fee, and arrange to have a copy of the lawsuit and summons served on the other party. If you are unable to afford the filing fees, you can usually apply for indigent status and ask for a waiver of these fees.
Queen’s University law professor Erik Knutsen can name only seven top lawyers who specialize in patient-side medical malpractice versus an army of lawyers from top law firms available to the CMPA. Individual plaintiff lawyers often have to finance cases for as much as $150,000 because their clients can’t afford to. If the lawyers lose, they don’t get the money back. “Trying to convince today’s generation of young lawyers to get into this area where they are going to be bankrolling someone else’s misery at their own cost is a tough sell,” Knutsen said.
Every physician owes patients a reasonable standard of medical care. If a physician fails to perform at the accepted standard and a patient suffers as a result of his or her actions, the patient reserves the right to file a malpractice claim against those responsible. Failing to take appropriate steps during the diagnostic process and to make reasonable diagnoses based on the evidence does constitute malpractice, and you can sue your physician for the intentional or negligent mistake.
Damages from pain and suffering are considered “general damages” and are distinguishable from “special damages.” Hospital bills, loss of income, and certain out of pocket expenses are examples of special damages because a plaintiff can provide a bill, receipt, or work contract to show the money that was lost or paid. Pain and suffering, on the other hand, is not quantifiable in a precise, mathematical way.

If you have been  harmed due to a healthcare provider failing to diagnose a medical condition, or misdiagnosing one, you may be considering the question – “can I sue a doctor for misdiagnosis?” The short answer to this question is “maybe”.  To provide an accurate answer, it is necessary to take a more in-depth look at the facts surrounding your situation.
Doctors or healthcare providers are negligent if they fail to provide the standard of care that a reasonable doctor or healthcare provider practicing in the same area would provide in similar circumstances. If the negligence causes injuries or illness to a person, then the doctor or healthcare provider may be liable to pay damages (money to pay for the harm done) to the person. It’s no excuse for a doctor to say, “I did my best. I just didn’t know any better.” If the doctor should have known better, they may be liable. For example, let’s say that you see your doctor because you are not feeling well and your doctor prescribes a drug to treat the symptoms you described. You take the drug and it harms you. It turns out that it was not appropriate, considering your medical history and the other drugs you were already taking. If other doctors with a similar practice would not have prescribed the drug, your doctor may be negligent.
Doctor negligence claims can be complex as it can often be difficult to show that the injury or illness you are suffering from has been caused or exacerbated by the negligence of your GP. Your solicitor will arrange for you to be assessed by an independent medical expert who will assess your injuries and/or illness and will advise on whether the symptoms you are experiencing have been caused by the negligent actions (or inactions) of your GP.
General damages refer to damages that are not specifically monetary, for example, damages for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional trauma. There is no tangible bills or receipts that state a specific dollar amount for pain and suffering or emotional damage, but they are still losses for which an injured person deserves compensation nonetheless.
Answers in this general Q&A forum are for discussion purposes only, are not being provided in the context of an attorney-client relationship and are not to be construed as providing legal advice. Massey Law Firm PLLC and its attorneys may be retained only on the basis of a written contract, signed by the attorney and the potential client, together with the payment of fees and costs as may be required by the contract.

Besides negligence and lack of informed consent, there is a third type of malpractice. Recently, courts have said doctors may be responsible if they break the patient-doctor contract. This is a complicated area of malpractice law, not covered by this script. For example, one issue may be who has a contract with the doctor: you or the Medical Services Plan. You would need a lawyer to see if this applies to your case.

The first step is a letter of demand, a letter sent by your lawyer to the doctor or health facility concerned, setting out your claim and the period in which the accused should meet it. Thereafter, getting a case to court can take up to four years. Accurate case data and hospital notes have to be gathered; records relating to the patient’s prior medical history, treatment at the hands of the suspected transgressor, and any subsequent treatment must be obtained. Then, lay witnesses must be found, expert witnesses briefed and court dates agreed on. In addition, both the patient’s medical condition and prevailing medical treatments have to be researched.
Unfortunately, just because one of these things occurs does not mean you have a claim. Medicine is not an exact science, and the law does not obligate doctors to be error-free 100 percent of the time. If doctor error occurs but there is no breach of a standard of care, you may not have a strong claim. If however, doctor error occurs and there is a breach of a standard of care, then malpractice may have occurred.
The settlement a person receives for their pain and suffering depends on many factors. This includes the severity of the injury, type of medical treatment received, the length of recovery time, and potential long term consequences of the personal injuries. In addition to physical pain, claimants can also cite emotional and psychological trauma in their pain and suffering claims. For example, a visible scar on the face can lead to painful feelings of constant embarrassment and insecurity.
No matter your jurisdiction, medical malpractice claims and lawsuits are primarily about one thing: accountability. People trust that doctors will take care of them and make their condition better in a patient’s hour of need. When doctors fail in that responsibility, they must be held accountable for the negligent actions they took – as well as for the actions that they failed to take under the circumstances.
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The Dial-A-Law library is prepared by lawyers and gives practical information on many areas of law in British Columbia. Script 420 gives information only, not legal advice. If you have a legal problem or need legal advice, you should speak to a lawyer. For the name of a lawyer to consult, call Lawyer Referral Service at 604.687.3221 in the lower mainland or 1.800.663.1919 elsewhere in British Columbia.
An award for pain and suffering is not obtainable unless your injuries reach at least 15% of a most extreme case.  There is, however, no set way of measuring what 15% of a most extreme case looks like so every injured person must be individually assessed by the Judge and a percentage decided.  The maximum award for pain and suffering is about $612,500.00 and is indexed each year to keep pace with inflation.
In the state of North Carolina, an individual is held accountable for the intentional infliction of emotional distress if the victim or plaintiff can prove that the defendant’s conduct was outrageous and extreme, that the conduct was intended to cause severe emotional distress, and that the defendant’s conduct did in fact cause severe emotional distress. Although the definition of outrageous conduct can be subjective, it should be more than just threats, annoyances, insults, and petty oppressions.

For example, your neighbor started a fire on purpose in your garage with the intent to kill you. If you started having panic attacks that led to fainting, you might have a case. In this type of situation, the physical injury is a direct result of emotional distress. But if an employer screams and makes threats at an employee, this might not count as outrageous conduct. Even if it's rude and insensitive, it might not count as emotional distress.[2]


Medical malpractice insurance carriers generally require very large deductibles from their insured doctors. Furthermore, most states have laws that require doctors to report any claims of medical malpractice to a state-run board, which can result in higher insurance rates. Doctors may be willing to settle for an amount at or around the amount of their deductible, as it will abrogate the need for them to report the case. They are simply choosing to pay you the amount of the deductible instead of paying the insurance company. Seek counsel before accepting this type of settlement, as you need to be sure your future medical needs will be provided for.
Finally, you should also report the incident to a state regulatory agency for further investigation and possible punitive action. Although many of these punishments will be less than what you may want, it still creates a paper trail that can be presented as evidence in a civil case. Doctors and nurses should be reported to their regulatory boards. State health departments are in charge of hospitals and nursing homes, so they should be contacted if the incident occurred at one of these sites.
A good case in point is that of a Missouri teenager who went to the emergency room after a car accident. An infection was not diagnosed in time and led to permanent brain injury. The jury awarded the plaintiff close to 5 million dollars in damages. The young man now has permanent loss of motor skills and cognitive skills. The cost of his future medical expenses was a factor for the jury when deciding the award amount.
I know it's difficult to live with the "what ifs" of having cancer but in this case, if you do not yet know if you have the disease, you have to wait to see if you actually do have it. Then, you can contact a personal injury attorney in your area and they will help analyze your situation. You can contact as many personal injury attorneys as you want until you find one that will take your case.

We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.
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32. We are also cognizant of the fact that in a case involving medical negligence, once the initial burden has been discharged by the complainant by making out a case of negligence on the part of the hospital or the doctor concerned, the onus then shifts on to the hospital or to the attending doctors and it is for the hospital to satisfy the Court that there was no lack of care or diligence. In Savita Garg (Smt.)vs. Director, National Heart Institute (2004) 8 SCC 56 it has been observed as under:
Thank you for your comment, Ziggy. It might interest you that the Court's exact language was: "We do not regard the sending of truthful information pertaining to the criminal conviction of an admittedly rough-and-tumble labor official to his fellow union members, the placing of such a person under the kind of surveillance indicated in this record, or the sending of truthful information about his extramarital affair to his wife to meet the test [of outrageousness]."

In the state of North Carolina, an individual is held accountable for the intentional infliction of emotional distress if the victim or plaintiff can prove that the defendant’s conduct was outrageous and extreme, that the conduct was intended to cause severe emotional distress, and that the defendant’s conduct did in fact cause severe emotional distress. Although the definition of outrageous conduct can be subjective, it should be more than just threats, annoyances, insults, and petty oppressions.


Draft what is known as a "demand letter" to the doctor or other professional you believe is guilty of malpractice. In the demand letter you set forth the general nature of your claim, including the damages you suffered. Set forth the amount of money and other conditions you are willing to accept to settle the case. Set a specific deadline for the professional to satisfy the demand made in your letter. Advise that if the deadline is not met, you will take further legal action.

Once you have figured out what kind of case you have, you will need to prepare your documents and file your lawsuit. Sometimes you can obtain forms for your lawsuit from either the clerk of court or local law libraries, but not always. Similarly, legal aid groups may be able to help you complete your paperwork, evaluate your claims, and give you advice on what to file, where, and how much your filing fees will be. When your paperwork is ready you will need to file it with the clerk of court, pay a filing fee, and arrange to have a copy of the lawsuit and summons served on the other party. If you are unable to afford the filing fees, you can usually apply for indigent status and ask for a waiver of these fees.


Formal arbitration is a contractual alternative to a lawsuit or trial. In a formal arbitration situation, the parties contractually agree to allow a panel of attorneys (usually one plaintiff-oriented attorney, one defense-oriented attorney and one neutral) to hear their case and adjudicate it on the merits. Liberated from the evidentiary requirements of a formal lawsuit, parties are afforded the opportunity to save a considerable amount of money when compared to trial, while still being allowed to present their case. Formal arbitration is binding and should not be undertaken lightly. Courts are loath to overturn or otherwise alter decisions made by arbitration panels, particularly when the arbitration awards are reasonable in light of potential jury verdicts.
Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is harmed by a doctor (or other medical professional) who fails to competently perform his or her medical duties. The rules about medical malpractice -- from when you must bring your lawsuit to whether you must notify the doctor ahead of time -- vary from state to state. But there are some general principals and broad categories of rules that apply to most medical malpractice cases. Here's an overview of the law and some of these special rules.
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