In my experience, many problems that spiral out of control could have been tackled sooner. You may have been kept waiting a long time for your hospital appointment, or a member of staff was rude to you. Perhaps you felt an elderly relative wasn’t getting adequate pain relief, or even enough to drink. In these circumstances, do as you would in any restaurant when you aren’t happy: ask to speak to a manager.
Most states have case law requiring courts to simultaneously treat those who represent themselves, known as pro se (pronounced “pro say”) litigants by the same standards as a minimally competent attorney. However, they are also usually required to give pro se litigants the benefit of the doubt. This strange double standard can lead to unusual and unpredictable results.
Many doctors are not employees of the hospital, and in general a hospital cannot be held vicariously liable for a non-employee's negligence. However, when a patient goes to the emergency room, the hospital cannot tell the patient what a doctor's employment status is. Therefore, hospitals may be held liable for an emergency room doctor's medical malpractice.
Severe or disabling permanent injuries, such as a traumatic loss of vision, brain injury, or debilitating loss of mobility, are usually multiplied by 5 times; however, an automobile accident or serious injury that tragically leaves you in a wheelchair, or with disfiguring scars, or even the death of a loved one, may be multiplied by up to 10 times.
Approximately 1% of all medical patients will be a victim of medical negligence (malpractice). However, less than 3% of those victims will file a claim for malpractice. This means that the overwhelming majority of victims never seek justice. There could be many reasons why. They may not know that they were victims of malpractice. They may not know what malpractice actually is. They may be unaware of the legal process that would help them recover damages. Whatever the reason, every victim of medical negligence has the right to pursue a claim in a court of law, and there is a process to filing and pursuing a medical negligence claim.
I later said I wanted reimbursement for wages lost due to pain, & donor fees lost due to inability to donate since my arms were bruised & in pain, along w/ damages for pain & suffering as I was unable to perform household duties, or enjoy my daily workouts. They advised me it's co.'s policy that I turn over medical bills & they pay after the fact; that don't pay for bills directly, & they won't compensate me for anything else unless I do it this way.
For minor to moderate injuries, you’ll place a multiple of 1 – 5x on the total of your special damages. The number depends on the seriousness of your injuries, and whether they were soft tissue or hard injuries. The more serious the injuries, the higher the multiple. For very serious injuries, you’ll need an attorney to calculate the proper demand.
When my father passed from MRSA acquired after open heart surgery (acquired either in the hospital or rehab center) I called 40 attorneys and was told the exact same thing as the article states: He was too old, had lost his viability (translate earning potential) and had no wife (she had died). Most of them would not tell me why they would not take the case, but one did. It's not only hard to hear that your elderly parent has no value legally, but this is exactly why doctors and hospitals and other medical facilities continue their poor attempts at keeping hospitals as clean as possible. They answer to no one.
In fact, filing a civil suit against your doctor does not even guarantee that he will be investigated. In order for your doctor to be investigated, a complaint would have to be filed against him with the New York State Department of Health. The Office of Professional Medical Conduct (“OPMC”) is responsible for investigating complaints about physicians, physician’s assistants, and specialist assistants. An investigation may lead to a formal hearing before a committee of the Board for Professional Medical Conduct.
I think one of the reasons people end up being channelled into the clutches of ambulance-chasing lawyers is the often bewildering NHS complaints system, at times a frustratingly slow and impersonal process. But in almost all cases, you can air grievances, and resolve disputes, quickly, with the minimum amount of fuss, without paying a penny – and here’s how...
Most people know that if a hospital makes a mistake that hurts them, they can sue the doctor or nurse or hospital in state court under state medical malpractice/ negligence laws. What most people, including many lawyers and doctors do not know is that you can also sue hospitals for failure to evaluate and/ or stabilize a medical condition that causes harm to the patient under a federal statute. The statute is commonly referred to as the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA).
The timeline involved is going to be important should you have a diagnosis of cancer for a few reasons. You mentioned 2 years went by from the time you were told you had a UTI until you were told you might have Bladder cancer? Is that correct? You were seen 6 times over the course of 2 years and diagnosed with a UTI every time? How many times were cultures taken? How much time was it from when your culture came back negative until you were told you may have cancer? Answers to these questions are necessary in order to have a better understanding of the facts and potential theories of negligence.
3. Expect that the case will be quick and cheap. Although experienced lawyers will take on viable cases on a “contingency basis”, you will likely be expected to front the costs of initial medical opinion(s) and record gathering. Be prepared for no less than $5,000 and as much as $15,000 to get started. If the investigation is favourable, most lawyers will pay the freight from this point to the end of the case.
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:
Loss of consortium refers to the impact the injury has had on the injured party’s ability to provide love, affection, companionship, or services. People often think that loss of consortium refers to the impact the injury has had on a married couple’s sexual relationship. But it’s broader than that. Many states now allow children and parents, in addition to spouses, to bring loss of consortium claims. Note that the person who would sue for loss of consortium is the spouse, parent or child of the person who was injured.
In addition to damages that are awarded to the injured patient, the patient’s family may recover compensation for loss of care, companionship, love and affection. If the medical malpractice victim dies, family members may be compensated for their wrongful death. Wrongful death damages may include medical and burial expenses, loss of income, emotional suffering, and loss of the deceased patient’s companionship and affection.
As to what constitutes severe emotional distress, the courts here require that it rise above the level of temporary fright, regret or disappointment. Rather, the plaintiff must be able to show that they suffer from a severe and disabling emotional or mental disorder that mental health professionals generally recognize and diagnose, such as chronic depression, neurosis, psychosis or phobia.
Emotional distress is a type of claim of damages for injury due to either the intentional acts or negligence of another. Severe emotional distress refers to any form of disabling mental or emotional condition, including neurosis, chronic depression, psychosis or phobia, which may be recognized and diagnosed by the proper medical professionals. Temporary anxiety or fright, regret, or disappointment, on the other hand, is not considered severe emotional distress.
The keys are 1) establishing the medical standard of care, meaning the level of care that was appropriate under the circumstances, and 2) demonstrating how the defendant fell short of meeting that standard. And in almost all cases, you’ll need the help of a medical expert witness to help you establish these things. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will be part of a network of professionals -- doctors, consultants, medical experts who have served in a variety of cases, and other medical malpractice attorneys -- and will utilize this network to locate and hire the right medical expert for your case.
In the mid 1990s the concept of a ‘gratuitous care’ award was developed by the High Court. Basically, if you can’t look after yourself or your house (or in some cases your children) because of your injuries, then you can claim the cost of a commercial carer or cleaner even though your family is doing the tasks you can’t do. For a while this was a very lucrative area of damages but now there are laws that place both a threshold and a cap on what you can claim. Put simply, you aren’t entitled to any gratuitous care award unless you need at least 6 hours of assistance per week for at least 6 continuous months and the hourly rate of any award is capped at the Average Weekly Earnings hourly rate. You should be careful, however, not to confuse gratuitous care with commercial care, which is a different claim for damages entirely and which is not the subject of thresholds or caps.
These types of witnesses are inherently biased in that they clearly care about you and would presumably never testify in a manner that would undermine your claim. The defense will often attack witnesses that are related to you either by blood or marriage by suggesting to the jury just that—the witnesses are inherently bias. Therefore, oftentimes the best before and after witnesses are those people who do not have any personal stake in the litigation. These can be employers or co-workers—individuals who are not a “friend” who may be bias, but rather people who see the injury victim on a nearly everyday basis and can provide firsthand knowledge regarding the affect the injuries have had on the person.
In most cases where the other party was clearly at fault, the injured party will receive at least some compensation for their pain and suffering. Most insurance companies recognize that people who are injured in a car accident deserve something for their pain and inconvenience. Often, the amount insurance carriers try to get away with, at first, is very low. But with proper attorney representation, this number can be increased to reach an acceptable sum.
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.
In many – but certainly not all – cases of negligent infliction of emotional distress, there must be physical harm in addition to mental harm for a plaintiff to recover damages. In the case of an incorrect cancer diagnosis, for example, the plaintiff might show that he or she underwent unnecessary chemotherapy or radiation treatment because of the error.
The doctor's negligence caused the injury. Because many malpractice cases involve patients that were already sick or injured, there is often a question of whether what the doctor did, negligent or not, actually caused the harm. For example, if a patient dies after treatment for lung cancer, and the doctor did do something negligent, it could be hard to prove that the doctor's negligence caused the death rather than the cancer. The patient must show that it is "more likely than not" that the doctor's incompetence directly caused the injury. Usually, the patient must have a medical expert testify that the doctor's negligence caused the injury.