A case can be opened only if the alleged malpractice happened less than three years previously. There are a few exceptions to this general rule. If the injured party was under 18 at the time of the incident and his or her parents failed to seek compensation on behalf of the child, on turning 18, the child has one year to seek compensation on his or her own account. An injured party suffering from a mental illness has three years to make a claim on recovery from this illness. Exceptions might also be made if the injured party was compelled to be outside South Africa during the three-year intervening period.
Although this may sound like “tough love”, if you feel that you need or want to bring suit against your doctor because he or she injured you or a loved one, and your family or friends are giving your grief about it, maybe it’s time to think about whether they really have your best interests at heart. If bringing suit is something you feel that you need to do to pay for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, or just to regain some sense of control over the situation, your good friends and family will eventually come to understand and stick by your side.
The terms negligence and malpractice are often used interchangeably. Strictly speaking, negligence is a failure to “exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise” in similar circumstances. Medical malpractice, according to Andre Calitz, the chief operating officer for personal injury law practice Joseph’s Incorporated in Johannesburg, is an evaluation of conduct measured against a standard of medical care established by the medical fraternity.
In conclusion, my answer to your question would be, you can approach the Consumer Forum, where you don’t have to pay any Court Fee on your claim, and you may win the case with substantial evidence on your side. For the degree of evidence that is required to win a claim of Medical Negligence see the explanation above. Whether you have winning stuff in your case or not, can be best diagnosed by a independent, equally qualified Doctor, and not a lawyer. Approach a doctor first, and then with his opinion, approach a lawyer or directly the Consumer Forum of your district.
When most people think about medical malpractice lawsuits, they imagine that the plaintiff is suing to recoup medical bill costs, lost wages, and economic damages but do not think about emotional distress. While the law has historically limited the ability of plaintiffs to receive compensation for emotional distress, settlements for this type of case have become more commonplace in recent years. It is most common for physical damage to also occur in these cases but this is not always necessary.
The most common type of injury that leads to an award of pain and suffering damages is a severe physical injury that causes physical or mental anguish for a period of time following an accident. For example, a head injury suffered in a car crash that results in a persistent headaches and emotional problems could potentially lead to the awarding of pain and suffering damages.
A physical impact is not necessary for an emotional distress claim when there is a breach of fiduciary duty, the superior court said. Doctors have a legal and ethical responsibility to care for patients' well-being and, under the circumstances, it was reasonably foreseeable that Toney would endure emotional distress during the birth of her son, the court said.
While some medical errors are unavoidable, and things go wrong even when the utmost skill and care is used, doctors and other health care providers can be held legally responsible for any injuries that result from the provision of negligent or sub-standard care to patients. If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit against a doctor, it will most likely be under a legal theory known as medical malpractice.
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