When deciding whether to file a medical malpractice claim, it's important to find out how much time you have to legally bring the claim. All civil claims, including medical malpractice cases, have time limits as to when they must be filed. These limits, called “statutes of limitations,” require you to file your claim within a certain time period from when the injury occurred, or risk waiving your rights to recover money for your injuries.
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.
It should be noted that insurance companies are under no obligation to use the above methods when calculating pain and suffering. Many companies use complicated computer programs to decide how much should be offered for pain and suffering. These programs take into account all of the above factors and some others that most people wouldn’t think about.
This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Each case is different and past record is no assurance that the lawyers will be successful in reaching a favorable result in any future case. Snyder & Snyder is a law firm with lawyers licensed to practice law in Maryland and Washington, D.C. The attorneys at Snyder & Snyder can also be specially admitted in those states where they are not licensed to practice. The lawyers at Snyder & Snyder are medical malpractice trial lawyers, who concentrate their practice in the following fields: Maryland Birth Injury, Maryland Cerebral Palsy, Maryland Brain Injury, Maryland Spinal Cord Injury, D.C. Birth Injury, D.C. Cerebral Palsy, D.C. Brain Injury, D.C. Spinal Cord Injury. *Some verdicts may have been adjusted after trial.
From that point, a number of deadlines are triggered. You will need to stay on top of these deadlines or your case may be dismissed. You will need to use the discovery process to investigate your case and obtain evidence to support your claims. And, eventually, you will need to prepare your case for trial. If the pretrial procedures seemed difficult, trial is an even more complicated mix of rules and procedures that all apply at once. Preparation is key, and knowing how to navigate these rules will be the difference between success and failure.
Mental anguish is an element of non-economic damages usually sought in personal injury cases, medical malpractice and sometimes defamation cases. Generally, "mental anguish" translates to certain types of suffering that may include distress, anxiety, fright, depression, grief, or trauma. In many jurisdictions, plaintiffs may recover for mental anguish; however, some states set compensation caps on non-economic damages.
If the doctor's mistake was one that a reasonable doctor would make, he has not acted negligently and has not committed medical malpractice. Often when a doctor fails to diagnose a medical problem, he may mistake the problem for something else and attempt to treat that. Likewise, if the medical problem is extremely rare, unknown, or difficult to identify, than a proper diagnose may not be possible.
I was an RN and suffered serious and permanent harm from my cancer surgery. There were many errors, including my waking up during surgery, life-threatening infection, internal sutures that did not dissolve, renal failure, a collapsed lung after hospital discharge, abscesses and wound dehiscence. Years later, I am homebound and unable to work. I would be making $80-100,000/year now or more but am stuck barely above poverty on Social Security Disability. Since I and the various insurances have spent over $2 million for my care, and I do not have enough money to obtain all the care and medications I need, I am very unhappy. I have a potential new abscess now. It is a living horror, and the cancer may return. I am always in pain. No attorney would take my case. Even the failure to diagnose the cancer for years, with facts right there for every doctor I went to with my symptoms, isn't actionable. I am however, alive.
One attorney wrote to us that my Dad’s age was above the average life expectancy, and therefore it “seriously reduces the damages likely to be awarded for loss of future life earnings. Certainly this does not excuse the poor care he received but this makes the case economically untenable as the expenses will likely eat up the majority of likely recoverable damages. We do not have punitive damages in Washington (state) that an outraged jury could award to punish the Dr. and Hospital for their callousness. For these reasons our firm does not wish to undertake this case.”
The low point for the Australian medical insurance industry was in 1999 and 2000, with exponential increases in medical insurance premiums and the collapse of the HIH Insurance Group in March 2001. Since then, Australia has introduced a series of reforms, including the capping of compensation awards and dispute-resolution procedures that stipulate mediation or arbitration as the first step.
As we reported, the medical malpractice system often discriminates against certain patients, particularly those with low incomes. Those who can’t get representation — often women, children or the elderly — are sometimes called the “hidden victims” of medical malpractice. Studies show that the problem isn’t limited to states that have strict limits on malpractice awards.
In a personal injury trial in Florida you can ask the jury to compensate you for non-economic damages, which include damages as the result of any bodily injury sustained by Plaintiff and any resulting pain and suffering disability or physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience or loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life experienced in the past or to be experienced in the future. (Florida Standard Jury Instruction, See 501.2).
These factors all have to do with human nature. If you don’t like somebody, why would you help that person? Jurors feel the same way. If jurors don’t like someone who is going before them asking for money (i.e., a plaintiff in a malpractice case), they are not going to give that person much money. A likable plaintiff who is a good witness is going to do a lot better at trial than will an unpleasant plaintiff who is a forgetful, argumentative witness.