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Malpractice lawyers decline cases because potential compensation doesn’t justify legal costs, Knutsen says. It only makes sense to accept “high-value cases,” meaning those with potentially big claims. The decision rests on the “entirely distasteful” exercise of calculating the value of a life. “It’s cheaper to kill someone than to maim them. In our legal system, as long as you are alive, you have a claim for income loss and pain and suffering. If you’re dead, those claims expire,” Knutsen says.
Your lawyer will decide whether or not to pursue your case against the hospital.  If the lawyer takes the case, he will then need to retain an expert medical doctor to submit an affidavit detailing how the treatment was below the standard of care, and how that departure from the standard of care led to an injury.   The case will then go through the pre suit process, which is a 90 day period during which the hospital investigates the claim.  At the conclusion of the presuit period the hospital can deny the claim, or accept responsibility.  Often times the parties will agree to mediate the case during the presuit period, and this often results in a settlement.  If the case does not settle during presuit, the lawyer will then file a complaint of medical negligence against the hospital. This is where the work really begins.
Dr. Zaheer A. Shah, MD, JD (Attorney and Physician): The author of this answer is an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of Arizona and he is a board certified, Ivy League trained, practicing physician. Nothing posted on this forum by the author constitutes legal advice. Additionally, any medical opinions rendered on this forum in response to a particular question do not constitute medical advice. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and are neither privileged nor confidential. While an effort is made to offer accurate information, there is no guarantee as to accuracy.
Once the claimant has satisfied the pre-suit investigation and notice requirements, the claimant may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in the Florida court system. In order to prevail in a medical negligence case against a doctor, the claimant has the burden of proof. This burden may be difficult to meet, given that there is often a presumption that the doctor acted reasonably and properly under the circumstances.
The biggest hurdle for patients to get over in bringing a claim is a law that sets up a defence for all professionals accused of negligence.  It says that if the professional acted in a way that was widely accepted in Australia by that professional’s peers as competent professional practice then the professional is not liable.  Note that ‘widely accepted’ does not necessarily mean that the majority of professionals have to agree to the practice.

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.


If you suffer an injury or illness after medical treatment, and it was a known risk that your doctor did not tell you about before you agreed to the treatment, it could be malpractice. A court will consider whether a reasonable person would have consented to the treatment if they had been told of the risks. In some cases, the failure to get any consent at all may also be an assault or battery. If you have experienced an assault during medical treatment, you can contact the police.
These things are the different “elements” of pain and suffering damages. It is basically financial compensation for having to “go through” certain things that you otherwise would not have had to if it wasn’t for the accident/injury. In minor incidents, it is compensation for the inconvenience; in major cases, it is compensation for the agony and suffering. For example, your medical bills may be covered, but that doesn’t compensate you for the pain of never being able to pick up your grandchild again. It makes perfect sense if you think about it in that way.
I think this is absolutely the right decision. As $15 million sounds like a lot of money, because it really is, this patient and her family are completely changed now. Her life might end because of the doctor’s negligence. There is no price for human life; no amount of money can possibility bring a life back. That is why the large award is to pay for all of her treatment, medical bills, and anything else that can help to rectify the mistakes by her doctor. This also serves as a deterrent to her doctor and radiologist and others as well to make sure they properly do their job and, when in doubt, as for a second opinion.
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.
According to the American Journal of Medicine 15 per cent of all medical case in developed countries are misdiagnosed. The National Center for Policy Analysis further states fatal diagnostic errors in U.S. intensive care units equal the number of breast cancer deaths each year — 40,500. Misdiagnosis has become a cause for concern in the medical and legal field because it has fatal consequences.
All doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other healthcare providers have a legal duty to provide proper medical care to patients—and to any other people who need emergency medical care. But doctors do not have to accept everyone as a patient. They can refuse to take a person as a patient for legitimate reasons. For example, a doctor may lack medical knowledge and experience in a particular area. Or a doctor and person may disagree on the right medical treatment for the person. But doctors cannot refuse to take a person as a patient because of age, gender, marital status, medical condition, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, race, religion, or socioeconomic status.
Since medical malpractice situations can create unexpected medical expenses, it is important to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer about filing a claim against the negligent doctor or medical organization. The earlier you begin the legal process, the closer you may be to receiving an explanation regarding why the medical malpractice situation occurred and who was at fault.
Ways an accident has affected you can be very personal in nature. For instance, an injury victim may have been a member of a bowling league with her spouse for twenty years prior to an accident occurring. They bowled together every Thursday evening with their friends and this weekly ritual became a cornerstone of bonding in their marriage. Following the accident however, the injury victim suffered neck injuries that prevented her from being able to bowl. She begins to feel isolated from her spouse and her friends. Thursday evenings are now spent utilizing heating pads and taking prescription narcotics in attempts to alleviate the pain.
In the context of the doctor-patient relationship, proving the necessary elements of an emotional distress claim can be difficult. Plaintiffs may need medical evidence, from psychologists or orthopedists, of emotional or physical injuries -- the more intense the mental anguish and the longer the suffering, the more likely you'll be able to prove emotional distress. And the more extreme or outrageous the underlying conduct, the more likely you'll be able to link your distress to that conduct.
It is pretty simple to add up your actual costs; however, calculating an amount, to sum up your pain and suffering can be quite a challenge. The longer you estimate your pain and suffering to continue, the higher your claim will be worth. An attorney can help you effectively and reasonably convey the huge impact the pain and suffering from your injury has had on your life.
Do you have skeletons in your closet? Were you less than truthful about your health and/or physical condition? Are you prepared to subject yourself to hours of questioning from attorneys, both yours and likely several others? Are you prepared to make financial disclosures that will become public? When you file a lawsuit, particularly a medical malpractice lawsuit, your life becomes a very open book -- nearly everything is fair game.
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