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.

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.


The law protects you against any doctor providing you with substandard care. It is possible to sue a doctor who works in an NHS hospital, a private practice or a GP's surgery. Also the law understands that if a doctor has been negligent towards you, you may not always be able to make a claim for yourself. It is possible to sue a doctor for negligence on behalf of yourself, your child, an elderly relative, an individual who has passed away or another loved one who is unable to make the claim themselves.
In July 2003, Toney delivered a boy with profound deformities, including partial arms and legs. Toney sued Dr. Goyal and Chester County Hospital in 2005 for negligent infliction of emotional distress, alleging that Dr. Goyal did not prepare her for the shock of witnessing the birth. Toney said she experiences ongoing grief, rage, nightmares, nausea, hysteria and insomnia. The lawsuit did not include a medical negligence claim.
You can file a complaint with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC. There is no time limit for complaining to the College. And you can do this at the same time as you sue for malpractice and contact the police if you think you were assaulted. But the College cannot order a doctor to pay you money—only a court can do that. Script 423, called “Making a Complaint against Your Doctor” explains how to file a complaint. Contact the College through its website or call it at 604.733.7758 in Vancouver and 1.800.461.3008 elsewhere in BC.

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.

Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed diseases are heart attacks and blood clots, infections or tumors. Misdiagnosis can delay treatment and can even be fatal. Mistakes are shockingly common when medication is administered, and surgical mistakes happen way too often. Sometimes doctors operate on the wrong body part, or on the wrong person entirely! The same formula above can be useful in trying to calculate the value of your medical malpractice case.
As to whether or not the plaintiff’s injury is a reasonably foreseeable result of the defendant’s conduct, North Carolina courts ask whether a “reasonably” cautious person might have foreseen that severe emotional distress would result to the plaintiff. What qualifies as “reasonable” and “negligent” depends on the situation; for example, medical professionals are held to a higher standard of care when treating patients.
Traffic tickets can affect your claim, and if the insurance company determined that you were partially at fault for the car accident, then the amount of settlement could be worth less. If you were not at fault and depending on your attorney’s negotiating skills, you might possibly get the full settlement. If the driver who caused the accident was driving under the influence, then he or she would need a criminal defense attorney, as they might be fully held liable for causing the car accident.
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.
Hello Mr. Shah. I do have a pain management doctor the problem is he’s not affiliated with this hospital. And unfortunately this hospital only has one pain management doctor and she won’t return my pcp calls. My pcp told me if i could find someone to manage my pain and are willing to give me Demerol to help with my pain then he was fine with that. My hemotologist saw how much pain I was in and gave me a dose of Demerol. When she came to visit me she told me she was upset because my pcp got mad at her for giving me the dose of Demerol. So when I ask him about he says he didn’t talk to her personally he just wrote some notes. I just don’t understand why he is doing this and not taking the pain that I am having serious. Now my gemotologist don’t want nothing to do with the situation and he tells me that I need to “convince” them on giving me pain medicine that actually works. I feel like I’m stuck with this doc because if I do try to find another he’s going to say something to discourage them for taking me on as a new patient. I have never ever been treated like this out my whole life when I would have a crisis. This is just so unprofessional and I can’t keep allowing him to see me in tears in pain and he does nothing to fix it.
Special medical malpractice review panels. Many states require the patient to first submit the claim to a malpractice review panel. This panel of experts will hear arguments, review evidence and expert testimony, and then decide whether malpractice has occurred. The panel decision does not replace an actual medical malpractice lawsuit, and the panel cannot award damages, but it's a hoop the patient must jump through before getting to court. The findings of the review panel can be presented in court, and courts often rely on a review panel's finding of no medical malpractice to throw out a case before it goes to trial.
Often, with major cases, focus groups are used to determine these kinds of situations. In a personal injury case focus group, a group of people volunteer to hear the facts of the case and then answer questions pertaining to the case so that the attorneys can get an idea of what the general public (and hopefully the future jury) is thinking. Knowing that a focus group of 20 people all thought the victim should be paid at least $50,000 can help a lot in determining a starting point.
The incident that caused the stress must have been due to extreme or outrageous negligence and that the actions caused you emotional harm. For example, if you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver in which a family member was killed, you may be able to file a claim for emotional distress due to the negligence of the driver in getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated.
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.

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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