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 may not live long enough to see minor children gain the same rights that adults have to sue for outrageous instances of extreme emotional abuse (and physical abuse, and sexual abuse) but I hope that some day minor children WILL be given the right to sue their parents for ghastly instances of child abuse (such as sexual molestation), emotional abuse, and skin-crawling incidents of child neglect and child exploitation.
Is our situation unique? According to the MPS report, in the United States there have been two waves of legal reforms prompted by medical malpractice claims: one in the mid-80s and another in the early 2000s. Reforms were driven by an increase in insurance premiums and concerns about access to health care. Since 2000, 29 states in the US have introduced limitations on damages; some limit both “economic” and “general” damages (compensation for pain and suffering), while others cap only general damages.
The study recommended reforming the system by increasing funding for legal services, so attorneys could be compensated for their time; making defendants who lose a case pay the plaintiff's attorney fees; or sending malpractice complaints to an administrative system with neutral adjudicators and medical experts so patients wouldn't need an attorney.
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.
Although medical mistakes cannot always be prevented, help is available when these unfortunate situations change the course of victims’ lives. The pain and suffering that victims are left to contend with cannot be erased, especially when death or a chronic condition is the result of medical negligence. Personal injury compensation may help to ease the burden of physical and mental trauma from a medical mistake.
Successful lawsuits require proof that physicians failed to meet the “standard of care” other reasonable doctors would have and that the failure caused injury.That’s hard, Knutsen says, especially since it’s easier for doctors to find — and pay for — physician experts.“What was the cause of this person’s misfortune? Could it be the cardiac arrest or disease they showed up at the hospital with? Was it a pre-existing condition? Was it someone else’s fault?” he asks.
Negligence is not always the cause of a misdiagnosis. Mistakes and misjudgments typically occur in medical diagnosis because many medical conditions do not consistently exhibit the same symptoms in every individual. For example, women are much more likely to be misdiagnosed with a heart attack as they do not experience hallmark symptoms that precede a heart attack such as chest pains. Instead, women may experience discomfort in their neck, jaw, back, shoulder, arm or stomach, nausea, vomiting or heart burn.
Holding Negligent Healthcare Providers Accountable Our team of experienced, litigating attorneys have spent thousands of hours in actual courtrooms fighting for victims of medical malpractice in Florida. Our firm has the resources necessary to hire the appropriate expert witnesses, investigators, … Continue reading Florida Medical Malpractice Attorneys
The loser of a lawsuit has to pay some of the successful party’s legal fees. So patients who are already struggling financially because of a medical error may be reluctant to take on the financial risk, says Susan McIver, author of After the Error. “It’s a real David-and-Goliath situation … Plaintiffs risk losing their homes and life savings when going up against an organization with deep pockets filled to a significant extent by taxpayers’ money.”
After suffering physical or mental harm, you may find yourself dealing with anxiety, panic attacks or depression. You may even have suicidal thoughts and self-guilt. This is known as emotional distress and it is possible to receive compensation from the person who caused the distress. First, it is important to understand what can cause it to develop and how to sue for emotional distress.
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This method entails writing the pain and suffering out as if it were a job description. What would someone need to be paid in order to fulfill the job duty? For example, if a car accident put someone in a wheelchair for six months, then how much would the average person have to be paid to sit in a wheelchair everyday for 180 days? Would you sit in a wheelchair everyday for 6 months for $5,000 or would it take more like $50,000?
The doctor was negligent. Just because you are unhappy with your treatment or results does not mean the doctor is liable for medical malpractice. The doctor must have been negligent in connection with your diagnosis or treatment. To sue for malpractice, you must be able to show that the doctor caused you harm in a way that a competent doctor, under the same circumstances, would not have. The doctor's care is not required to be the best possible, but simply "reasonably skillful and careful." Whether the doctor was reasonably skillful and careful is often at the heart of a medical malpractice claim. Almost all states require that the patient present a medical expert to discuss the appropriate medical standard of care and show how the defendant deviated from that standard.