In addition to notifying a health care provider that you intend to file a lawsuit, prior to filing suit in most jurisdictions, the injured patient must usually submit an affidavit or certificate from a qualified expert. This affidavit or certificate is usually completed by another doctor who can testify that there are reasonable grounds to determine that medical negligence or medical malpractice took place in a given case. Again, the exact requirements of the certificate vary from state to state and across jurisdictions.
Every physician owes patients a reasonable standard of medical care. If a physician fails to perform at the accepted standard and a patient suffers as a result of his or her actions, the patient reserves the right to file a malpractice claim against those responsible. Failing to take appropriate steps during the diagnostic process and to make reasonable diagnoses based on the evidence does constitute malpractice, and you can sue your physician for the intentional or negligent mistake.
As to what constitutes severe emotional distress, the courts here require that it rise above the level of temporary fright, regret or disappointment. Rather, the plaintiff must be able to show that they suffer from a severe and disabling emotional or mental disorder that mental health professionals generally recognize and diagnose, such as chronic depression, neurosis, psychosis or phobia.
In making its decision, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania cited several similar cases from other states, including New Jersey, New York, Texas and Wyoming. Courts in other states probably will use the Toney case to support their decisions in comparable cases, said Anna Laakmann, a law professor at Penn State Dickinson School of Law in Pennsylvania.
For example, John Smith went to his local doctor because he had a black spot on his foot and his leg was painful. His doctor sent him to a surgeon who suggested a special procedure using a needle inserted into his leg artery to see whether the veins in John’s foot were blocked. The surgeon botched the procedure and John’s artery was damaged. Several weeks later John’s leg had to be amputated. When John consulted a lawyer and the lawyer investigated his claim, the lawyer found that John’s original foot condition was gangrene and he was always going to have to have his leg amputated, so the surgeon’s negligence in performing the procedure did not leave John worse off than he would otherwise have been and he fails the test of causation.
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.
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.
Previously, a New York appeals court had also ruled that a couple was allowed to sue a fertility clinic for emotional distress after the clinic implanted the female plaintiff’s embryo in another woman, and although neither of the plaintiffs suffered physical injuries, the appeals court ruled that the couple had suffered substantial emotional injury due to the defendants’ breach of their duty of care.
First, you must show that the health care provider acted negligently. Medical negligence occurs when a professional violates the standard of care. The standard of care is the professionally accepted method for treating a specific disorder. This standard varies depending on a number of factors including the patient's age, overall health, and specific disorder, as well as geographic location.
Non-economic damages cover certain type of injuries that are not out-of-pocket losses, including pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, humiliation, mental anguish, loss of consortium (companionship) as well as emotional distress. Because these damages are often difficult to calculate and, juries may overcompensate and non-economic damages can exceed actual economic damages. There is no standard formula to calculate these non-economic damages; therefore they vary on a case by case basis and are referred to as subjective damages because they differ according to a plaintiff's personal or subjective experience.
The second element is the most difficult to prove. A skilful and competent doctor can make medical errors as such it is important to look at the actions of the doctor in arriving at a medical conclusion regarding a patient’s health. If it can be proven the doctor acted with reasonable skill, competence and did his due diligence in arriving at a conclusion then he/she will not be liable for any loss or suffering as a result of the misdiagnosis. But where it is shown that the doctor fell below the standards of a reasonable competent practitioner as he failed to take the necessary step arrive at a proper diagnosis and his acts resulted in the damage then a party will be successful.
Most people know that if a hospital makes a mistake that hurts them, they can sue the doctor or nurse or hospital in state court under state medical malpractice/ negligence laws. What most people, including many lawyers and doctors do not know is that you can also sue hospitals for failure to evaluate and/ or stabilize a medical condition that causes harm to the patient under a federal statute. The statute is commonly referred to as the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA).
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.
The pain of a sickle cell crisis is real and legendary. Your primary care provider should not be trying to limit so severely your access to controlled substances for pain management. Perhaps the mistake here is that you are relying on a primary care provider to handle your pain management needs. Consider consultation with a pain management specialist. Best of luck to you.
It is not easy to get a full picture of the increase in medical malpractice cases in South Africa, as there is no central register. Cases can be settled in court, out of court or via mediation. If matters are settled out of court or via mediation, there is no public record of compensation. However, if all sources of information are collated, it would certainly appear that both the number and levels of claims are increasing, and this is affecting the overall cost of health care in the country, including what you pay for medical scheme cover.
Unfortunately, patients can die as a result of these “adverse events.” If your loved one is one of the 98,000 patients who die annually as a result of medical malpractice, then you still have to take steps. First, you should contact the local medical examiner to set up a forensic autopsy. Sometimes, they will do this on their own as there are specific local laws that may require such an autopsy. If they do not, however, you may have to pay for the autopsy yourself with an independent pathologist. Regardless, it is a good idea to have such a procedure performed along with accompanying toxicology tests to determine the cause of death and uncover any evidence of possible wrongdoing or malpractice.
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.”
In light of the speed a physician must operate at in a busy emergency room, one can only expect that some conditions may be overlooked or misdiagnosed. This does not automatically mean they are negligent. A patient would have to be able to show that another comparatively competent doctor under the same circumstance would not have missed the right diagnosis. That can be difficult when the defendant is able to factor in a busy patient load. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis alone is not a basis for a personal injury claim. The patient would have to be able to prove that by not accurately diagnosing an ailment, the condition progressed and negatively impacted the course of treatment. A good example of this would be a patient who complains of chest pain, is given antacids and then later suffers a heart attack. Had they been diagnosed correctly, preventive measures would have been taken. Instead, they now may need surgery to repair a damaged heart. There are many variables in a medical malpractice claim. The best option for the patient is to retain a medical malpractice attorney.
And don’t kid yourself. If you think that your doctor just made a mistake and that it won’t happen again – think again. Chances are, if he made a mistake with you, he very well could have done it before and will do it again. Don’t be dissuaded by your doctor’s apologies or his downplaying of your injuries. An apology won’t pay for your medical expenses, and it certainly doesn’t ensure that he realizes the full consequences of his negligible actions.
Deon Irish, an advocate who specialises in medical malpractice and a guest speaker at the annual Hospital Association of South Africa Conference in September 2015, said factors that contributed to higher awards included the longer lifespans of patients, improved technology and a broader range of allied health professional skills designed to improve the quality of life of impaired patients.
Severe or disabling permanent injuries, such as a traumatic loss of vision, brain injury, or debilitating loss of mobility, are usually multiplied by 5 times; however, an automobile accident or serious injury that tragically leaves you in a wheelchair, or with disfiguring scars, or even the death of a loved one, may be multiplied by up to 10 times.
In the civil law arena, one of the most complex and challenging types of claims is a case involving malpractice. Attorneys that represent clients in malpractice cases tend to be specialists with a significant amount of experience. With that said, perhaps you made the decision to pursue a malpractice claim with no lawyer. If that is the case, you must understand the basics of how to process a malpractice claim without legal assistance.
However, if you were threatened or assaulted and then miscarried your baby, or were hospitalized because of a panic attack, your mental and emotional anguish is more apparent. Other physical signs of emotional distress might be ulcers or headaches. Also, it’s best if a doctor’s note is provided, from a doctor or psychologist, to support each claim.
Patients are responsible too—as a patient, you have the power to manage your healthcare. You must give the doctor all the important information about your condition, your medical history, and any other relevant information. If you don’t, and that leads to an error in diagnosis or treatment, it will be your fault, not the doctor’s. As well, a doctor is not responsible for problems if you don’t follow the doctor’s advice and your failure causes the problem. For example, if you get sick after surgery, it would be hard to prove that a surgeon was negligent in operating on you, if you don’t follow the surgeon’s instructions for recovery.
A patient trying to prove misdiagnosis must show that a doctor in the same or similar specialty would not have misdiagnosed the illness or injury. The plaintiff will have to show that the doctor did not include the correct diagnosis on the list and that a competent doctor would have included it. Alternatively, the plaintiff must show that the doctor listed the correct diagnosis but did not perform the right tests to arrive at the correct diagnosis by the end of the differential diagnosis method.
With the exception of a small minority of cases, the Florida medical malpractice statute of limitations is a hard and fast rule. Consequently, if you fail to file a claim or lawsuit for medical malpractice within the allotted time frame, you will be precluded from ever seeking monetary damages in your case. If you suspect that you sustained an injury or illness as a result of doctor negligence, you should contact the medical malpractice lawyers at Dolman Law Group as soon as possible.