Medical negligence occurs when a doctor or other medical professional breaches the standard of care. In general, a standard of care is the accepted methods of treatment applied by other medical professionals in the area to patients with identical or similar conditions. A standard of care will vary depending on a number of factors, including geographic area, the age of the patient, and the medical condition.
In 2015, a Michigan doctor pleaded guilty to purposefully misdiagnosing patients with cancer and treating patients with strong cancer drugs they did not need. He also pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud, receiving kickbacks, and money laundering. The doctor is currently serving a 45-year prison sentence. A misdiagnosis that leads a healthy person to believe he or she is sick is a nightmare. This extreme example does showcase patient vulnerability and the trust they put in attending physicians.

However, bringing a lawsuit is not for everyone. Weigh your options. If your fear of “looking bad” to family or friends outweighs your desire to bring a malpractice suit against your doctor for an injury he caused you or a loved one, bringing a suit may not be the best option for you. On the other hand, if your need or want to bring suit against your doctor outweighs your fear, taking action against your physician may be the right choice for you.
When you need medical care, you tend to rely on doctors whether it’s your primary care physician or a referred specialist to manage your health in the best way possible. You trust doctors to advise you about your health condition, medication, and routine care. However, there may be times when that trust is broken due to negligence. When medical mistakes or negligence occurs while you or a loved one is receiving medical care, the consequences can be devastating sometimes resulting in death or a lifelong debilitating condition.
If you have been injured by a doctor, then the first step you MUST take is to request a copy of you medical records. This may be a little difficult, because some offices may try to stall or stonewall you. They will also charge you a copying fee for doing this, so be prepared. However, federal law states they must provide you with a copy of your records if you request it. These files may contain information about what went wrong with your treatment to cause the injury in question. That is why it is necessary to get a copy as soon as possible. (It should also be requested quickly after the incident because some records can be altered.) Simply contact the doctor’s office and ask for a copy of everything. This should include all notes from the doctor and other staff as well as lab work and medical imaging such as x-rays or CAT-Scans. If the incident occurred at a hospital, check with their medical records department for this information.
It’s a scary proposition: You put your faith in the hands of a physician only to be injured or harmed in the process. The fact that it happens often is not calming in any way. For instance, a reported 98,000 patients die annually as a result of medical malpractice (http://www.medmalfacts.com/facts-and-myths/). Another study shows 134,000 Medicare patients each month have an “adverse event” where they are injured in some way by doctors or medical staff (http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/11/16/us-medicare-errors). Unfortunately, if you are harmed in some way by your physician, then you have certain steps that you absolutely must take if you want to get some form of justice or compensation. Here’s an idea of what you have to do if you are injured by your physician (http://www.propublica.org/article/what-to-do-if-youve-suffered-harm).
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.
Not every mistake or bad result means there was negligence—doctors and healthcare providers are not liable for every mistake. The law realizes that doctors often have to make quick decisions without the best information. The key question is this: did the doctor make a reasonable decision that other reasonable doctors would have made in the same situation—even if later it turns out to be the wrong decision that caused a bad result. For example, you complain to your doctor of severe head pain. They pay attention and examine you. They carefully take your medical history, listen to you describe your symptoms, and order the right tests. Using the results of this examination, they decide that you have an ordinary tension headache that will go away. Later, it turns out that your doctor was wrong, and the pain was not caused by a tension headache. The doctor’s diagnosis was wrong. But your doctor still provided the proper standard of care, the same care that other doctors would have provided in this case. The doctor was not negligent and you probably won’t win if you sue the doctor for malpractice.
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.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a doctor, you should also contact an attorney. However, you must realize that they may not take your case. The standard of proof for medical malpractice is much higher than most people realize. It is not possible to file a lawsuit over just anything and expect a multi-million dollar payout. But you should talk to an experienced malpractice attorney to see what they can do with your case and also to see if they can help you with dealing with the doctors or hospitals after the incident.
The personality of the plaintiff, their witnesses and overall effect of the injuries which befell the victim plaintiff will play a powerful role in any damage award if damages are even awarded once liability issues are satisfied. The power and personality of the lawyer representing her or his client also may factor into a high money damage award case.
If you suffer mental anguish arising from a case of personal injury or medical malpractice, you may recover non-economic damages. However, in some jurisdictions, you may only be allowed to recover a specified maximum. Also, you will have to prove your injuries by a preponderance of the evidence. Talk with an experienced attorney to discuss the details of your case.

A about a month ago, I called my Doctor office, about an issue I was having, he gave me an antibiotic, but never ran any test to determine my problem. I was having the same problem about a week after, I called again. I was given another antibiotic, and finally he ran a urine test to determine if I had a UTI. It came back ok, he still had me on an antibiotic. I then got worse and I had to go to the ER, and get treated, I then called my Doctor the Monday after, and was seen in office, he looked at me real quick, pushed me out the office and just said I had a STD, and treated me for it with 2 more types of antibiotics he did not run any test to determine if I had an STD,. He made me believe that I had a disease and I felt so low and scared and angry. I have since wrote a letter to my Dr, asking for him to see me and please address my issues in detail with me. He has refused and has decided to drop me as a patient and told me to see a new Doctor. I read where in Pennsylvania you can sue a Doctor for emotional distress, is that true can I sue my Doctor for emotional distress?

Incidentally, under South African common law, there is the crime of "Crimen injuria", 'defined to be the act of "unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another."[1] Although difficult to precisely define, the crime is used in the prosecution of certain instances of road rage,[2] stalking,[1] racially offensive language,[3] emotional or psychological abuse[4] and sexual offences against children.[5' (from Wikipedia).
Plaintiffs can also sue for the negligent infliction of severe emotional distress that they experienced because of someone else’s injury. This types of suit occur sometimes when a person has to witness the injury or death of a loved one caused by another person’s negligence. However, to succeed on such a claim one must be able to prove that their distress was an immediate and foreseeable result of the defendant’s behavior. In addition, the plaintiff generally must physically witness the accident in order to be able to recover for this type of claim.
It isn’t surprising that you like your doctor. Otherwise, why else would you keep going back to him year after year? But so what? Liking your doctor shouldn’t keep you from suing him if he has caused you emotional and/or physical harm. Think about it – the legal system is around for a reason. It’s there to provide people with a way to receive compensation from someone who has harmed.

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Unlike regular insurance firms, the CMPA fights cases, even if settling would be cheaper. “(We) recognize that the reputation of any professional is highly important to their ability to continue to pursue their career. Accordingly, when the CMPA believes the care provided was appropriate, we provide the physicians with an appropriate and ethical defence,” says the CMPA’s Dr. Douglas Bell. Toronto lawyer Paul Harte argues the strategy intimidates many lawyers from bringing cases forward and denies injured patients access to justice.
In the state of North Carolina, an individual is held accountable for the intentional infliction of emotional distress if the victim or plaintiff can prove that the defendant’s conduct was outrageous and extreme, that the conduct was intended to cause severe emotional distress, and that the defendant’s conduct did in fact cause severe emotional distress. Although the definition of outrageous conduct can be subjective, it should be more than just threats, annoyances, insults, and petty oppressions.
There are no guidelines for determining the value of a malpractice victim’s pain and suffering. A jury cannot look at a chart to figure out how much to award for pain and suffering. In most states, judges simply instruct juries to use their good sense, background, and experience in determining what would be a fair and reasonable figure to compensate for the plaintiff’s pain and suffering. Because juries are given so little guidance about how to calculate damages for pain and suffering, awards of pain and suffering damages can vary widely among plaintiffs with similar injuries.
THE MATERIALS CONTAINED IN THIS WEBSITE ARE FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES AND ARE NOT TO BE CONSIDERED ADVERTISING OR LEGAL ADVICE. THIS INFORMATION IS NOT INTENDED TO CREATE, AND RECEIPT OF IT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE OR CREATE, AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THIS FIRM AND/OR ANY LAWYER IN THIS FIRM WITH ANY READER OR RECIPIENT OF THIS INFORMATION. INTERNET SUBSCRIBERS AND ONLINE READERS SHOULD NOT ACT UPON THIS INFORMATION WITHOUT SEEKING PROFESSIONAL COUNSEL. DO NOT SEND US CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION UNTIL YOU SPEAK WITH US AND GET AUTHORIZATION TO DO SO. ANY REFERENCE OR LINK TO A THIRD PARTY FOUND ON OUR INTERNET SITE IS NOT AN EXPRESS OR IMPLIED ENDORSEMENT BY US TO THAT THIRD PARTY OR THE INFORMATION PROVIDED. *TED GREVE IS A NORTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA LICENSED DOCTOR OF CHIROPRACTIC. HE PRACTICES ONLY LAW IN NORTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA.
While the majority of health care providers aim to exercise the highest standard of care for all patents, there are times when things can go gravely wrong. If you or a loved one has experienced poor medical care, misdiagnosis, lack of consent, or breach of doctor-patient confidentiality that has resulted in harm or injury, you may be entitled to medical malpractice recovery.
Such awards may follow in house insurance guidelines with some leeway granted to adjusters to adjust the claim in order to prevent the claim from being fully litigated in court. There is a wide range of levels of compensation which may fluctuate seasonally and with the economy and dictates of the insurance industry setting the varying levels of compensation to claimants. Some insurers have experimented with using computers which tabulate the data that is presented and grant the adjuster a level of money authority for which to settle the claim.
(3) A professional may be held liable for negligence on one of the two findings: either he was not possessed of the requisite skill which he professed to have possessed, or, he did not exercise, with reasonable competence in the given case, the skill which he did possess. The standard to be applied for judging, whether the person charged has been negligent or not, would be that of an ordinary competent person exercising ordinary skill in that profession. It is not possible for every professional to possess the highest level of expertise or skills in that branch which he practices. A highly skilled professional may be possessed of better qualities, but that cannot be made the basis or the yardstick for judging the performance of the professional proceeded against on indictment of negligence.
Doctors and hospital officials who subscribe to this philosophy, such as those at the University of Michigan Health System, the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, and Stanford University Medical Center say they tell patients when something went wrong and offer an apology and sometimes even compensation. They say the method is more humane and often eliminates lawsuits.

My ex husband and I have been divorced for 5 years now. He has primary physical care during the school year and I have primart during the Summer. Ever sense the divorce he has made my life a living nightmare if he doesnt like something or if its not what he wants. In results to all of this through out the year made me have suffer from depression. What can I do?
In most cases, only the primary physician (your doctor) can be sued for misdiagnosis. In rare cases, other health care professionals may also be liable if their negligence caused or contributed to the patient’s harm -- including nurses, lab techs, and any specialists who may have seen the patient. The hospital or health care facility where the doctor practices usually cannot be sued for harm caused by misdiagnosis. That’s because most doctors are independent contractors, not employees of the hospital, so the facility can’t be held legally responsible for the doctor’s negligence.   
If the medical incident that injured you occurred at a hospital, such as with a botched surgery or a post-operative infection, then you must inform the hospital as well. This will launch an internal investigation into the incident. When you contact the hospital, you should also inform them that you want to be included in the investigation. They should contact you about providing your side of the story on the record. This can also help with later litigation as the hospital may uncover evidence during this investigation.
The doctor's negligence caused the injury. Because many malpractice cases involve patients that were already sick or injured, there is often a question of whether what the doctor did, negligent or not, actually caused the harm. For example, if a patient dies after treatment for lung cancer, and the doctor did do something negligent, it could be hard to prove that the doctor's negligence caused the death rather than the cancer. The patient must show that it is "more likely than not" that the doctor's incompetence directly caused the injury. Usually, the patient must have a medical expert testify that the doctor's negligence caused the injury.
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