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.
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.
We offer a completely free, no obligation Medical Negligence Claim Assessment. We understand that suing your GP may not be an easy decision so we are here to help and advise you. We will take the time to listen to your complaint, and then explain whether you can sue a doctor, how long it might take, how you can fund the claim and how much compensation you might receive.
Most people are able to get to at least second base with a failure to warn claim. Fewer are able to prove that the doctor simply did not talk to them about that particular risk, although there are cases where a patient’s word has been accepted over a doctor’s insistence that a warning was given. Getting copies of the doctor’s medical notes can help with this element.
When it comes to determining the extent of physical pain, there are no computer programs to rely on. Each of us experiences pain differently. Even with today’s advanced medical technology, the best method doctors have for measuring a patient’s pain is a self-rated pain scale. This is when a doctor asks, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain?”
Like any profession or job doctors and other medical professionals can make errors of judgement or neglect to carry out their duties to the required standard. Usually this is not the case and the vast majority of medical practitioners do excellent work every day in our hospitals and clinics. When they do occur, however, incidents of hospital negligence and medical errors are often due to the pressure (and fatigue) of working long hours in what is undoubtedly a stressful environment.
Ensuring that you have the necessary documentary evidence—medical records; witness statements to establish the full scope of your pain and suffering; and expert testimony to verify your injuries and the pain they are causing you—are matters that we have years of experience handling. Before and after witnesses are those individuals who knew you both before and after the incident giving rise to your injuries and are equipped to testify regarding how the accident has impacted you from their perspective. A spouse or significant other is typically an obvious ‘before and after’ witnesses because they live with you day in and out, taking notice of your physical pain and condition.
For minor to moderate injuries, you’ll place a multiple of 1 – 5x on the total of your special damages. The number depends on the seriousness of your injuries, and whether they were soft tissue or hard injuries. The more serious the injuries, the higher the multiple. For very serious injuries, you’ll need an attorney to calculate the proper demand.
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.
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.
3. Finally, hospitals with specialized capabilities or facilities (e.g., burn units, specialized cardiac care units) must accept transfer patients from other hospitals if the specialized hospital has the capacity to treat them. This provision of EMTALA stops reverse dumping, where specialized hospitals won’t take indigent patients from other hospitals.
However, our legal system is set up in such a way where monetary damages is not only a way to compensate persons for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering; it is also there as a way to hold doctors accountable for their actions. Without the threat of monetary sanctions and lawsuits, doctors would lose some motivation for conducting their professional lives in a careful and cautious manner. Furthermore, if you doctor did negligently injure you or a loved one, bringing suit against him may serve as a wakeup call and could possibly prevent him from injuring someone else in the future.
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.
We have had multiple lawyers look at the case. All of them have told us that while they believe mistakes were made, it would cost too much to prosecute the case to be worth it. Since he was 25, single and childless, there are no financial losses; no one who was depending on his paycheck. All we really want is answers and assurances that something has been done within the hospital to prevent similar mistakes from occurring again.
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).
Emotional distress is a type of claim of damages for injury due to either the intentional acts or negligence of another. Severe emotional distress refers to any form of disabling mental or emotional condition, including neurosis, chronic depression, psychosis or phobia, which may be recognized and diagnosed by the proper medical professionals. Temporary anxiety or fright, regret, or disappointment, on the other hand, is not considered severe emotional distress.
If a doctor fails to make an accurate and timely diagnosis of a harmful medical condition, patients may pursue a legal remedy by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. One key question in these kinds of cases is whether the doctor breached the applicable "medical standard of care" under the circumstances. In other words, would a similarly-trained doctor in the same medical community have spotted the health problem (or identified it within a shorter period of time)? In the sections that follow, we’ll discuss some common misdiagnosis scenarios, and illustrate how a medical malpractice case might proceed.
I’d advise instead to try mediation, a grossly underused method that is effective, less stressful and a hell of a lot cheaper than going to court. Mediation is a relatively new concept in the NHS and takes the form of an independent, voluntary and confidential meeting in which a trained neutral sits with patients and NHS staff to allow both sides to outline their position, and see if common ground can be established and if issues can be narrowed and an agreement reached.
Very severe mental pain and suffering can qualify as acute stress disorder or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You may have thought that PTSD only affects soldiers or crime victims, but it can affect medical malpractice victims as well. Some people keep replaying all of the bad things that happened to them over and over in their head, and it can become very debilitating.
Medical malpractice cases must be brought soon after the injury. In most states, you must bring a medical malpractice claim fairly quickly -- often between six months and two years, depending on the state. (The time period in which you must bring the lawsuit is called the "statute of limitations.") If you don't file the lawsuit within the specified period of time, the court will dismiss the case regardless of the facts.