Medical malpractice cases can be timely and costly, which is why most such cases are settled out of court. In addition, because medical malpractice insurance companies reject a significantly large portion of medical malpractice claims, it may be in your best interest to settle out-of-court or risk having no case at all. Keep in mind, however, that if you believe you have a strong case, then you should seek a larger settlement.
In some states, emotional distress claims based on negligence may be barred, depending on the presence, or lack thereof, of physical injury: some states bar emotional distress claims in cases where the distress is a direct result of physical injury, others require some demonstration of a physical injury or illness as a result of the emotional distress. And other states limit NIED claims to emotional distress experienced directly or as a bystander within a zone of physical danger.
Personal injury, or tort, law, allows a person to recover in civil court for the physical, emotional and/or financial injury caused to them by an outside party. The emotional component of personal injury is most often represented by claims of negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress. Although neither of these claims necessarily involves physical injury, NIED and IIED can have devastating and long-term impacts on a person’s life in ways that surpass many physical injuries. The bar for proving sufficient emotional distress is a fairly high one to succeed on a claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED), and is even higher for intentional infliction (IIED). This article will examine some common causes of action and the elements of negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Doctor and hospitals are liable to any patient where there is medical misdiagnosis caused by the negligence of the doctor. Most malpractice lawsuits in the US are as a result of medical misdiagnosis due to the doctor failing below the required standard as he was negligent. Misdiagnosis is more common in outpatient facilities as the government and private sector efforts have focused on inpatient safety. A person suing for misdiagnosis requires opinion from other doctors about the standard procedure which a doctor failed to do before diagnosing a patient. A considerable sum is generally recoverable because of the lasting effects misdiagnosis might have on the patient.
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.

As you read this, don't assume she passed because of her heart. The surgery was successful, as expected. It was the aftercare that killed her: Avoidable infections, overdose of heparin, lines becoming dislodged, a doctor collapsing her lung while removing a drain tube. It seemed endless but was only 95 days. One heart surgery with a 99.9 percent success rate and a week of recovery in the hospital turned into three heart surgeries, an exploratory abdominal surgery and seven hospital associated infections and 95 days later, her death. I wish there were a medical court (of sorts) that patients could go to without an attorney. They could file a complaint and sit in a room with the doctor, nurses, specialists and a panel of “judges” and plead their case. Ask their questions. No attorneys. No “specialists.” Just a place to get answers, and, if needed, monetary compensation. Personally, I just wanted answers.
In this New York case, a forty-year-old woman believed she felt a small lump in her breast during a self-exam, and went to her doctor. She was referred for a mammogram and underwent one. The radiologist treating her looked at the scans, and believed she had a clogged milk duct and it would just go away with him. But this lump didn’t just go away. In fact, it continued to grow and, a little over a year after her diagnosis, she went to the doctor again. At this time she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
When you’re faced with any kind of legal action, the decision to hire an attorney or go it alone and represent yourself is one that should be weighed very carefully. In particular, you might focus on two key questions: What is at stake? And how complex is the legal territory? Let’s look at both of those questions in the context of a medical malpractice case.
Personal injury, or tort, law, allows a person to recover in civil court for the physical, emotional and/or financial injury caused to them by an outside party. The emotional component of personal injury is most often represented by claims of negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress. Although neither of these claims necessarily involves physical injury, NIED and IIED can have devastating and long-term impacts on a person’s life in ways that surpass many physical injuries. The bar for proving sufficient emotional distress is a fairly high one to succeed on a claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED), and is even higher for intentional infliction (IIED). This article will examine some common causes of action and the elements of negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The most common type of injury that leads to an award of pain and suffering damages is a severe physical injury that causes physical or mental anguish for a period of time following an accident. For example, a head injury suffered in a car crash that results in a persistent headaches and emotional problems could potentially lead to the awarding of pain and suffering damages.

A patient bringing a failure to misdiagnose case must prove that there was a doctor-patient relationship, that the doctor failed to live up to the standard of care in diagnosing the patient's condition, and that the doctor's failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis actually and proximately caused an actual injury. Most often, failure to diagnose cases involve disputes related to the applicable standard of care and whether the doctor's failure to diagnose caused the plaintiff's injury.
The keys are 1) establishing the medical standard of care, meaning the level of care that was appropriate under the circumstances, and 2) demonstrating how the defendant fell short of meeting that standard. And in almost all cases, you’ll need the help of a medical expert witness to help you establish these things. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will be part of a network of professionals -- doctors, consultants, medical experts who have served in a variety of cases, and other medical malpractice attorneys -- and will utilize this network to locate and hire the right medical expert for your case.
95. In our considered view, the aforementioned principles must be kept in view while deciding the cases of medical negligence. We should not be understood to have held that doctors can never be prosecuted for medical negligence. As long as the doctors have performed their duties and exercised an ordinary degree of professional skill and competence, they cannot be held guilty of medical negligence. It is imperative that the doctors must be able to perform their professional duties with free mind.
There are two general types of pain and suffering: physical pain and suffering and mental pain and suffering. Physical pain and suffering has to do with a medical malpractice victim’s actual physical injuries, i.e., his/her bodily injuries. It also includes conditions like scarring, disfigurement, and permanency of the malpractice victim’s injuries.
Even though current compensation awards take longer lifespans into account, there could still be a mismatch between the assumed lifespan and the actual lifespan of the patient. An arbitration agreement that contracts medical providers to cover the cost of health care for the actual lifetime of the patient removes this risk, Kellerman says, and it would provide the greatest benefit. Waiting for five to eight years for a court resolution is avoided, and there is no erosion of compensation by contingency fees (up to 25 percent), as the costs of the mediation are usually prescribed by fixed tariffs. The process does not place an emotional or financial burden on the injured party, and resolution, if done proactively from the outset, could take less than two years.
One example might be a person who survives a car crash in Knoxville in which a loved one dies. If the plaintiff can prove negligence, then any mental or emotional suffering resulting from the accident might be a recoverable damage. Seeing a loved one killed in an accident would traumatize anybody, but not every case of emotional distress will be so clear.

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.
“This is a good step; it provides an avenue for potential litigants to engage with service providers they believe have been negligent. Such a process assumes the willingness of both parties to engage in good faith, and to compromise, if this is appropriate,” Dinnie says. “Where the matter at hand is relatively simple and perhaps the quantum of the possible award is not that significant, it provides a way forward. I am not sure how effective such an option would be in a more complex case where the stakes were higher, the possible longevity of the victim was in dispute and the quantum of the award was higher.”
The civil tort of assault is premised on the fact that a person says something or otherwise implies that he or she will have some type of harmful or offensive contact with the victim and the victim has reasonable apprehension of this contact occurring. This tort does not require that the contact actually occur, but merely requires that the victim has the apprehension that it will. In the medical context, this may occur if a doctor threatens to take medical action against the patient’s will.
Rather, the law only requires medical professionals to act according to the proper standard of care. If you have evidence that your doctor violated this standard when failing to diagnose your condition, then you may have a legitimate malpractice claim. Oftentimes, an expert witness will be called in to determine whether a medical professional did indeed violate his or her standard of care.
7. Hospitals are afraid of this investigation: If a violation of the statute is alleged, the federal government comes into the medical facility and investigates not just the claimed violation, but any violation of any type from the statute. This gives the plaintiff lawyer great leverage with the hospital to settle both the state malpractice and federal EMTALA claims quickly and quietly.
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?”
The patient must also prove that the doctor's negligent misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis caused the patient's injury or condition to progress beyond where it normally would have -- had the correct diagnose been made in a timely manner -- and that this progression had a negative impact upon treatment. For example, because of a delayed cancer diagnosis the patient had to undergo a more severe treatment regimen (such as chemotherapy) or the patient died because the cancer had metastasized and no longer responded to treatment. Sometimes a patient can show harm even if the condition can still be treated. For example, with some cancers a delay in treatment increases the risk of recurrence.
How is emotional distress defined in the eyes of the law? In most cases, you can only sue for emotional damages if the incident in question physically harmed you. Emotional distress suits are trickier than other types of lawsuits. It’s important to have a solid understanding of the types of emotional distress claims before you attempt to file a lawsuit.
To file a certificate of merit you must first contact an expert, usually another physician. This expert will review your medical records and certify that the original health care provider deviated from accepted medical practices, which resulted in your injuries. The attorney that you hire will now file the certificate of merit, which confirms that you spoke with a medical expert and that your action has merit.
Current pain and suffering is the time period from the time of your injury, to the completion of all your medical treatment. Future pain and suffering are more broad, as the exact time frame is unknown. Your injury may cause you to endure both physical pain and discomfort, and emotional pain, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, memory loss, or insomnia.
An award for pain and suffering is not obtainable unless your injuries reach at least 15% of a most extreme case.  There is, however, no set way of measuring what 15% of a most extreme case looks like so every injured person must be individually assessed by the Judge and a percentage decided.  The maximum award for pain and suffering is about $612,500.00 and is indexed each year to keep pace with inflation.
Delayed diagnosis of cancer is one of the most common types of delayed diagnosis cases. Unfortunately, this occurs a lot more than it should. When considering suing their doctor for delayed diagnosis of cancer, plaintiffs must consider the fact that they already had cancer when the negligence occurred. It is this very pre-existing cancer which gives rise to the possibility of a case – the cancer was there to be diagnosed, and that opportunity was lost
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.

With constant improvements in transportation technology, along with massive decreases in the cost of international travel, the old saying that “the world is getting smaller” is truer than ever before. The wealthy have long enjoyed the benefits of international travel, but now “average” Americans can easily travel, too. Moreover, companies like SpaceX and Boeing envision a future in which you can travel almost anywhere in the world in less than an hour.
I believe that minor children should have as much right to call a lawyer (a free service provided by the government) to help them when they're being emotionally abused, physically abused, emotionally or physically neglected, sexually exploited, and otherwise maltreated... the very same rights as an adult would have. Children are human beings, they're people, and so they SHOULD have the same rights as adults to bring suit for maltreatment, neglect and exploitation against the people that our society/culture trusts to provide adequate care, aka "parents".
7. Hospitals are afraid of this investigation: If a violation of the statute is alleged, the federal government comes into the medical facility and investigates not just the claimed violation, but any violation of any type from the statute. This gives the plaintiff lawyer great leverage with the hospital to settle both the state malpractice and federal EMTALA claims quickly and quietly.
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.
Others may be responsible—if a doctor delegates work to someone else, the doctor may still be legally responsible for the work. If a doctor leaves a patient in the care of another doctor, both doctors may be responsible. If an inexperienced intern performs the duties of a doctor, the intern has to give the same medical care the doctor would give. But a doctor can rely on the employees of a medical facility and expect that they’ll meet the standard of care required in their jobs. So if a doctor leaves proper instructions with a nurse who doesn’t follow them, the nurse, not the doctor, may be responsible. Or both may be. If a person is harmed by the negligence of another healthcare professional, they can sue that professional. They can also file a complaint with the regulatory body for that profession. For example, the College of Registered Nurses of BC licenses nurses. The Emergency Medical Assistant Licensing Board licenses paramedics.
In a malpractice (medical negligence) case, you first must establish that the medical professional(s) acted below the standard of care. That can usually only be established through expert testimony willing to say that the doctor who treated you was negligent by falling below the standard of care. Secondly, you must establish that the negligence was the cause of harm. (This is called "causation.") In other words, if the condition is something that he would have had to deal with anyway, or if the condition is something that you and the medical staff could have reasonably expected, the defense will say that the negligence, if any, didn't cause the future issues. The third point is the issue of damages. If the negligence caused you to incur expenses, those would be your "special damages" and for any loss of income your mom contributed to your household. You are also generally entitled to recover for the loss of "care, comfort and society" of the departed.
You can also recover damages for physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional suffering, inconvenience, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life and "loss of consortium" (the loss of company/love/relations with your spouse). Many states have set limits on the amount of damages available to injured patients in medical malpractice cases. So, pain and suffering for the same injury may be in the millions in Illinois, but will be $250,000 or less in a state that limits pain and suffering damages to $250,000.

Doctor and hospitals are liable to any patient where there is medical misdiagnosis caused by the negligence of the doctor. Most malpractice lawsuits in the US are as a result of medical misdiagnosis due to the doctor failing below the required standard as he was negligent. Misdiagnosis is more common in outpatient facilities as the government and private sector efforts have focused on inpatient safety. A person suing for misdiagnosis requires opinion from other doctors about the standard procedure which a doctor failed to do before diagnosing a patient. A considerable sum is generally recoverable because of the lasting effects misdiagnosis might have on the patient.


In another case, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York allowed a couple to sue a fertility clinic for emotional distress after the clinic implanted the female plaintiff's embryo in another woman. Although neither plaintiff was physically injured by the implantation, both suffered emotional injury due to the defendants' breach of their duty of care, the court said.
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.
Thank you for your response. I guess what it comes down to if I want to see any money out of this is to first spend the money at a doctor (as I mentioned I hate hospitals, and E.R services are the only ones who bill you after the fact.) I just don't understand why one would have to pay a professional to examine something and tell me what I already know, that no bones were broken and I'll just be sore for awhile. The company has video of my being hit by this equipment, a couple employees saw it. I documented the bruising after. Why do I need someone to tell me "you'll be alright, it'll just be sore for awhile," to justify what happened to me that day, did happen, and it was in no fault of my own? The fact that it happened, was witnessed & recorded, & I have photos of the bruising, isn't enough for me to win in small claims court?
Examples of medical malpractice involving doctors include making surgical mistakes, leaving medical instruments inside the body during a procedure, cutting tissue in error, interpreting test and lab results incorrectly, resulting in the wrong diagnosis, or treating a condition inappropriately. Examples of malpractice involving nurses include failing to communicate new symptoms to doctors, administering the wrong type or dose of medication and failing to use equipment correctly.
The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney or if you do not have an attorney, consult with an attorney.
It may not be so easy to file a personal injury lawsuit against a hospital or other health care facility, if what went wrong was limited to the quality of medical treatment you received from a doctor. That’s because in many cases, a physician is not an employee of the hospital, but an independent contractor. So, the hospital may not bear the kind of vicarious liability that typically exists in an employer-employee relationship.
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