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.


“Special damages (compensation for the injured party’s future medical expenses and loss of income) probably cannot be capped in South Africa, and this usually represents the largest part of any claim. Without adequate compensation for legitimate injuries, patients would be totally dependent on our public healthcare system for their future care. Receiving compensation from private sector healthcare providers and then relying on the state for any shortfalls is unfair,” he says.
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Every doctor and nurse has a legal duty to provide a good standard of care. If you feel they have fallen short, you can report them to their regulatory body. For doctors, this is the General Medical Council (gmc-uk.org), or the Nursing and Midwifery Council (nmc.org.uk) for nurses. These bodies can investigate serious mistakes in clinical care, dishonesty or abuse of position, but can’t make a doctor or nurse apologise to you, impose a fine or help you with a compensation claim.
I know it's difficult to live with the "what ifs" of having cancer but in this case, if you do not yet know if you have the disease, you have to wait to see if you actually do have it. Then, you can contact a personal injury attorney in your area and they will help analyze your situation. You can contact as many personal injury attorneys as you want until you find one that will take your case.
Unfortunately, just because one of these things occurs does not mean you have a claim. Medicine is not an exact science, and the law does not obligate doctors to be error-free 100 percent of the time. If doctor error occurs but there is no breach of a standard of care, you may not have a strong claim. If however, doctor error occurs and there is a breach of a standard of care, then malpractice may have occurred.
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.
Unfortunately, just because one of these things occurs does not mean you have a claim. Medicine is not an exact science, and the law does not obligate doctors to be error-free 100 percent of the time. If doctor error occurs but there is no breach of a standard of care, you may not have a strong claim. If however, doctor error occurs and there is a breach of a standard of care, then malpractice may have occurred.
Despite that fact that the Constitution promises you the right to health care, no one has successfully sued the State for the non-delivery or lack of health care. Several test cases have concluded that, despite the Constitution and the Patients’ Rights Charter, the government has no absolute obligation to provide access to health care. Instead, the government is required to “progressively realise its obligations” to its citizens. In practical terms, this means, for example, that a patient who needs dialysis and cannot be treated because of a lack of facilities cannot sue the State.
Medical malpractice claims don't only cover errors in diagnosis and treatment. Once you've established a doctor-patient relationship, the doctor owes you a duty of care and treatment with the degree of skill, care, and diligence as possessed by, or expected of, a reasonably competent physician under the same or similar circumstances. Part of that duty of care is to be forthcoming with your diagnosis, treatment options and prognosis, as reasonably competent physicians would not lie to their patients.
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.

When my father passed from MRSA acquired after open heart surgery (acquired either in the hospital or rehab center) I called 40 attorneys and was told the exact same thing as the article states: He was too old, had lost his viability (translate earning potential) and had no wife (she had died). Most of them would not tell me why they would not take the case, but one did. It's not only hard to hear that your elderly parent has no value legally, but this is exactly why doctors and hospitals and other medical facilities continue their poor attempts at keeping hospitals as clean as possible. They answer to no one.


As this article has made clear, it’s not easy to come up with a clear number that accurately accommodates for pain and suffering. How inconvenient or awful one person may consider a life-long back injury is not the same as another person. Likewise, how you determine a dollar amount is even trickier since both pain and how it affects someone is extremely subjective.
Putting a dollar amount on suffering is difficult for every party involved in a lawsuit. Some attorneys estimate pain and suffering damages using a formula based on the total of the other compensatory damages: compensatory damages x (a number from 3 - 10) – compensatory damages. The number you multiply by depends on the severity of the injury. For example, a minor injury would be a “3,” paralysis would be a “10.”
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.
Putting a dollar amount on suffering is difficult for every party involved in a lawsuit. Some attorneys estimate pain and suffering damages using a formula based on the total of the other compensatory damages: compensatory damages x (a number from 3 - 10) – compensatory damages. The number you multiply by depends on the severity of the injury. For example, a minor injury would be a “3,” paralysis would be a “10.”

The Dial-A-Law library is prepared by lawyers and gives practical information on many areas of law in British Columbia. Script 420 gives information only, not legal advice. If you have a legal problem or need legal advice, you should speak to a lawyer. For the name of a lawyer to consult, call Lawyer Referral Service at 604.687.3221 in the lower mainland or 1.800.663.1919 elsewhere in British Columbia.


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.
X. The medical practitioners at times also have to be saved from such a class of complainants who use criminal process as a tool for pressurizing the medical professionals/hospitals particularly private hospitals or clinics for extracting uncalled for compensation. Such malicious proceedings deserve to be discarded against the medical practitioners. XI. The medical professionals are entitled to get protection so long as they perform their duties with reasonable skill and competence and in the interest of the patients. The interest and welfare of the patients have to be paramount for the medical professionals.
Putting a dollar amount on suffering is difficult for every party involved in a lawsuit. Some attorneys estimate pain and suffering damages using a formula based on the total of the other compensatory damages: compensatory damages x (a number from 3 - 10) – compensatory damages. The number you multiply by depends on the severity of the injury. For example, a minor injury would be a “3,” paralysis would be a “10.”
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.

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?
To best gauge the pain and suffering you have experienced from your accident claim, keep a daily pain log and list the problems described above; this will help accurately describe your discomfort and maximize your injury settlement. For example, if you received injections, physical therapy, or had surgery, consider the enjoyment in your life before the accident, and then measure the toll on your life from stress and problems related to your injury and treatment.
As this article suggests, there is not really a simple answer to whether someone can sue a doctor for misdiagnosis.  There are many variables in the world of healthcare, and every situation is unique.  With that said, as a patient, you do have certain legal rights when it comes to the care that you receive.  Further, you do not have to simply accept that an error occurred without asking questions or learning more about protecting yourself.

Car insurance policies that extend beyond personal injury protection (PIP) generally provide coverage for most types of damages, including pain and suffering claims. The two most common types of auto insurance coverage are bodily injury (BI) and uninsured/under-insured (UM) motorist coverage. Both BI and UM can be used to cover pain and suffering, but only up to the amount of the policy limits. Bodily injury coverage most commonly has two policy limits, or split limits.

Expert witnesses, copies of medical records, deposition and witness fees, medical exams -- all of these things cost money. And if you lose your case, you could very well be on the hook for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in expenses - depending on your legal fee agreement. Is your case important enough to you that you feel the potential financial benefit outweighs the risk?
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