One of the most common reasons that a physician may be accused of medical malpractice is due to the failure to diagnose. This is premised on the idea that the patient needlessly suffered for an extended period of time because the doctor failed to properly evaluate tests or run tests that should have reasonably notified him or her of the potential diagnosis. Other examples of medical malpractice include misdiagnosing a medical condition, failing to provide appropriate treatment, causing an unreasonable delay in treating a diagnosed condition, violating HIPAA laws, performing wrong-site surgery and performing surgery on the wrong patient.
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.

Failure to warn a patient of known risks. Doctors have a duty to warn patients of known risks of a procedure or course of treatment -- this is known as the duty of informed consent. If a patient, once properly informed of possible risks, would have elected not to go through with the procedure, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice if the patient is injured by the procedure (in a way that the doctor should have warned could happen). (To learn more, read Nolo's article Medical Malpractice: Informed Consent.)

If you suffer an injury or illness after medical treatment, and it was a known risk that your doctor did not tell you about before you agreed to the treatment, it could be malpractice. A court will consider whether a reasonable person would have consented to the treatment if they had been told of the risks. In some cases, the failure to get any consent at all may also be an assault or battery. If you have experienced an assault during medical treatment, you can contact the police.
Jury awards for pain and suffering may vary depending upon socio-economic and political factors within the community from which the jury is drawn.[2] In most states the maximum monetary amount awarded for pain and suffering is capped at what is listed in the particular suit or written complaint. In some jurisdictions there are maximum amounts set in law which a jury may not exceed in awarding damages.

Ways an accident has affected you can be very personal in nature. For instance, an injury victim may have been a member of a bowling league with her spouse for twenty years prior to an accident occurring. They bowled together every Thursday evening with their friends and this weekly ritual became a cornerstone of bonding in their marriage. Following the accident however, the injury victim suffered neck injuries that prevented her from being able to bowl. She begins to feel isolated from her spouse and her friends. Thursday evenings are now spent utilizing heating pads and taking prescription narcotics in attempts to alleviate the pain.


Most states have case law requiring courts to simultaneously treat those who represent themselves, known as pro se (pronounced “pro say”) litigants by the same standards as a minimally competent attorney. However, they are also usually required to give pro se litigants the benefit of the doubt. This strange double standard can lead to unusual and unpredictable results.
I had the same issue after my daughter passed from medical harm. I did at one point have a signed contract with an attorney. He had a friend in the medical field that he felt could review her 2,500 pages of medical records. However, when his friend explained that because she was an infant who went in for heart surgery, you'd require two specialists to review my daughter’s chart and testify. I was told it would cost roughly $50,000 to $75,000 per specialist. This doesn't include normal costs for the attorney. It didn't take long for the attorney to send me a letter stating he couldn't help me. I added that letter to the other dozen all stating we had a good case, but the financial limits made it impossible for them to take it. It was business.
Doctor negligence claims can be complex as it can often be difficult to show that the injury or illness you are suffering from has been caused or exacerbated by the negligence of your GP. Your solicitor will arrange for you to be assessed by an independent medical expert who will assess your injuries and/or illness and will advise on whether the symptoms you are experiencing have been caused by the negligent actions (or inactions) of your GP.
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.
Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed diseases are heart attacks and blood clots, infections or tumors. Misdiagnosis can delay treatment and can even be fatal. Mistakes are shockingly common when medication is administered, and surgical mistakes happen way too often. Sometimes doctors operate on the wrong body part, or on the wrong person entirely! The same formula above can be useful in trying to calculate the value of your medical malpractice case.

For your lawsuit to be successful, your Nevada medical malpractice attorney must prove several things. First, your lawyer must show that the defendant (which could be a doctor, nurse, hospital or other person or entity) was negligent when treating you. Then your attorney must demonstrate that this negligence caused an injury. Finally, your lawyer must show that the injury caused damages, for such as physical pain, mental anguish, lost wages and/or additional medical bills.

I have Sickel Cell Disease and I have been admitted into the hospital because my white cell count is in the 30,000’s which is extremely high, my heart rate was in the 130’s, my right leg was a little swollen and the pain medicine (Norco) that I was taking at home are not working. My primary care physician refuses to give me anything for the pain to make me more comfortable. Therefore I am currently in the hospital and he has me on the Norco that isn’t working, Torodal a medicine that you are not suppose to take for more then 5 days it also raises the risk in having a heart attack and stroke (which I’m already at risk because i have sickle cell), bleeding in the stomach and intestines and stomach ulcers. These problems can happen without any warning signs. When I turned 18 I was put on Demerol to control my pain and it’s the only thing that really helps me. My pcp was giving me that at first, but all of a sudden just stopped. I feel like he’s making it seem like I’m addicted to the Demerol but that is very false accusations. I have a very serious chronic illness that I have been battling my whole life and I shouldn’t be labeled as such. Can anyone help me with this?
In order to take legal action against a medical doctor for malpractice, you cannot just simply file a lawsuit with the court. Rather, you must first send a notice to the doctor, indicating to him or her that you are planning to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice. After filing the notice, there may be a waiting period before the injured patient is eligible to file a lawsuit.
I had the same issue after my daughter passed from medical harm. I did at one point have a signed contract with an attorney. He had a friend in the medical field that he felt could review her 2,500 pages of medical records. However, when his friend explained that because she was an infant who went in for heart surgery, you'd require two specialists to review my daughter’s chart and testify. I was told it would cost roughly $50,000 to $75,000 per specialist. This doesn't include normal costs for the attorney. It didn't take long for the attorney to send me a letter stating he couldn't help me. I added that letter to the other dozen all stating we had a good case, but the financial limits made it impossible for them to take it. It was business.
It should be noted that insurance companies are under no obligation to use the above methods when calculating pain and suffering. Many companies use complicated computer programs to decide how much should be offered for pain and suffering. These programs take into account all of the above factors and some others that most people wouldn’t think about.
I think one of the reasons people end up being channelled into the clutches of ambulance-chasing lawyers is the often bewildering NHS complaints system, at times a frustratingly slow and impersonal process. But in almost all cases, you can air grievances, and resolve disputes, quickly, with the minimum amount of fuss, without paying a penny – and here’s how...
Answers in this general Q&A forum are for discussion purposes only, are not being provided in the context of an attorney-client relationship and are not to be construed as providing legal advice. Massey Law Firm PLLC and its attorneys may be retained only on the basis of a written contract, signed by the attorney and the potential client, together with the payment of fees and costs as may be required by the contract.
A recent example of a plaintiff receiving compensation for emotional damage happened in Virginia. A patient going in for a colonoscopy chose to use his cellphone to record his examination so that he could capture the instructions his doctor would give him after the procedure. When he went home and listened to the recording, he found that as soon as he was under anesthesia, his entire surgical team began cruelly mocked and insulted him. The man sued for medical malpractice and defamation and after a 3 day trial was awarded $500,000 in damages.

I was injured when a piece of metal came loose from a signin kiosk at a plasma center I frequent came swinging down at my arms. It was so loud, an employee saw it & joked I'd have to pay $60 to repair it. This hurt, but not enough to forego my donation $, but as I donated, it began hurting more. I ended up bruising on both arms for 3 weeks & in pain.
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.
Doctor negligence claims can be complex as it can often be difficult to show that the injury or illness you are suffering from has been caused or exacerbated by the negligence of your GP. Your solicitor will arrange for you to be assessed by an independent medical expert who will assess your injuries and/or illness and will advise on whether the symptoms you are experiencing have been caused by the negligent actions (or inactions) of your GP.
If you don’t file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit against your doctor within the prescribed time period, absent some exceptional circumstances you will be barred from seeking monetary compensation for the injuries and damages you sustained. A medical malpractice lawyer should know the statute of limitations deadline in your jurisdiction and can work to make sure that a claim or lawsuit is filed in your case in a timely manner.

Since 1988, the law firm of Kennedy, Johnson, Schwab & Roberge, L.L.C., located in New Haven, has provided aggressive and knowledgeable legal representation to people injured due to medical malpractice cases throughout Connecticut. Our attorneys have more than 150 years' combined experience fighting health care professionals for fair compensation in medical malpractice and medical negligence cases, including cases involving failure to diagnose serious injury.

Indeed, even the standard jury instruction does not provide the jurors with guidance in determining a figure. Abstract concepts, ambiguity and confusion are all defense tactics utilized by defense attorneys to dismantle your viable personal injury claim. This is why it becomes critical to open up to your attorney about the extent of your injuries and the complete impact that your injuries have had on your life.
Jot your concern down on a bit of paper, and how you want it put right. Be calm. Approach a member of staff, explain your problem briefly and ask to see someone senior. Most doctors and nurses are generally compassionate people and trained in dealing with patients, so they should be willing to listen to your complaint. It’s much more satisfying to receive an explanation from a member of staff who already knows you than a faceless person at the end of a phone.

“There are no easy answers, but there are a number of practical steps that can bring stability to an ailing industry,” he says. “In my view, mediation is one of the best options we have available to us and it should be promoted and embraced (by plaintiffs and defendants) more widely. Mediation is inherently a process of reconciliation as opposed to litigation, which is adversarial (and unpleasant).


Failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis of an illness or injury are the basis of many medical malpractice lawsuits. Misdiagnosis on its own is not necessarily medical malpractice, and not all diagnostic errors give rise to a successful lawsuit. Even highly experienced and competent doctors make diagnostic errors. Instead, the misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose must result in improper medical care, delayed treatment, or no treatment, which in turn must result in a worsening of the patient's medical condition in order for the malpractice to be actionable.

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.


I have Sickel Cell Disease and I have been admitted into the hospital because my white cell count is in the 30,000’s which is extremely high, my heart rate was in the 130’s, my right leg was a little swollen and the pain medicine (Norco) that I was taking at home are not working. My primary care physician refuses to give me anything for the pain to make me more comfortable. Therefore I am currently in the hospital and he has me on the Norco that isn’t working, Torodal a medicine that you are not suppose to take for more then 5 days it also raises the risk in having a heart attack and stroke (which I’m already at risk because i have sickle cell), bleeding in the stomach and intestines and stomach ulcers. These problems can happen without any warning signs. When I turned 18 I was put on Demerol to control my pain and it’s the only thing that really helps me. My pcp was giving me that at first, but all of a sudden just stopped. I feel like he’s making it seem like I’m addicted to the Demerol but that is very false accusations. I have a very serious chronic illness that I have been battling my whole life and I shouldn’t be labeled as such. Can anyone help me with this?
3. Expect that the case will be quick and cheap. Although experienced lawyers will take on viable cases on a “contingency basis”, you will likely be expected to front the costs of initial medical opinion(s) and record gathering. Be prepared for no less than $5,000 and as much as $15,000 to get started. If the investigation is favourable, most lawyers will pay the freight from this point to the end of the case.

If you suffer an injury or illness after medical treatment, and it was a known risk that your doctor did not tell you about before you agreed to the treatment, it could be malpractice. A court will consider whether a reasonable person would have consented to the treatment if they had been told of the risks. In some cases, the failure to get any consent at all may also be an assault or battery. If you have experienced an assault during medical treatment, you can contact the police.


Search for disciplinary sanctions. Visit your state’s disciplinary board to see if the attorney has been sanctioned in the past. Attorneys are sanctioned for ethics violations, such as disclosing client confidences or failing to respond to client emails. They are not sanctioned for failing to win cases, unless their performance was so low as to be negligent.

As we reported, the medical malpractice system often discriminates against certain patients, particularly those with low incomes. Those who can’t get representation ­— often women, children or the elderly — are sometimes called the “hidden victims” of medical malpractice. Studies show that the problem isn’t limited to states that have strict limits on malpractice awards.
Most doctors have their patients’ best interest in mind, but there are some who – by greed or neglect – fail to put patients first. Individuals who discover a delayed, missed, or wrong diagnosis may want to speak to a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer about their rights and ability to hold a negligent physician accountable for health outcomes, pain, and suffering.
Dr. Zaheer A. Shah, MD, JD (Attorney and Physician): The author of this answer is an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of Arizona and he is a board certified, Ivy League trained, practicing physician. Nothing posted on this forum by the author constitutes legal advice. Additionally, any medical opinions rendered on this forum in response to a particular question do not constitute medical advice. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and are neither privileged nor confidential. While an effort is made to offer accurate information, there is no guarantee as to accuracy.
If you think you’ve been a victim of medical negligence at a hospital, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The statute of limitations, or the legal timeframe in which one can bring a medical negligence suit, begins once the injury is known or should have been known. The Florida statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is generally 2 years-absent some exceptions that can extend the period up to 4 years or 8 years for infants.
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.
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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