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.
Once the claimant has satisfied the pre-suit investigation and notice requirements, the claimant may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in the Florida court system. In order to prevail in a medical negligence case against a doctor, the claimant has the burden of proof. This burden may be difficult to meet, given that there is often a presumption that the doctor acted reasonably and properly under the circumstances.
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.
One attorney wrote to us that my Dad’s age was above the average life expectancy, and therefore it “seriously reduces the damages likely to be awarded for loss of future life earnings. Certainly this does not excuse the poor care he received but this makes the case economically untenable as the expenses will likely eat up the majority of likely recoverable damages. We do not have punitive damages in Washington (state) that an outraged jury could award to punish the Dr. and Hospital for their callousness. For these reasons our firm does not wish to undertake this case.”
In the mid 1990s the concept of a ‘gratuitous care’ award was developed by the High Court. Basically, if you can’t look after yourself or your house (or in some cases your children) because of your injuries, then you can claim the cost of a commercial carer or cleaner even though your family is doing the tasks you can’t do. For a while this was a very lucrative area of damages but now there are laws that place both a threshold and a cap on what you can claim. Put simply, you aren’t entitled to any gratuitous care award unless you need at least 6 hours of assistance per week for at least 6 continuous months and the hourly rate of any award is capped at the Average Weekly Earnings hourly rate. You should be careful, however, not to confuse gratuitous care with commercial care, which is a different claim for damages entirely and which is not the subject of thresholds or caps.
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.
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.
This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this blog or any of the email links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of any law firm or Psychology Today.
People hurt each other’s feelings all the time. As such, courts have held that an IIED claim must be based on more than bad conduct. Liability does not extend to mere insults, indignities, threats, annoyances, or petty oppressions. Instead, the conduct must be so heinous and beyond the standards of civilized decency that it is utterly intolerable in a civilized society. The legal classic formulation of the standard is whether the conduct would cause a reasonable person to explain, “Outrageous!”
All doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other healthcare providers have a legal duty to provide proper medical care to patients—and to any other people who need emergency medical care. But doctors do not have to accept everyone as a patient. They can refuse to take a person as a patient for legitimate reasons. For example, a doctor may lack medical knowledge and experience in a particular area. Or a doctor and person may disagree on the right medical treatment for the person. But doctors cannot refuse to take a person as a patient because of age, gender, marital status, medical condition, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, race, religion, or socioeconomic status.
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.
For example, your neighbor started a fire on purpose in your garage with the intent to kill you. If you started having panic attacks that led to fainting, you might have a case. In this type of situation, the physical injury is a direct result of emotional distress. But if an employer screams and makes threats at an employee, this might not count as outrageous conduct. Even if it's rude and insensitive, it might not count as emotional distress.
A new, relatively untested issue involving medical professionals was introduced with the passing of the Consumer Protection Act in 2008. In the context of health care, the term “service” means work performed by a person for the direct or indirect benefit of another, including the provision of medical advice by a health professional. The Act thus widens the range of events for which you can claim compensation. It also enables you to seek compensation from manufacturers of medical products and devices in the event of their malfunction.
About three-quarters of mediations result in a satisfactory outcome, often within a day, but mediation is not legally binding until a written agreement is signed and the case can proceed to court. The NHS Litigation Authority launched a mediation service in 2014 for cases that have reached the compensation stage (contact the trust involved directly for more information). The Tutu Foundation also offers a mediation service (tutufoundationuk.org, tel 01865 514830).
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.
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.
For example, John Smith went to his local doctor because he had a black spot on his foot and his leg was painful. His doctor sent him to a surgeon who suggested a special procedure using a needle inserted into his leg artery to see whether the veins in John’s foot were blocked. The surgeon botched the procedure and John’s artery was damaged. Several weeks later John’s leg had to be amputated. When John consulted a lawyer and the lawyer investigated his claim, the lawyer found that John’s original foot condition was gangrene and he was always going to have to have his leg amputated, so the surgeon’s negligence in performing the procedure did not leave John worse off than he would otherwise have been and he fails the test of causation.
One number represents the most the insurer will pay for one claimant, and the other number represents the maximum the insurer will pay in total, regardless of the number of claimants involved. This second number would come into play if there were injured passengers involved. You probably have seen split limits before, they most often look like: 50/100 or $50,000/$100,000.
Proving medical negligence in these cases is inherently difficult and technical work. Furthermore, juries tend to favor the doctor in medical malpractice trials, making winning a lawsuit – or even a settlement -- against a doctor tricky. This is why these types of personal injury cases are often referred to lawyers whose regular caseload includes a good portion of medical malpractice cases. You’ll need an experienced attorney to successfully sue a doctor.