Many people mistakenly choose to file medical malpractice lawsuits because they are unhappy with the results of their treatment. However, a poor result -- even death -- does not always equate to malpractice. Medicine is an inexact science. Even the most routine procedure can result in complications both foreseen and unforeseen. There are no guarantees that any treatment, no matter how commonplace, will be successful. As such, it is possible -- and even common when it comes to some procedures -- for doctors to do everything right and still fail to obtain a good result.
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.
Incidentally, under South African common law, there is the crime of "Crimen injuria", 'defined to be the act of "unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another." Although difficult to precisely define, the crime is used in the prosecution of certain instances of road rage, stalking, racially offensive language, emotional or psychological abuse and sexual offences against children.[5' (from Wikipedia).
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.
The incident that caused the stress must have been due to extreme or outrageous negligence and that the actions caused you emotional harm. For example, if you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver in which a family member was killed, you may be able to file a claim for emotional distress due to the negligence of the driver in getting behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated.
Kyle J. Shelton is licensed to practice law in both Arizona and California. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. 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. You are encouraged to contact an attorney in your state to ensure that you receive the proper guidance/advice in your situation.
Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is harmed by a doctor (or other medical professional) who fails to competently perform his or her medical duties. The rules about medical malpractice -- from when you must bring your lawsuit to whether you must notify the doctor ahead of time -- vary from state to state. But there are some general principals and broad categories of rules that apply to most medical malpractice cases. Here's an overview of the law and some of these special rules.
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.
Besides negligence and lack of informed consent, there is a third type of malpractice. Recently, courts have said doctors may be responsible if they break the patient-doctor contract. This is a complicated area of malpractice law, not covered by this script. For example, one issue may be who has a contract with the doctor: you or the Medical Services Plan. You would need a lawyer to see if this applies to your case.
I was told that I had asthma and was put on inhalers for my asthma I continue to get weak and tired and shortness of breath and decided to go back to the Doctor Who then gave me a chest x-ray and put me on more inhalers and told me that he sure it's just I have asthma, I continue taking the inhaler but never getting any better for about a month and there was no improvements, I decided to give Dr. one more chance and hopefully he would see something different because now I was experiencing gurgling in my chest he shored me that there was nothing wrong and that I didn't have pneumonia it was asthma , that same night I woke up where I could not breathe and had to be rushed to the emergency room where they are I found out I had fluid on my heart as well as in my lungs and was rushed to a hospital that specialize in congestive heart failure. I was then told by the doctors at the hospital that not only did I have congestive heart failure the left side of my heart is very weak and is only pumping at 10% and should be 60% . I know that if I had gone a couple more days using a inhaler for asthma then I did not have I would not be alive today is this a case of misdiagnos
No matter your jurisdiction, medical malpractice claims and lawsuits are primarily about one thing: accountability. People trust that doctors will take care of them and make their condition better in a patient’s hour of need. When doctors fail in that responsibility, they must be held accountable for the negligent actions they took – as well as for the actions that they failed to take under the circumstances.
If a personal injury claim was always as simple as only having special damages, things would be more clear cut. However, a personal injury claim almost never ends at special damages. Oftentimes, an injured person also suffers non-monetary damages that one cannot easily place a price on. This is the problem with pain and suffering claims, and thus the need for a way to calculate a number that is fair for the insurance company and the injured victim and family.
An employer was displeased with employee’s work, and began circulating an old mug shot of the employee around the office. The employer then hired a private investigator to place the employee under surveillance. Coincidentally, the investigator discovered that the employee was cheating on his wife, took photos, and sent them to his wife. The employee's wife subsequently divorced him. The employee sued the employer for IIED. The Court held that the employee could not sue the employer for IIED because the conduct did not rise to the level of “outrageous.” 
I may not live long enough to see minor children gain the same rights that adults have to sue for outrageous instances of extreme emotional abuse (and physical abuse, and sexual abuse) but I hope that some day minor children WILL be given the right to sue their parents for ghastly instances of child abuse (such as sexual molestation), emotional abuse, and skin-crawling incidents of child neglect and child exploitation.
As to what constitutes severe emotional distress, the courts here require that it rise above the level of temporary fright, regret or disappointment. Rather, the plaintiff must be able to show that they suffer from a severe and disabling emotional or mental disorder that mental health professionals generally recognize and diagnose, such as chronic depression, neurosis, psychosis or phobia.
You may also have suffered financial loss as a result of your GP’s negligence if, for example, the time you have been required to take off work because of your injuries or illness has been prolonged due to the negligent act or omission of your GP. Suing your doctor may seem like a daunting prospect but it does not need to be with 1st Claims. We will support you every step of the way.
Jury awards for pain and suffering may vary depending upon socio-economic and political factors within the community from which the jury is drawn. 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.
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.
In addition to damages that are awarded to the injured patient, the patient’s family may recover compensation for loss of care, companionship, love and affection. If the medical malpractice victim dies, family members may be compensated for their wrongful death. Wrongful death damages may include medical and burial expenses, loss of income, emotional suffering, and loss of the deceased patient’s companionship and affection.
In many – but certainly not all – cases of negligent infliction of emotional distress, there must be physical harm in addition to mental harm for a plaintiff to recover damages. In the case of an incorrect cancer diagnosis, for example, the plaintiff might show that he or she underwent unnecessary chemotherapy or radiation treatment because of the error.
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.
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.
The personality of the plaintiff, their witnesses and overall effect of the injuries which befell the victim plaintiff will play a powerful role in any damage award if damages are even awarded once liability issues are satisfied. The power and personality of the lawyer representing her or his client also may factor into a high money damage award case.
Draft what is known as a "demand letter" to the doctor or other professional you believe is guilty of malpractice. In the demand letter you set forth the general nature of your claim, including the damages you suffered. Set forth the amount of money and other conditions you are willing to accept to settle the case. Set a specific deadline for the professional to satisfy the demand made in your letter. Advise that if the deadline is not met, you will take further legal action.
Such awards may follow in house insurance guidelines with some leeway granted to adjusters to adjust the claim in order to prevent the claim from being fully litigated in court. There is a wide range of levels of compensation which may fluctuate seasonally and with the economy and dictates of the insurance industry setting the varying levels of compensation to claimants. Some insurers have experimented with using computers which tabulate the data that is presented and grant the adjuster a level of money authority for which to settle the claim.
Complaints that hospitals can’t resolve—each health authority has a Patient Care Quality Office to deal with complaints that hospitals cannot resolve. Each health authority also has a Patient Care Quality Review Board. They review complaints that the Patient Care Quality Offices have not resolved. For more information, call 1.866.952.2448 or see the Boards’ website.
Severe or disabling permanent injuries, such as a traumatic loss of vision, brain injury, or debilitating loss of mobility, are usually multiplied by 5 times; however, an automobile accident or serious injury that tragically leaves you in a wheelchair, or with disfiguring scars, or even the death of a loved one, may be multiplied by up to 10 times.
According to Joseph’s Incorporated, proof of negligence is decided on the basis of a balance of probabilities. If you want to pursue a case, the onus is on you to prove negligence, as well as damage due to the negligence (see “Burden of proof”, below). Medical experts have to provide relevant, credible, reliable information, as it is certain that opposing lawyers will look for any opportunity to discredit them.
Inconsistency in one’s complaints can be a sign that the injured person is making something up. If, for example, someone with a back injury tells Doctor A one day that he/she is having pain down the left leg, tells Doctor B another day that the pain is down the right leg, and tells physical therapist C another day that he/she has never had pain down either leg, that person is going to have a hard time convincing anyone that he/she is having pain anywhere.
Previously, a New York appeals court had also ruled that a couple was allowed to sue a fertility clinic for emotional distress after the clinic implanted the female plaintiff’s embryo in another woman, and although neither of the plaintiffs suffered physical injuries, the appeals court ruled that the couple had suffered substantial emotional injury due to the defendants’ breach of their duty of care.
This is often the most difficult part of medical negligence cases and even lawyers have trouble getting their heads around it sometimes. You may be able to prove that a doctor did the wrong thing, but you also have to prove that what happened next was the result of that wrong thing and you have to prove that it would not have happened if the wrong thing had not been done. Deciding whether or not this is the case involves both factual and legal issues and is sometimes very hard to do. You really need a lawyer who is highly experienced in medical negligence cases to look at this for you.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a doctor or medical professional, then you must take some initial steps to ensure you can get results. No one wants this to happen to them, but if it does, it is also important something happens to ensure that it will not happen to someone else later on. It is also important you or your loved one receives compensation for your injury. If you feel you have been injured by a doctor, then contact Wolf & Pravato to schedule a consultation and learn more about your rights.
This is probably the number one reason why you don’t want to sue your doctor. While it is true that most lawsuits can take some time to become resolved, it is well worth the wait. However, there are ways to speed up the process: file your lawsuit as soon as it is determined that the case has merit and make sure that the court imposes deadlines for every step of the lawsuit, such as specific dates for depositions, defense medical examinations, and the exchange of discovery responses. This will prevent the lawsuit from the inevitable delays presented by defense attorneys and their insurers and keep the case on the proverbial “fast track” to trial.
In a handful of states, the court sets (or at least can consider the reasonableness of) the percentage that a plaintiff’s medical malpractice lawyer can receive after a successful case. For example, in Arizona, either party may request that the court review the reasonableness of an attorney fee agreement in a medical malpractice case. And in Tennessee, the court itself sets the amount that the attorney will receive, and the lawyer's "cut" may not exceed 33 and 1/3 percent.
In most cases where the other party was clearly at fault, the injured party will receive at least some compensation for their pain and suffering. Most insurance companies recognize that people who are injured in a car accident deserve something for their pain and inconvenience. Often, the amount insurance carriers try to get away with, at first, is very low. But with proper attorney representation, this number can be increased to reach an acceptable sum.
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.
Do you have skeletons in your closet? Were you less than truthful about your health and/or physical condition? Are you prepared to subject yourself to hours of questioning from attorneys, both yours and likely several others? Are you prepared to make financial disclosures that will become public? When you file a lawsuit, particularly a medical malpractice lawsuit, your life becomes a very open book -- nearly everything is fair game.