While such an idea once sounded like pure science fiction, it would present enormous opportunities in business, leisure, and medicine. Imagine, someone with a rare disease or medical condition could quickly travel anywhere in the world to obtain the best treatment option. In fact, this is already occurring, as people travel to numerous places for both medical and dental treatment. But, as we all know, sometimes medical treatment goes wrong, and this raises an interesting question. Can you sue doctors in other countries for medical malpractice?
According to the American Journal of Medicine 15 per cent of all medical case in developed countries are misdiagnosed. The National Center for Policy Analysis further states fatal diagnostic errors in U.S. intensive care units equal the number of breast cancer deaths each year — 40,500. Misdiagnosis has become a cause for concern in the medical and legal field because it has fatal consequences.
The above settlement calculator should be used for more minor injuries. If you suffered a catastrophic brain injury, wrongful death, or another serious injury, or were permanently disabled, then you should not use this injury settlement calculator. Instead, you should seek counsel with a personal injury lawyer to accurately determine the value of your case and calculate the correct insurance settlement.
Again – so what? Do you really want to be going to a doctor that injured you and caused you pain and suffering? There are much better options out there. You found this doctor. You’ll find another one. There are numerous resources available to help you find a new, more competent physician. A simple Google search of “find doctor New York” will yield a multitude of websites designed to do just that. If you have health insurance, contact your insurance company. They can usually provide you with a list of doctors in your area that are covered by your plan. Also, don’t under-estimate the value of your friends and family as a helpful resource regardless of whether or not you have insurance. Talk to them to find out what doctors with whom they entrust their health. In no time at all, you will be sure to find the right doctor for you.
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.
Mental anguish is an element of non-economic damages usually sought in personal injury cases, medical malpractice and sometimes defamation cases. Generally, "mental anguish" translates to certain types of suffering that may include distress, anxiety, fright, depression, grief, or trauma. In many jurisdictions, plaintiffs may recover for mental anguish; however, some states set compensation caps on non-economic damages.
More and more people in South Africa are taking their doctors and other healthcare professionals to court for medical malpractice – so much so that the increase in litigation is contributing to our high medical inflation. But you can’t take such action lightly: the legal process is fraught with pitfalls and can be very drawn out, and the costs can be high. You need to be sure of your case, and of all the hoops you’ll have to jump through, before pursuing a claim.
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.
The manner in which medical malpractice is addressed in countries around the world varies widely. For example, many countries do not permit jury trials. In these locations, judges or administrators may make the final decision. Moreover, malpractice awards, even when they are given, are often much lower than amounts received in the United States, giving rise to the argument that injured patients may not be fully compensated for their losses in overseas jurisdictions. Plus, there are logistical difficulties. A foreign lawsuit necessitates retention of a foreign attorney and physical presence in the foreign country for legal proceedings. Importantly, many foreign countries do not permit attorneys to take cases on a contingency fee basis.
These factors all have to do with human nature. If you don’t like somebody, why would you help that person? Jurors feel the same way. If jurors don’t like someone who is going before them asking for money (i.e., a plaintiff in a malpractice case), they are not going to give that person much money. A likable plaintiff who is a good witness is going to do a lot better at trial than will an unpleasant plaintiff who is a forgetful, argumentative witness.
There are many alternatives to litigation. Depending upon the jurisdiction you are in -- and whether there are caps on damages that may come into play in a formal trial -- you may wish to consider these options. Remember that in many cases alternative dispute resolution is simply part of the trial process and not the endgame. Your best first step might be discussing your options with an experienced medical malpractice 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.