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.
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.
I was an RN and suffered serious and permanent harm from my cancer surgery. There were many errors, including my waking up during surgery, life-threatening infection, internal sutures that did not dissolve, renal failure, a collapsed lung after hospital discharge, abscesses and wound dehiscence. Years later, I am homebound and unable to work. I would be making $80-100,000/year now or more but am stuck barely above poverty on Social Security Disability. Since I and the various insurances have spent over $2 million for my care, and I do not have enough money to obtain all the care and medications I need, I am very unhappy. I have a potential new abscess now. It is a living horror, and the cancer may return. I am always in pain. No attorney would take my case. Even the failure to diagnose the cancer for years, with facts right there for every doctor I went to with my symptoms, isn't actionable. I am however, alive.
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The standard of care—this varies with the level of specialty of the doctor—the standard may be higher for specialists. And it varies with time—today’s standard may not be good enough next year. You can’t always expect the best care available at the most sophisticated research hospital. The standard of care may be affected by the level of hospital that treats you.
First, you need to figure out what the legal wrong was that you believe could form the basis for a lawsuit. Once you have figured out what it might be, you will need to research the elements of the case. Just because you feel certain something is wrong and should be addressed by the courts does not mean that it will resolve itself. You have to go through some very specific processes to secure your rights, and failing to do so could jeopardize your claim. These rules and procedures are not secret, and are actually quite easily found, but only if you know what you are looking for, where to look, and that you even need to look in the first place. This is why most people opt to hire an attorney rather than run a case on their own. Attorneys are specially trained and familiar with these procedures, and much less likely to miss something than someone without this experience who is trying to navigate this process for the first time.
Delayed diagnosis of cancer is one of the most common types of delayed diagnosis cases. Unfortunately, this occurs a lot more than it should. When considering suing their doctor for delayed diagnosis of cancer, plaintiffs must consider the fact that they already had cancer when the negligence occurred. It is this very pre-existing cancer which gives rise to the possibility of a case – the cancer was there to be diagnosed, and that opportunity was lost
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Consult with a licensed attorney in your state before relying on any information found on this site. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.
You must decide how you are going to fund the legal process. Most parties Personal Finance spoke to warned that the legal process is adversarial, long, arduous and emotionally and financially draining. How long it takes depends on the availability of court dates in a creaking, overloaded legal system. At your first appointment, your lawyer will give you a broad indication of the process involved and the likely costs. There are four options:
More often that not, however, a claim will fail on the fourth element, because Judges have a hard time believing that someone who has gone to a doctor with a problem would not accept the doctor’s recommended solution. People take risks every day – risks involving being in a car, crossing the street, taking pain killers, agreeing to medical procedures. A savvy doctor who is being sued for failing to warn will trawl through your past and look for behaviour that evidences your particular tendency to take risks and will try to use it against you to defeat your claim. A good medical negligence lawyer Sydney would have taken you through all that before you decide to sue so that you know whether or not you are likely to win a failure to warn claim.
Certainly, anyone who travels internationally could foresee a circumstance leading to medical treatment abroad. Automobile accidents, heart attacks, illness, and other unexpected medical emergencies can occur overseas during travel, just like they do at home. Moreover, the concept of “medical tourism” is popular with millions of Americans. Medical tourism refers to people that visit a country other than their own for medical treatment. Sometimes, people go abroad to seek treatment, such as a particular drug for a particular disease, that is not permitted in the United States. Other instances include people visiting countries that have well-trained doctors who can perform surgeries, both elective and otherwise, at a cost much less expensive than in the United States. In fact, savings can be as much as 88%, even after factoring in the cost of travel!
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!”
It isn’t surprising that you like your doctor. Otherwise, why else would you keep going back to him year after year? But so what? Liking your doctor shouldn’t keep you from suing him if he has caused you emotional and/or physical harm. Think about it – the legal system is around for a reason. It’s there to provide people with a way to receive compensation from someone who has harmed.
No one is infallible however, where a person has a life his/her hands it is expected that they will do all that is require according to the standards expected to have little or no errors. It is on that basis that a person can sue for misdiagnosis because the medical practitioner showed some level of incompetence which is unacceptable. A person can sue the doctor and the hospital if the doctor is an employee of the hospital.
Unfortunately, patients can die as a result of these “adverse events.” If your loved one is one of the 98,000 patients who die annually as a result of medical malpractice, then you still have to take steps. First, you should contact the local medical examiner to set up a forensic autopsy. Sometimes, they will do this on their own as there are specific local laws that may require such an autopsy. If they do not, however, you may have to pay for the autopsy yourself with an independent pathologist. Regardless, it is a good idea to have such a procedure performed along with accompanying toxicology tests to determine the cause of death and uncover any evidence of possible wrongdoing or malpractice.
One of the rights that most patients are familiar with regarding medical care is privacy rights. While this protection of privacy is important, you also have the right to receive excellent medical care. If you think that you or your loved one’s patient rights have been violated by means of medical malpractice, a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer Minneapolis MN trusts, may be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Fortunately for you, you took matters into your own hands and went to the ER and got the proper diagnosis. While the doctor was wrong to mistake congestive heart failure for asthma, the inhalers he prescribed did not cause your congestive heart failure or the your left heart failure. Unless the doctor was in a position to have diagnosed and mitigated the congestive heart failure, you may not have a medical malpractice case. But all anyone can do on this forum is speculate based upon a few lines of information. Gather your medical record and consult local counsel for further clarity.
In a personal injury trial in Florida you can ask the jury to compensate you for non-economic damages, which include damages as the result of any bodily injury sustained by Plaintiff and any resulting pain and suffering disability or physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience or loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life experienced in the past or to be experienced in the future. (Florida Standard Jury Instruction, See 501.2).
Florida Standard Jury Instruction 501.2 states that, “there is no exact standard for measuring such damage. The amount should be fair and just in the light of the evidence.” Because even the Florida Standard Jury Instruction recognizes that there is no exact standard for measuring non-economic damages, it’s absolutely critical that the presentation of pain and suffering damages at trial is done in a manner that the jury can easily understand and can award you compensation accordingly.
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.
This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Each case is different and past record is no assurance that the lawyers will be successful in reaching a favorable result in any future case. Snyder & Snyder is a law firm with lawyers licensed to practice law in Maryland and Washington, D.C. The attorneys at Snyder & Snyder can also be specially admitted in those states where they are not licensed to practice. The lawyers at Snyder & Snyder are medical malpractice trial lawyers, who concentrate their practice in the following fields: Maryland Birth Injury, Maryland Cerebral Palsy, Maryland Brain Injury, Maryland Spinal Cord Injury, D.C. Birth Injury, D.C. Cerebral Palsy, D.C. Brain Injury, D.C. Spinal Cord Injury. *Some verdicts may have been adjusted after trial.
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.
All medical doctors owe their patients a duty of care to act reasonably under the circumstances. This means that they must act as a “reasonable doctor,” who works in the same geographical area as the defendant doctor, would act under the same or similar circumstances. Doctors who are specialists are usually held to a nationalized standard of care when it comes to medical negligence cases.