8. Believe that the case is about retribution and punishment to the doctor and not about the cold calculation of money compensation for your losses. The College of Physicians and Surgeons is the watch dog over the conduct and medical standard of care of doctors in Ontario. Their process is ponderous but does not cost you anything. They get there sooner or later.
For example, a man goes to the hospital for a routine hernia repair but still has pain and a burning sensation at the the incision site, long after it has healed. He’s unable to eat and suffers from severe abdominal pain, but no amount of medicine or antibiotics helps. A year later, the man is in such pain that he goes to the emergency room, he tells the emergency room doctor about the pain, the futility of the antibiotics, and how this all occurred shortly after his hernia surgery. The doctor orders an x-ray which shows that a piece of surgical gauze was left in the man’s abdomen from his hernia surgery. When it was removed, it was black with mold, which is why the antibiotics didn’t work.
A patient trying to prove misdiagnosis must show that a doctor in the same or similar specialty would not have misdiagnosed the illness or injury. The plaintiff will have to show that the doctor did not include the correct diagnosis on the list and that a competent doctor would have included it. Alternatively, the plaintiff must show that the doctor listed the correct diagnosis but did not perform the right tests to arrive at the correct diagnosis by the end of the differential diagnosis method.
Your lawyer will decide whether or not to pursue your case against the hospital. If the lawyer takes the case, he will then need to retain an expert medical doctor to submit an affidavit detailing how the treatment was below the standard of care, and how that departure from the standard of care led to an injury. The case will then go through the pre suit process, which is a 90 day period during which the hospital investigates the claim. At the conclusion of the presuit period the hospital can deny the claim, or accept responsibility. Often times the parties will agree to mediate the case during the presuit period, and this often results in a settlement. If the case does not settle during presuit, the lawyer will then file a complaint of medical negligence against the hospital. This is where the work really begins.
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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.
Unlike regular insurance firms, the CMPA fights cases, even if settling would be cheaper. “(We) recognize that the reputation of any professional is highly important to their ability to continue to pursue their career. Accordingly, when the CMPA believes the care provided was appropriate, we provide the physicians with an appropriate and ethical defence,” says the CMPA’s Dr. Douglas Bell. Toronto lawyer Paul Harte argues the strategy intimidates many lawyers from bringing cases forward and denies injured patients access to justice.
As there is no way to accurately quantify the value of a plaintiff's pain and suffering, juries are asked to use their best judgment in coming up with the amount of a pain and suffering award. Keep in mind, however, that some states have instituted damage caps that place an upper limit on the amount of pain and suffering damages that may be awarded.
Since the law in Tennessee leaves room for a judge or jury’s interpretation of what might constitute emotional stress, it is important for an attorney to help you gather the right evidence or expert testimony to make a persuasive case. An attorney with the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC can help. Call 865-546-1111 today to arrange a free consultation.
In fact, filing a civil suit against your doctor does not even guarantee that he will be investigated. In order for your doctor to be investigated, a complaint would have to be filed against him with the New York State Department of Health. The Office of Professional Medical Conduct (“OPMC”) is responsible for investigating complaints about physicians, physician’s assistants, and specialist assistants. An investigation may lead to a formal hearing before a committee of the Board for Professional Medical Conduct.
Hospitals’ duties—hospitals have a duty to exercise a proper standard of care. A hospital’s duty is to take reasonable care in running the hospital to avoid harming patients. This includes appointing enough competent staff, ensuring that the staff act within their competence level, ensuring timely treatment, and taking the right steps to protect patients from infections from other patients. Hospitals normally have someone to handle complaints about healthcare they provide.
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.
After you have done everything else, you should also meet with your doctor or the hospital officials. Even if you are not going to bring a medical malpractice case, you should try to negotiate with them one-on-one to see if they will waive some of your medical bills or compensate you in some way. You should bring an attorney with you if possible, but always remember that you should never sign any kind of legal document or waiver without an attorney looking it over first.
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.
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.
Damages for pain and suffering, including mental anguish, date back to Roman delicts, which is equivalent to today's tort system. The basic Roman delicts were iniuria (injury to person) and damnum iniuria datum (damage to property, including slaves). Under iniuria, the wronged party had to show that the tortfeasor acted willfully and intentionally to recover damages. The action was based on the plaintiff's "sense of outrage" and not on actual economic loss. Therefore the plaintiff could be compensated for "pain or distress of mind or body" in addition to any pecuniary damages. Whereas iniuria required a showing of ill will, damnum iniuria datum only required a showing of negligence. Eventually, Roman law evolved into only compensating for pain and suffering where the tort was intentional and only providing pecuniary damages in the sole case of negligence.
A doctor-patient relationship existed. You must show that you had a physician-patient relationship with the doctor you are suing -- this means you hired the doctor and the doctor agreed to be hired. For example, you can't sue a doctor you overheard giving advice at a cocktail party. If a doctor began seeing you and treating you, it is easy to prove a physician-patient relationship existed. Questions of whether or not the relationship exists most frequently arise where a consulting physician did not treat you directly.