Jury verdicts in personal injury cases can be higher in certain areas of the country. For example, a broken arm case in a rural county in Texas may get a lower judgment than the same case in New York City. Adjusters are aware of these differences and rely on them when considering their settlement offers.You should visit your local courthouse and research jury verdicts in cases similar to yours. Doing so will help inform your demand for settlement. You can also research this information at a website like VerdictSearch.com.
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.
Examples of medical malpractice involving doctors include making surgical mistakes, leaving medical instruments inside the body during a procedure, cutting tissue in error, interpreting test and lab results incorrectly, resulting in the wrong diagnosis, or treating a condition inappropriately. Examples of malpractice involving nurses include failing to communicate new symptoms to doctors, administering the wrong type or dose of medication and failing to use equipment correctly.
Returning to the fender bender case example, in small claims court it would be pretty easy to make your case. You could produce a police report showing the reporting officer’s conclusion that the other driver was likely at fault. You could produce two sworn written statements from eyewitnesses saying that they saw the other driver run the stop sign. And you could produce two repair estimates to establish what you lost.
Although this may sound like “tough love”, if you feel that you need or want to bring suit against your doctor because he or she injured you or a loved one, and your family or friends are giving your grief about it, maybe it’s time to think about whether they really have your best interests at heart. If bringing suit is something you feel that you need to do to pay for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, or just to regain some sense of control over the situation, your good friends and family will eventually come to understand and stick by your side.
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.
In Florida, when someone is injured as a result of someone else’s negligence the Florida law provides that the injured party can ask a jury to compensate them for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those damages that are readily calculable—medical bills, lost wages, or anything with a set dollar amount. Economic damages are typically easily presentable to a jury. Jurors understand hard and fast numbers, like medical bills and lost wages, and are oftentimes readily willing to compensate an injury victim for these types of losses.
You will first have to find out whether you have bladder cancer to see if you even have a case. If you do have cancer (and I hope that you do not) then you would need a medical expert to be willing to say that your doctor that was treating your for the UTI's failed to diagnose you as having cancer as soon as they should have diagnosed you. This is the hard part of proving this case.
First, you must show that the health care provider acted negligently. Medical negligence occurs when a professional violates the standard of care. The standard of care is the professionally accepted method for treating a specific disorder. This standard varies depending on a number of factors including the patient's age, overall health, and specific disorder, as well as geographic location.
I attempted to get recompense for my elderly mother after medical neglect that resulted in her losing her ability to walk, additional surgeries, and months of pain. I had no idea WHY the lawyers I contacted didn't even want to listen to the details. Now I know, and am disheartened to learn the reason for their disinterest. I've never sued anybody, am not one of those people who would sue when I dump coffee in my lap. But when one has a legitimate reason and legitimate damages, it's horrendous that our legal system provides no avenue of recompense for actual damage that is life altering.
Finding a qualified medical malpractice attorney can mean the difference between receiving compensation for your injuries and walking away empty-handed. An experienced attorney will be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case and advise you on a course of action moving forward. Begin by using FindLaw's attorney directory to contact a medical malpractice attorney today.
Jot your concern down on a bit of paper, and how you want it put right. Be calm. Approach a member of staff, explain your problem briefly and ask to see someone senior. Most doctors and nurses are generally compassionate people and trained in dealing with patients, so they should be willing to listen to your complaint. It’s much more satisfying to receive an explanation from a member of staff who already knows you than a faceless person at the end of a phone.
Because emotional distress cannot be seen or objectively quantified, it may be harder to get money for this type of injury compared to, for example, a broken arm. In many cases, emotional distress is part of a harassment case, such as sexual harassment or another form of workplace harassment. A medical misdiagnosis may cause emotional distress, as well.
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Doctors who fail to refer patients to a specialist can also cause a delayed diagnosis. A patient that complains of back pain and is sent home with muscle relaxers and pain medication can be at risk for permanent paralysis that an experienced neurologist could have prevented. For example, patients that go to an emergency room for treatment of severe stomach pain that are not seen by a gastrointestinal specialist could be diagnosed with the flu instead of a serious liver issue.
Second, from a procedural standpoint, medical malpractice cases can be unique (and pretty complex) depending on the state where you live. You (and your attorney) will need a good understanding of the procedural requirements necessary before - or soon after - filing the lawsuit, including filing an affidavit of merit, complying with pre-lawsuit screening, and other special steps . An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be very familiar with these rules, and will know how to avoid pitfalls and delays so that your case stays on track.
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You can also recover damages for physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional suffering, inconvenience, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life and "loss of consortium" (the loss of company/love/relations with your spouse). Many states have set limits on the amount of damages available to injured patients in medical malpractice cases. So, pain and suffering for the same injury may be in the millions in Illinois, but will be $250,000 or less in a state that limits pain and suffering damages to $250,000.
Deliver the demand letter to the professional in question. Either hand carry the demand letter to the professional's office or send it to him via United States mail, return receipt requested. You will need evidence to demonstrate that the demand letter was received by the professional or that you made your best efforts to deliver the letter to him.
3. Expect that the case will be quick and cheap. Although experienced lawyers will take on viable cases on a “contingency basis”, you will likely be expected to front the costs of initial medical opinion(s) and record gathering. Be prepared for no less than $5,000 and as much as $15,000 to get started. If the investigation is favourable, most lawyers will pay the freight from this point to the end of the case.
Many people don’t bring a meritorious lawsuit against their doctor because of fear concerning family and friends. Only you can decide for yourself whether bringing a lawsuit against your physician is the right thing for you to do. Only you know the pain and suffering that you have endured – nobody else. Only you know the extent of your lost wages, medical bills, and injury.
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.
Malpractice lawyers decline cases because potential compensation doesn’t justify legal costs, Knutsen says. It only makes sense to accept “high-value cases,” meaning those with potentially big claims. The decision rests on the “entirely distasteful” exercise of calculating the value of a life. “It’s cheaper to kill someone than to maim them. In our legal system, as long as you are alive, you have a claim for income loss and pain and suffering. If you’re dead, those claims expire,” Knutsen says.
Chris Archer, the chief executive of South African Private Practitioners Forum, says it is fashionable for health practitioners to blame lawyers for the increase in malpractice cases, but the working conditions of many health professionals also play a role. “Many health professionals work in solo practices or small partnerships without professional support or routine peer review. There is limited use of protocols and guidelines and little to no teamwork among private practitioners,” he says.
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.