The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. 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. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney or if you do not have an attorney, consult with an attorney.
The most common kind of damage awards in medical malpractice lawsuits are compensatory. This is money paid for actual injury or loss. This includes medical and hospital bills, rehabilitation expenses, physical therapy, ambulance expenses, prescription drugs, nursing home care, domestic services,medical equipment, lost employment income, increased living expenses, and loss of future income. The latter is much more difficult to assess. If the doctor injured Bill Gates, the doctor will pay much more in compensation for lost earnings than if the injury was to someone who is poor or retired.
Doctors or healthcare providers are negligent if they fail to provide the standard of care that a reasonable doctor or healthcare provider practicing in the same area would provide in similar circumstances. If the negligence causes injuries or illness to a person, then the doctor or healthcare provider may be liable to pay damages (money to pay for the harm done) to the person. It’s no excuse for a doctor to say, “I did my best. I just didn’t know any better.” If the doctor should have known better, they may be liable. For example, let’s say that you see your doctor because you are not feeling well and your doctor prescribes a drug to treat the symptoms you described. You take the drug and it harms you. It turns out that it was not appropriate, considering your medical history and the other drugs you were already taking. If other doctors with a similar practice would not have prescribed the drug, your doctor may be negligent.
Establish that Medical Negligence Occurred – Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare provider violates the medical standard of care, or the professionally-accepted method for diagnosing or treating a specific condition. The standard of care may vary depending on factors individual to each patient, such as age, geographic location, overall health, and the specific condition.

The law protects you against any doctor providing you with substandard care. It is possible to sue a doctor who works in an NHS hospital, a private practice or a GP's surgery. Also the law understands that if a doctor has been negligent towards you, you may not always be able to make a claim for yourself. It is possible to sue a doctor for negligence on behalf of yourself, your child, an elderly relative, an individual who has passed away or another loved one who is unable to make the claim themselves.

See if you can sue for emotional distress as a third party. In some states, you can sue for emotional distress as a third party. For example, you might have a case if your child or someone close to you was physically harmed in an incident. This incident must have occurred right in front of you. You would have a more solid case if you were also physically injured or experienced the threat of injury.
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.

This website contains general information about legal matters. The information provided by Jacob Regar is not legal advice, and should not be treated as such. The legal information on this website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Jacob Regar makes no representations or warranties in relation to the legal information on this website. You must not rely on the information on this website (including Jacob Regar’s response to your question) as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider. No attorney-client relationship is created through the exchange of information on this website. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult your attorney or other professional legal services provider. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.
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.

Figures released in September 2015 by the Democratic Alliance’s Gauteng shadow MEC for health and member of the provincial legislature, Jack Bloom, show that R540 million was paid out by the Gauteng Provincial Department of Health as compensation for medical malpractice between 2010 and September 2015. This is money that would otherwise have been used to provide health services, Bloom says.


"Once an allegation is made that the patient was admitted in a particular hospital and evidence is produced to satisfy that he died because of lack of proper care and negligence, then the burden lies on the hospital to justify that there was no negligence on the part of the treating doctor or hospital. Therefore, in any case, the hospital is in a better position to disclose what care was taken or what medicine was administered to the patient. It is the duty of the hospital to satisfy that there was no lack of care or diligence. The hospitals are institutions, people expect better and efficient service, if the hospital fails to discharge their duties through their doctors, being employed on job basis or employed on contract basis, it is the hospital which has to justify and not impleading a particular doctor will not absolve the hospital of its responsibilities."
Doctors or healthcare providers are negligent if they fail to provide the standard of care that a reasonable doctor or healthcare provider practicing in the same area would provide in similar circumstances. If the negligence causes injuries or illness to a person, then the doctor or healthcare provider may be liable to pay damages (money to pay for the harm done) to the person. It’s no excuse for a doctor to say, “I did my best. I just didn’t know any better.” If the doctor should have known better, they may be liable. For example, let’s say that you see your doctor because you are not feeling well and your doctor prescribes a drug to treat the symptoms you described. You take the drug and it harms you. It turns out that it was not appropriate, considering your medical history and the other drugs you were already taking. If other doctors with a similar practice would not have prescribed the drug, your doctor may be negligent.

A about a month ago, I called my Doctor office, about an issue I was having, he gave me an antibiotic, but never ran any test to determine my problem. I was having the same problem about a week after, I called again. I was given another antibiotic, and finally he ran a urine test to determine if I had a UTI. It came back ok, he still had me on an antibiotic. I then got worse and I had to go to the ER, and get treated, I then called my Doctor the Monday after, and was seen in office, he looked at me real quick, pushed me out the office and just said I had a STD, and treated me for it with 2 more types of antibiotics he did not run any test to determine if I had an STD,. He made me believe that I had a disease and I felt so low and scared and angry. I have since wrote a letter to my Dr, asking for him to see me and please address my issues in detail with me. He has refused and has decided to drop me as a patient and told me to see a new Doctor. I read where in Pennsylvania you can sue a Doctor for emotional distress, is that true can I sue my Doctor for emotional distress?
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My younger brother died almost 2 years ago. He coded (his heart stopped beating) a couple days after a colostomy procedure. The doctors rushed him into surgery as he was clearly bleeding internally. They didn't find the source of the bleed, but after looking for a while, gave up and closed the surgery anyway. He continued to bleed, which led to two more surgeries, more complications and his eventual death.

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.


One of the most common reasons that a physician may be accused of medical malpractice is due to the failure to diagnose. This is premised on the idea that the patient needlessly suffered for an extended period of time because the doctor failed to properly evaluate tests or run tests that should have reasonably notified him or her of the potential diagnosis. Other examples of medical malpractice include misdiagnosing a medical condition, failing to provide appropriate treatment, causing an unreasonable delay in treating a diagnosed condition, violating HIPAA laws, performing wrong-site surgery and performing surgery on the wrong patient.
See if you can sue for emotional distress as a third party. In some states, you can sue for emotional distress as a third party. For example, you might have a case if your child or someone close to you was physically harmed in an incident. This incident must have occurred right in front of you. You would have a more solid case if you were also physically injured or experienced the threat of 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.
The Florida Supreme Court has explained what plaintiffs must prove in order to recover emotional distress damages. The simplest way to prove emotional distress is with a physical impact that results in a physical injury, like a car accident. It’s not hard to prove that emotional trauma often accompanies physical trauma. However, a plaintiff may also demonstrate emotional distress by proving that he or she:
First, and perhaps of greatest interest to U.S. citizens, when a doctor commits malpractice overseas, in most instances it will not be possible to obtain jurisdiction to sue the doctor in an Oregon court. There may be rare circumstances in which a doctor has the contacts with an American jurisdiction required to sue here, but that will be the rare exception. Moreover, even if a patient obtains a judgment in the United States, it may be very difficult to enforce the judgment in a foreign country. Ultimately, a malpractice victim will likely be faced with pursuing a claim abroad.
First, and perhaps of greatest interest to U.S. citizens, when a doctor commits malpractice overseas, in most instances it will not be possible to obtain jurisdiction to sue the doctor in an Oregon court. There may be rare circumstances in which a doctor has the contacts with an American jurisdiction required to sue here, but that will be the rare exception. Moreover, even if a patient obtains a judgment in the United States, it may be very difficult to enforce the judgment in a foreign country. Ultimately, a malpractice victim will likely be faced with pursuing a claim abroad.

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.


After suffering physical or mental harm, you may find yourself dealing with anxiety, panic attacks or depression. You may even have suicidal thoughts and self-guilt. This is known as emotional distress and it is possible to receive compensation from the person who caused the distress. First, it is important to understand what can cause it to develop and how to sue for emotional distress.

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.
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