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.
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.
However, bringing a lawsuit is not for everyone. Weigh your options. If your fear of “looking bad” to family or friends outweighs your desire to bring a malpractice suit against your doctor for an injury he caused you or a loved one, bringing a suit may not be the best option for you. On the other hand, if your need or want to bring suit against your doctor outweighs your fear, taking action against your physician may be the right choice for you.
Whether the doctor lived up to the standard of care will likely require an expert opinion. One of the issues the expert will examine is the defendant doctor's differential diagnosis method. When trying to diagnose a patient, a doctor makes a list of diagnoses in order of probability and tests them by asking the patient questions, making further observations of the patient, or ordering tests. The goal is to rule out diagnoses until there is only one diagnosis remaining. However, in many instances, a doctor learns more information that requires him or her to supplement the list with other potential diagnoses.
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.
The mother filed a lawsuit against the theme park, alleging that her son’s “skin had a negative reaction to the paint used on his face at Legoland that has caused him great pain and suffering, as well as two years of humiliation by other child and deep emotional distress.” They are seeking more than $15,000 in damages for Legoland’s alleged negligence and for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Most states have case law requiring courts to simultaneously treat those who represent themselves, known as pro se (pronounced “pro say”) litigants by the same standards as a minimally competent attorney. However, they are also usually required to give pro se litigants the benefit of the doubt. This strange double standard can lead to unusual and unpredictable results.
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 opinion upholding the judgment recognizes that although not every fiduciary relationship will give rise to a claim for damages, where the specific professional responsibility of an attending physician is to convey accurate information, then failure to do so can give rise to liability if the physician's breach results in unusual and extreme emotional distress on the part of the plaintiff," Raynes said in an email.
Unfortunately, just because one of these things occurs does not mean you have a claim. Medicine is not an exact science, and the law does not obligate doctors to be error-free 100 percent of the time. If doctor error occurs but there is no breach of a standard of care, you may not have a strong claim. If however, doctor error occurs and there is a breach of a standard of care, then malpractice may have occurred.

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.

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.
I fear misdiagnosis cases a lot. This is particularly because of the statute of limitations and its unforgiving nature in situations like this. Whereas there are exceptions in the statute of limitations for continuing treatment of that condition (which once misdiagnosed, that isn’t the case anymore) and the foreign object discover rule, in misdiagnosis cases these exceptions don’t work. More importantly, if a doctor misdiagnoses the condition, that mistake might not manifest itself until after the statute of limitations expires! Meaning, the patient cannot sue!
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you may wish to file a formal claim with the offending doctor’s insurance company. Certainly, the doctor may be unwilling to provide you with insurance information, or you may require the assistance of an attorney to make a claim, but in some jurisdictions (particularly those without damage caps) you may find that an insurance company is willing to negotiate a settlement prior to a formal suit being filed. The expense and potential fallout of a formal, public lawsuit is a risk insurance companies are often unwilling to take.
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.

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.


Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.
All articles and content provided in this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Neither the state bar of Nevada nor any agency of the State Bar has certified any lawyer identified here as a specialist or as an expert. Anyone considering a lawyer should independently investigate the lawyer's credentials and ability. Nevada Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 198 (2002).
According to Joseph’s Incorporated, proof of negligence is decided on the basis of a balance of probabilities. If you want to pursue a case, the onus is on you to prove negligence, as well as damage due to the negligence (see “Burden of proof”, below). Medical experts have to provide relevant, credible, reliable information, as it is certain that opposing lawyers will look for any opportunity to discredit them.

In making its decision, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania cited several similar cases from other states, including New Jersey, New York, Texas and Wyoming. Courts in other states probably will use the Toney case to support their decisions in comparable cases, said Anna Laakmann, a law professor at Penn State Dickinson School of Law in Pennsylvania.

In a malpractice (medical negligence) case, you first must establish that the medical professional(s) acted below the standard of care. That can usually only be established through expert testimony willing to say that the doctor who treated you was negligent by falling below the standard of care. Secondly, you must establish that the negligence was the cause of harm. (This is called "causation.") In other words, if the condition is something that he would have had to deal with anyway, or if the condition is something that you and the medical staff could have reasonably expected, the defense will say that the negligence, if any, didn't cause the future issues. The third point is the issue of damages. If the negligence caused you to incur expenses, those would be your "special damages" and for any loss of income your mom contributed to your household. You are also generally entitled to recover for the loss of "care, comfort and society" of the departed.
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A new, relatively untested issue involving medical professionals was introduced with the passing of the Consumer Protection Act in 2008. In the context of health care, the term “service” means work performed by a person for the direct or indirect benefit of another, including the provision of medical advice by a health professional. The Act thus widens the range of events for which you can claim compensation. It also enables you to seek compensation from manufacturers of medical products and devices in the event of their malfunction.
If you have been injured by a doctor, then the first step you MUST take is to request a copy of you medical records. This may be a little difficult, because some offices may try to stall or stonewall you. They will also charge you a copying fee for doing this, so be prepared. However, federal law states they must provide you with a copy of your records if you request it. These files may contain information about what went wrong with your treatment to cause the injury in question. That is why it is necessary to get a copy as soon as possible. (It should also be requested quickly after the incident because some records can be altered.) Simply contact the doctor’s office and ask for a copy of everything. This should include all notes from the doctor and other staff as well as lab work and medical imaging such as x-rays or CAT-Scans. If the incident occurred at a hospital, check with their medical records department for this information.
Although medical mistakes cannot always be prevented, help is available when these unfortunate situations change the course of victims’ lives. The pain and suffering that victims are left to contend with cannot be erased, especially when death or a chronic condition is the result of medical negligence. Personal injury compensation may help to ease the burden of physical and mental trauma from a medical mistake.
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.
Inconsistency in one’s complaints can be a sign that the injured person is making something up. If, for example, someone with a back injury tells Doctor A one day that he/she is having pain down the left leg, tells Doctor B another day that the pain is down the right leg, and tells physical therapist C another day that he/she has never had pain down either leg, that person is going to have a hard time convincing anyone that he/she is having pain anywhere.
Your attorney should also disclose “bad facts” in the opening statement.[20] A bad fact is anything the defense would want to bring to the jury’s attention because it makes the defense case much stronger. For example, your failure to follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment is a bad fact. By disclosing bad facts first, your attorney can take the sting out of them.
Sally was injured in a car accident. Her doctor ordered an MRI to see if she tore any ligaments or tendons, or ruptured a disk in her back. The cost of the MRI was $2,000. The doctor also ordered a CT scan to see if Sally’s internal organs were damaged. The cost of the scan was $1,500. When it comes time to settle her claim, Sally will be reimbursed $3,500 for these special damages.
In most cases, only the primary physician (your doctor) can be sued for misdiagnosis. In rare cases, other health care professionals may also be liable if their negligence caused or contributed to the patient’s harm -- including nurses, lab techs, and any specialists who may have seen the patient. The hospital or health care facility where the doctor practices usually cannot be sued for harm caused by misdiagnosis. That’s because most doctors are independent contractors, not employees of the hospital, so the facility can’t be held legally responsible for the doctor’s negligence.   
If your case is accepted, an investigation will be conducted to evaluate medical records, medical protocol, and other pertinent information to determine the factors that may have caused an injury or death. During your initial consultation, you will be informed about how you can assist in the process such as submitting requested documents in a timely manner and attending legal sessions when required.

In light of the speed a physician must operate at in a busy emergency room, one can only expect that some conditions may be overlooked or misdiagnosed. This does not automatically mean they are negligent. A patient would have to be able to show that another comparatively competent doctor under the same circumstance would not have missed the right diagnosis. That can be difficult when the defendant is able to factor in a busy patient load. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis alone is not a basis for a personal injury claim. The patient would have to be able to prove that by not accurately diagnosing an ailment, the condition progressed and negatively impacted the course of treatment. A good example of this would be a patient who complains of chest pain, is given antacids and then later suffers a heart attack. Had they been diagnosed correctly, preventive measures would have been taken. Instead, they now may need surgery to repair a damaged heart. There are many variables in a medical malpractice claim. The best option for the patient is to retain a medical malpractice attorney.


* Fee-for-service model. Taking a malpractice case to court could cost over R200 000 due to the high fees advocates and attorneys charge. A decision on costs will be made by the court and will depend on the merits of the case. However, even if the case is successful, the awarded compensation might be less than the legal costs, and if the case is unsuccessful, you might have to pay your legal fees, as well as the those of your doctor.

I know it's difficult to live with the "what ifs" of having cancer but in this case, if you do not yet know if you have the disease, you have to wait to see if you actually do have it. Then, you can contact a personal injury attorney in your area and they will help analyze your situation. You can contact as many personal injury attorneys as you want until you find one that will take your case.
Significantly, your attorney can only use these examples of loss to illustrate your injuries if you provide it to him or her. If your case is in litigation you will most likely sit for a deposition (your testimony given under oath before a court reporter who is taking down questions directed to you by the defense attorney and your responses). In preparing for your deposition, your attorney may ask you to explain how this accident has affected your life. Be ready to give real life examples so that your attorney can best advocate on your behalf.

A patient bringing a failure to misdiagnose case must prove that there was a doctor-patient relationship, that the doctor failed to live up to the standard of care in diagnosing the patient's condition, and that the doctor's failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis actually and proximately caused an actual injury. Most often, failure to diagnose cases involve disputes related to the applicable standard of care and whether the doctor's failure to diagnose caused the plaintiff's injury.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a doctor, you should also contact an attorney. However, you must realize that they may not take your case. The standard of proof for medical malpractice is much higher than most people realize. It is not possible to file a lawsuit over just anything and expect a multi-million dollar payout. But you should talk to an experienced malpractice attorney to see what they can do with your case and also to see if they can help you with dealing with the doctors or hospitals after the incident.
Most doctors have their patients’ best interest in mind, but there are some who – by greed or neglect – fail to put patients first. Individuals who discover a delayed, missed, or wrong diagnosis may want to speak to a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer about their rights and ability to hold a negligent physician accountable for health outcomes, pain, and suffering.

Suing a hospital for misdiagnosis is dependent on whether the doctor is an employee of the hospital. A hospital is liable for all damage committed by their employees once the employee is performing his/her duties. The principle of employer’s liability states that any act or omission by the employee in the course of their employment which causes loss, damage or suffering can be attributed to the employer. Therefore, once the doctor was an employee of the hospital then all his/her acts or omissions are attributed to the hospital. However, if the doctor was an independent contractor of the hospital that is where the hospital does not have any control in how the doctor carries out his functions but the doctor’s only responsibility is that he ought to perform the duties under his contract at the standard required; then the hospital is not liable. Where the doctor sets his own fees and work hours then he is not an employee.
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In addition, the fact that you like your doctor doesn’t actually mean that he’s any good at what he does. It would be a mistake to let your doctor get away with malpractice if he is exercising a poor quality of care. Remember: the fact that he’s a nice guy doesn’t mean he’s a competent physician. Don’t you want to receive compensation for your injury or the injury of a loved one and possibly keep him from injuring someone else?
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