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.
Differential diagnosis is a systemic method used by doctors to identify a disease or condition in a patient. Based upon a preliminary evaluation of the patient, the doctor makes a list of diagnoses in order of probability. The physician then tests the strength of each diagnosis by making further medical observations of the patient, asking detailed questions about symptoms and medical history, ordering tests, or referring the patient to specialists. Ideally, a number of potential diagnoses will be ruled out as the investigation progresses, and only one diagnosis will remain at the end. Of course, given the uncertain nature of medicine, this is not always the case.
Failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis of an illness or injury are the basis of many medical malpractice lawsuits. Misdiagnosis on its own is not necessarily medical malpractice, and not all diagnostic errors give rise to a successful lawsuit. Even highly experienced and competent doctors make diagnostic errors. Instead, the misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose must result in improper medical care, delayed treatment, or no treatment, which in turn must result in a worsening of the patient's medical condition in order for the malpractice to be actionable.
Patients are responsible too—as a patient, you have the power to manage your healthcare. You must give the doctor all the important information about your condition, your medical history, and any other relevant information. If you don’t, and that leads to an error in diagnosis or treatment, it will be your fault, not the doctor’s. As well, a doctor is not responsible for problems if you don’t follow the doctor’s advice and your failure causes the problem. For example, if you get sick after surgery, it would be hard to prove that a surgeon was negligent in operating on you, if you don’t follow the surgeon’s instructions for recovery.
Several states have sought to control increasing non-economic awards by implementing compensation caps for these types of damages. Most of these compensation caps directly address medical malpractice issues where malpractice premiums rose to a level to become disincentives for physicians to practice. The tort reform of non-economic damages was intended to ameliorate this situation and protect doctors and health facilities from exorbitant damages. However, advocates against caps argue that caps unduly penalize those victims who may require a level of damages to compensate for lifelong losses that can never be regained.
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.
The doctor acted negligently. The doctor acted negligently if the doctor failed to ask you certain questions, forgot to send the blood test to the proper lab, gave a fake name for your illness and other practices which a similar doctor with the same experience would never have done. To prove this, you will have to show that a reasonable doctor would have recognized your medical problem from your symptoms and diagnosed you appropriately.
My Dad was an elderly, and he was killed by the misuse of an off-label medication that was contraindicative for his medical conditions. The harm was totally preventable. After Dad’s death, we talked to 20+ attorneys. 99 percent of them said there was malpractice and the doctor was negligent. But because of my Dad’s age and the lack of future earning, no attorney was willing to take my Dad’s case on contingency.

The Dial-A-Law library is prepared by lawyers and gives practical information on many areas of law in British Columbia. Script 420 gives information only, not legal advice. If you have a legal problem or need legal advice, you should speak to a lawyer. For the name of a lawyer to consult, call Lawyer Referral Service at 604.687.3221 in the lower mainland or 1.800.663.1919 elsewhere in British Columbia.
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.
Some damages that might come under this category would be: aches, temporary and permanent limitations on activity, potential shortening of life, depression or scarring. When filing a lawsuit as a result of an injury, it is common for someone to seek money both in compensation for actual money that is lost and for the pain and stress associated with virtually any injury. In a suit, pain and suffering is part of the "general damages" section of the claimant's claim, or, alternatively, it is an element of "compensatory" non-economic damages that allows recovery for the mental anguish and/or physical pain endured by the claimant as a result of injury for which the plaintiff seeks redress.

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.
As this article has made clear, it’s not easy to come up with a clear number that accurately accommodates for pain and suffering. How inconvenient or awful one person may consider a life-long back injury is not the same as another person. Likewise, how you determine a dollar amount is even trickier since both pain and how it affects someone is extremely subjective.
The most common type of injury that leads to an award of pain and suffering damages is a severe physical injury that causes physical or mental anguish for a period of time following an accident. For example, a head injury suffered in a car crash that results in a persistent headaches and emotional problems could potentially lead to the awarding of pain and suffering damages.
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.

However, our legal system is set up in such a way where monetary damages is not only a way to compensate persons for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering; it is also there as a way to hold doctors accountable for their actions. Without the threat of monetary sanctions and lawsuits, doctors would lose some motivation for conducting their professional lives in a careful and cautious manner. Furthermore, if you doctor did negligently injure you or a loved one, bringing suit against him may serve as a wakeup call and could possibly prevent him from injuring someone else in the future.
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 the doctor's mistake was one that a reasonable doctor would make, he has not acted negligently and has not committed medical malpractice. Often when a doctor fails to diagnose a medical problem, he may mistake the problem for something else and attempt to treat that. Likewise, if the medical problem is extremely rare, unknown, or difficult to identify, than a proper diagnose may not be possible.
Costs of suing—some lawyers will work for a contingency fee, meaning the fee depends on the result of the case. If you lose, the lawyer gets nothing. If you win, the lawyer gets part of your compensation award. Win or lose, though, you usually have to pay the expenses of suing, which can be thousands of dollars, especially if you have to hire experts to help prove your case. The Law Society regulates contingency fee contracts to ensure they are fair to clients. For more information about lawyers’ fees, check script 438, called “Lawyers’ Fees”.
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.

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.
In addition to damages that are awarded to the injured patient, the patient’s family may recover compensation for loss of care, companionship, love and affection. If the medical malpractice victim dies, family members may be compensated for their wrongful death. Wrongful death damages may include medical and burial expenses, loss of income, emotional suffering, and loss of the deceased patient’s companionship and affection.
In most states, first responders in a medical emergency situation (such as an EMT or a firefighter) are protected from lawsuits unless the first responder does something reckless or intentional. This protection for first responders does not apply to emergency rooms in hospitals, although in some states an emergency room doctor must act with gross negligence to be held liable for harm that occurs before the patient is stabilized.
“Richard was very helpful from the beginning. He handled our car accident case with such responsibility and punctuality. Throughout the case, Richard checked in often, as did his wonderful staff at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP. I must have called the office a hundred times to ask questions pertaining to my case, the staff was always prompt and incredibly nice. Richard and his team really made our experience as stress free as possible. Richard is very intelligent yet simple. His amazing team of experts including (Julia, Debbie, Ariel) helped us with everything, from appointments to filling out forms. I would recommend Cohen And Jaffe to anyone in need of a personal injury attorney.”
No. Someone leaving you does not meet the requirements for an emotional distress claim. Relationships ending - marriages included - are a normal part of life, distressing as it may be, and everyone has the right to leave a relationship they don't want to be in anymore, and no one has the right to keep someone in a relationship by force (in fact, it's the latter situation where one could potentially have a real claim for emotional distress charges, especially if there was abuse).

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Taking an active role in your own care can help you avoid being a victim of negligence in a fast passed emergency room. Answer all questions honestly and be clear about any past medical care including any medications, both prescription and over-the-counter that you are taking. Once discharged ask for a copy of the medical record and test results and have the attending doctor detail your treatment plan.
Dr. Zaheer A. Shah, MD, JD (Attorney and Physician): The author of this answer is an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of Arizona and he is a board certified, Ivy League trained, practicing physician. Nothing posted on this forum by the author constitutes legal advice. Additionally, any medical opinions rendered on this forum in response to a particular question do not constitute medical advice. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and are neither privileged nor confidential. While an effort is made to offer accurate information, there is no guarantee as to accuracy.
In another case, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York allowed a couple to sue a fertility clinic for emotional distress after the clinic implanted the female plaintiff's embryo in another woman. Although neither plaintiff was physically injured by the implantation, both suffered emotional injury due to the defendants' breach of their duty of care, the court said.
There is a statute of limitations (or time limit in which you can file a lawsuit) for medical malpractice cases. This limit varies from state to state, but in general it is about two years from when the injury occurred. To ensure you file a claim before the statute of limitations is up, you should reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon after you realize doctor error occurred.
In most states, first responders in a medical emergency situation (such as an EMT or a firefighter) are protected from lawsuits unless the first responder does something reckless or intentional. This protection for first responders does not apply to emergency rooms in hospitals, although in some states an emergency room doctor must act with gross negligence to be held liable for harm that occurs before the patient is stabilized.
If you do have cancer and the pain and suffering that you may experience is increased because of the late diagnosis or if your life expectancy is shortened because of the late diagnosis, you may have a viable claim for medical malpractice. But, you would have to prove that you are worse off now than you would have been even if you were diagnosed earlier.

7. Hospitals are afraid of this investigation: If a violation of the statute is alleged, the federal government comes into the medical facility and investigates not just the claimed violation, but any violation of any type from the statute. This gives the plaintiff lawyer great leverage with the hospital to settle both the state malpractice and federal EMTALA claims quickly and quietly.
My ex husband and I have been divorced for 5 years now. He has primary physical care during the school year and I have primart during the Summer. Ever sense the divorce he has made my life a living nightmare if he doesnt like something or if its not what he wants. In results to all of this through out the year made me have suffer from depression. What can I do?
Halifax lawyer John McKiggan, author of Health Scare, argues that the reasons for poor outcomes in medical procedures are often kept hidden. McKiggan cites the 2004 Canadian Adverse Events Study that found that 70,000 of the 185,000 adverse effects suffered annually by hospital patients are potentially preventable. Between 9,250 and 23,750 patients die annually from preventable errors, involving doctors and other health practitioners.
For example, insurance companies will most likely consider injuries treated by a doctor or specialist to be more serious than injuries treated by a chiropractor. Insurance companies will also do their own reasoning to negate some of the most concrete concepts, like the length of treatment. If they think you didn’t need to your doctor for that last appointment, they will not include that time in the pain and suffering calculation.
This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this blog or any of the email links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of any law firm or Psychology Today.

I have been seen about 6 times for UTI ( bladder infection) Each time all my symptoms have been the same, but three days later (after they treat me for the bladder infection) the culture comes back negative. Finally today they said it could possibly be Bladder Cancer. I have had all the symptoms of bladder cancer and no body has ever taken the time to test me. So in all can i sue for them not looking more into this throughout the past two years when all these problems started happening? Since it could be cancer, and it could be too far along to treat.
People go to see the doctor when ill or after suffering a serious injury. When you make an appointment to see your doctor, you trust that the doctor will help to improve your condition or injury – not make it worse. Doctors and other healthcare providers hold people’s lives in their hands. Consequently, when providers make serious medical mistakes, they can and should be held responsible for their negligence.
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