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.
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.
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.
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.
With constant improvements in transportation technology, along with massive decreases in the cost of international travel, the old saying that “the world is getting smaller” is truer than ever before. The wealthy have long enjoyed the benefits of international travel, but now “average” Americans can easily travel, too. Moreover, companies like SpaceX and Boeing envision a future in which you can travel almost anywhere in the world in less than an hour.
Medical malpractice insurance carriers generally require very large deductibles from their insured doctors. Furthermore, most states have laws that require doctors to report any claims of medical malpractice to a state-run board, which can result in higher insurance rates. Doctors may be willing to settle for an amount at or around the amount of their deductible, as it will abrogate the need for them to report the case. They are simply choosing to pay you the amount of the deductible instead of paying the insurance company. Seek counsel before accepting this type of settlement, as you need to be sure your future medical needs will be provided for.
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.
Calitz explains that to bring a successful medical malpractice claim, you need to prove that the treatment you received deviated from a particular “standard of care”, and that it was the deviation (which can be an act or omission) from this standard that resulted in harm. The “standard of care” is defined as what a reasonably prudent medical provider would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances.
When pursuing a claim against a doctor or hospital specifically, there may be “caps on damages.” This means that if a jury awards $10 million for pain and suffering in a medical malpractice case, a judge may be required by law to reduce that award to $250,000 or $500,000. These limits on non-economic damages vary from state and state, and will not always apply. Frequently catastrophic injuries, such as paralysis, brain injuries, or severe injuries to children, are allowed a higher limit. However, the caps do not generally apply to the portion of a monetary award meant for past and future medical care, lost income, or other financial losses.
More and more people in South Africa are taking their doctors and other healthcare professionals to court for medical malpractice – so much so that the increase in litigation is contributing to our high medical inflation. But you can’t take such action lightly: the legal process is fraught with pitfalls and can be very drawn out, and the costs can be high. You need to be sure of your case, and of all the hoops you’ll have to jump through, before pursuing a claim.
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.
An award for pain and suffering is not obtainable unless your injuries reach at least 15% of a most extreme case. There is, however, no set way of measuring what 15% of a most extreme case looks like so every injured person must be individually assessed by the Judge and a percentage decided. The maximum award for pain and suffering is about $612,500.00 and is indexed each year to keep pace with inflation.
While the majority of health care providers aim to exercise the highest standard of care for all patents, there are times when things can go gravely wrong. If you or a loved one has experienced poor medical care, misdiagnosis, lack of consent, or breach of doctor-patient confidentiality that has resulted in harm or injury, you may be entitled to medical malpractice recovery.
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.
Imagine you’re at the point where you’ve completed your medical treatment and therapy. You still have some lingering pain, but the doctors cleared you to return to work. It’s time to prepare the documentation for your settlement demand letter. You’ve totaled your special damages, but aren’t quite sure how to assign an amount for your pain and suffering.
General damages refer to damages that are not specifically monetary, for example, damages for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional trauma. There is no tangible bills or receipts that state a specific dollar amount for pain and suffering or emotional damage, but they are still losses for which an injured person deserves compensation nonetheless.
When it comes to determining the extent of physical pain, there are no computer programs to rely on. Each of us experiences pain differently. Even with today’s advanced medical technology, the best method doctors have for measuring a patient’s pain is a self-rated pain scale. This is when a doctor asks, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain?”
All doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other healthcare providers have a legal duty to provide proper medical care to patients—and to any other people who need emergency medical care. But doctors do not have to accept everyone as a patient. They can refuse to take a person as a patient for legitimate reasons. For example, a doctor may lack medical knowledge and experience in a particular area. Or a doctor and person may disagree on the right medical treatment for the person. But doctors cannot refuse to take a person as a patient because of age, gender, marital status, medical condition, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, race, religion, or socioeconomic status.
Copyright 2002-2018. EdgarSnyder.com is sponsored by the Law Offices of Edgar Snyder & Associates®, A Law Firm Representing Injured People. Attorney Edgar Snyder & Associates has offices throughout Western Pennsylvania including locations in: Pittsburgh, Erie, Johnstown, Ebensburg, and Altoona. All of our lawyers are licensed to practice law in the state of Pennsylvania. We also have attorneys licensed to practice law in the states of West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. Although this website is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.
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.
Mental anguish is an element of non-economic damages usually sought in personal injury cases, medical malpractice and sometimes defamation cases. Generally, "mental anguish" translates to certain types of suffering that may include distress, anxiety, fright, depression, grief, or trauma. In many jurisdictions, plaintiffs may recover for mental anguish; however, some states set compensation caps on non-economic damages.
In a personal injury trial in Florida you can ask the jury to compensate you for non-economic damages, which include damages as the result of any bodily injury sustained by Plaintiff and any resulting pain and suffering disability or physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience or loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life experienced in the past or to be experienced in the future. (Florida Standard Jury Instruction, See 501.2).
If for instance, you or someone you know had been misdiagnosed, then can you sue for misdiagnosis? The answer is yes, sometimes you can sue for a misdiagnosis but not always. The first thing you need to know is; were you harmed because of the misdiagnosis? And then you need to answer; were you able to receive a treatment that was not supposed to be given to you? Was it too late for you to get the treatment because you were misinformed? Or will something undesirable happen to you because the doctor did not catch it earlier?
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.
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.
But lawyers may have to invest $50,000 or more to pursue a case, and they usually only get paid if they win or settle. The payout is determined largely by economic damages—lost earnings, medical bills, and future costs caused by the injury. Those who don't earn big paychecks—including children, the elderly, and stay-at-home-moms—are the least likely to find an attorney, studies show.
Tennessee used to require plaintiffs to prove physical effects from the stress in order to receive compensation. But in this case, the court outlined a more nuanced set of criteria for determining emotional distress. The ruling listed six factors for consideration when deciding to award damages for the intentional or negligent infliction of emotional stress:
Personal injury, or tort, law, allows a person to recover in civil court for the physical, emotional and/or financial injury caused to them by an outside party. The emotional component of personal injury is most often represented by claims of negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress. Although neither of these claims necessarily involves physical injury, NIED and IIED can have devastating and long-term impacts on a person’s life in ways that surpass many physical injuries. The bar for proving sufficient emotional distress is a fairly high one to succeed on a claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED), and is even higher for intentional infliction (IIED). This article will examine some common causes of action and the elements of negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Thomas found a medical malpractice attorney to file a lawsuit on her behalf. But then he withdrew, she said, because he wouldn’t make much money if they won. Thomas had just started a consulting business and didn’t make much. Because economic damages in lawsuits are largely based on lost income, she was told the potential rewards weren’t high enough, she said.
Loss of wages is capped at three times the Average Weekly Earnings published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Most injured people are not caught by this provision as it requires a gross salary of more than $140,000.00. Claims for lost superannuation entitlements are only allowed at the compulsory employer contribution rate (currently 9% of your salary).
The standard of care—this varies with the level of specialty of the doctor—the standard may be higher for specialists. And it varies with time—today’s standard may not be good enough next year. You can’t always expect the best care available at the most sophisticated research hospital. The standard of care may be affected by the level of hospital that treats you.
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.
Second, you should never be paying money to any lawyer upfront to bring your malpractice suit. A lawyer should never ask you for money to pay for the costs of your case. If he does, find a new lawyer pronto! Law firms experienced in malpractice litigation will never ask their clients to pay for the expenses of their case. It is a cost of doing business for malpractice law firms to pay for the costs of hiring medical experts, obtaining medical records, paying for depositions, and the like. Lawyers who ask you to pay for the costs of your case before the case is resolved have no business in malpractice litigation and you should take such a request as an urgent warning to find a new lawyer.
Medical malpractice cases almost always require medical experts to testify about the proper standard of care that should have been provided under the circumstances. These are often physicians who practice within the same type of medicine that the physician defendant practices in. These individuals are usually tasked with the responsibility of explaining that the defendant deviated from the standard of care and that this deviation resulted in the patient suffering the harm alleged in the complaint.
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.
Generally, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney if you can. An attorney will know how to navigate the legal system, will know the substantive considerations for your lawsuit, and will take a significant amount of work off of your plate. However, if you cannot afford an attorney or, for other reasons, absolutely must file and prosecute your lawsuit on your own it is possible. You can find additional resources to help you through this process throughout our site at HG.org.
Generally, you must start a malpractice lawsuit within 2 years of when the malpractice occurred. This is called the limitation period. More precisely, it’s within 2 years of when a reasonable person would realize that they suffered an injury from a doctor’s actions and the court system is the right place to seek a remedy. Even if you’re well during this time, you should act quickly—while witnesses are still available and their memories are fresh. This is the general rule, but there are exceptions when the 2-year limitation period starts running at a different time. You would need to speak to a lawyer about this.
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.