Pain and suffering is a term used to define the physical and mental suffering that a plaintiff endures as a result of an injury. It is a component of the plaintiff's damages. So, in a medical malpractice case, the defendant health care provider can be liable for the harmed patient's pain and suffering, in additional to other damages like the cost of medical treatment and lost income.
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.
Ways an accident has affected you can be very personal in nature. For instance, an injury victim may have been a member of a bowling league with her spouse for twenty years prior to an accident occurring. They bowled together every Thursday evening with their friends and this weekly ritual became a cornerstone of bonding in their marriage. Following the accident however, the injury victim suffered neck injuries that prevented her from being able to bowl. She begins to feel isolated from her spouse and her friends. Thursday evenings are now spent utilizing heating pads and taking prescription narcotics in attempts to alleviate the pain.
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!
A patient trying to prove misdiagnosis must show that a doctor in the same or similar specialty would not have misdiagnosed the illness or injury. The plaintiff will have to show that the doctor did not include the correct diagnosis on the list and that a competent doctor would have included it. Alternatively, the plaintiff must show that the doctor listed the correct diagnosis but did not perform the right tests to arrive at the correct diagnosis by the end of the differential diagnosis method.
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.
For your lawsuit to be successful, your Nevada medical malpractice attorney must prove several things. First, your lawyer must show that the defendant (which could be a doctor, nurse, hospital or other person or entity) was negligent when treating you. Then your attorney must demonstrate that this negligence caused an injury. Finally, your lawyer must show that the injury caused damages, for such as physical pain, mental anguish, lost wages and/or additional medical bills.
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* Contingency fee model. An alternative to the fee-for-service model, where the injured party takes all the risk, is the contingency fee model. This option, provided for by the Contingency Fees Act of 1997, offers a mechanism for people with insufficient funds to access the courts if they have a good case. Under the terms and conditions of the agreement, lawyers provide their services on a “no win, no fee” basis. If the case is successful, the lawyers are entitled to double their fees to a maximum of 25 percent of the settlement, whichever is lower.
About three-quarters of mediations result in a satisfactory outcome, often within a day, but mediation is not legally binding until a written agreement is signed and the case can proceed to court. The NHS Litigation Authority launched a mediation service in 2014 for cases that have reached the compensation stage (contact the trust involved directly for more information). The Tutu Foundation also offers a mediation service (tutufoundationuk.org, tel 01865 514830).
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We have had multiple lawyers look at the case. All of them have told us that while they believe mistakes were made, it would cost too much to prosecute the case to be worth it. Since he was 25, single and childless, there are no financial losses; no one who was depending on his paycheck. All we really want is answers and assurances that something has been done within the hospital to prevent similar mistakes from occurring again.
The loser of a lawsuit has to pay some of the successful party’s legal fees. So patients who are already struggling financially because of a medical error may be reluctant to take on the financial risk, says Susan McIver, author of After the Error. “It’s a real David-and-Goliath situation … Plaintiffs risk losing their homes and life savings when going up against an organization with deep pockets filled to a significant extent by taxpayers’ money.”
You withheld information from the doctor or gave misleading information to the doctor which might have aided or hindered the doctor’s ability to diagnose the problem. For example, if you tell the doctor that you don’t smoke even though you do, than the doctor may not be able to properly diagnose that you have developed lung cancer or other respiratory illnesses.
There are many alternatives to litigation. Depending upon the jurisdiction you are in -- and whether there are caps on damages that may come into play in a formal trial -- you may wish to consider these options. Remember that in many cases alternative dispute resolution is simply part of the trial process and not the endgame. Your best first step might be discussing your options with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Successful lawsuits require proof that physicians failed to meet the “standard of care” other reasonable doctors would have and that the failure caused injury.That’s hard, Knutsen says, especially since it’s easier for doctors to find — and pay for — physician experts.“What was the cause of this person’s misfortune? Could it be the cardiac arrest or disease they showed up at the hospital with? Was it a pre-existing condition? Was it someone else’s fault?” he asks.
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.
Despite that fact that the Constitution promises you the right to health care, no one has successfully sued the State for the non-delivery or lack of health care. Several test cases have concluded that, despite the Constitution and the Patients’ Rights Charter, the government has no absolute obligation to provide access to health care. Instead, the government is required to “progressively realise its obligations” to its citizens. In practical terms, this means, for example, that a patient who needs dialysis and cannot be treated because of a lack of facilities cannot sue the State.
Doctor and hospitals are liable to any patient where there is medical misdiagnosis caused by the negligence of the doctor. Most malpractice lawsuits in the US are as a result of medical misdiagnosis due to the doctor failing below the required standard as he was negligent. Misdiagnosis is more common in outpatient facilities as the government and private sector efforts have focused on inpatient safety. A person suing for misdiagnosis requires opinion from other doctors about the standard procedure which a doctor failed to do before diagnosing a patient. A considerable sum is generally recoverable because of the lasting effects misdiagnosis might have on the patient.
Medical malpractice cases must be brought soon after the injury. In most states, you must bring a medical malpractice claim fairly quickly -- often between six months and two years, depending on the state. (The time period in which you must bring the lawsuit is called the "statute of limitations.") If you don't file the lawsuit within the specified period of time, the court will dismiss the case regardless of the facts.