The second element is the most difficult to prove. A skilful and competent doctor can make medical errors as such it is important to look at the actions of the doctor in arriving at a medical conclusion regarding a patient’s health. If it can be proven the doctor acted with reasonable skill, competence and did his due diligence in arriving at a conclusion then he/she will not be liable for any loss or suffering as a result of the misdiagnosis. But where it is shown that the doctor fell below the standards of a reasonable competent practitioner as he failed to take the necessary step arrive at a proper diagnosis and his acts resulted in the damage then a party will be successful.
If a doctor fails to provide proper medical care, a person can sue them for medical malpractice. At the same time, the person can also complain to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, the body that licenses all BC doctors, enforces standards for them, and handles complaints against them. But the College cannot order a doctor to pay you money—only a court can do that. Script 423, called “Making a Complaint Against Your Doctor” explains how to file a complaint.
“Special damages (compensation for the injured party’s future medical expenses and loss of income) probably cannot be capped in South Africa, and this usually represents the largest part of any claim. Without adequate compensation for legitimate injuries, patients would be totally dependent on our public healthcare system for their future care. Receiving compensation from private sector healthcare providers and then relying on the state for any shortfalls is unfair,” he says.
However, if you were threatened or assaulted and then miscarried your baby, or were hospitalized because of a panic attack, your mental and emotional anguish is more apparent. Other physical signs of emotional distress might be ulcers or headaches. Also, it’s best if a doctor’s note is provided, from a doctor or psychologist, to support each claim.
The study recommended reforming the system by increasing funding for legal services, so attorneys could be compensated for their time; making defendants who lose a case pay the plaintiff's attorney fees; or sending malpractice complaints to an administrative system with neutral adjudicators and medical experts so patients wouldn't need an attorney.
3. Finally, hospitals with specialized capabilities or facilities (e.g., burn units, specialized cardiac care units) must accept transfer patients from other hospitals if the specialized hospital has the capacity to treat them. This provision of EMTALA stops reverse dumping, where specialized hospitals won’t take indigent patients from other hospitals.
Jury verdicts in personal injury cases can be higher in certain areas of the country. For example, a broken arm case in a rural county in Texas may get a lower judgment than the same case in New York City. Adjusters are aware of these differences and rely on them when considering their settlement offers.You should visit your local courthouse and research jury verdicts in cases similar to yours. Doing so will help inform your demand for settlement. You can also research this information at a website like VerdictSearch.com.
Damages for negligence—if you prove there was negligence and the negligence caused your injury or illness, a court may order the doctor, hospital, or healthcare provider to pay you damages for the harm the negligence caused. This can include lost earnings, medical and other expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. This last category is the court’s attempt to compensate you for the effect of the negligence on your life, in general. The doctor is responsible only for the harm that their negligence caused. For example, say you consented to surgery that would require you to take 2 months off work to recover, if done properly. But the surgeon was negligent and as a result you had to take 6 months off. In this case, you would be paid only for the extra 4 months of lost earnings caused by the negligence. You would not be compensated for the first 2 months off because you had consented to that. And you still would have had to take the 2 months off if the surgery had gone as planned.
“We comply, where applicable, with the SRA Code of Conduct 2011 published by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and any solicitor [or registered European lawyer] to whom we may refer you is an independent professional from whom you will receive impartial and confidential advice. You are free to choose another solicitor [or registered European lawyer]"
Delayed diagnosis—if a doctor fails to diagnose a medical condition that a reasonable doctor in the same situation would have diagnosed, they would be negligent. The question then becomes whether the failure to diagnose caused any injury or loss to the patient. Sometimes, a delay in diagnosis can mean the difference between being curing or not curing the condition. Other times, a delay in diagnosis may not have made a difference. In that case, the patient could not recover anything from the doctor.
Battery occurs when a person intentionally touches or has other unwelcome physical contact with another person in a harmful or offensive manner. Battery may apply when patients are sexually or physically abused by their doctors. This can also occur when a doctor performs an incorrect surgery or medical treatment on the patient. Likewise, this can occur when a doctor does something to the patient without consent.
The amount of money damages a claimant gets for pain and suffering will also depend upon the amount claimed in a lawsuit if such is filed or the amount demanded to the responsible party in the underlying claim if it is an insurance claim. Even though a lawyer representing a client in an injury negligence-based lawsuit may claim a certain amount for pain and suffering, the jury or the insurance adjuster will award pain and suffering money for differing reasons. In practice, historically tort cases involving personal injury often involve contingent fees, with attorneys being paid a portion of the pain and suffering damages; one commentator says a typical split of pain and suffering is one-third for the lawyer, one-third for the physician, and one-third for the plaintiff.
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.
Rather, the law only requires medical professionals to act according to the proper standard of care. If you have evidence that your doctor violated this standard when failing to diagnose your condition, then you may have a legitimate malpractice claim. Oftentimes, an expert witness will be called in to determine whether a medical professional did indeed violate his or her standard of care.
If you suffer mental anguish arising from a case of personal injury or medical malpractice, you may recover non-economic damages. However, in some jurisdictions, you may only be allowed to recover a specified maximum. Also, you will have to prove your injuries by a preponderance of the evidence. Talk with an experienced attorney to discuss the details of your case.
Your attorney should also disclose “bad facts” in the opening statement. 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.
We certainly understand that some people have a great need for the cost savings available for medical treatment abroad. But it’s also important to consider the protections available in a foreign jurisdiction if something goes wrong. After all, our American legal system is built on the foundation that society is safeguarded when wrongdoers are held legally accountable for their actions. If you have questions about medical malpractice, please call the experienced lawyers at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield and we will be happy to answer them.
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.
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.
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]
In 2015, a Michigan doctor pleaded guilty to purposefully misdiagnosing patients with cancer and treating patients with strong cancer drugs they did not need. He also pleaded guilty to Medicare fraud, receiving kickbacks, and money laundering. The doctor is currently serving a 45-year prison sentence. A misdiagnosis that leads a healthy person to believe he or she is sick is a nightmare. This extreme example does showcase patient vulnerability and the trust they put in attending physicians.
No matter your jurisdiction, medical malpractice claims and lawsuits are primarily about one thing: accountability. People trust that doctors will take care of them and make their condition better in a patient’s hour of need. When doctors fail in that responsibility, they must be held accountable for the negligent actions they took – as well as for the actions that they failed to take under the circumstances.
If you have been injured in a car accident or by some other personal injury, don’t wait to seek counsel from an attorney. Be aware there is a statute of limitations and a lawsuit must be filed within a set time limit; if you wait too long, you may not be entitled to any insurance settlement. Also, personal injury statutes and laws are very different from laws for worker’s compensation, and the laws vary from state to state, so be sure to seek legal counsel concerning your injury.
For medical malpractice cases, attorneys who represent the plaintiff (the patient who has been injured by medical negligence) usually do so on a "contingency" basis, which means the attorney’s payment comes as a set percentage of what the plaintiff ends up receiving after a settlement or a successful jury trial. If the plaintiff receives no payment or ends up losing at trial, the attorney is not paid. But before you sign a contingency agreement, check to see if you will be on the hook for things like filing fees and other costs.
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.
Thank you. I'm not interesting in merely being compensated for medical bills. It's frustrating that I can be injured due to this company's negligence, miss out on earnings & the ability to live life normally, although for a short period of time, I still suffered, and they can be absolved of those damages and only be responsible for medical bills. In that case, what's the point of obtaining medical debt, if medical debt is the only thing that will be reimbursed, I'm no better off than just time wasted having a doctor tell me what I already know. Oh well, guess this company will get away with negligence.
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.
95. In our considered view, the aforementioned principles must be kept in view while deciding the cases of medical negligence. We should not be understood to have held that doctors can never be prosecuted for medical negligence. As long as the doctors have performed their duties and exercised an ordinary degree of professional skill and competence, they cannot be held guilty of medical negligence. It is imperative that the doctors must be able to perform their professional duties with free mind.
Traffic tickets can affect your claim, and if the insurance company determined that you were partially at fault for the car accident, then the amount of settlement could be worth less. If you were not at fault and depending on your attorney’s negotiating skills, you might possibly get the full settlement. If the driver who caused the accident was driving under the influence, then he or she would need a criminal defense attorney, as they might be fully held liable for causing the car accident.
Thank you for your comment, Ziggy. It might interest you that the Court's exact language was: "We do not regard the sending of truthful information pertaining to the criminal conviction of an admittedly rough-and-tumble labor official to his fellow union members, the placing of such a person under the kind of surveillance indicated in this record, or the sending of truthful information about his extramarital affair to his wife to meet the test [of outrageousness]."
When it comes to lawsuits over misdiagnosis, plaintiffs need to follow the same steps for proving medical malpractice as in any other kind of case. It must be shown that, in failing to accurately diagnose a harmful health condition, the doctor failed to demonstrate the level of skill that a similarly-trained and experienced doctor would have shown under the circumstances.
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).
Unfortunately there are no limits on how long they can take to deal with your complaint, and it can depend on factors such as how many staff they need to speak to and how easy it is to access your medical records. But be persistent. If you’ve been waiting for more than six months for it to be resolved, you can report it to the independent Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (ombudsman.org.uk).
How can you tell the difference between appropriate, but unsuccessful care and medical malpractice? Ask. Ask your doctor. Get second opinions if possible. Talk to lawyers, who may have medically trained staff that can give an informed opinion, or who may have dealt with the exact same issue (or doctor) you are dealing with. Do whatever you can to attempt to allay any misgivings you have about your care. But take any opinions with a grain of salt. Some doctors simply won’t accuse a “brother physician” of making a mistake. Some malpractice attorneys will exaggerate the potential of your claim in an attempt to make money. Use your best discretion when seeking opinions on your treatment, but be diligent in the pursuit of information. Until you file a lawsuit, you are your own best advocate and investigator.