If you or someone you know has been injured, disabled, or was fatally injured as a result of a physician’s negligence, it is vital to consult with an experienced and reputable medical malpractice lawyer. The laws are very specific and often overwhelming to navigate. New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Folkman Law Offices, P.C. are committed to helping their clients claim all entitled compensation available to them.
Formal arbitration is a contractual alternative to a lawsuit or trial. In a formal arbitration situation, the parties contractually agree to allow a panel of attorneys (usually one plaintiff-oriented attorney, one defense-oriented attorney and one neutral) to hear their case and adjudicate it on the merits. Liberated from the evidentiary requirements of a formal lawsuit, parties are afforded the opportunity to save a considerable amount of money when compared to trial, while still being allowed to present their case. Formal arbitration is binding and should not be undertaken lightly. Courts are loath to overturn or otherwise alter decisions made by arbitration panels, particularly when the arbitration awards are reasonable in light of potential jury verdicts.
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.”
Damages from pain and suffering are considered “general damages” and are distinguishable from “special damages.” Hospital bills, loss of income, and certain out of pocket expenses are examples of special damages because a plaintiff can provide a bill, receipt, or work contract to show the money that was lost or paid. Pain and suffering, on the other hand, is not quantifiable in a precise, mathematical way.

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.
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.
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.
When my father passed from MRSA acquired after open heart surgery (acquired either in the hospital or rehab center) I called 40 attorneys and was told the exact same thing as the article states: He was too old, had lost his viability (translate earning potential) and had no wife (she had died). Most of them would not tell me why they would not take the case, but one did. It's not only hard to hear that your elderly parent has no value legally, but this is exactly why doctors and hospitals and other medical facilities continue their poor attempts at keeping hospitals as clean as possible. They answer to no one.
3. Evidence - keep track of any evidence which could be relevant to your case. Keep detailed records of your appointments with your GP, together with records of any telephone consultations and referral appointments. Your solicitor will arrange to obtain and copy of your medical notes and x-rays. You will have to pass this information on to your lawyer and it will be a lot easier if you have it at hand. Keep any prescriptions, receipts from further treatments, notes of further treatment and a diary detailing the progression of your health issues. For example, if you fell ill with appendicitis and your GP failed to diagnose it, you should keep a note of the progression of your condition, if you are well enough to do so. All of this is not vital, but very helpful.  
Oregon doctor Susan Haney is suing psychiatrist Howard Sampley, alleging that he mistook effects of medication, and pregnancy, for a mental disorder.  Haney’s trip to the emergency room for asthma and pain from a burn had resulted in a diagnosis of psychosis, bipolar disorder, mania, potential harm to self and others, and a suspension of her medical practice. The state medical board later reinstated Haney without restrictions; she is suing for for $2.25 million.
A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis itself is not evidence of negligence. Skillful doctors can and do make diagnostic errors even when using reasonable care. The key is determining whether the doctor acted competently, which involves an evaluation of what the doctor did and did not do in arriving at a diagnosis. This means looking at the "differential diagnosis" method the doctor used in making treatment determinations.
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?
Causation can be the most challenging element for plaintiffs to prove in a failure to diagnose cases. A plaintiff must prove that the misdiagnosis caused the injury to worsen more than it would have had a correct diagnosis been made. This means, for example, that a plaintiff will need to show that a delayed cancer diagnosis resulted in the patient's wrongful death, whereas the patient would have lived longer if it had been caught at the right time by the defendant.

As you read this, don't assume she passed because of her heart. The surgery was successful, as expected. It was the aftercare that killed her: Avoidable infections, overdose of heparin, lines becoming dislodged, a doctor collapsing her lung while removing a drain tube. It seemed endless but was only 95 days. One heart surgery with a 99.9 percent success rate and a week of recovery in the hospital turned into three heart surgeries, an exploratory abdominal surgery and seven hospital associated infections and 95 days later, her death. I wish there were a medical court (of sorts) that patients could go to without an attorney. They could file a complaint and sit in a room with the doctor, nurses, specialists and a panel of “judges” and plead their case. Ask their questions. No attorneys. No “specialists.” Just a place to get answers, and, if needed, monetary compensation. Personally, I just wanted answers.
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.
Did the change in lifestyle trigger disturbing depression or anxiety? If you have never experienced depression before, many describe it as feeling despondent, as if a black cloud were hanging over your head. Sometimes, if the injury is taking a long time to heal, you may feel hopeless, that you will never get better. Examine the differences in your lifestyle to determine the negative impact of your personal injury.
Doctor negligence claims can be complex as it can often be difficult to show that the injury or illness you are suffering from has been caused or exacerbated by the negligence of your GP. Your solicitor will arrange for you to be assessed by an independent medical expert who will assess your injuries and/or illness and will advise on whether the symptoms you are experiencing have been caused by the negligent actions (or inactions) of your GP.
* 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.

Chris Archer, the chief executive of South African Private Practitioners Forum, says it is fashionable for health practitioners to blame lawyers for the increase in malpractice cases, but the working conditions of many health professionals also play a role. “Many health professionals work in solo practices or small partnerships without professional support or routine peer review. There is limited use of protocols and guidelines and little to no teamwork among private practitioners,” he says.

First, you need to figure out what the legal wrong was that you believe could form the basis for a lawsuit. Once you have figured out what it might be, you will need to research the elements of the case. Just because you feel certain something is wrong and should be addressed by the courts does not mean that it will resolve itself. You have to go through some very specific processes to secure your rights, and failing to do so could jeopardize your claim. These rules and procedures are not secret, and are actually quite easily found, but only if you know what you are looking for, where to look, and that you even need to look in the first place. This is why most people opt to hire an attorney rather than run a case on their own. Attorneys are specially trained and familiar with these procedures, and much less likely to miss something than someone without this experience who is trying to navigate this process for the first time.
Car insurance policies that extend beyond personal injury protection (PIP) generally provide coverage for most types of damages, including pain and suffering claims. The two most common types of auto insurance coverage are bodily injury (BI) and uninsured/under-insured (UM) motorist coverage. Both BI and UM can be used to cover pain and suffering, but only up to the amount of the policy limits. Bodily injury coverage most commonly has two policy limits, or split limits.
Our most vulnerable people, including those who have experienced extreme states such as ‘catatonia’, hearing voices, delusions, etc are being institutionalized, forcibly shocked and medicated, and routinely stripped of their civil liberties; Meanwhile, we continue to argue how many angels can fit on the tip of a needle and focus our limited resources on the worried well.
When you need medical care, you tend to rely on doctors whether it’s your primary care physician or a referred specialist to manage your health in the best way possible. You trust doctors to advise you about your health condition, medication, and routine care. However, there may be times when that trust is broken due to negligence. When medical mistakes or negligence occurs while you or a loved one is receiving medical care, the consequences can be devastating sometimes resulting in death or a lifelong debilitating condition.
"The really troubling thing about this case is that nothing could have been done to change the [baby's] condition," said Daniel Rovner, an attorney for Chester County Hospital, one of the defendants. "There was no treatment, nothing medically that could have been done. The bigger picture is that the plaintiff's bar is going to use this as an attempt to expand the law to explain emotional distress."
And don’t kid yourself. If you think that your doctor just made a mistake and that it won’t happen again – think again. Chances are, if he made a mistake with you, he very well could have done it before and will do it again. Don’t be dissuaded by your doctor’s apologies or his downplaying of your injuries. An apology won’t pay for your medical expenses, and it certainly doesn’t ensure that he realizes the full consequences of his negligible actions.
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.

Under NO circumstances is your doctor allowed to leak, alter, or otherwise use your medical information against you in retaliation for filing a malpractice lawsuit. There are severe criminal, civil, and judicial penalties for taking such illegal actions. For engaging in an act such as altering your medical records, your doctor could face anywhere from criminal fraud charges to the loss of his medical license.

It is very common for an injured person to consult a lawyer saying ‘if Dr Smith had told me I would end up like this I would never have agreed to the procedure’.  While the saying ‘hindsight is always 20/20’ is often appropriate, there are situations where an injured person could and should sue their doctor or other professional for failing to warn them of significant risks of a procedure.


We offer a completely free, no obligation Medical Negligence Claim Assessment. We understand that suing your GP may not be an easy decision so we are here to help and advise you. We will take the time to listen to your complaint, and then explain whether you can sue a doctor, how long it might take, how you can fund the claim and how much compensation you might receive.
Medical malpractice cases can be timely and costly, which is why most such cases are settled out of court. In addition, because medical malpractice insurance companies reject a significantly large portion of medical malpractice claims, it may be in your best interest to settle out-of-court or risk having no case at all. Keep in mind, however, that if you believe you have a strong case, then you should seek a larger settlement.

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.
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.
Olanzapine is not approved for use as a sleep aid, to the best of my knowledge. It is used in the elderly if the person is aggressive, hitting care takers, or if they are having hallucinations and other similar problems. There are good studies that show that the olanzipine causes an increased risk of stroke. In my opinion, it should only be used in situations were the benefit gained out weighs the risk of stroke.
This is really so painful to re-live. All of the attorneys I discussed my case with said that what was done to me was clearly negligence and that the case had merit indeed. However, the potential award would have fallen below the $250,000 mark, and to fight it would have been a gamble because jurors – for whatever reason – see physicians in a “can do no wrong” light and may decide in favor of the negligent doctor. I wanted to fight it out of principle more than anything else.

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.
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.
VI. The medical professional is often called upon to adopt a procedure which involves higher element of risk, but which he honestly believes as providing greater chances of success for the patient rather than a procedure involving lesser risk but higher chances of failure. Just because a professional looking to the gravity of illness has taken higher element of risk to redeem the patient out of his/her suffering which did not yield the desired result may not amount to negligence.
Did the change in lifestyle trigger disturbing depression or anxiety? If you have never experienced depression before, many describe it as feeling despondent, as if a black cloud were hanging over your head. Sometimes, if the injury is taking a long time to heal, you may feel hopeless, that you will never get better. Examine the differences in your lifestyle to determine the negative impact of your personal injury.
Failure to warn a patient of known risks. Doctors have a duty to warn patients of known risks of a procedure or course of treatment -- this is known as the duty of informed consent. If a patient, once properly informed of possible risks, would have elected not to go through with the procedure, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice if the patient is injured by the procedure (in a way that the doctor should have warned could happen). (To learn more, read Nolo's article Medical Malpractice: Informed Consent.)
×