"The opinion upholding the judgment recognizes that although not every fiduciary relationship will give rise to a claim for damages, where the specific professional responsibility of an attending physician is to convey accurate information, then failure to do so can give rise to liability if the physician's breach results in unusual and extreme emotional distress on the part of the plaintiff," Raynes said in an email.
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.
Another potential cause of action is intentional infliction of emotional distress. This is based on a doctor’s outrageous conduct that intentionally or recklessly causes a patient to suffer severe emotional distress. This must be beyond a mere slight as it must be something that would outrage society. The common law tort required a physical manifestation of injury, but most jurisdictions no longer require this element. This cause of action has been successful in some cases in which patients recorded their doctors performing medical treatment while mocking and ridiculing the patient to a serious degree.
Non-economic damages cover certain type of injuries that are not out-of-pocket losses, including pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, humiliation, mental anguish, loss of consortium (companionship) as well as emotional distress. Because these damages are often difficult to calculate and, juries may overcompensate and non-economic damages can exceed actual economic damages. There is no standard formula to calculate these non-economic damages; therefore they vary on a case by case basis and are referred to as subjective damages because they differ according to a plaintiff's personal or subjective experience.
More often that not, however, a claim will fail on the fourth element, because Judges have a hard time believing that someone who has gone to a doctor with a problem would not accept the doctor’s recommended solution. People take risks every day – risks involving being in a car, crossing the street, taking pain killers, agreeing to medical procedures. A savvy doctor who is being sued for failing to warn will trawl through your past and look for behaviour that evidences your particular tendency to take risks and will try to use it against you to defeat your claim. A good medical negligence lawyer Sydney would have taken you through all that before you decide to sue so that you know whether or not you are likely to win a failure to warn claim.
"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."
Providing a range can also be beneficial in allowing the jury to make the determination as to what the final number will be. Your attorney can then ask the jury, “what is missing out on an activity you loved to do with your spouse worth weekly? $5? $25? $100?” If that person is 40 years old at the time of the crash and is expected to live another 42 years, the price for that loss over a lifetime ranges from $10,920 to $218,400. Presenting multiple stories from different witnesses demonstrating the extent of your pain and suffering damages and including a monetary range for each will allow the jury a viable opportunity to compensate you for that loss.
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.
In making its decision, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania cited several similar cases from other states, including New Jersey, New York, Texas and Wyoming. Courts in other states probably will use the Toney case to support their decisions in comparable cases, said Anna Laakmann, a law professor at Penn State Dickinson School of Law in Pennsylvania.
First, of all, I do not relish the fact that Dr. Sampley is being sued. He is a nice person; he was the treating psychiatrist when my daughter was admitted to the hospital cited in this article. My daughter was hospitalized on that occasion because she was unable to care for herself. She was unable to feed herself, go to the bathroom, communicate, etc. She was so catatonic and unresponsive to the environment, that her eyes were ‘glued’ in an open position. It was like being in a coma. You could move her arm in an outstretched position and her arm would stay that way indefinitely until it lost blood circulation. You could stick a needle through her leg and she wouldn’t respond. People in this MIA community who argue that ‘mental illness’ does not exist should reconsider how these kind of comments affect family members whose loved ones truly cannot care for themselves. The argument shouldn’t be whether ‘mental illness’ exists but how do individuals fall into conditions in which they are unable to take care of themselves and what is the role of iatrogenic harm and trauma in their mental and emotional condition. In my daughter’s state, both played a major role but I will keep this post as relevant as possible to Dr. Sampley and how his character/belief system is relevant to our movement.
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.
If you don't have a record of your physical symptoms that relate to your emotional distress, you may still have a case. It will be a lot tougher to prove that your issues are directly connected to the incident in question. Severe emotional distress like prolonged extreme social anxiety or paranoia may be enough to collect damages.  If you don't have proof of related physical symptoms, talk to a lawyer. You can ask if you have a case. 
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.
Most people know that if a hospital makes a mistake that hurts them, they can sue the doctor or nurse or hospital in state court under state medical malpractice/ negligence laws. What most people, including many lawyers and doctors do not know is that you can also sue hospitals for failure to evaluate and/ or stabilize a medical condition that causes harm to the patient under a federal statute. The statute is commonly referred to as the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA).
Here, this issue is going to be whether, in reviewing the tests, it was within the applicable standard of care to diagnose you as having a UTI. Secondly, if you have now been correctly diagnosed as having bladder cancer, is your proposed treatment protocol any different than what would have been done if this had been caught during the first couple of visits. You then must assess what additional treatment costs you have incurred, or will incur as a result of the delay. None of this can be done without a detailed assessment of your medical records, by a competent med. mal. attorney and the proper experts.
Notify the professional's malpractice insurance company of your claim. Although the professional should take this step on his own, you better protect your interests by making such a notification on your own. In most states professionals legally are required to provide a client with the name of their malpractice insurance carrier. If you fail in getting this information directly, the state licensing authority for a particular professional should have a record of her malpractice insurance carrier.
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]
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.
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.
There are rare occasions where doctors or other medical service providers will admit they have made a mistake and will seek to come to some kind of settlement with an injured party. Tread lightly in these situations, as you may be trading a quick resolution for a substantially lower amount of compensation. However, in cases that are not particularly serious -- specifically, cases worth $20,000 or less -- you may find that settling directly with a doctor is possible.
No one is infallible however, where a person has a life his/her hands it is expected that they will do all that is require according to the standards expected to have little or no errors. It is on that basis that a person can sue for misdiagnosis because the medical practitioner showed some level of incompetence which is unacceptable. A person can sue the doctor and the hospital if the doctor is an employee of the hospital.
Returning to the fender bender case example, in small claims court it would be pretty easy to make your case. You could produce a police report showing the reporting officer’s conclusion that the other driver was likely at fault. You could produce two sworn written statements from eyewitnesses saying that they saw the other driver run the stop sign. And you could produce two repair estimates to establish what you lost.
The patient must prove that they suffered pain, lost wages, have costly medical bills, or have experienced a significant loss in the quality of their life or in their ability to live independently because of the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. Compensation for pain and suffering may be available to the patient in addition to compensation for their physical injuries.
While such an idea once sounded like pure science fiction, it would present enormous opportunities in business, leisure, and medicine. Imagine, someone with a rare disease or medical condition could quickly travel anywhere in the world to obtain the best treatment option. In fact, this is already occurring, as people travel to numerous places for both medical and dental treatment. But, as we all know, sometimes medical treatment goes wrong, and this raises an interesting question. Can you sue doctors in other countries for medical malpractice?
If you don’t file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit against your doctor within the prescribed time period, absent some exceptional circumstances you will be barred from seeking monetary compensation for the injuries and damages you sustained. A medical malpractice lawyer should know the statute of limitations deadline in your jurisdiction and can work to make sure that a claim or lawsuit is filed in your case in a timely manner.
Doctors and hospital officials who subscribe to this philosophy, such as those at the University of Michigan Health System, the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, and Stanford University Medical Center say they tell patients when something went wrong and offer an apology and sometimes even compensation. They say the method is more humane and often eliminates lawsuits.
After meeting the notice requirements and other prerequisites, depending upon the jurisdiction an injured patient may be able to file a lawsuit against the doctor. In order to prove the doctor negligent and that he or she committed malpractice, the accident victim must first be able to show that the doctor breached the duty of care owed to the patient.
Medical malpractice claims don't only cover errors in diagnosis and treatment. Once you've established a doctor-patient relationship, the doctor owes you a duty of care and treatment with the degree of skill, care, and diligence as possessed by, or expected of, a reasonably competent physician under the same or similar circumstances. Part of that duty of care is to be forthcoming with your diagnosis, treatment options and prognosis, as reasonably competent physicians would not lie to their patients.
Certainly, anyone who travels internationally could foresee a circumstance leading to medical treatment abroad. Automobile accidents, heart attacks, illness, and other unexpected medical emergencies can occur overseas during travel, just like they do at home. Moreover, the concept of “medical tourism” is popular with millions of Americans. Medical tourism refers to people that visit a country other than their own for medical treatment. Sometimes, people go abroad to seek treatment, such as a particular drug for a particular disease, that is not permitted in the United States. Other instances include people visiting countries that have well-trained doctors who can perform surgeries, both elective and otherwise, at a cost much less expensive than in the United States. In fact, savings can be as much as 88%, even after factoring in the cost of travel!
Example: Facial ScarJane is a teenage girl who suffered a facial laceration when she slipped and fell in a grocery store. Her only physical injuries were to her face. She required 12 stitches and some antibiotics. The total amount of her special damages was only $700, which represented the cost of the emergency room visit and her medicine.Unfortunately, the wound to her face left a permanent scar. She was embarrassed and humiliated by some children at school. She became depressed from the teasing and from knowing she’d be scarred for the rest of her life.
The low point for the Australian medical insurance industry was in 1999 and 2000, with exponential increases in medical insurance premiums and the collapse of the HIH Insurance Group in March 2001. Since then, Australia has introduced a series of reforms, including the capping of compensation awards and dispute-resolution procedures that stipulate mediation or arbitration as the first step.