If you think you’ve been a victim of medical negligence at a hospital, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The statute of limitations, or the legal timeframe in which one can bring a medical negligence suit, begins once the injury is known or should have been known. The Florida statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is generally 2 years-absent some exceptions that can extend the period up to 4 years or 8 years for infants.
One attorney wrote to us that my Dad’s age was above the average life expectancy, and therefore it “seriously reduces the damages likely to be awarded for loss of future life earnings. Certainly this does not excuse the poor care he received but this makes the case economically untenable as the expenses will likely eat up the majority of likely recoverable damages. We do not have punitive damages in Washington (state) that an outraged jury could award to punish the Dr. and Hospital for their callousness. For these reasons our firm does not wish to undertake this case.”
Yes, you could, but probably not nearly as effectively as a lawyer could.  In fact, the cases can be so difficult that most personal injury lawyers do not handle medical malpractice claims. A medical negligence claim is very technical.  A medical malpractice lawyer has the familiarity with the requirements necessary to prove the departure from the standard of care, the resources, the money, and the experience to advocate for you in a trial. In most states for most medical negligence claims, each claim needs an expert witness, who is either a doctor or a nurse.  Some cases require multiple experts.  The cases are very expensive and the hospitals know it. Make sure you chose a lawyer that specializes in medical malpractice and has the resources to handle your case.

At the same time, the doctor or the doctor’s insurer must complete a similar investigation in order to determine whether medical negligence actually occurred, and if so, whether the negligence resulted in certain injuries and damages to the claimant. The doctor must also obtain an opinion in writing from another doctor in order to support his or her defense.
Putting a dollar amount on suffering is difficult for every party involved in a lawsuit. Some attorneys estimate pain and suffering damages using a formula based on the total of the other compensatory damages: compensatory damages x (a number from 3 - 10) – compensatory damages. The number you multiply by depends on the severity of the injury. For example, a minor injury would be a “3,” paralysis would be a “10.”

One attorney wrote to us that my Dad’s age was above the average life expectancy, and therefore it “seriously reduces the damages likely to be awarded for loss of future life earnings. Certainly this does not excuse the poor care he received but this makes the case economically untenable as the expenses will likely eat up the majority of likely recoverable damages. We do not have punitive damages in Washington (state) that an outraged jury could award to punish the Dr. and Hospital for their callousness. For these reasons our firm does not wish to undertake this case.”
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.

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.
Taking an active role in your own care can help you avoid being a victim of negligence in a fast passed emergency room. Answer all questions honestly and be clear about any past medical care including any medications, both prescription and over-the-counter that you are taking. Once discharged ask for a copy of the medical record and test results and have the attending doctor detail your treatment plan.
(3) A professional may be held liable for negligence on one of the two findings: either he was not possessed of the requisite skill which he professed to have possessed, or, he did not exercise, with reasonable competence in the given case, the skill which he did possess. The standard to be applied for judging, whether the person charged has been negligent or not, would be that of an ordinary competent person exercising ordinary skill in that profession. It is not possible for every professional to possess the highest level of expertise or skills in that branch which he practices. A highly skilled professional may be possessed of better qualities, but that cannot be made the basis or the yardstick for judging the performance of the professional proceeded against on indictment of negligence.
That is one of the main reasons the legal system exists! To compensate people who been injured by their doctors’ mistakes! If your doctor has made a medical mistake, he may well have committed what is known in the legal community as negligence. In order to prove negligence, your attorney will have to show that (a) your doctor owed you a duty of care, (b) your doctor breached that duty of care, (c) your doctor’s breach caused you injury, and (d) you did in fact suffer an injury.

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.


Doctors or healthcare providers are negligent if they fail to provide the standard of care that a reasonable doctor or healthcare provider practicing in the same area would provide in similar circumstances. If the negligence causes injuries or illness to a person, then the doctor or healthcare provider may be liable to pay damages (money to pay for the harm done) to the person. It’s no excuse for a doctor to say, “I did my best. I just didn’t know any better.” If the doctor should have known better, they may be liable. For example, let’s say that you see your doctor because you are not feeling well and your doctor prescribes a drug to treat the symptoms you described. You take the drug and it harms you. It turns out that it was not appropriate, considering your medical history and the other drugs you were already taking. If other doctors with a similar practice would not have prescribed the drug, your doctor may be negligent.

Deon Irish, an advocate who specialises in medical malpractice and a guest speaker at the annual Hospital Association of South Africa Conference in September 2015, said factors that contributed to higher awards included the longer lifespans of patients, improved technology and a broader range of allied health professional skills designed to improve the quality of life of impaired patients.


Hi, I have been divorced for several years. I just started studying for a degree when things became bad and I subsequently got divorced. We have 2 children with chronic illness of which one is epileptic. I had to stop studying to make sure I could look after my children. work continually and extensive hours as my ex husband either didn't pay maintenance or short paid. when we went to court, he always had an advocate and I can afford one. (I always get the short end of the stick)
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.
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Second, from a procedural standpoint, medical malpractice cases can be unique (and pretty complex) depending on the state where you live. You (and your attorney) will need a good understanding of the procedural requirements necessary before - or soon after - filing the lawsuit, including filing an affidavit of merit, complying with pre-lawsuit screening, and other special steps . An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be very familiar with these rules, and will know how to avoid pitfalls and delays so that your case stays on track.
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.
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.

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Before you sue your doctor for medical malpractice, take some time to consider whether you believe your case meets the threshold for a medical malpractice claim. Did your doctor breach the medical standard of care and did that breach cause you to suffer damages? Be honest with yourself. But for your doctor’s breach of the standard of care, would your injuries have occurred? If your answers are “yes” and “no” to those questions, your case may have a shot. If you can allege, with expert support, that your doctor breached the standard of care, and but for his breach your injuries would not have occurred, your case will likely not be immediately dismissed.
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