Special medical malpractice review panels. Many states require the patient to first submit the claim to a malpractice review panel. This panel of experts will hear arguments, review evidence and expert testimony, and then decide whether malpractice has occurred. The panel decision does not replace an actual medical malpractice lawsuit, and the panel cannot award damages, but it's a hoop the patient must jump through before getting to court. The findings of the review panel can be presented in court, and courts often rely on a review panel's finding of no medical malpractice to throw out a case before it goes to trial.
As to whether or not the plaintiff’s injury is a reasonably foreseeable result of the defendant’s conduct, North Carolina courts ask whether a “reasonably” cautious person might have foreseen that severe emotional distress would result to the plaintiff. What qualifies as “reasonable” and “negligent” depends on the situation; for example, medical professionals are held to a higher standard of care when treating patients.
A good case in point is that of a Missouri teenager who went to the emergency room after a car accident. An infection was not diagnosed in time and led to permanent brain injury. The jury awarded the plaintiff close to 5 million dollars in damages. The young man now has permanent loss of motor skills and cognitive skills. The cost of his future medical expenses was a factor for the jury when deciding the award amount.
Medical malpractice is the most common legal claim lodges against doctors. A medical malpractice claim arises when a doctor failed to treat the patient in conformance with the accepted medical standard of care and the patient suffered some injury as a result. The medical standard of care is the type of care that another physician in a similar community practicing in the same type of medicine would have provided within the same circumstances. 

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.)

The law protects you against any doctor providing you with substandard care. It is possible to sue a doctor who works in an NHS hospital, a private practice or a GP's surgery. Also the law understands that if a doctor has been negligent towards you, you may not always be able to make a claim for yourself. It is possible to sue a doctor for negligence on behalf of yourself, your child, an elderly relative, an individual who has passed away or another loved one who is unable to make the claim themselves.


Mental anguish is an element of non-economic damages usually sought in personal injury cases, medical malpractice and sometimes defamation cases. Generally, "mental anguish"  translates to certain types of suffering that may include distress, anxiety, fright, depression, grief, or trauma. In many jurisdictions, plaintiffs may recover for mental anguish; however, some states set compensation caps on non-economic damages.
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.

Because emotional distress cannot be seen or objectively quantified, it may be harder to get money for this type of injury compared to, for example, a broken arm. In many cases, emotional distress is part of a harassment case, such as sexual harassment or another form of workplace harassment. A medical misdiagnosis may cause emotional distress, as well.
VII. Negligence cannot be attributed to a doctor so long as he performs his duties with reasonable skill and competence. Merely because the doctor chooses one course of action in preference to the other one available, he would not be liable if the course of action chosen by him was acceptable to the medical profession. VIII. It would not be conducive to the efficiency of the medical profession if no Doctor could  administer medicine without a halter round his neck.

The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney or if you do not have an attorney, consult with an attorney.
Severe or disabling permanent injuries, such as a traumatic loss of vision, brain injury, or debilitating loss of mobility, are usually multiplied by 5 times; however, an automobile accident or serious injury that tragically leaves you in a wheelchair, or with disfiguring scars, or even the death of a loved one, may be multiplied by up to 10 times.
Many doctors are not employees of the hospital, and in general a hospital cannot be held vicariously liable for a non-employee's negligence. However, when a patient goes to the emergency room, the hospital cannot tell the patient what a doctor's employment status is. Therefore, hospitals may be held liable for an emergency room doctor's medical malpractice.

“I was very fortunate to have Richard Jaffe of Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, represent me in my case. Throughout the entire process, Rich was professional, always explaining every detail of my case. He was available whether it was through a phone call, text or email. Not only was Rich an extreme professional but he also kept it personal, not making me feel like a case number. I would highly recommend Richard Jaffe, his firm and all of his staff to anyone seeking diligent and professional results.”
Unfortunately, just because one of these things occurs does not mean you have a claim. Medicine is not an exact science, and the law does not obligate doctors to be error-free 100 percent of the time. If doctor error occurs but there is no breach of a standard of care, you may not have a strong claim. If however, doctor error occurs and there is a breach of a standard of care, then malpractice may have occurred.
After you have done everything else, you should also meet with your doctor or the hospital officials. Even if you are not going to bring a medical malpractice case, you should try to negotiate with them one-on-one to see if they will waive some of your medical bills or compensate you in some way. You should bring an attorney with you if possible, but always remember that you should never sign any kind of legal document or waiver without an attorney looking it over first.
2. Lawyer - choose a lawyer you feel happy and comfortable with. Of equal importance to this, ensure the lawyer you choose is specialised in medical negligence law. 1stClaims will be able to help you find the perfect lawyer for you, so get in touch with us today. They will be able to give to the legal support you need. You can do this on behalf of a family member if they are unable to do this on their own.
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!

Damages in a personal injury case, whether they be economic or non-economic, are generally limited to the coverage limits of the insurance policy. Often, this means that a person cannot sue an insurance company for a million dollars if the insurance coverage the defendant held only had a limit of $50,000. The most concrete way to think about this example is in the automobile insurance industry.


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.
A physical impact is not necessary for an emotional distress claim when there is a breach of fiduciary duty, the superior court said. Doctors have a legal and ethical responsibility to care for patients' well-being and, under the circumstances, it was reasonably foreseeable that Toney would endure emotional distress during the birth of her son, the court said.

The personality of the plaintiff, their witnesses and overall effect of the injuries which befell the victim plaintiff will play a powerful role in any damage award if damages are even awarded once liability issues are satisfied. The power and personality of the lawyer representing her or his client also may factor into a high money damage award case.
Differential diagnosis is a systemic method used by doctors to identify a disease or condition in a patient. Based upon a preliminary evaluation of the patient, the doctor makes a list of diagnoses in order of probability. The physician then tests the strength of each diagnosis by making further medical observations of the patient, asking detailed questions about symptoms and medical history, ordering tests, or referring the patient to specialists. Ideally, a number of potential diagnoses will be ruled out as the investigation progresses, and only one diagnosis will remain at the end. Of course, given the uncertain nature of medicine, this is not always the case.
After you have done everything else, you should also meet with your doctor or the hospital officials. Even if you are not going to bring a medical malpractice case, you should try to negotiate with them one-on-one to see if they will waive some of your medical bills or compensate you in some way. You should bring an attorney with you if possible, but always remember that you should never sign any kind of legal document or waiver without an attorney looking it over first.

Costs of suing—some lawyers will work for a contingency fee, meaning the fee depends on the result of the case. If you lose, the lawyer gets nothing. If you win, the lawyer gets part of your compensation award. Win or lose, though, you usually have to pay the expenses of suing, which can be thousands of dollars, especially if you have to hire experts to help prove your case. The Law Society regulates contingency fee contracts to ensure they are fair to clients. For more information about lawyers’ fees, check script 438, called “Lawyers’ Fees”.
If for instance, you or someone you know had been misdiagnosed, then can you sue for misdiagnosis? The answer is yes, sometimes you can sue for a misdiagnosis but not always. The first thing you need to know is; were you harmed because of the misdiagnosis? And then you need to answer; were you able to receive a treatment that was not supposed to be given to you? Was it too late for you to get the treatment because you were misinformed? Or will something undesirable happen to you because the doctor did not catch it earlier?

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 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.
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.

Having a rude, seemingly pompous doctor is unpleasant, believe me I know. However, medical malpractice law comes right out and says in black and white that an unfortunate medical result does not make a medical malpractice case. A medical malpractice case requires a demonstration that there was health care that fell below the average standard of care, and that this below-average care directly caused injuries.

Often, people may have viable bases for lawsuits but fear that they are not allowed to file their claim without a lawyer. As a result, concerns over paying attorney fees may keep some from following through with their claims, meaning that the legal wrong may go unaddressed and the person who was wronged may go uncompensated. But, it is possible to file a lawsuit without a lawyer. This article will tell you how.
Finally, in any medical malpractice case -- in any type of lawsuit for that matter -- plaintiffs need to be mindful of time limits for going to court and getting the lawsuit process started. You need to file the initial document (the complaint) within a certain amount of time after you suffered the harm that led to the lawsuit. These deadlines are set by state laws (statutes), so they’re called “statutes of limitations.” In some jurisdictions, the statute of limitations may not begin to run until the discovery of the injury. For example, in California, a patient has three years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit after the harm occurs, or one year after the harm is discovered (whichever comes first).
Jot your concern down on a bit of paper, and how you want it put right. Be calm. Approach a member of staff, explain your problem briefly and ask to see someone senior. Most doctors and nurses are generally compassionate people and trained in dealing with patients, so they should be willing to listen to your complaint. It’s much more satisfying to receive an explanation from a member of staff who already knows you than a faceless person at the end of a phone.
Fortunately for you, you took matters into your own hands and went to the ER and got the proper diagnosis. While the doctor was wrong to mistake congestive heart failure for asthma, the inhalers he prescribed did not cause your congestive heart failure or the your left heart failure. Unless the doctor was in a position to have diagnosed and mitigated the congestive heart failure, you may not have a medical malpractice case. But all anyone can do on this forum is speculate based upon a few lines of information. Gather your medical record and consult local counsel for further clarity.
Unlike regular insurance firms, the CMPA fights cases, even if settling would be cheaper. “(We) recognize that the reputation of any professional is highly important to their ability to continue to pursue their career. Accordingly, when the CMPA believes the care provided was appropriate, we provide the physicians with an appropriate and ethical defence,” says the CMPA’s Dr. Douglas Bell. Toronto lawyer Paul Harte argues the strategy intimidates many lawyers from bringing cases forward and denies injured patients access to justice.
Generally, you must start a malpractice lawsuit within 2 years of when the malpractice occurred. This is called the limitation period. More precisely, it’s within 2 years of when a reasonable person would realize that they suffered an injury from a doctor’s actions and the court system is the right place to seek a remedy. Even if you’re well during this time, you should act quickly—while witnesses are still available and their memories are fresh. This is the general rule, but there are exceptions when the 2-year limitation period starts running at a different time. You would need to speak to a lawyer about this.
When deciding whether to file a medical malpractice claim, it's important to find out how much time you have to legally bring the claim. All civil claims, including medical malpractice cases, have time limits as to when they must be filed. These limits, called “statutes of limitations,” require you to file your claim within a certain time period from when the injury occurred, or risk waiving your rights to recover money for your injuries.
See if you can sue for emotional distress as a third party. In some states, you can sue for emotional distress as a third party. For example, you might have a case if your child or someone close to you was physically harmed in an incident. This incident must have occurred right in front of you. You would have a more solid case if you were also physically injured or experienced the threat of injury.
Thomas found a medical malpractice attorney to file a lawsuit on her behalf. But then he withdrew, she said, because he wouldn’t make much money if they won. Thomas had just started a consulting business and didn’t make much. Because economic damages in lawsuits are largely based on lost income, she was told the potential rewards weren’t high enough, she said.

You may also have suffered financial loss as a result of your GP’s negligence if, for example, the time you have been required to take off work because of your injuries or illness has been prolonged due to the negligent act or omission of your GP. Suing your doctor may seem like a daunting prospect but it does not need to be with 1st Claims. We will support you every step of the way.
3. Expect that the case will be quick and cheap. Although experienced lawyers will take on viable cases on a “contingency basis”, you will likely be expected to front the costs of initial medical opinion(s) and record gathering. Be prepared for no less than $5,000 and as much as $15,000 to get started. If the investigation is favourable, most lawyers will pay the freight from this point to the end of the case.
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]."
In order to prove that the defendant's conduct was extreme and outrageous, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant's behavior was unacceptable and uncivilized behavior that a reasonable person in the plaintiff's position would believe the conduct was extreme and outrageous. Plaintiff's sensitivity is irrelevant since the standard is viewed objectively.
Besides negligence and lack of informed consent, there is a third type of malpractice. Recently, courts have said doctors may be responsible if they break the patient-doctor contract. This is a complicated area of malpractice law, not covered by this script. For example, one issue may be who has a contract with the doctor: you or the Medical Services Plan. You would need a lawyer to see if this applies to your case.
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.
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