This method entails writing the pain and suffering out as if it were a job description. What would someone need to be paid in order to fulfill the job duty? For example, if a car accident put someone in a wheelchair for six months, then how much would the average person have to be paid to sit in a wheelchair everyday for 180 days? Would you sit in a wheelchair everyday for 6 months for $5,000 or would it take more like $50,000?
Plaintiffs can also sue for the negligent infliction of severe emotional distress that they experienced because of someone else’s injury. This types of suit occur sometimes when a person has to witness the injury or death of a loved one caused by another person’s negligence. However, to succeed on such a claim one must be able to prove that their distress was an immediate and foreseeable result of the defendant’s behavior. In addition, the plaintiff generally must physically witness the accident in order to be able to recover for this type of claim.

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.

Thank you for your response. Although my bruising has faded by now, my arms are still a bit tender and I do have a lump where I was hit the hardest on my left arm that was not there before, so I'll go to be seen for that, if anything. I do wish I was in a position to pay for a doctor's visit up front sooner than this ( I just don't go to an E.R), but I guess it'll be better than nothing as ive already submitted the petition in small claims court against this corporation. Thanks again for your insight.

If the injured patient is able to prove – through qualified expert testimony – that the doctor committed an act of medical negligence, then the patient has satisfied the first step of proving a malpractice claim against the doctor. However, the injured patient must also be able to show that the doctor’s negligence resulted in certain injuries or damages.

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.


Medical malpractice cases must be brought soon after the injury. In most states, you must bring a medical malpractice claim fairly quickly -- often between six months and two years, depending on the state. (The time period in which you must bring the lawsuit is called the "statute of limitations.") If you don't file the lawsuit within the specified period of time, the court will dismiss the case regardless of the facts.

Previously, a New York appeals court had also ruled that a couple was allowed to sue a fertility clinic for emotional distress after the clinic implanted the female plaintiff’s embryo in another woman, and although neither of the plaintiffs suffered physical injuries, the appeals court ruled that the couple had suffered substantial emotional injury due to the defendants’ breach of their duty of care.   


Examples of doctor negligence involve patients' complaints not being taken seriously enough, illnesses being incorrectly diagnosed, GPs refusing to carry out blood tests, incorrect or inappropriate medication being administered, incorrect doses of medication being prescribed, referrals to specialist consultants not being made in time or at all and follow up appointments/treatments not been carried out quickly enough . They can also include serious illnesses (such as cancer) being misdiagnosed as something less serious, broken or fractured bones going undiagnosed due to lack of referral for x-ray, failing to follow-up on a patient’s complaints and concerns, failing to correctly identify an illness or injury and treating an injury or illness in a manner which leads to complications and/or further injury or illness.
Examples of doctor negligence involve patients' complaints not being taken seriously enough, illnesses being incorrectly diagnosed, GPs refusing to carry out blood tests, incorrect or inappropriate medication being administered, incorrect doses of medication being prescribed, referrals to specialist consultants not being made in time or at all and follow up appointments/treatments not been carried out quickly enough . They can also include serious illnesses (such as cancer) being misdiagnosed as something less serious, broken or fractured bones going undiagnosed due to lack of referral for x-ray, failing to follow-up on a patient’s complaints and concerns, failing to correctly identify an illness or injury and treating an injury or illness in a manner which leads to complications and/or further injury or illness.

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.)

Inconsistency in one’s complaints can be a sign that the injured person is making something up. If, for example, someone with a back injury tells Doctor A one day that he/she is having pain down the left leg, tells Doctor B another day that the pain is down the right leg, and tells physical therapist C another day that he/she has never had pain down either leg, that person is going to have a hard time convincing anyone that he/she is having pain anywhere.
The keys are 1) establishing the medical standard of care, meaning the level of care that was appropriate under the circumstances, and 2) demonstrating how the defendant fell short of meeting that standard. And in almost all cases, you’ll need the help of a medical expert witness to help you establish these things. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will be part of a network of professionals -- doctors, consultants, medical experts who have served in a variety of cases, and other medical malpractice attorneys -- and will utilize this network to locate and hire the right medical expert for your case.
I attempted to get recompense for my elderly mother after medical neglect that resulted in her losing her ability to walk, additional surgeries, and months of pain. I had no idea WHY the lawyers I contacted didn't even want to listen to the details. Now I know, and am disheartened to learn the reason for their disinterest. I've never sued anybody, am not one of those people who would sue when I dump coffee in my lap. But when one has a legitimate reason and legitimate damages, it's horrendous that our legal system provides no avenue of recompense for actual damage that is life altering.
Patrick Malone, a Washington, D.C., attorney who has represented patients in medical malpractice lawsuits since 1985, said he triages cases to focus on those that resulted in permanent harm. That's necessary, he said, because of the time and emotional investment the patient will need to make to bring the case to trial, and because of his investment in the case.
The timeline involved is going to be important should you have a diagnosis of cancer for a few reasons. You mentioned 2 years went by from the time you were told you had a UTI until you were told you might have Bladder cancer? Is that correct? You were seen 6 times over the course of 2 years and diagnosed with a UTI every time? How many times were cultures taken? How much time was it from when your culture came back negative until you were told you may have cancer? Answers to these questions are necessary in order to have a better understanding of the facts and potential theories of negligence.
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In the early stages of the process, the most important thing is finding out who to contact at the insurance company. A claim will not be processed right away because it's important to learn about all the medical expenses before attempting any calculations. Injured parties don't typically wish to risk anything uncovered in their eventual settlements.
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.
Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.
In the past, a lawyer acting for a wronged patient might have advised his or her client first to report the matter to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), the professional body mandated to register health professionals and ensure practitioners are fit to practise, before proceeding with a civil case in the courts. Even though the HPCSA does not have the power to arbitrate on compensation, the rationale was that an HPCSA ruling and censure of the doctors concerned would improve the chances of a patient succeeding in a civil case.
It may not be so easy to file a personal injury lawsuit against a hospital or other health care facility, if what went wrong was limited to the quality of medical treatment you received from a doctor. That’s because in many cases, a physician is not an employee of the hospital, but an independent contractor. So, the hospital may not bear the kind of vicarious liability that typically exists in an employer-employee relationship.
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