Regarding Moviedoc's comment, "Treating a rape victim must you tell them you were raped by your brother when you were 10?"...This is probably a bit too much information. However, telling a rape victim that you (the treating therapist or Psychiatrist) are a survivor of rape is often very helpful! Rape victims often think that no one understands, and that they can not survive. Having someone right in front of them who has experienced the same thing and survived it, is therapeutic. It should never be confabulated though, either true, or not said.
According to the Institute of Medicine, up to 98,000 people die in hospitals in the United States every year as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented.  These medical errors are the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, which is higher than motor vehicle accidents. Victims of medical malpractice and their family members do have legal rights to sue a hospital in the event that negligent medical care causes an injury or death.
During discovery both sides have an opportunity to force the other side to produce documents and other relevant materials such as medical records, tax returns, social security records, etc. They also have the opportunity to interview relevant witnesses under oath in a process known as a deposition. Prior to your deposition, we will work closely with you to ensure that you make the most effective presentation possible.
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Any of these areas of conduct could classify as negligent practice, and if it can be shown these actions caused identifiable loss, damage, pain, or injury to you, there may well be a case to report a negligent Doctor to the British Medical Association (BMA). You should also check whether the hospital has a Patient Liaison and advisory service (PALS). If they do, you can complain directly to them, and they will investigate your complaint and provide a decision whether your complaint is justified. PALS will not, however, provide legal advice whether the actions or omissions of the Doctor were negligent.
An expert's opinion can be used in this situation as well, to show that the patient would have at least been made more comfortable and as stable as possible had the abandonment not occurred. On the other hand, if treatment would have had a significant chance of sustaining the patient's life, the family would probably have a more clear-cut case of medical malpractice case against the doctor.
Every medical malpractice case is different and relies on a unique set of facts. However, there are scenarios that more commonly align with a medical malpractice case. For example, a nurse or medical technician may give a patient the wrong type of medication or dosage. Another reason for a medical malpractice case is if the hospital employee did not follow the treating physician’s instructions regarding the care of a patient.

Medical malpractice claims don’t settle easily out of court. Doctors are usually outraged at being sued. Some believe they can do no wrong. In any event, they don’t want to admit any wrongdoing, and to them, settling is just that, an admission that they did wrong. Therefore, more than with any other type of case, your lawyer must be prepared to try your case. Yet statistically, medical malpractice claims are among the most difficult claims to win at trial. Most of them are lost. Your best chance at settling, or if you can’t settle, winning at trial, is with an experienced medical malpractice trial attorney whose reputation might induce a favorable settlement or, that failing, whose trial skills and medical knowledge will tip the scales in your favor at trial. The medical malpractice team at Michaels & Smolak is skilled and experienced in such claims, so contact us for a free consultation now.


Keep in mind, the standard of care differs from region to region and takes your doctor’s level of education and experience into account. As a result, a rural internist with a small private practice is not held to the same standard of care as a board-certified infectious disease specialist practicing in a cutting edge urban hospital. The well of knowledge and experience from which each doctor is drawing is vastly different.
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.
Thomas J. Lavin, Esquire, has been practicing law in New York since 1984. His practice focuses primarily on protecting the rights of the injured. Mr. Lavin graduated summa cum laude from Iona College in 1979 and earned his Juris Doctor degree from St. John’s University School of Law in 1983. The Law Offices of Thomas J. Lavin have provided legal help to more than 5,000 accident victims in thirty years of personal injury practice.
A no-fault system may provide compensation to people who have medical outcomes that are significantly worse than would be anticipated under the circumstances,[11] or where there is proof of injury resulting from medical error,[12] without regard to whether or not malpractice occurred. Some no fault systems are restricted to specific types of injury, such as a birth injury or vaccine injury.[13]
Medical malpractice court cases have been filed against specialists, and if your specialist caused you injury due to negligent care, you may be able to file a claim, too. Medical specialists are held to a higher standard than general practitioners because of their high skill level. Therefore, when a specialist breaches the acceptable standard of care and causes you harm, you can hold him or her accountable through a physician malpractice claim.
"Many cases of psychiatric malpractice are never reported because the victims are already emotionally unstable." With that sentence alone, the author condemns anyone with a valid complaint who has visited a psychiatrist even one time for simple, passing, stress-related difficulties, to risking even more by challenging perhaps the most elusive, powerful professional in existence.
P.S. Opioid tolerance and dependence are normal and expected physiological responses to continuous opioid therapy. Fixing a patient’s physical dependence on a opioid once there is no more need of it for pain relief is a simple matter of tapering down. Thousands of people who were lucky enough to survive cancer or other trauma do it every year, no dramas.
A medical malpractice case isn't the kind of legal action you want to try handling on your own. These cases can get very complex from a legal, medical, and procedural standpoint. Proving your case is going to require not just a firm understanding of the law as it applies to your situation, but a familiarity with the kinds of hoops a medical malpractice plaintiff needs to jump through, including the retention of the right expert medical witness.

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.
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