Our attorneys treat clients like we would our own family. We understand how important it is to have a compassionate bedside manner.We take the time to listen to you, answer your questions and ensure you understand what to expect in your medical malpractice claim. Just as we would for a family member, we commit to having a partner in our firm oversee each case, rather than handing off claims to a “case manager.” Our attorneys are always available to personally speak with you about the progress on your case.
Once this data has been collected, the case moves into the actual trial phase, at which point the plaintiff (you) has the legal burden of demonstrating that malpractice occurred, which boils down to proving three main things: that a doctor-patient relationship existed in which the doctor was negligent; that the result of the negligence was direct or proximate harm; and that damages were incurred as a result of the negligence and the harm. The best way to ensure an excellent settlement for our clients is to make sure that we are well prepared and ready to go to trial. That way if the defendant’s malpractice insurance company is being unreasonable we will be ready to successfully present your case to a jury.
In most cases, doctors are not considered the direct employee of the hospital, but rather independent contractors. However, in some situations, doctors are employees. Doctors are more likely to be found to be employees of the hospital if the hospital controls the doctor’s working hours, vacation time and the fee schedule for the doctor’s services. In a few exceptions, a hospital may be found to be liable for a non-employee doctor’s services.
The first step is a letter of demand, a letter sent by your lawyer to the doctor or health facility concerned, setting out your claim and the period in which the accused should meet it. Thereafter, getting a case to court can take up to four years. Accurate case data and hospital notes have to be gathered; records relating to the patient’s prior medical history, treatment at the hands of the suspected transgressor, and any subsequent treatment must be obtained. Then, lay witnesses must be found, expert witnesses briefed and court dates agreed on. In addition, both the patient’s medical condition and prevailing medical treatments have to be researched.
The ancient Romans also had a legal foundation for medical malpractice law. Their first written laws, on the XII Tables, included the concepts of delicts, iniuria, and damnum iniuria datum. Delicts were types of wrongful conduct that involved penalties. Inuria and damnum iniuria datum were two types of delict. Inuria referred to personal injuries, and damnum iniuria datum referred to injury of property, which could include slaves. Inuria only included injuries that were intentionally caused. A person could be compensated for pain of mind or body as well as monetary expenses resulting from the injury. Damnum iniuria datum also included harm caused by negligent actions, but only mandated compensation for economic losses caused by harm to property. For example, if someone’s slave required medical attention as the result of another person’s negligent actions, they could demand payment through damnum iniuria datum. Eventually, this law was expanded to apply to free men in addition to slaves (O’Connel and Carpenter 1983).
Emotionally fragile patients. If a doctor knows that the patient is so distressed that he or she will refuse needed treatment, the doctor may not be required to get the patient's informed consent. For example, if a brain tumor is life threatening, but removal entails frightening risks like paralysis, it may be appropriate for the doctor to be vague in her description of the risks.
Jason Konvicka: Medical malpractice occurs when a health-care provider deviates from the recognized “standard of care” in the treatment of a patient. The “standard of care” is defined as what a reasonably prudent medical provider would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances. In essence, it boils down to whether the provider was negligent.
An injury was caused by the negligence - For a medical malpractice claim to be valid, it is not sufficient that a health care professional simply violated the standard of care. The patient must also prove he or she sustained an injury that would not have occurred in the absence of negligence. An unfavorable outcome by itself is not malpractice. The patient must prove that the negligence caused the injury. If there is an injury without negligence or negligence that did not cause an injury, there is no case.
While it’s impossible to know to what extent Aanning’s testimony influenced the outcome, the jury sided in favor of his colleague — and, ever since, Aanning said, he has felt haunted by his decision. Now, 77 and retired, he decided to write about his choice and why he made it in a recent column for his local newspaper, The Yankton County Observer. He also posted the article in the ProPublica Patient Safety Facebook group. Aanning, who is a member, called it, “A Surgeon’s Belated Confession.”
What she did NOT DO – WEAN THE DOSE OF FENTANYL PATCHES DOWN FIRST…. This was a COLD SWITCH – and being a “legitimate patient” I never assumed a doctor would ever – ever do this without some significant discussion, the audacity of a doctor to do this – knowing the impact, and knowing I have a job and a family (twins and 3 older children) and that ALL of the discussion with this doctor was centered around NOT causing a negative impact to work / family life – is just impressive to say the least…
People have a tendency to downplay their injuries because they do not want to be seen by others as complaining or needy. In fact, those that are more severely injured tend to downplay their injuries the most. Before you are convinced that your injuries don’t warrant some type of compensation, it is best to be examined by an independent medical expert. You may be entitled to lost wages, medical expenses, or compensation for pain and suffering.
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Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error. Claims of medical malpractice, when pursued in US courts, are processed as civil torts. Sometimes an act of medical malpractice will also constitute a criminal act, as in the case of the death of Michael Jackson.
In states using this second standard, courts ask whether a normal patient, with the same medical history and conditions as the plaintiff, would have changed his or her mind about the treatment if the risk was disclosed. Unlike states following the first standard, a doctor must also inform a patient of realistic alternative treatments, even if the doctor only recommends one treatment.
Somewhere between 210,000 and 400,000 Americans die each year due to a medical error (James 2013); it is now the third leading cause of death in the United States (Makary 2016). Many more sustain injuries that leave them with lifelong disabilities. Moreover, a recent national survey revealed that 21% of Americans have personally experienced a medical error, and 31% have been involved in the care of a family member or friend who did. As discussed above, tort reform measures may be effective in limiting the number and success of malpractice lawsuits, but don’t necessarily address the underlying issue of the malpractice epidemic in America.
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.
Among the acts or omissions that may potentially support a medical malpractice claim are the failure to properly diagnose a disease or medical condition, the failure to provide appropriate treatment for a medical condition, and unreasonable delay in treating a diagnosed medical condition. In some jurisdictions a medical malpractice action may be allowed even without a mistake from the doctor, based upon principles of informed consent, where a patient was not informed of possible consequences of a course of treatment and would have declined the medical treatment had proper information been provided in advance.
A personal example - I had a physician try to talk me in to ECT several years ago. I explained that I didn't want to do it, because I didn't want to accept the risks of permanent memory loss. He denied those risks at first. He told me it was cooked up by the scientologists and anti-psychiatry folks and assumed my resistance was due to having seen the movie One Flew Over a Cuckoos Nest (which I had not seen, by the way). I finally got him to concede it was a risk, a risk I wasn't willing to take. I don't care how small the risk is or if the physician thinks it's worth it. They better tell me the truth. He wasn't the one having the procedure and accepting those risks. I was. As long as I am legally competent, the decision is mine. I have real issues about trying to coerce someone into signing an informed consent document by lying. That's unethical. I continue to be glad I didn't do it. It's a very individual decision.
Medical malpractice lawsuits, like all civil cases, can only be brought within a certain period of time. That deadline is set by a law known called a “statute of limitations.” Every state has passed these kinds of laws, with different deadlines according to the kind of case you want to file. In almost every state, there is a dedicated statute of limitations that applies to medical malpractice cases.
* Contingency fee model. An alternative to the fee-for-service model, where the injured party takes all the risk, is the contingency fee model. This option, provided for by the Contingency Fees Act of 1997, offers a mechanism for people with insufficient funds to access the courts if they have a good case. Under the terms and conditions of the agreement, lawyers provide their services on a “no win, no fee” basis. If the case is successful, the lawyers are entitled to double their fees to a maximum of 25 percent of the settlement, whichever is lower.
Specifically, in arena of medical negligence, physician has duty to use that degree of care and skill which is expected of reasonably competent practitioner in same class to which physician belongs acting in same or similar circumstances. Unlike ordinary negligence cases, proving that a health care professional breached his or her duty of care involves showing what a reasonably competent health care professional would have done in a similar situation - and that your doctor didn't.
The South Dakota surgeon had been called to vouch for the expertise of one of his partners whose patient had suffered a stroke and permanent disability after an operation. The problem was Aanning had, in his own mind, questioned his colleague’s skill. His partner’s patients had suffered injuries related to his procedures. But Aanning understood why his partner’s attorney had called him as a witness: Doctors don’t squeal on doctors.
We will represent you in your medical malpractice case against a Michigan hospital under our NO FEE PROMISE. This means that you will not be charged any legal fees whatsoever unless we obtain a settlement or recovery for you. You have absolutely no obligation for legal fees unless we win your case. If we do not obtain a settlement for you, you owe us nothing!
In some situations, a patient may not receive important communications due to clerical errors. In these situations, if treatment of a treatable medical condition is delayed, or made impossible because of the delay, that failure to communicate can form the basis for malpractice liability. In fact, this sort of claim is among the fastest-growing type of medical malpractice, with a quarter of all failure to diagnose claims stemming from failure to communicate claims.
The concept of medical responsibility can be traced back to the Code of Hammurabi, which is an extensive legal document from ancient Mesopotamia. The Code of Hammurabi states that, “If the doctor has treated a gentlemen with a lancet of bronze and has caused the gentleman to die, or has opened an abscess of the eye for a gentleman with a bronze lancet, and has caused the loss of the gentleman’s eye, one shall cut off his hands” (Smith 1931 as cited within Bal 2009). Of course, penalties for malpractice in most modern, developed nations are much more civilized. However, the Code of Hammurabi introduced the concept of holding medical professionals accountable for deaths or injuries that could have reasonably been prevented.
For example, if a doctor prescribes a medication without first asking you about allergies, and you have a severe adverse reaction, this could be a case of negligence. But if you failed to mention one of your allergies when asked, or the doctor could have had no way of knowing that you could be allergic to the medicine prescribed, there was no negligence, and you would be unable to sue for malpractice.
The kind of proof the plaintiff needs depends on whether the negligence involved an issue of professional health care, or if it involved a simpler matter. If the case involves the exercise of professional health care, for example a nurse administering medication, then the case will be treated as a medical malpractice case. Medical malpractice cases are quite complex and typically require testimony from a qualified medical expert to prove liability.
Was seeing a neurosurgery specialist for a back injury (L4 L5 and S1) for about 2 months. Each visit was prescribed different medications because nothing was working. With each visit the doctor said "if this doesn't work we will discuss surgery" long story short nothing worked and on my final visit he said "I am at a medical stand still. There is nothing else I can do for you without doing surgery and I don't want to put you through the trauma of the surgery." I told him it's getting worse he said it's your body compensating self medicate with Tylenol and ibprofen. I told him Tramadol and Lortabs do not work so why would that....he just repeated what he said and ended the visit. I was handed I piece of paper at check out saying I have been medically released. Found out he put in my chart that I was no longer having leg pains so improvement led him to release me.which obviously was not the conversation we had! Fast forward 3 months and my new doctor said Lumbar Fusion surgery because I am not improving and its been 8 months. Can I sue the 1st doctor for lying in the report so he could release me. It's a workers comp case and I believe he just didn't want to deal with it.