“A significant problem with the court process, as it stands, is the determination of life expectancy (especially with babies), which is fraught with difficulties. Parents may receive too much or too little compensation; causing strain for the system or unnecessary financial duress for parents. Medical expense awards are also estimated at private-patient rates (as much as 50 percent higher than medical scheme rates) – unnecessarily so, as most patients have medical scheme membership, with an already agreed, reasonable tariff,” Kellerman says.
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.
In order to prove medical negligence, one must show that their doctor deviated from the accepted level of medical care that could have been reasonably expected from a physician. Deviations that may support a medical malpractice claim include: surgical errors; medication errors; infections from hospitals; delayed diagnosis of cancer; cerebral palsy; paralysis; pulmonary embolus; spinal cord injury; strokes, heart attacks; brain injury; breast cancer; birth injury; tools, sponges, towels or objects left behind in your body after surgery; surgery on the wrong site; treatment without your informed consent; being given the wrong medication or the wrong dose; being treated with unsterile equipment; or a misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a serious condition.
In this case a surgeon was sued by his patient following complications from a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal). Before the procedure he explained the risks of the surgery to her, and she also asked him questions about his experience and success rate with the procedure. She asked additional questions about whether he had ever been sued for malpractice or had any action taken against his medical license. He answered no to both questions and added that he had an almost perfect success rate with the surgery. Well, bad things happened. The patient suffered a perforated intestine and an infection. She later found out that the doctor had lost a patient during this same procedure, and that he was disciplined for the board as a result of that case.
A 1996 study by Daniel P. Kessler and Mark McClellan analyzing data on elderly Medicare beneficiaries treated for two serious cardiac diseases in 1984, 1987, and 1990 determined that "malpractice reforms that directly reduce provider liability pressure lead to reductions of 5 to 9 percent in medical expenditures without substantial effects on mortality or medical complications."
I see why malpractice insurance is high. I think in many cases it's the attitude that goes along with the malpractice that leads to legal action being taken. I understand that that's not always the case, and sometimes it is simply an accident. However, I know in my family's situation had there been even a tiny morsel of remorse by the physician who treated my grandfather he wouldn't have had to travel to the state capitol. Misreading the fuzzy xray may have been an accident, but sending my grandfather home unable to walk or care for himself, in terrible pain with no pain medication for his broken hip was not an accident. We didn't profit from it, but the physician did have to get an attorney/attorneys when he faced the medical board - so you can blame people like him for the increase in your rates. Had he said he was sorry and not been such an a-- to my grandfather he wouldn't have had to go try to defend himself. He lost, by the way. Had to pay a fine and take some classes. He probably deserved more than he got, but it was something.
What if a patient feels mistreated after the completion of therapy? Example: patient seeks contact with therapist after some new issues surfaced and being told he can't contact therapist because it would create a vortex in space-time which would subsequently swallow the entire universe (or something...) Threatening a person recovering from anxiety with law suit for trying to contact therapist seems heavy handed in the case when patient is just trying to find a solution and understand what's happening.
The reason for negligence’s late recognition is because common law traditionally recognized only intentional torts; that is, it held parties responsible for injuries that were the result of intentional acts. It was irrelevant that the actor did not intend to injure anyone, much less the injured party, but it only needed to be shown that the actor intended the action that caused the injury. In these cases, evidence of who caused what injury was affirmative, direct, and fairly objective.
The third element that must be established to sue NHS hospitals and doctors in a clinical negligence / medical negligence case is damages, ie the amount of compensation the patient should receive. The amount of damages will depend on a variety of factors, the most important of which are the patient’s pain and suffering and the financial loss the patient has incurred and will incur.
Just because your doctor or any other medical professional made a mistake about your care, it does not amount to medical malpractice. As a plaintiff (the person who brings the claim) you need to establish a few things before you can even file a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you are unsure whether or not you have grounds to make a claim, consider this:
I tried to make an appointment with my GP only to be told I couldn’t get in to to see one for five weeks I couldn’t help but laugh. She said if it’s an emergency the doctor could ring me back so i explained to the receptionists my problem and she classed it an emergency appointment . So I waited all day with my phone next to me only to have a phone call from the receptionists to say the doctor had been called out on an emergency and would call me back in the morning. So all day I waited yet again for a phone call from the doctor, eventually the next day I received a missed call at 6.50 in the evening with a message from my GP apologising for the delay , and could I ring the following morning to see if I can get in because it’s clear I need to see a doctor. I do understand doctors are really busy but to me this is ridiculous . So I have now decided to. Change to a different doctors surgery which is a real shame because I’ve been at this surgery for 25 years.
The more common (and some believe more reliable) approach used by all federal courts and most state courts is the 'gatekeeper' model, which is a test formulated from the US Supreme Court cases Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals (509 U.S. 579 ), General Electric Co. v. Joiner (522 U.S. 136 ), and Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael (526 U.S. 137 ). Before the trial, a Daubert hearing will take place before the judge (without the jury). The trial court judge must consider evidence presented to determine whether an expert's "testimony rests on a reliable foundation and is relevant to the task at hand." (Daubert, 509 U.S. at 597). The Daubert hearing considers 4 questions about the testimony the prospective expert proposes:
The philosophy of our law firm regarding damages is simple: obtain the maximum monetary recovery possible for each client. We accomplish this by relying on our decades of experience to diligently prepare our cases for trial and aggressively advocate for our clients. Our financial resources, technological tools and access to outstanding experts in various fields allow us to provide top-notch representation to our clients.
The complaint should indicate the patient’s name, the names of the parties responsible, a description of how the injury happened, the harm that was caused, and the amount of money that the patient expects in compensation. The patient should file the complaint at the office of the clerk of the local (i.e. county) branch of the state court, usually called "[state name] Superior Court, County of [county name]." You should also be sure to comply with any special procedural rules (as discussed in item 7, above).
One exception to the general rule of informed consent is that of therapeutic privilege. While uncommon, doctor’s cannot be held responsible for untruths about a patient’s health when a worse threat could exist with complete disclosure. Such an example would be when the revelation of a debilitating condition might prompt suicidal actions on the part of the patient.