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Medical Malpractice For Dummies | Can You Sue Your Doctor

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.
Sometimes, even permanent damage doesn’t have major financial implications for you. Some malpractice verdicts result in the payment of damages amounting to $250,000 or even less. Although this might sound like a lot of money, you have to remember that your costs will also be high. You will have to call on legal and medical experts, and at the end of the day, you might not gain a significant amount.
Roman law spread throughout continental Europe around 1200 AD, and many countries’ current laws regarding personal injury and medical malpractice derive from Roman origin. English common law was greatly influenced by the Romans, and in turn 19th century English common law had a substantial influence on the American legal system. During the reign of Charles V, a law took form that required medical professionals’ opinions to be taken into account in cases of violent deaths. This served as a precursor to the presence of expert testimony in medical malpractice cases in order to establish standard of care (for more information on standard of care, see “Medical Malpractice in the U.S.”)
Why is it important to differentiate between malpractice and simply poor doctoring? Because in a successful malpractice case, the patient can recover money damages to compensate for injury, including emotional harm. Alternatives to a malpractice lawsuit include filing a human rights complaint, filing a complaint with the psychiatrist’s employer, filing an ethics charge against the psychiatrist, writing negative online reviews for the psychiatrist, or speaking with the psychiatrist directly. However, these alternatives will not provide recompense to the patient for any harm inflicted.
Even though current compensation awards take longer lifespans into account, there could still be a mismatch between the assumed lifespan and the actual lifespan of the patient. An arbitration agreement that contracts medical providers to cover the cost of health care for the actual lifetime of the patient removes this risk, Kellerman says, and it would provide the greatest benefit. Waiting for five to eight years for a court resolution is avoided, and there is no erosion of compensation by contingency fees (up to 25 percent), as the costs of the mediation are usually prescribed by fixed tariffs. The process does not place an emotional or financial burden on the injured party, and resolution, if done proactively from the outset, could take less than two years.

Expert witnesses, copies of medical records, deposition and witness fees, medical exams -- all of these things cost money. And if you lose your case, you could very well be on the hook for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in expenses - depending on your legal fee agreement. Is your case important enough to you that you feel the potential financial benefit outweighs the risk?
Jeremy there are a whole lot of issues on the NHS in the UK . One initial one was people from places like the US where you pay for medical treatment coming on “medical holidays ” and getting treatment here that would cost them 10,s of 1000,s of $$$$ in the US, for free ,called in the US “freeloading ” it caused a “big stink ” here and regulations were brought in . Second the UK NHS is about 35 % privatized and heading for total privatization in ENGLAND , there are staff shortages as medical people have to work long hours so that shareholders can get a big profit . The people running them are, in effect accountants not medical staff , supplies are limited because of high drug costs by rip-off giant pharmaceutical companies charging extortionate prices for their patented drugs , this is being fought against in places like India where the government says -enough already – and is backing home made generic varieties without giving the giants their profits . Doctors are self employed in GP surgeries ie- private businesses contracted to the NHS , there is a lot more but you see the UK is not Australia nor parts of Europe.
If you are looking to move along with the process of making a claim and want to ascertain whether Been Let Down are the right medical negligence Solicitors for you, we welcome you to contact us today. This can be done by phoning our office on 0151 321 1000, or by visiting our website at www.beenletdown.co.uk to request a call-back for a more suitable time, or to complete our claims form. We will then arrange for an initial consultation with you, and determine how to best move forward with your case.
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.
Trying to get an appointment in my area (Cornwall) is harder than ever. It’s made me lose faith and feel daily that there is no point even trying. I’m currently experiencing Bipolar symptoms and I want to be able to get diagnosed with this, but this is impossible without seeing a GP first. You can ring every day, early in the morning for a week and you’d still get nowhere. Something has to change. This is a failing system.

While some diagnostic errors may be seen as reasonable, patient harm that stems from inadequate communication could be the result of negligence on the part of medical providers. Every case is different, and the strength of yours is in the details. To have those details reviewed by an experienced medical malpractice lawyer, contact The Tinker Law Firm, PLLC. Call us today or fill out our online contact form for a free claim evaluation.

Once a patient begins a clinical negligence / medical malpractice claim for compensation it is no longer possible to pursue a complaint under the NHS complaints procedure.  Using the NHS complaints procedure does not stop you from later pursuing a clinical negligence / medical malpractice compensation claim and in some instances it is advisable to make a complaint under the NHS procedure before commencing a clinical negligence / medical malpractice claim.


This may not be the case if you are suing for another’s injuries. For example, we often take and are successful in taking injuries due to medical negligence at birth or delivery of a baby. Many times, the mother, father, or both are active duty. Our active duty moms and dads sue for injuries that arise out of the baby’s original injury. For example, in many cases, the medical negligence on the baby will cause loss of consortium, incur attendant costs of care, and other damages. These types of cases are not barred by the Feres doctrine. If you have a case like this, contact us so that we can analyze the specific facts of the case and give you a better idea whether you may bring suit on behalf of your child for obstetrical or other negligence arising out of the labor and deliver.
Although it is not unheard of for a doctor to alter medical records, it is extremely rare. If your doctor does alter your medical records, this fact alone will not irreparably harm your case. There have been major advances in forensic technology over the past years. It is now possible to detect changes in ink, spacing, and handwriting that may have been made by your doctor when he tried to alter your records.

Many states limit the amount a plaintiff can recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit. For example, subjective damages like “pain and suffering” might be capped at $250,000. In a state with that kind of cap, you wouldn’t be able to recover more than $250,000 plus any medical expenses, lost wages and other “concrete” damages caused by the malpractice.
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