The first non-VA hospital to adopt such a program was the University of Michigan’s (U of M’s) health care system, which introduced the Michigan Model in 2001. Payments to wronged patients are made on behalf of the institution itself, so they are not reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank (such a report would affect a physician’s reputation). In this way, U of M protects its physicians and encourages them to own up to any mistakes. For more information on the Michigan Model for responding to medical errors, and how it has benefited both patients and medical professionals, click here.
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.
The law protects you against any doctor providing you with substandard care. It is possible to sue a doctor who works in an NHS hospital, a private practice or a GP's surgery. Also the law understands that if a doctor has been negligent towards you, you may not always be able to make a claim for yourself. It is possible to sue a doctor for negligence on behalf of yourself, your child, an elderly relative, an individual who has passed away or another loved one who is unable to make the claim themselves.
Special medical malpractice review panels. Many states require the patient to first submit the claim to a malpractice review panel. This panel of experts will hear arguments, review evidence and expert testimony, and then decide whether malpractice has occurred. The panel decision does not replace an actual medical malpractice lawsuit, and the panel cannot award damages, but it's a hoop the patient must jump through before getting to court. The findings of the review panel can be presented in court, and courts often rely on a review panel's finding of no medical malpractice to throw out a case before it goes to trial.
A physician that delivers substandard care subjects him or herself to a formal compliant. Misdiagnosis, careless treatment that causes you harm, or an unusual delay in treatment are complaint-worthy medical errors. Prescribing issues, such as under- or overprescribing medication or giving you the wrong medication, are also grounds for a formal complaint. Working under the influence of drugs or alcohol; sexual misconduct; practicing without a license; and altering records are a few other examples of proper types of complaints.
To establish whether or not your doctor has been negligent they will have to be shown to have been in a position where they owed you/the patient a duty of care and that you or the patient suffered direct harm as a result of their negligent management of this care. The decisions the doctor made and the treatment they gave will be assessed. If it is found that they acted in a way in which other doctors would not have acted, and this resulted in a negative effect, you will have grounds to make a successful medical negligence claim.
The short answer to your question is: MAYBE. I know that sounds a bit squishy but I’ll explain. The reason the answer is “maybe” lies in the definition of medical malpractice — A doctor’s failure to comply with the prevailing standard of care in rendering (or failing to render) medical care and treatment to a patient which results in compensable harm.
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.
Other states require that you file an "affidavit of merit" (or a similarly-named document) with the court when you first begin the lawsuit. This is a sworn statement from a qualified medical expert testifying that you appear to have a valid case for medical malpractice. Once again, if you don’t provide the expert affidavit at the beginning of the case, the court will throw the lawsuit out. Depending on the state, there might be either a screening panel or an expert affidavit requirement or both or other similar requirements.