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Medical Malpractice Faq | Medical Malpractice By State

Experience: All attorneys are not created equal. Many attorneys today work as general practice attorneys, meaning they handle all types of cases from criminal matters to civil suits. However, if you have experienced a case of medical negligence, it is important to have an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice. You do not want a lawyer whose first trial is going to be this case. Even attorneys who specialize in civil matters rarely go to court, as many of their cases settle without a trial. At The O’Keefe Firm, Stephen O’Keefe has had years of actual trial experience specializing in medical malpractice cases. Although your case may be resolved without stepping into the courtroom, you can be assured that Mr. O’Keefe has the trial experience necessary to fight for your rights in front of a jury.

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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.

Medical malpractice is the most common legal claim lodges against doctors. A medical malpractice claim arises when a doctor failed to treat the patient in conformance with the accepted medical standard of care and the patient suffered some injury as a result. The medical standard of care is the type of care that another physician in a similar community practicing in the same type of medicine would have provided within the same circumstances.


The only change was policy in the state/federal regulations that has the pain doctors running because stupid idiots sell their meds to kids on the street and the government can do only 1 thing well and that is to over-react… So now we have all the pain mgmt. docs leaving private practices and scared to prescribe, forced to prescribe new formulations that cost a fortune as that is what the DEA says they should do – instead of cheap generics (because everyone will abuse the generics…..).
Second, you should never be paying money to any lawyer upfront to bring your malpractice suit. A lawyer should never ask you for money to pay for the costs of your case. If he does, find a new lawyer pronto! Law firms experienced in malpractice litigation will never ask their clients to pay for the expenses of their case. It is a cost of doing business for malpractice law firms to pay for the costs of hiring medical experts, obtaining medical records, paying for depositions, and the like. Lawyers who ask you to pay for the costs of your case before the case is resolved have no business in malpractice litigation and you should take such a request as an urgent warning to find a new lawyer.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. If we do not win, you will not be responsible for attorney's fees, court costs, or litigation expenses. If you do win, these expenses and unpaid medical bills will be taken from your share of the recovery.
The only change was policy in the state/federal regulations that has the pain doctors running because stupid idiots sell their meds to kids on the street and the government can do only 1 thing well and that is to over-react… So now we have all the pain mgmt. docs leaving private practices and scared to prescribe, forced to prescribe new formulations that cost a fortune as that is what the DEA says they should do – instead of cheap generics (because everyone will abuse the generics…..).
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A new, relatively untested issue involving medical professionals was introduced with the passing of the Consumer Protection Act in 2008. In the context of health care, the term “service” means work performed by a person for the direct or indirect benefit of another, including the provision of medical advice by a health professional. The Act thus widens the range of events for which you can claim compensation. It also enables you to seek compensation from manufacturers of medical products and devices in the event of their malfunction.


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.
If you believe you have lost someone due to the actions or inactions of a doctor or other medical professional, you should contact an attorney immediately. If the attorney determines that the doctor's actions were so inappropriate that criminal charges may be appropriate, he or she can guide you through the process of contacting law enforcement and filing a police report. However, in most instances the attorney will simply assist you in making a monetary recovery to provide for those your loved one has left behind.
There was a violation of the standard of professional conduct - The law acknowledges that there are certain legal standards that are recognized by the profession as being acceptable conduct. These standards of professional conduct are largely determined by the ethics rules of the state bar association. Attorneys have an obligation to their clients and the bar to operate within these standards. Clients have the right to expect attorneys will follow the law, behave in an ethical and honest manner, act in the best interests of their clients with integrity, diligence and good faith, and will execute their matters at a level of competency that protects their legal rights. Lawyers must also maintain and supply clients with full and detailed reports of all money and/or property handled for them. Finally, attorneys must not inflict damage on third parties through frivolous litigation or malicious prosecution. If it is determined that the standards of professional conduct have been violated, then negligence may be established.

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).  
Investigation: Before a case is even filed with the Connecticut courts, it is essential that an initial investigation of the matter be completed. Our team works with medical experts in the field to determine whether medical negligence was committed by your doctor or any other medical professional. Our lawyers then determine how that negligence caused your injury.

on a regular basis. Prescribe toxic drugs to children, teens, adults and the elderly, drugs known to create psychosis, anxiety, akathisia, abnormal thoughts, suicidal and homicidal thoughts. Drugs causing diabetes, tardive akathisia, metabolic syndrome, heart attacks... And they prescribe them in cocktail poly drugging format. Some of the real lunatics in this fake area also brain damage their victims with ECT.


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Here is the step most people don’t realize. If the patient’s lawyer wants to take the case further, they need to get an expert witness. That will cost them a lot of money. So if the case is weak, they will do some sort of calculation. For example, they will say they spent 50 hours so far, and they want to make 10,000 for that, so they will offer to dismiss the case for 20,000, which they will split with the patient. Many cases will settle at this point, because it’s easier to spend a little money and avoid the massive costs of going to court, as well as avoiding the risk of a big payout to the patient. This is the reason I say it’s easy to sue a doctor for malpractice, lose the case, but still make some money.
In order to establish negligence and sue the NHS, your solicitor will need to obtain expert evidence from a medical expert in the relevant medical field. So, if your claim is against a GP then normally your solicitor will obtain expert evidence from another GP. An experienced solicitor will know suitable and highly respected medical practitioners in numerous areas of specialty who are able to serve as a medical expert. The medical expert will review your medical records and in most cases needs to give you a medical examination before preparing his or her report.
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Although the medical school adage of “treat the patient and not the test” has value, it’s also important for health-care providers to carefully assess the information provided by the tests that they order. I’ve witnessed many instances in which highly abnormal test results were either interpreted incorrectly or disregarded by physicians—sometimes with fatal consequences.

We offer a completely free, no obligation Medical Negligence Claim Assessment. We understand that suing your GP may not be an easy decision so we are here to help and advise you. We will take the time to listen to your complaint, and then explain whether you can sue a doctor, how long it might take, how you can fund the claim and how much compensation you might receive.
Suing the Government under the FTCA is different than suing a private company or individual.  There are a number of hoops that you have to jump through before you can even file the lawsuit. There are also certain limitations in lawsuits against the Government that you don’t have in lawsuits against private parties.  While you are entitled to a trial under the FTCA, it is a “bench trial,” meaning the judge renders the decision and not a jury.  Fortunately for the victims in the above-referenced malpractice case, the judge recognized the serious and permanent nature of the child’s injuries and the extraordinary expenses that would be required to provide for the child’s future medical and life care needs.
“Twenty years ago there was little that could be done to make the life of a disabled person better, save for making them more comfortable, which a kindly, unqualified person could do. Now, we have teams of allied professionals, such as speech therapists and physiotherapists, all of whom have to visit regularly to have any effect on the progress of the patient. These services, while essential for the patient, have contributed to higher compensation awards. In some ways, the high awards are a victory for the many successes in medicine, so much more can be done to improve the lives of people disabled in one way or another,” Irish said.
My wife answered that question as you would have all doctors answer it, with a YES. Now that same patient who accused her of being cold, and having no empathy for their unbearable pain, is being SUED for everything she’s got because they couldn’t take responsibility for their own misuse of ADDICTIVE drugs. There is no such thing as chronic pain control WITHOUT potential dependance/addiction, and despite the constant pleas of ignorance in courtrooms all over this country, every adult in this society KNOWS THAT.
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.
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.

@ Anon, since when do we not ask lawyers about their success rates?! I don't have much experience with the legal system, but to the best of my knowledge, most people research a lawyer before hiring them. I've never hired a lawyer, but if I needed legal representation, I'd certainly find out what kind of experience and success a lawyer had before asking them to represent me! (It may be somewhat less if it's a lawyer that takes the case on contingency, but then you at least have the guarantee that they're really motivated to win.)
Asking a lay juror to determine negligence in a field as nuanced and complex as medicine proved to be problematic. This issue was alleviated by formalizing the requirement of expert witnesses to assist the lay juror. On the issue, the Wisconsin Law Review wrote "The complexity of any technical field, medicine included, may well disable a lay juror who seeks independently to assess the relative risks and benefits attending a given course of conduct. That, however, only means that the juror needs advice from experts (genuine experts)' who can identify the risks and benefits at issue. Thus informed, there is no reason that a juror cannot and should not pass on the appropriateness of anyone's conduct, including a physician's."

When a hospital makes a mistake that rises to the level of negligence, a patient has a legal right to receive compensation for any resulting injuries. While medical malpractice laws are designed to protect the rights of patients who have been given substandard medical care, the first step in asserting those rights must usually be taken by the patients themselves. This article describes those steps in-depth.
Another potential cause of action is intentional infliction of emotional distress. This is based on a doctor’s outrageous conduct that intentionally or recklessly causes a patient to suffer severe emotional distress. This must be beyond a mere slight as it must be something that would outrage society. The common law tort required a physical manifestation of injury, but most jurisdictions no longer require this element. This cause of action has been successful in some cases in which patients recorded their doctors performing medical treatment while mocking and ridiculing the patient to a serious degree.
Some medical malpractice claims arise from mistakes made in the operating room. A surgeon might be negligent during the operation itself (puncturing internal organs, operating on the wrong body part, or leaving surgical instruments in the body) or the nursing staff might be negligent in administering post-op care (which could result in complications like serious infection).
For help on choosing a good medical malpractice attorney, read Nolo's article Finding a Personal Injury Lawyer . Or, you can go straight to Nolo's Lawyer Directory for a list of personal injury attorneys in your geographical area (click on the "Types of Cases" and "Work History" tabs to learn about a particular lawyer's experience, if any, with medical malpractice claims).
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.
The biggest hurdle for patients to get over in bringing a claim is a law that sets up a defence for all professionals accused of negligence.  It says that if the professional acted in a way that was widely accepted in Australia by that professional’s peers as competent professional practice then the professional is not liable.  Note that ‘widely accepted’ does not necessarily mean that the majority of professionals have to agree to the practice.

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.


For instance, my friend battled to get through to her local practice last week. When she finally did, she was told that there were no appointments for the next three weeks! Of course, like most working people, she was after an evening appointment, which are a tad difficult to get hold of. Yet these are the slots that many of us want – in our 2009 survey, half of the 2,400 people we asked wanted appointments outside of 9am to 5pm.

For example, John Smith went to his local doctor because he had a black spot on his foot and his leg was painful.  His doctor sent him to a surgeon who suggested a special procedure using a needle inserted into his leg artery to see whether the veins in John’s foot were blocked.  The surgeon botched the procedure and John’s artery was damaged.  Several weeks later John’s leg had to be amputated.  When John consulted a lawyer and the lawyer investigated his claim, the lawyer found that John’s original foot condition was gangrene and he was always going to have to have his leg amputated, so the surgeon’s negligence in performing the procedure did not leave John worse off than he would otherwise have been and he fails the test of causation.
i have tried to get a GP appointment for the last week and again this morning. I have a problem with my eye which has been on going for over a month. I have done what we are advised to do speak to a pharmacist, been to an optician, tried several over the counter products recommended by pharmacist, now have been advised to seek treatment from Gp. How can i when i cant get an appointment. I am so worried in case it is something serious, i cant keep using antibiotic eyedrops to ease the problem as pharmacist says only to use them for 5days!!! What do i do now????
My son was diagnosed in his teens with ADHD Paranoid schizophrenia which he was prescribed rispiridone which stabilized his condition slightly but as an adult he couldn't tollorate the side affects any longer and his team (lol) changed it over 2 years ago, since then it's been a living hell. He has been in a psychotic state since and no one is helping him, he totally believes what he thinks is happening to him is real and he has no mental illness, teams (lol) have seen him periodically and he convinced them it is all real and walked away! Fuelling his beliefs although it has been proved by the police numerous times the GP blood tests and a&e visits that nothing is being put in his water supply food etc but yet he still TRUELY believes he's being targeted and drugged. I've tried and tried to tell his GP, rang the local mental health units and told them, rang his adolescent psychiatrist who was brilliant when he was a teen but did nothing as an adult as they are moving and he wouldn't work with them after the visit to his home to section him in which they left believing him, but to my son it is real he's delusional, psychotic, violent, demanding, they are ment to be professionals! I no longer live near my son due to health issues, spinal injuries, ms/me hemoplegic migraine amongst others, so my youngest son who lives 2 mins away from my eld

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.
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