Regardless of the type of medical test performed, if the results are not communicated in a timely and appropriate manner and the patient subsequently suffers harm, it may form the basis of a medical malpractice lawsuit. Harm, however, must be suffered, as a patient who suffers no injury after a failed communication will probably have no basis for a lawsuit.
There is a cap on non-economic damages for medical malpractice arising out of acts or omissions on or after April 11, 2003. The basic cap is the larger of $250,000 or three times economic damages, subject to a maximum of $350,000 per plaintiff and a maximum of $500,000 per occurrence. These maximum amounts increase to $500,000 per plaintiff and $1 million per occurrence if the plaintiff has suffered permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb, loss of a bodily organ system, or permanent physical injury that prevents self-care. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2323.43. The cap does not apply to cases brought under the wrongful death statute, Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2323.43(G)(3), but it does limit recovery by a decedent’s estate for such non-economic damages as conscious pain and suffering experienced prior to death.
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.
Cavendish ruled that a physician could be held liable if and when they harmed a patient as a result of negligence while stipulating that a physician who diligently adhered to the standard of care would not be liable even if he accomplished no cure. A legal precursor to expert testimony came in 1532, when a law passed under the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, requiring the opinion of medical men to be taken in cases of violent death. In 1768, Sir William Blackstone penned Commentaries on the Laws of England, in which he recruited the Latin term “mala praxis” to describe the concept of professional negligence, or ‘tort' in modern parlance. Blackstone noted that mala praxis “breaks the trust which the party had placed in his physician, and tends to the patient's destruction.” The proper term of ‘malpractice' was coined sometime thereafter, deriving from Blackstone's work.
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.
If you don’t file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit against your doctor within the prescribed time period, absent some exceptional circumstances you will be barred from seeking monetary compensation for the injuries and damages you sustained. A medical malpractice lawyer should know the statute of limitations deadline in your jurisdiction and can work to make sure that a claim or lawsuit is filed in your case in a timely manner.
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.
However, an attorney may be able to help you file a law suit against the negligent physician. When seeking your legal expert, the single most important factor is the attorney’s reputation. If you hire an attorney that is notorious for settling claims for less than they’re worth, you are less likely to receive the money you deserve. For more information on attorneys and the legal processes involved in medical malpractice law suits, please read our article Medical Malpractice and the Legal Process
Medical malpractice claims don’t only cover errors in diagnosis and treatment. Once you’ve established a doctor-patient relationship, the doctor owes you a duty of care and treatment with the degree of skill, care, and diligence as possessed by, or expected of, a reasonably competent physician under the same or similar circumstances. Part of that duty of care is to be forthcoming with your diagnosis, treatment options and prognosis, as reasonably competent physicians would not lie to their patients.
This combination destroyed my life over the last 5 years. Am I to blame, in the diseased state of addiction, because I requested these drugs? I’m sure, to some degree. Is my Dr. to blame for over-medicating me then kicking me to the curb with multiple addictions that no doctor would ever care for – once everything fell apart financially (and everything else for that matter) for me 5 years later? He absolutely is, and I plan on suing him.
This is often the most difficult part of medical negligence cases and even lawyers have trouble getting their heads around it sometimes. You may be able to prove that a doctor did the wrong thing, but you also have to prove that what happened next was the result of that wrong thing and you have to prove that it would not have happened if the wrong thing had not been done. Deciding whether or not this is the case involves both factual and legal issues and is sometimes very hard to do. You really need a lawyer who is highly experienced in medical negligence cases to look at this for you.
A number of general practices seem to be having difficulty retaining GP’s but for all of them at one surgery to resign and not be replaced by permanent doctors is very unusual, although perhaps recruitment is under way. The NHS Primary Care Commissioning Group for your area is responsible for the provision of general practices sufficient for the needs of the population and for the proper management of the services, but these Groups tend to be difficult to contact and engage with. Local newspapers are sometimes able to get information and relay this to local residents and some PCCG’s will issue statements but they are not noted for their openness. Your PCCG might have a website giving information on the current position and what it is doing about it. There could be malpractice issues at the root of what has happened in your area. The NHS is a branch of national government so I suggest you contact your Member of Parliament as the person most likely to be able find out the facts, inform constituents, and press for early resolution of whatever problem has caused this situation to develop. Local councillors can also apply pressure but the NHS is not under any obligation to answer to them in the same way as it is accountable to MP’s.
The act of filing a complaint against a physician triggers a state medical board investigation of the physician for possible disciplinary action. Realistically, there is only an extremely small chance that your complaint will result in disciplinary action against the physician. Because state medical boards are composed of doctors, they likely feel a personal and professional kinship with the people they regulate and may be hesitant to discipline another member of their own profession.
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.
Similar to the errors in treatment discussed above, pharmaceutical errors can constitute medical negligence if the errors are in violation of the standard of care. If you’ve watched television long enough to reach a commercial break, you’ve likely seen commercials for prescription drugs that end with a litany of potentially dangerous side effects. When prescribed and used as directed, the benefits of use are thought to outweigh the potential dangers. But if your physician prescribes an inappropriate drug to treat your condition -- whether misdiagnosed or diagnosed correctly -- he or she has violated the standard of care and committed an act of negligence.
Have you complied with your statute of limitations? Sometimes we have to tell veterans and service members that we cannot help them because they did not contact us soon enough. If you have a medical malpractice claim against an Army, Navy, or Air Force military hospital, you should contact us as soon as possible because your statute of limitations runs out.
The patient must also prove that the doctor's negligent misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis caused the patient's injury or condition to progress beyond where it normally would have -- had the correct diagnose been made in a timely manner -- and that this progression had a negative impact upon treatment. For example, because of a delayed cancer diagnosis the patient had to undergo a more severe treatment regimen (such as chemotherapy) or the patient died because the cancer had metastasized and no longer responded to treatment. Sometimes a patient can show harm even if the condition can still be treated. For example, with some cancers a delay in treatment increases the risk of recurrence.
^ Faulty Data and False Conclusions: The Myth of Skyrocketing Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Lewis L. Laska, J.D., Ph.D. and Katherine Forrest, M.D., M.P.H. Commonweal Institute, October 6, 2004. From the report, "The premise that medical malpractice awards have been rising dramatically in the United States in recent years, driving up the cost of healthcare and forcing physicians out of practice, is not supported by relevant evidence."
This is where a “Pain Management” doctor should potentially be liable (your avg. doc should not – but those specially trained in this area have NO EXCUSE for this kind of mis-treatment of a patient with a solid history). This is all well documented, there is no valid excuse in forcing patients into withdrawl and destroying a weeks or more of their life (or their lives entirely in many cases) – the impact to your family and job are tremendous. It is exactly this kind of poor practice that leads people down the wrong path to things like heroin. I was fortunate and toughed it out (my wife was very supportive), having the new meds (though not effective enough to control my pain 24/7) was better than nothing but the withdrawal ..was ..terrible AND unnecessary.
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.
This was what is known as a Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) case. The FTCA is a federal statute that allows private parties to sue the United States in Federal Court for torts committed by persons acting on behalf of the Government. For example, if a doctor or nurse employed by a Veterans Administration hospital or a hospital on a military base commits malpractice, the patient would need to bring a medical malpractice claim under the FTCA. Other examples of potential negligence claims against the Government include someone injured in an auto accident involving a Government owned vehicle, and someone injured due to a fall caused by negligent maintenance in a post office or other Government-owned facility.
Yet you actually believe that medical practices are going to continue to risk everything for nothing just because you think you can shame them into playing right into their enemies hands? Because courtrooms and juries across this land, are very quickly forcing doctors to see those patients who beg them to risk everything to relieve their pain as potential enemies and destroyers of everything they’ve spent a lifetime building. If just one out of a thousand patients turns into your enemy for profit, you loose half a lifetimes work, let 2 out of a thousand do it and your FINISHED. You wouldn’t risk your business or your financial future, betting on the sterling character of everyone that walks through your door, why should doctors be different? Newsflash!! Drug abuse (legal or otherwise) can destroy your life !! But let an unscrupulous lawyer tell you that he can not only give it all back to you, but make you a millionaire to boot, all you have to do is be willing to put that blame on somebody else… Well who ISN’T going to go for that deal? The number 1 cause of all drug abuse is IRRESPONSIBILITY, yet you think drug abusers wont jump at the chance to hold ANYONE but themselves responsible?
Following 2003, medical malpractice insurance rates were reduced in Texas. However, the Center for Justice & Democracy at New York Law School reports that rate reductions are likely attributable not to tort laws, but because of broader trends, such as "political pressure, the size of prior rate hikes, and the impact of the industry's economic cycle, causing rates to drop everywhere in the country." States which do not impose caps on malpractice damages, such as Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Washington, have experienced reductions or stabilization in malpractice rates as well.
Doctor Liability, Damages – In this category of cases the patient can prove that the doctor was negligent, and that negligence was the cause of the patient’s injury. These are the situations most likely to end favorably for the injured party. Attorneys are more likely to take cases they believe will be easy to prove. When attorneys can easily prove physician liability, costs are lower and the client will receive more of the damage award. In other words, less money will be deducted from the patient’s award.
Currently, most states have legal precedents that establish an informed consent standard. For instance, in Cobbs v. Grant, 8 Cal.3d 229, 104 Cal. Rptr. 505, 502 P.2d 1 (1972), the California Supreme Court first introduced the premise as “a duty of reasonable disclosure of the available choices with respect to proposed therapy and of the dangers inherently and potentially involved in each.” The Court further defined the physician’s duty in Truman v. Thomas, 27 Cal.3d 285, 611 P.2d 902 (1980), by stating that doctors must also inform patients of all material risks a reasonable person would want to know if deciding not to undergo a treatment or procedure. In other words, if certain information would be relevant to a patient’s understanding of and course of action in regards to a current condition, treatment or procedure, the doctor must share that data with the patient—to not do so would be considered lying as well as illegal.