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Can You Sue Your Doctor For Negligence | Medical Malpractice Attorney

MPS insures doctors in the private sector. According to its figures, thought to be conservative by some practitioners, the number of claims increased by 27 percent between 2009 and 2015, and claim size escalated by an average of 14 percent over the same period. At the Medico-Legal Summit, a once-off event convened by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, in March 2015, MPS’s head of medical services in Africa, Dr Graham Howarth, said that the highest claim currently, lodged in 2013, was for R80 million.
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.”)

Five days later, Della Casa, an author and dating coach in Chicago, was traveling and had pains so severe she could barely move. When she received a voicemail from her doctor saying she had “misread her results” and needed to be treated immediately for a kidney infection, she was furious. “I decided then and there I would never see her again,” Della Casa tells WebMD.


Some state courts still use the Frye test that relies on scientific consensus to assess the admissibility of novel scientific evidence. Daubert expressly rejected the earlier federal rule's incorporation of the Frye test. (Daubert, 509 U.S. at 593-594) Expert testimony that would have passed the Frye test is now excluded under the more stringent requirements of Federal Rules of Evidence as construed by Daubert.
Another motivating factor: A quick, honest “apology” might prevent a future claim, or provide an opportunity for a settlement without the need for litigation. Insurance companies typically want to settle with an injured person directly if they can, and this allows them to do so before the full extent of injuries are known, as well as preventing the injured person from hiring an attorney who could increase the settlement value of the claim through their representation.
Financial loss can include the future costs of caring for the patient. It can also include the patient’s future lost income where, as a result of the negligence, the patient is no longer able to work or to earn as much as he or she would otherwise.  Where a patient will need significant care support and will no longer be able to work, the amount of damages awarded when you bring a claim against the NHS or a hospital can be extremely high. 
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.
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).  

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Once the complaint has been filed, pre-trial preparation begins with the discovery period. The discovery of facts is often accomplished in 2 different ways: interrogatories and depositions. Interrogatories are questionnaires that witnesses fill out and are typically used for gathering preliminary details. Depositions are face-to-face interviews in which witnesses are sworn in and transcripts of the interviews are transcribed, but they do afford the attorneys the opportunity to ask follow-up questions and gather more in-depth information.


The Indiana Medical Malpractice Act spells out the procedures to follow if you suspect that you have a hospital malpractice claim or any type of medical malpractice lawsuit. The first step is to obtain your medical records and have medical experts review them and determine whether the hospital or hospital staff involved in your treatment provided substandard care that caused your injury.

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.


Differential diagnosis is a systemic method used by doctors to identify a disease or condition in a patient. Based upon a preliminary evaluation of the patient, the doctor makes a list of diagnoses in order of probability. The physician then tests the strength of each diagnosis by making further medical observations of the patient, asking detailed questions about symptoms and medical history, ordering tests, or referring the patient to specialists. Ideally, a number of potential diagnoses will be ruled out as the investigation progresses, and only one diagnosis will remain at the end. Of course, given the uncertain nature of medicine, this is not always the case.
Medical malpractice suits are usually filed in a state trial court, unless the case involves federal funding, a military medical facility, or or a Veteran’s Administration facility: then it would be filed in a federal district court. A claim may also be filed in a federal court if the parties involved are from different states, or if there was an accused violation of a fundamental constitutional right.

"The opinion upholding the judgment recognizes that although not every fiduciary relationship will give rise to a claim for damages, where the specific professional responsibility of an attending physician is to convey accurate information, then failure to do so can give rise to liability if the physician's breach results in unusual and extreme emotional distress on the part of the plaintiff," Raynes said in an email, according to AMN.
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."[50]
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.
If someone you are close to has been seriously injured or worse, you are naturally devastated not only by what has happened, but by the effect that the injury or loss has had on you and your family. At a time when you're vulnerable, traumatized and emotionally exhausted, you need a team that will support you through the often complex process that lies ahead.
P.S. Opioid tolerance and dependence are normal and expected physiological responses to continuous opioid therapy. Fixing a patient’s physical dependence on a opioid once there is no more need of it for pain relief is a simple matter of tapering down. Thousands of people who were lucky enough to survive cancer or other trauma do it every year, no dramas.

But, anon, a successful suit doesn't remove a bad doc from practice. Only a licensure action can guarantee that. Suing someone out of a need to punish them may accomplish little. The real purpose of civil suits is to make the plaintiff whole. I suspect even "punitive" damages, if they're ever awarded in malpractice suits, would be covered by insurance.

Deon Irish, an advocate who specialises in medical malpractice and a guest speaker at the annual Hospital Association of South Africa Conference in September 2015, said factors that contributed to higher awards included the longer lifespans of patients, improved technology and a broader range of allied health professional skills designed to improve the quality of life of impaired patients.


Medical malpractice claims are incredibly complex cases, and the laws governing them vary from state to state. Even the most obvious malpractice claims will still require meeting numerous administrative, or claim filing, prerequisites, such as providing the doctor or hospital with notice, or even getting another doctor’s opinion. Some states even have shorter statute of limitations for malpractice claims.

These critics assert that these rate increases are causing doctors to go out of business or move to states with more favorable tort systems.[30] Not everyone agrees, though, that medical malpractice lawsuits are solely causing these rate increases.[31] A 2003 report from the General Accounting Office found multiple reasons for these rate increases, with medical malpractice lawsuits being the primary driver.[32] Despite noting multiple reasons for rate increases, the report goes on to state that the "GAO found that losses on medical malpractice claims-which make up the largest part of insurers’ costs-appear to be the primary driver of rate increases in the long run." More recent data has indicated that medical malpractice rates are generally no longer rising. In 2011, data pooled from the industry by the publication Medical Liability Monitor indicated that medical malpractice insurance rates had declined for four straight years. The decrease was seen in both states that had enacted tort reform and in states that had not, leading actuaries familiar with the data to suggest that patient safety and risk management campaigns had had a more significant effect.[33]


In order to succeed with a medical malpractice claim you must prove that your doctor or other health care provider’s treatment of you was “negligent”, which in medical malpractice cases is defined as treatment that falls below the “standard of care” of practice for a reasonable practitioner in a particular area of medicine. Just proving you had a bad result from a medical treatment or procedure is not sufficient; some bad results can occur even when your doctor was not negligent. Sometimes there are “known risks” that are unavoidable with certain surgeries, treatments or medication. Further, even proving a departure from the standard of care is not enough! You must then prove that the mistake or error “proximately caused” the injury or damage to you. For example, your doctor may have departed from a reasonable standard of care in not diagnosing properly your fractured wrist. Maybe he completely overlooked the fracture. But what if he had properly diagnosed it? Would your wrist be any better now? If a proper diagnosis would not have lead to a better result, then there is no “causation” between your doctor’s negligence and your injury. In other words, “no harm, no foul”. A good medical malpractice lawyer knows how to analyze carefully the “elements” (what you have to prove) of a medical malpractice case. He or she also knows how to present these elements to a jury. The Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers of Michaels & Smolak has the skill, experience and expertise to maximize your chances of prevailing. So contact us for a free consultation.
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.
* Contingency fee model. An alternative to the fee-for-service model, where the injured party takes all the risk, is the contingency fee model. This option, provided for by the Contingency Fees Act of 1997, offers a mechanism for people with insufficient funds to access the courts if they have a good case. Under the terms and conditions of the agreement, lawyers provide their services on a “no win, no fee” basis. If the case is successful, the lawyers are entitled to double their fees to a maximum of 25 percent of the settlement, whichever is lower.

Numerous factors can cause surgical errors including lack of safety protocols before surgery, communication problems between the surgeon and operating room nurses, having more than one surgeon involved, time pressure to finish a surgery and failure to monitor a patient adequately during and after surgery and respond to changes in the patient’s condition.

Texas passed a "tort reform" law taking effect on September 1, 2003.[44] The act limited non-economic damages (e.g., damages for pain and suffering) in most malpractice cases to $250,000 across all healthcare providers and $250,000 for healthcare facilities, with a limit of two facilities per claim.[44][45] As of 2013, Texas was one of 31 states to cap non-economic damages.[44]


The negligence resulted in significant damages - Legal malpractice lawsuits are expensive to litigate. For a case to be viable, the plaintiff must show significant damages that resulted from the negligence. If the damages are small, the cost of pursuing the case might be greater than the eventual recovery. To be worth pursuing, the plaintiff must show that the outcome resulted in losses far in excess of the amount of legal fees and expenses necessary to bring the action.
A 2004 study of medical malpractice claims in the United States examining primary care malpractice found that though incidence of negligence in hospitals produced a greater proportion of severe outcomes, the total number of errors and deaths due to errors were greater for outpatient settings. No single medical condition was associated with more than five percent of all negligence claims, and one-third of all claims were the result of misdiagnosis.[25]

We often get asked the question whether an active-duty military service member can sue the United States. The short answer to this question is that it depends on the claim your bringing. The general rule is that under Feres v United States, a service member may not recover under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) for claims which arise out of or in the course of activity incident to their service. Courts often refer to this as the Feres Doctrine. Whether your claim falls within the scope of Feres is a complicated legal question that usually requires the assistance of a lawyer. There is no clear cut answer on when a serviceman’s death, injury, or loss is “incident to service.” The words incident to service appear no where in the Federal Tort Claims Act, but have been interpreted into the FTCA by the United States Supreme Court.
Patients can already sue doctors for prescribing medications if they can prove that writing the prescriptions violated the standard of care and that they have suffered damages as a result. But Tick wants to take the concept a step further. If the patient sues a doctor and wins, the patient should receive payment for rehabilitation, possible punitive damages, and attorney’s fees.
An injury was caused by the negligence - For a medical malpractice claim to be valid, it is not sufficient that a health care professional simply violated the standard of care. The patient must also prove he or she sustained an injury that would not have occurred in the absence of negligence. An unfavorable outcome by itself is not malpractice. The patient must prove that the negligence caused the injury. If there is an injury without negligence or negligence that did not cause an injury, there is no case.
While some medical errors are readily apparent, many times a serious hospital error is not immediately obvious. You may have a suspicion that you or your loved one has been harmed by a hospital’s substandard care. In most instances, you will need to have your medical records reviewed by independent medical experts to determine whether a preventable hospital error occurred.

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A large number of medical malpractice lawsuits stem from the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition, illness, or injury. When a doctor's diagnosis error leads to incorrect treatment, delayed treatment, or no treatment at all, a patient's condition can be made much worse, and they may even die. That being said, a mistake in diagnosis by itself is not enough to sustain a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Attorney Lawrence J. Buckfire of the Buckfire Law Firm® is responsible for the content of this legal advertisement. His office address is 29000 Inkster Road, Suite 150, Southfield, MI 48034 and telephone number is (800) 606-1717. Buckfire Law serves all cities and counties in Michigan, including: Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Dearborn, Metro Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Monroe, Mount Clemens, Mount Pleasant, Muskegon, Port Huron, Saginaw, Sterling Heights, Troy, Warren, Detroit Downriver, Mid-Michigan, Northern Michigan, Thumb Area and West Michigan.
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?

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.
Because many malpractice cases involve patients that were already sick or injured, there is often a question of whether what the doctor did – the treatment of the preexisting condition – actually caused the harm. If a patient dies of pancreatic cancer after seeking medical treatment, it might be difficult to prove that the doctor caused the patient’s death and not the cancer. The patient must show that it is “more likely than not“ that the doctor’s incompetence directly caused the injury. This often requires that a patient have a medical expert testify that the doctor’s negligence caused the injury.
“This is a good step; it provides an avenue for potential litigants to engage with service providers they believe have been negligent. Such a process assumes the willingness of both parties to engage in good faith, and to compromise, if this is appropriate,” Dinnie says. “Where the matter at hand is relatively simple and perhaps the quantum of the possible award is not that significant, it provides a way forward. I am not sure how effective such an option would be in a more complex case where the stakes were higher, the possible longevity of the victim was in dispute and the quantum of the award was higher.”
* Fee-for-service model. Taking a malpractice case to court could cost over R200 000 due to the high fees advocates and attorneys charge. A decision on costs will be made by the court and will depend on the merits of the case. However, even if the case is successful, the awarded compensation might be less than the legal costs, and if the case is unsuccessful, you might have to pay your legal fees, as well as the those of your doctor.
Specifically, in arena of medical negligence, physician has duty to use that degree of care and skill which is expected of reasonably competent practitioner in same class to which physician belongs acting in same or similar circumstances. Unlike ordinary negligence cases, proving that a health care professional breached his or her duty of care involves showing what a reasonably competent health care professional would have done in a similar situation - and that your doctor didn't.

Dave took over my wrongful death case after it was badly messed up by another lawyer. He was dogged in his pursuit of all the information needed to make a solid case, and he succeeded in bringing it to a very satisfactory settlement. He was honest and straightforward, kind and compassionate through meetings, depositions, court appearances. I highly recommend him. Christine


Despite that fact that the Constitution promises you the right to health care, no one has successfully sued the State for the non-delivery or lack of health care. Several test cases have concluded that, despite the Constitution and the Patients’ Rights Charter, the government has no absolute obligation to provide access to health care. Instead, the government is required to “progressively realise its obligations” to its citizens. In practical terms, this means, for example, that a patient who needs dialysis and cannot be treated because of a lack of facilities cannot sue the State.
The NHS has a complaints procedure which is distinct from making a clinical negligence / medical malpractice claim for compensation where you sue the NHS or sue NHS hospitals or trusts.  Under the NHS complaints procedure a patient can make a complaint about NHS staff (such as a hospital doctor, GP, nurse or ambulance driver) when unhappy with the treatment or service received.
In an action against a surgeon for malpractice, the jury should be instructed that the plaintiff must show by a preponderance of the evidence and the jury must find that the defendant in the performance of his service either did some particular thing or things that physicians and surgeons of ordinary skill, care and diligence would not have done under the same or similar circumstances, or that the defendant failed or omitted to do some particular thing or things which physicians and surgeons of ordinary skill, care and diligence would have done under the same or similar circumstances.
Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error.[1] Claims of medical malpractice, when pursued in US courts, are processed as civil torts. Sometimes an act of medical malpractice will also constitute a criminal act, as in the case of the death of Michael Jackson.
Doctor Mistake, Serious Injury – Despite significant harm to the patient, sometimes it is impossible to prove a case of medical malpractice against a physician.  For example, an older patient with a heart condition may die after receiving the wrong medication.  After an investigation, experts may determine that although the physician prescribed the wrong medication, the incorrectly prescribed drug had the intended effect on the patient.  In this case, there is physician negligence (for prescribing the incorrect medication), but no causation (the mistake did not cause the harm to the patient).

I contacted my Gp Friday for appointment a 2 week wait. Call at 8.30 Monday for telephone consultation..called continuously from 8.30 to 9.05 . line busy. over 100 times I tried kept finger on call button theres no way other people got through only 1 line. So got to speak around 9.05 sorry all consultations are gone, try tomorrow. No place to leave comment on website, how convenient. I know NHS is stretched but theres no way that anyone got through the fone line was not busy they had it switched so could finish their coffee . I am raging
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.
The first medical malpractice cases in the United States centered around a breach of contract and not failure to adhere to a standard of care. This meant that the defendant physician made some sort of express promise to skillfully render care and obtain a good result. Failure to do so was grounds for a suit. Five years after George Washington's inauguration, the country saw its first recorded medical malpractice lawsuit. A man sued the surgeon who operated on his wife and caused her to die, despite having made promises to the two that he would operate skillfully and safely. This breach of contract case resulted in a plaintiff verdict and an award of 40 pounds.
Your attorney should also disclose “bad facts” in the opening statement.[20] A bad fact is anything the defense would want to bring to the jury’s attention because it makes the defense case much stronger. For example, your failure to follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment is a bad fact. By disclosing bad facts first, your attorney can take the sting out of them.
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