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Medical Malpractice Database | When Can You Sue A Doctor

Click on the name of the lawyer answering your question to see their profile, and then you can click the view website tab to find out detailed information on your personal injury topic. The information provided 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.
A patient who did not have his or her wounds dressed or treated properly and later develops an infection may decide to sue. If an anesthesiologist or other employee gives the patient a drug that he or she should have known would cause issues, the patient may pursue a medical malpractice claim. A common cause for a medical malpractice claim is when the patient was misdiagnosed or had a delayed diagnosis due to a mistake.
First, you must show that the health care provider acted negligently. Medical negligence occurs when a professional violates the standard of care. The standard of care is the professionally accepted method for treating a specific disorder. This standard varies depending on a number of factors including the patient's age, overall health, and specific disorder, as well as geographic location.

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.
i was a client of mind springs mental health in colorado for many years and dr. richard berkley has decided to just drop me as a client without bothering to inform me or to properly detox me from schedule 2 medications i have been on for years- he also decided to cut memory enhancing and sleep apnea medications in half without informing me of the changes and i had used the medication as i had always done then i had to suffer detox symptoms for that medication- now i face detox from adderall, valium and provigil in just days as i will be out of these medications. i am certain that this could be considered attempted manslaughter as he is aware that just stopping these medications cold turkey that death is a very real possibility. i warn people of using doctor richard berkley as a precriber because his ethics are slim to none when it comes to informing patients he is going to make med changes or drop them without properly bringing them off these kinds of medications...karin wrape, former client of mind springs mental health-oh and they also scheduled me for an appointment at an office in a city i have never been to... talk about incompetence!
And don’t kid yourself. If you think that your doctor just made a mistake and that it won’t happen again – think again. Chances are, if he made a mistake with you, he very well could have done it before and will do it again. Don’t be dissuaded by your doctor’s apologies or his downplaying of your injuries. An apology won’t pay for your medical expenses, and it certainly doesn’t ensure that he realizes the full consequences of his negligible actions.
A 2011 study appearing in the Journal of the American College of Radiology revealed that the legal costs to doctors for failing to communicate diagnostic test results rose by $70 million from 1991 to 2010 across all specialties. The lead study author stated that communication failure can happen at any level. Three scenarios, however, were identified as the leading causes of communication problems:
* 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.
In cases involving suicide, physicians and particularly psychiatrists may be to a different standard than other defendants in a tort claim. In most tort cases, suicide is legally viewed as an act which terminates a chain of causality. Although the defendant may be held negligent for another's suicide, he or she is not responsible for damages which occur after the act. An exception is made for physicians who are found to have committed malpractice that results in a suicide, with damages assessed based on losses that are proved likely to accrue after the act of suicide.[12]
We physicians need to spend out time working with each other to limit abuse and overprescibing when we find it, and educate our patients as best we can regarding our need to limit and taper ceratin medications. While this is unpopular with many patients who are afraid, uneducated or in “pharmacuetical sales themselves”, it is necessary to protect not only them ,but the general public and ourselves. We need to inform legislators so they can make informed legislation, such as commonsense driving laws that do not arrest patients who are stable on mediction for simply driving to work.
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.

Typically, nurses, medical technicians, and support staff are hospital employees. As long as the employee was doing something job-related when he or she caused an injury to a patient, the patient can usually sue the hospital for resulting damages. For example, if a registered nurse (R.N.) employed by the hospital injects the wrong medication into an IV "push," and the patient ends up suffering harm as a result, then the hospital could probably be considered liable for the R.N.'s mistake.


Medical malpractice occurs when patients are harmed by the actions (or inaction) of doctors and other healthcare professionals. Common types of cases in this area of law include childbirth injuries, medical misdiagnosis, surgery errors, and hospital related infections. Learn about common types of medical malpractice and legal issues like informed consent, medical negligence, and damage caps in medical malpractice cases.


All medical doctors owe their patients a duty of care to act reasonably under the circumstances. This means that they must act as a “reasonable doctor,” who works in the same geographical area as the defendant doctor, would act under the same or similar circumstances. Doctors who are specialists are usually held to a nationalized standard of care when it comes to medical negligence cases.
A hospital can be held liable for the negligence of its employees. Typically,  nurses are hospital employees. And in some cases, medical technicians and paramedics are also employed by a hospital. As long as the employee was doing something job-related when he or she injured the patient (who would be the plaintiff in the case), the plaintiff can sue the hospital over the injury.
The South Dakota surgeon had been called to vouch for the expertise of one of his partners whose patient had suffered a stroke and permanent disability after an operation. The problem was Aanning had, in his own mind, questioned his colleague’s skill. His partner’s patients had suffered injuries related to his procedures. But Aanning understood why his partner’s attorney had called him as a witness: Doctors don’t squeal on doctors.

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That is one of the main reasons the legal system exists! To compensate people who been injured by their doctors’ mistakes! If your doctor has made a medical mistake, he may well have committed what is known in the legal community as negligence. In order to prove negligence, your attorney will have to show that (a) your doctor owed you a duty of care, (b) your doctor breached that duty of care, (c) your doctor’s breach caused you injury, and (d) you did in fact suffer an injury.
2. Lawyer - choose a lawyer you feel happy and comfortable with. Of equal importance to this, ensure the lawyer you choose is specialised in medical negligence law. 1stClaims will be able to help you find the perfect lawyer for you, so get in touch with us today. They will be able to give to the legal support you need. You can do this on behalf of a family member if they are unable to do this on their own.
My problem now is I feel like a shell of who I was, a very successful sale manager earning 6 figures+ to now, not being able to hold a job and being on disability. I can't remember things or conversations that I have had. I can't be in places where there are too many people, forget a mall or a nice restaurant. My wife and daughter have affectionately resorted to nicknaming me "turtle" because I can't keep up. I just roll with it but it really hurts knowing I was once the sole provider of a very nice lifestyle for my family to becoming this exhausted, tired, uninterested person. I speak with no one, I have not 1 friend and for the most part, never leave the house. My brain feels scrambled all the time, foggy.
Determining whether medical malpractice has occurred can be challenging. Sometimes mistakes happen or there are bad outcomes that are not the fault of the medical provider at other times, physicians are negligent when they fail to follow the accepted standard of care and their patients are injured as a result. At the O’Keefe Firm, we have years of experience in evaluating medical negligence cases. We conduct our own independent medical research and obtain the opinion of medical experts to determine whether or not you may be eligible for compensation.
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.
There are two steps to complaining. The first is to makes a complaint to the NHS hospital trust or Primary Care Practice where the treatment was received, under their own complaints procedure (which they will provide on request). If you are unsatisfied with the response you receive, you can then move to the second stage, which is to refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
So heres where everyone gets mad at me….. Yes, Im saying this is 90% my original DR.’s fault. Im on disability and not able to see ANY dr. i want – I tried to reason with her to NOT increase the dosage. Did i end up taking the patch and pills prescribed? YES. But i was also told by the prescribing DR. that addiction would NOT be an issue. Tolerance, yes.. but specifically NOT ADDICTION. Its in her clinic notes, and I have copies of all of them.
However, the increasing inefficiency of the HPCSA has ensured that this is no longer the preferred route for potential litigants. The grave state of the organisation is now official; a task team appointed by the Minister of Health reported its findings in November 2015, describing the HPCSA as suffering from “multi-system organisational dysfunction”.

^ 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."

Medical malpractice cases arise when a patient is harmed by a doctor or nurse (or other medical professional) who fails to provide proper health care treatment. Fortunately, doctors, nurses, and hospitals make mistakes in a small number of cases. But within that small minority of cases, certain types of errors crop up more often than others. Read on to learn about the doctor and hospital mistakes that make up the bulk of medical malpractice lawsuits.

The majority of the American public supports reforms to the malpractice system. However, surveys show that the majority of the American public also vastly underestimate the extent of medical errors.[34] Recent research has shown that while both health consumers and health producers are concerned about some of the adverse consequences of healthcare litigation, health consumers perceive that increased healthcare litigation can reduce the incentives for negligence on the part of healthcare providers.[35]
Of course, there is never any reason for any hospital to put patients at risk by offering negligent or inadequate diagnosis, treatment, or care. Hospitals are regulated and licensed under a number of state and federal laws, and hospitals must adhere to policies, standards, and procedures that enhance and protect the health and well-being of their patients. When a patient suffers injury or harm because a hospital’s employees have been negligent, the hospital may have legal liability.
In the doctrine of joint and several liability among tortfeasors, when there are multiple tortfeasors (“guilty” parties), all parties are equally liable for the damages caused to the injured party. This doctrine is quite harsh. For example, if the driver of a truck hits a pedestrian at night and the jury holds that the city is 15 percent responsible because it did not properly maintain the lighting at that portion of the road and the truck driver, who is 85 percent at fault, is uninsured, unemployed, and without assets, the city can be made to pay 100 percent of the damages. Under the doctrine of contribution, one tortfeasor may sue a fellow tortfeasor to recover any damages paid in excess of the proportion of fault. In most comparative fault states liability is the proportionate responsibility of each party.
Dr Obey Nhiwatiwa, who was the doctor on call at the Walvis Bay state hospital on the day Nghinamwaami was admitted, states in papers filed with the court that he intends to testify that after certifying the death of the baby he was informed by the nurses that “the mother was fine and I proceeded to attend to other patients and duties as the doctor on call at the time”.
The medical industry uniquely benefits from broad autonomy and self-regulation. Standardization of care and general oversight work to balance physician autonomy, and some may say they even erode that autonomy to an extent. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) enforce patterns of practice to which providers must adhere. Emerging technologies throughout the 20th century paved the way for new treatment methods, but they also “raised patient expectations [while] multiplying the possibilities for mishaps.” In an examination of the interplay of autonomy and oversight, the Drexel Law Review wrote "Standardization and oversight serve to further reinforce patient expectations. By way of contrast, a disorganized profession typified by idiosyncratic practices discourages perceptions of consistent quality. Formal organization of the medical profession was intended, in part, to counter this characterization.”
Both Lucie and Bez throw into highlight this privatisation of the English health service where the Nation is talked into –“its too dear ” privatise it , this angers me I dont mind paying taxes for it . In Scotland a very different attitude is taken some heath matters are devolved and according to the latest news in an effort to stave off the Scots from leaving the UK our new PM might be willing to devolve much more and even welfare ( but it is a two edged sword ” ) financially wise .
I am a cancer patient at a very large cancer center in FL – I have been treated in their palliative pain department for over 3 years due to pain caused from nerve damage in surgeries/lymphedema/ and a chronic pain condition of the lower extremities. I argued with my dr. about the constant increase in my pain meds – i did not want them to increase, but was told that was the only way to manage the pain I was in. After a few months, I relented. 3 years later, Im labeled a “stable” patient and released from the cancer center to find a community dr. I was told that since my cancer was now in remission and my pain under control, they needed to tend to more needy patients. OK. I could not find any “legal” doctor to see me for pain management. The ones i found were either asking for lots of $$$ up front (no thank you) or only helping patients with injections or spinal surgeries. I finally found a DR. who agreed to help me – ween off the pain meds only – because he did not want me to be forced to go cold turkey off the dosages i was on. Fine by me.
The vast majority of cases will ultimately hinge on which medical expert the jury decides to believe. It is true that as the case develops and the experts are deposed, your attorney may have more of an educated guess about how things might go in court, but there will never be certainty. Medical facts are too complex and the influences on jurors too unpredictable.
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