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Medical Malpractice Faq | Can You Sue Your Doctor For Negligence

Search for disciplinary sanctions. Visit your state’s disciplinary board to see if the attorney has been sanctioned in the past. Attorneys are sanctioned for ethics violations, such as disclosing client confidences or failing to respond to client emails. They are not sanctioned for failing to win cases, unless their performance was so low as to be negligent.

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.


Many people are shocked to learn that doctors and hospitals frequently fail to disclose important information to patients, sometimes intentionally. Sometimes the failure to disclose info relates to mistakes a doctor or hospital made, sometimes it’s about test results, and sometimes doctors are just trying to prevent needless worrying. However, if a patient is harmed or injured as a result of a doctor or hospital’s failure to communicate medical information, such as test results, then they may be liable for malpractice.

Failure to warn a patient of known risks. Doctors have a duty to warn patients of known risks of a procedure or course of treatment -- this is known as the duty of informed consent. If a patient, once properly informed of possible risks, would have elected not to go through with the procedure, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice if the patient is injured by the procedure (in a way that the doctor should have warned could happen). (To learn more, read Nolo's article Medical Malpractice: Informed Consent.)
After experiencing negligent medical care from a trusted physician or hospital, it can be difficult choosing an attorney from a sea of unknown names. The law firm you choose may be the most important decision you ever make about your case.  Ask each attorney you are considering how many medical malpractice cases they have actually tried. Then ask yourself, for the same fee, wouldn’t you rather have the experience and expertise of The O’Keefe Firm to represent you?
Somewhere between 210,000 and 400,000 Americans die each year due to a medical error (James 2013); it is now the third leading cause of death in the United States (Makary 2016). Many more sustain injuries that leave them with lifelong disabilities. Moreover, a recent national survey revealed that 21% of Americans have personally experienced a medical error, and 31% have been involved in the care of a family member or friend who did. As discussed above, tort reform measures may be effective in limiting the number and success of malpractice lawsuits, but don’t necessarily address the underlying issue of the malpractice epidemic in America.
What if a patient feels mistreated after the completion of therapy? Example: patient seeks contact with therapist after some new issues surfaced and being told he can't contact therapist because it would create a vortex in space-time which would subsequently swallow the entire universe (or something...) Threatening a person recovering from anxiety with law suit for trying to contact therapist seems heavy handed in the case when patient is just trying to find a solution and understand what's happening.
"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.
What if a patient feels mistreated after the completion of therapy? Example: patient seeks contact with therapist after some new issues surfaced and being told he can't contact therapist because it would create a vortex in space-time which would subsequently swallow the entire universe (or something...) Threatening a person recovering from anxiety with law suit for trying to contact therapist seems heavy handed in the case when patient is just trying to find a solution and understand what's happening.
The first step is a letter of demand, a letter sent by your lawyer to the doctor or health facility concerned, setting out your claim and the period in which the accused should meet it. Thereafter, getting a case to court can take up to four years. Accurate case data and hospital notes have to be gathered; records relating to the patient’s prior medical history, treatment at the hands of the suspected transgressor, and any subsequent treatment must be obtained. Then, lay witnesses must be found, expert witnesses briefed and court dates agreed on. In addition, both the patient’s medical condition and prevailing medical treatments have to be researched.
The injured patient must show that the physician acted negligently in rendering care, and that such negligence resulted in injury. To do so, four legal elements must be proven: (1) a professional duty owed to the patient; (2) breach of such duty; (3) injury caused by the breach; and (4) resulting damages. This includes doing nothing when they should have done something. This may be considered an act of omission or a negligence.
The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.
The third element that must be established to sue NHS hospitals and doctors in a clinical negligence / medical negligence case is damages, ie the amount of compensation the patient should receive. The amount of damages will depend on a variety of factors, the most important of which are the patient’s pain and suffering and the financial loss the patient has incurred and will incur.
There are special rules that apply when a patient has died, for children, and when a patient does not have full mental capacity, which your solicitor will be able to discuss with you. If you feel that you may have a clinical negligence / medical malpractice claim it is always advisable to see a solicitor as soon as possible so that they can advise on the limitation period and take steps to protect your rights to make a clinical negligence compensation claim.

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.


Your safety and health should always be your first priority in any medical decision you make.  If you have already been injured by a doctor’s negligence or mistake, report the problem to your doctor immediately and seek immediate medical treatment from a different physician.  If you identify problems early, another physician may be able to improve the medical error.

I have tried to work with local psychiatrists and pain management providers to limit addictive medications to our mutual patients. I often find many providers claim lack of awareness to patient addictions and even document the same in notes. This seems disingenious at times since searches of state prescription monitoring programs can easily review multiple refills and multiple providers. This leaves me to address this with the patient and create a “preferred provider” network of more “attentive” providers, to put it politely.

Of course, these questions get even more murky when talking about the legal system of a foreign country. Some nations may not recognize rights to sue by foreigners. Others may bog down in administrative red tape far thicker than anything found in an American court. Some estimate cases for malpractice brought in foreign nations could take 20 years or more to resolve. Worse yet, some nations may try to transfer jurisdiction back to the United States and the US may refuse to accept it, creating a legal back and forth leaving the parties in limbo.
This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. All material on this site is not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice. Contact a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal issues or problems. Receipt of information from and use of this website to contact Gilman & Bedigian or one of its lawyers does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information until an attorney-client relationship has been established.
A study by RAND Corp. researchers published in October 2014 in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that laws restricting medical-malpractice suits do not reduce the amount of "defensive medicine" or reduce health-care costs. The researchers, led by Daniel A. Waxman, examined 3.8 million Medicare patient records from hospital emergency departments from 1997 to 2011, comparing care in three states that enacted strict malpractice reform laws about a decade earlier (Georgia, Texas and South Carolina) to care in neighboring states that did not enact such laws. The study found that the laws had no effect on whether doctors ordered resource-intensive care (e.g., CT or MRI scans and hospitalization).[55][56][57]
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…..).
In the course of medical treatment, mistakes can be made that can further damage your health — or lead to new issues altogether. When these situations are caused by the medical negligence of health care providers, it is important that they are held accountable — not just so that those affected can be compensated, but so that the negligence is not repeated.
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It’s vital to note, however, that the prosecution of medical malpractice cases—in addition to having a high likelihood of failure—can be extremely expensive, stressful and time-consuming. It’s estimated that medical errors kill roughly 200,000 patients in the U.S. each year. Yet only 15% of the personal-injury lawsuits filed annually involve medical-malpractice claims, and more than 80% of those lawsuits end with no payment whatsoever to the injured patient or their survivors.
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
This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies. In the event that you have follow up questions, please post them directly on this site. This does not create an attorney-client relationship and the attorney does not read unsolicited emails. Thank You.
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.
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