However, our legal system is set up in such a way where monetary damages is not only a way to compensate persons for lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering; it is also there as a way to hold doctors accountable for their actions. Without the threat of monetary sanctions and lawsuits, doctors would lose some motivation for conducting their professional lives in a careful and cautious manner. Furthermore, if you doctor did negligently injure you or a loved one, bringing suit against him may serve as a wakeup call and could possibly prevent him from injuring someone else in the future.
You must make your claim against the correct person or entity. In some cases, you would sue the doctor directly, but in other cases you might sue the hospital or health care system. In Washington, D.C. you have three years from the date of injury to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. You must make sure that you take action immediately when you have been injured at the hands of a trusted physician or another medical care provider.
As an analysis of the bill from Texas’ Senate Research Center notes, the “wrongful birth” cause of action was originally recognized in 1975 by the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the parents of a child with disabilities in Jacobs v. Theimer. The doctor did not inform the plaintiff that she had contracted rubella, which is known to cause “severe birth defects in infants.”
The doctor knew full well this would happen – there is no excuse and I will not let this slip. No one should. I like the comment regarding managing your own pain as a chronic pain pt however there is no amount of managing you can do when you span years and your body is used to something and then it goes away.. You may not be addicted mentally but your body will betray you in the end as I’m showing you – I never asked for an increase, I never misused my meds, I never sold them – I was stable for 9 years. I would not consider myself an addictive-personality either but your brain gets re-wired and this is a case that no one should ever have to face.
The 10th US Court of Appeals reviewed various similar informed consent cases and found that courts took different views on whether or not lying to a patient about a physician's background could be considered a breach of informed consent. Some courts held that doctors could be found liable only if they lied regarding the risks of the proposed treatment. In this case, the appellate court decided that the patient should have had a chance to make the argument, and sent the case back for retrial on that issue.
No. You do not need to obtain your medical records before speaking with an attorney. However, if you have copies of your record, it will allow the evaluation of your case to proceed more quickly. Many times your case will be reviewed by a physician or nurse in order to determine if medical malpractice has occurred. This requires a thorough evaluation of your medical records. If you do not bring your medical records to your appointment with your attorney, you will be asked to sign a medical waiver, releasing your medical records to our office so that a proper investigation may be carried out.
To be able to file a medical negligence claim, you must ensure the statute of limitations (or time period in which you can file a claim) has not expired. The statute of limitations for medical negligence claims will vary from state to state, so it is important to consult with your attorney about how long you have to file your lawsuit. In most states, this window of time is about two years.
A study by Michelle M. Mello and others published in the journal Health Affairs in 2010 estimated that the total annual cost of the medical liability system, including "defensive medicine," was about 2.4 percent of total U.S. health care spending. The authors noted that "this is less than some imaginative estimates put forward in the health reform debate, and it represents a small fraction of total health care spending," although it was not "trivial" in absolute terms.
There is a statute of limitations (or time limit in which you can file a lawsuit) for medical malpractice cases. This limit varies from state to state, but in general it is about two years from when the injury occurred. To ensure you file a claim before the statute of limitations is up, you should reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon after you realize doctor error occurred.
Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is harmed by a doctor (or other medical professional) who fails to competently perform his or her medical duties. The rules about medical malpractice -- from when you must bring your lawsuit to whether you must notify the doctor ahead of time -- vary from state to state. But there are some general principals and broad categories of rules that apply to most medical malpractice cases. Here's an overview of the law and some of these special rules.
As a nurse and a patient (of medical and psychiatric docs) I think that if a doc lies when obtaining informed consent, that is clearly NOT ok - not sure if that is malpractice and/or a licensure issue. I think asking about complications rates and experience with a particular procedure are absolutely appropriate questions, for any MD. When you read articles for consumers about how to get good care, these are questions you are encouraged to ask!!! If the doc has had little experience and/or complications, doc can have prepared a statement explaining why he feels adequately prepared in this case, what is different about this case in terms of risk of complications(such as 'other pt. had another serious illness that increased risk, etc.)
Finally, as part of the discovery process, an injured plaintiff may be required to undergo an independent medical examination to confirm the physical injuries alleged. The law allows the defendant to identify a qualified medical expert and force the injured party to undergo a noninvasive examination. Should this occur, we will again prepare you for the examination.
A doctor cannot terminate care of a patient when the patient is at a critical stage of treatment, solely because the patient is unable to pay for the care. However, if the patient is in a stable condition and is given ample warning of the termination, a doctor may be able to stop treatment. For example, in a 1989 case in Iowa called Surgical Consultants, P.C. v. Ball, a patient had gastric bypass surgery and suffered abscesses afterwards. She sought treatment from the operating physician, who saw her 11 times post-surgery but then refused to continue seeing her because she had not paid her bill. This was not considered abandonment because the patient was not considered to be at a critical stage of treatment.
The doctrine of contributory negligence eventually evolved, in some states, into a system of comparative fault that permitted recovery on a completely relative scale. Thus, in an accident one could be 90 percent at fault for one’s own personal injury and still sue to recover the 10 percent of the damages suffered that were caused by the other party.
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.
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A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis itself is not evidence of negligence. Skillful doctors can and do make diagnostic errors even when using reasonable care. The key is determining whether the doctor acted competently, which involves an evaluation of what the doctor did and did not do in arriving at a diagnosis. This means looking at the "differential diagnosis" method the doctor used in making treatment determinations.
A physician that delivers substandard care subjects him or herself to a formal compliant. Misdiagnosis, careless treatment that causes you harm, or an unusual delay in treatment are complaint-worthy medical errors. Prescribing issues, such as under- or overprescribing medication or giving you the wrong medication, are also grounds for a formal complaint. Working under the influence of drugs or alcohol; sexual misconduct; practicing without a license; and altering records are a few other examples of proper types of complaints.
Expert witnesses must be qualified by the Court, based on the prospective experts qualifications and the standards set from legal precedent. To be qualified as an expert in a medical malpractice case, a person must have a sufficient knowledge, education, training, or experience regarding the specific issue before the court to qualify the expert to give a reliable opinion on a relevant issue. The qualifications of the expert are not the deciding factors as to whether the individual will be qualified, although they are certainly important considerations. Expert testimony is not qualified "just because somebody with a diploma says it is so" (United States v. Ingham, 42 M.J. 218, 226 [A.C.M.R. 1995]). In addition to appropriate qualifications of the expert, the proposed testimony must meet certain criteria for reliability. In the United States, two models for evaluating the proposed testimony are used:
Cause: The link between a person’s act or failure to act and the resulting injury to the plaintiff. Imagine that a nurse practitioner did not record on the chart a patient’s current medications. If this led to a doctor prescribing a drug that was contraindicated with drugs the patient was already taking, the nurse practitioner’s inaction caused any resulting harm to the patient.
Thank you for your answer. All I care about is his getting punished more than getting anything back. My medications cost around $3000 a month and my health will continue to deteriorate until I can see another GI which will not be any sooner than 1 month. Does that not count as negligence. I find it very hard to believe that a GI with 23 yrs of experience does not know about this disease which has commercials on TV every other day.
The kind of proof the plaintiff needs depends on whether the negligence involved an issue of professional health care, or if it involved a simpler matter. If the case involves the exercise of professional health care, for example a nurse administering medication, then the case will be treated as a medical malpractice case. Medical malpractice cases are quite complex and typically require testimony from a qualified medical expert to prove liability.
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.
For example, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a Fort Bragg Army Sergeant was injured while he was driving after a mandatory physical training exercise to his on-base residence to shower and change clothes before reporting to his next duty assignment was active duty and was barred from suing under Feres. Courts generally hold that an off-duty, but not on leave service member injured in a car wreck is barred from suit by Feres.
While both doctors in the above example should be able to diagnose the flu or pneumonia with relative ease, it would be more difficult to argue that the rural doctor was negligent for missing a diagnosis of some type of exotic disease usually only seen in people from foreign countries. On the other hand, the big city infectious disease expert would likely be negligent in not making the same diagnosis.
In the private sector, many legal contracts of all kinds stipulate the use of mediation or arbitration in the first instance, so it is quite common. Typically, a retired judge or senior advocate presides over the matter. In mediation, he or she listens to both sides and assists the parties to reach a compromise. In arbitration, the presiding officer can impose a binding decision, and can decide whether compensation is due and if so, how much.
Even if one manages to get a court to take jurisdiction, enforcing a judgment may be nearly impossible. If the judgment is obtained in America, enforcing the judgment in a foreign nation may require filing an entirely new lawsuit to domesticate the judgment, which could take nearly as long as pursuing the case in that country in the first place. If the judgment is domestic, or if the nation agrees to domesticate the judgment of a US court, foreign laws regarding collection of judgments usually differ greatly from American laws and may interfere with seizing or levying on assets and accounts.
In order to take legal action against a medical doctor for malpractice, you cannot just simply file a lawsuit with the court. Rather, you must first send a notice to the doctor, indicating to him or her that you are planning to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice. After filing the notice, there may be a waiting period before the injured patient is eligible to file a lawsuit.
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.