Failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis of an illness or injury are the basis of many medical malpractice lawsuits. Misdiagnosis on its own is not necessarily medical malpractice, and not all diagnostic errors give rise to a successful lawsuit. Even highly experienced and competent doctors make diagnostic errors. Instead, the misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose must result in improper medical care, delayed treatment, or no treatment, which in turn must result in a worsening of the patient's medical condition in order for the malpractice to be actionable.
One of the rights that most patients are familiar with regarding medical care is privacy rights. While this protection of privacy is important, you also have the right to receive excellent medical care. If you think that you or your loved one’s patient rights have been violated by means of medical malpractice, a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer Minneapolis MN trusts, may be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
An award for pain and suffering is not obtainable unless your injuries reach at least 15% of a most extreme case.  There is, however, no set way of measuring what 15% of a most extreme case looks like so every injured person must be individually assessed by the Judge and a percentage decided.  The maximum award for pain and suffering is about $612,500.00 and is indexed each year to keep pace with inflation.
Misdiagnosis in a hospital emergency room can be caused by the pressure and reduced time available to look into various differential diagnoses. Unusual illnesses or illnesses that are distinctive to a particular population are more likely to be missed. For example, a homeless person who comes to the emergency room asking for pain medication may be taken less seriously than an ordinary person who comes in wearing clean clothes and complaining of stomach pains. This may result in a missed diagnosis of appendicitis regarding the homeless person.
If you have been  harmed due to a healthcare provider failing to diagnose a medical condition, or misdiagnosing one, you may be considering the question – “can I sue a doctor for misdiagnosis?” The short answer to this question is “maybe”.  To provide an accurate answer, it is necessary to take a more in-depth look at the facts surrounding your situation.
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Expert testimony is required. Expert opinions are often a crucial feature of the patient's case. A qualified expert is usually required at trial. (And often, expert testimony or an expert affidavit is required at the malpractice review panel proceedings prior to commencing trial.) State rules vary as to what makes somebody qualified to provide expert medical testimony, but generally it is someone with experience in the particular field at issue. In a very limited number of circumstances, expert testimony is not required, such as when a surgical towel is left inside the patient after a surgery.
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I attempted to get recompense for my elderly mother after medical neglect that resulted in her losing her ability to walk, additional surgeries, and months of pain. I had no idea WHY the lawyers I contacted didn't even want to listen to the details. Now I know, and am disheartened to learn the reason for their disinterest. I've never sued anybody, am not one of those people who would sue when I dump coffee in my lap. But when one has a legitimate reason and legitimate damages, it's horrendous that our legal system provides no avenue of recompense for actual damage that is life altering.
I may not live long enough to see minor children gain the same rights that adults have to sue for outrageous instances of extreme emotional abuse (and physical abuse, and sexual abuse) but I hope that some day minor children WILL be given the right to sue their parents for ghastly instances of child abuse (such as sexual molestation), emotional abuse, and skin-crawling incidents of child neglect and child exploitation.
For example, the standard of care for an eight-year-old child with a cough who is complaining of chest pain would be different than the standard of care for an 80-year-old man who’s complaining of the same symptoms but has smoked a pack of cigarettes daily for most of adulthood. In the case of the child, a reasonable, competent doctor would probably diagnose and treat the child for bronchitis, but that same doctor would run tests to determine whether the elderly smoker had lung cancer.
First, and perhaps of greatest interest to U.S. citizens, when a doctor commits malpractice overseas, in most instances it will not be possible to obtain jurisdiction to sue the doctor in an Oregon court. There may be rare circumstances in which a doctor has the contacts with an American jurisdiction required to sue here, but that will be the rare exception. Moreover, even if a patient obtains a judgment in the United States, it may be very difficult to enforce the judgment in a foreign country. Ultimately, a malpractice victim will likely be faced with pursuing a claim abroad.

In most cases, only the primary physician (your doctor) can be sued for misdiagnosis. In rare cases, other health care professionals may also be liable if their negligence caused or contributed to the patient’s harm -- including nurses, lab techs, and any specialists who may have seen the patient. The hospital or health care facility where the doctor practices usually cannot be sued for harm caused by misdiagnosis. That’s because most doctors are independent contractors, not employees of the hospital, so the facility can’t be held legally responsible for the doctor’s negligence.      
If a doctor fails to make an accurate and timely diagnosis of a harmful medical condition, patients may pursue a legal remedy by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. One key question in these kinds of cases is whether the doctor breached the applicable "medical standard of care" under the circumstances. In other words, would a similarly-trained doctor in the same medical community have spotted the health problem (or identified it within a shorter period of time)? In the sections that follow, we’ll discuss some common misdiagnosis scenarios, and illustrate how a medical malpractice case might proceed.  
Traffic tickets can affect your claim, and if the insurance company determined that you were partially at fault for the car accident, then the amount of settlement could be worth less. If you were not at fault and depending on your attorney’s negotiating skills, you might possibly get the full settlement. If the driver who caused the accident was driving under the influence, then he or she would need a criminal defense attorney, as they might be fully held liable for causing the car accident.
To establish whether or not your doctor has been negligent they will have to be shown to have been in a position where they owed you/the patient a duty of care and that you or the patient suffered direct harm as a result of their negligent management of this care. The decisions the doctor made and the treatment they gave will be assessed. If it is found that they acted in a way in which other doctors would not have acted, and this resulted in a negative effect, you will have grounds to make a successful medical negligence claim.
While most people may immediately think of a formal lawsuit when they consider seeking compensation for injuries caused by medical negligence, the fact is that in some situations, avoiding the expense and potential uncertainty of a formal lawsuit may result in a more favorable outcome. Others simply want to avoid "suing their doctor", but want to get compensation for their injuries. Read on to learn more about the options for resolving your medical malpractice case outside of the traditional court setting.

Doctors aren’t perfect. They make mistakes. Some mistakes will have zero impact on your health and on your personal injury case. Some mistakes or impossible to prove. But other mistakes can have a devastating impact on your health. That’s where we step in. Goldfinger Law has been helping victims of patient care and medical errors for years with their claims.
If you do have cancer and the pain and suffering that you may experience is increased because of the late diagnosis or if your life expectancy is shortened because of the late diagnosis, you may have a viable claim for medical malpractice. But, you would have to prove that you are worse off now than you would have been even if you were diagnosed earlier.
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.

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Many people don’t bring a meritorious lawsuit against their doctor because of fear concerning family and friends. Only you can decide for yourself whether bringing a lawsuit against your physician is the right thing for you to do. Only you know the pain and suffering that you have endured – nobody else. Only you know the extent of your lost wages, medical bills, and injury.
Unlike regular insurance firms, the CMPA fights cases, even if settling would be cheaper. “(We) recognize that the reputation of any professional is highly important to their ability to continue to pursue their career. Accordingly, when the CMPA believes the care provided was appropriate, we provide the physicians with an appropriate and ethical defence,” says the CMPA’s Dr. Douglas Bell. Toronto lawyer Paul Harte argues the strategy intimidates many lawyers from bringing cases forward and denies injured patients access to justice.
There are no guidelines for determining the value of a malpractice victim’s pain and suffering. A jury cannot look at a chart to figure out how much to award for pain and suffering. In most states, judges simply instruct juries to use their good sense, background, and experience in determining what would be a fair and reasonable figure to compensate for the plaintiff’s pain and suffering. Because juries are given so little guidance about how to calculate damages for pain and suffering, awards of pain and suffering damages can vary widely among plaintiffs with similar injuries.
On the other hand, you may have a great case if the treatment made your condition worse. For example, imagine that your doctor diagnoses you with high blood pressure when you're really just showing a temporarily high reading due to stress and pain. The blood pressure medication causes your blood pressure to fall too low and you end up in the intensive care unit for a week at the hospital.
If a doctor fails to make an accurate and timely diagnosis of a harmful medical condition, patients may pursue a legal remedy by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. One key question in these kinds of cases is whether the doctor breached the applicable "medical standard of care" under the circumstances. In other words, would a similarly-trained doctor in the same medical community have spotted the health problem (or identified it within a shorter period of time)? In the sections that follow, we’ll discuss some common misdiagnosis scenarios, and illustrate how a medical malpractice case might proceed.  

Medical negligence occurs when a doctor or other medical professional breaches the standard of care. In general, a standard of care is the accepted methods of treatment applied by other medical professionals in the area to patients with identical or similar conditions. A standard of care will vary depending on a number of factors, including geographic area, the age of the patient, and the medical condition.


Doctor's surgeries also have a legal duty to provide an acceptable level of care to their patients. This will take into consideration issues such as waiting times, diagnoses and administration. If the surgery fails to reach the standards reasonably expected of the medical profession, and this directly harms their patients, the doctor's surgery will have been negligent.
Doctor negligence claims can be complex as it can often be difficult to show that the injury or illness you are suffering from has been caused or exacerbated by the negligence of your GP. Your solicitor will arrange for you to be assessed by an independent medical expert who will assess your injuries and/or illness and will advise on whether the symptoms you are experiencing have been caused by the negligent actions (or inactions) of your GP.
Many medical malpractice cases involve significant harm to the patient, the need for a long-term course of (very expensive) health care, and even the prospect of lifelong disability. Add that to the fact that you’re going to need to hire a qualified medical expert witness (an expensive but necessary step), and it’s easy to see how losing the case could be devastating.
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.
Although this may sound like “tough love”, if you feel that you need or want to bring suit against your doctor because he or she injured you or a loved one, and your family or friends are giving your grief about it, maybe it’s time to think about whether they really have your best interests at heart. If bringing suit is something you feel that you need to do to pay for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, or just to regain some sense of control over the situation, your good friends and family will eventually come to understand and stick by your side.

According to the Medscape Malpractice Report 2015[6], failure to diagnose accounts for 31% of all medical malpractice lawsuits filed. Failure to diagnose is one type of misdiagnosis, the other being diagnosing a patient with the wrong condition. If the failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis of a condition resulted from a deviation in the accepted standard of care, and the patient suffered damages as a result, they may be able to file a lawsuit against a hospital for misdiagnosis.
In Florida, when someone is injured as a result of someone else’s negligence the Florida law provides that the injured party can ask a jury to compensate them for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those damages that are readily calculable—medical bills, lost wages, or anything with a set dollar amount. Economic damages are typically easily presentable to a jury. Jurors understand hard and fast numbers, like medical bills and lost wages, and are oftentimes readily willing to compensate an injury victim for these types of losses.
Although medical mistakes cannot always be prevented, help is available when these unfortunate situations change the course of victims’ lives. The pain and suffering that victims are left to contend with cannot be erased, especially when death or a chronic condition is the result of medical negligence. Personal injury compensation may help to ease the burden of physical and mental trauma from a medical mistake.
Medical malpractice insurance carriers generally require very large deductibles from their insured doctors. Furthermore, most states have laws that require doctors to report any claims of medical malpractice to a state-run board, which can result in higher insurance rates. Doctors may be willing to settle for an amount at or around the amount of their deductible, as it will abrogate the need for them to report the case. They are simply choosing to pay you the amount of the deductible instead of paying the insurance company. Seek counsel before accepting this type of settlement, as you need to be sure your future medical needs will be provided for.
The law protects you against any doctor providing you with substandard care. It is possible to sue a doctor who works in an NHS hospital, a private practice or a GP's surgery. Also the law understands that if a doctor has been negligent towards you, you may not always be able to make a claim for yourself. It is possible to sue a doctor for negligence on behalf of yourself, your child, an elderly relative, an individual who has passed away or another loved one who is unable to make the claim themselves.
Such awards may follow in house insurance guidelines with some leeway granted to adjusters to adjust the claim in order to prevent the claim from being fully litigated in court. There is a wide range of levels of compensation which may fluctuate seasonally and with the economy and dictates of the insurance industry setting the varying levels of compensation to claimants. Some insurers have experimented with using computers which tabulate the data that is presented and grant the adjuster a level of money authority for which to settle the claim.
As we reported, the medical malpractice system often discriminates against certain patients, particularly those with low incomes. Those who can’t get representation ­— often women, children or the elderly — are sometimes called the “hidden victims” of medical malpractice. Studies show that the problem isn’t limited to states that have strict limits on malpractice awards.
Such awards may follow in house insurance guidelines with some leeway granted to adjusters to adjust the claim in order to prevent the claim from being fully litigated in court. There is a wide range of levels of compensation which may fluctuate seasonally and with the economy and dictates of the insurance industry setting the varying levels of compensation to claimants. Some insurers have experimented with using computers which tabulate the data that is presented and grant the adjuster a level of money authority for which to settle the claim.
An employer was displeased with employee’s work, and began circulating an old mug shot of the employee around the office. The employer then hired a private investigator to place the employee under surveillance. Coincidentally, the investigator discovered that the employee was cheating on his wife, took photos, and sent them to his wife. The employee's wife subsequently divorced him. The employee sued the employer for IIED. The Court held that the employee could not sue the employer for IIED because the conduct did not rise to the level of “outrageous.” [7]
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In a personal injury trial in Florida you can ask the jury to compensate you for non-economic damages, which include damages as the result of any bodily injury sustained by Plaintiff and any resulting pain and suffering disability or physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience or loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life experienced in the past or to be experienced in the future. (Florida Standard Jury Instruction, See 501.2).
Because emotional distress cannot be seen or objectively quantified, it may be harder to get money for this type of injury compared to, for example, a broken arm. In many cases, emotional distress is part of a harassment case, such as sexual harassment or another form of workplace harassment. A medical misdiagnosis may cause emotional distress, as well.
Having a rude, seemingly pompous doctor is unpleasant, believe me I know. However, medical malpractice law comes right out and says in black and white that an unfortunate medical result does not make a medical malpractice case. A medical malpractice case requires a demonstration that there was health care that fell below the average standard of care, and that this below-average care directly caused injuries.
Suing a hospital for misdiagnosis is dependent on whether the doctor is an employee of the hospital. A hospital is liable for all damage committed by their employees once the employee is performing his/her duties. The principle of employer’s liability states that any act or omission by the employee in the course of their employment which causes loss, damage or suffering can be attributed to the employer. Therefore, once the doctor was an employee of the hospital then all his/her acts or omissions are attributed to the hospital. However, if the doctor was an independent contractor of the hospital that is where the hospital does not have any control in how the doctor carries out his functions but the doctor’s only responsibility is that he ought to perform the duties under his contract at the standard required; then the hospital is not liable. Where the doctor sets his own fees and work hours then he is not an employee.
According to the American Journal of Medicine 15 per cent of all medical case in developed countries are misdiagnosed. The National Center for Policy Analysis further states fatal diagnostic errors in U.S. intensive care units equal the number of breast cancer deaths each year — 40,500. Misdiagnosis has become a cause for concern in the medical and legal field because it has fatal consequences.
After suffering physical or mental harm, you may find yourself dealing with anxiety, panic attacks or depression. You may even have suicidal thoughts and self-guilt. This is known as emotional distress and it is possible to receive compensation from the person who caused the distress. First, it is important to understand what can cause it to develop and how to sue for emotional distress.
Typically, a misdiagnosis is not grounds for a medical malpractice case. This is a gray area due to the fact that not all diseases and conditions present with obvious signs. However, if there is proof that a medical professional was negligent in making a diagnosis because of his or her substandard care, you may have a case. A doctor is not expected to be accurate 100 percent of the time, but he or she is expected to follow appropriate diagnostic standards of care.
The Florida Supreme Court has explained what plaintiffs must prove in order to recover emotional distress damages. The simplest way to prove emotional distress is with a physical impact that results in a physical injury, like a car accident. It’s not hard to prove that emotional trauma often accompanies physical trauma. However, a plaintiff may also demonstrate emotional distress by proving that he or she:
If your case is accepted, an investigation will be conducted to evaluate medical records, medical protocol, and other pertinent information to determine the factors that may have caused an injury or death. During your initial consultation, you will be informed about how you can assist in the process such as submitting requested documents in a timely manner and attending legal sessions when required.
There are many reasons that a doctor can be held liable for negligence. Diagnostic tests such as blood work, MRI, ultrasound, CT scan, or x-rays are crucial when there is a possibility of internal injury, head injury, broken bones, organ failure, or illness. Failing to order these tests can result in a doctor diagnosing a sprain instead of a bone fracture, or missing pneumonia in a patient that they diagnose with asthma. Without the benefit of a CT scan, a patient diagnosed with a concussion could actually have a serious head or neck injury that can have permanent repercussions.
Have you suffered because of a medical professional’s failure to diagnose your condition? If so, it’s in your best interests to seek legal representation from an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Contact Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley today to schedule a free consultation with our team of experienced medical malpractice lawyers.
When pursuing a claim against a doctor or hospital specifically, there may be “caps on damages.” This means that if a jury awards $10 million for pain and suffering in a medical malpractice case, a judge may be required by law to reduce that award to $250,000 or $500,000. These limits on non-economic damages vary from state and state, and will not always apply. Frequently catastrophic injuries, such as paralysis, brain injuries, or severe injuries to children, are allowed a higher limit. However, the caps do not generally apply to the portion of a monetary award meant for past and future medical care, lost income, or other financial losses.
Under NO circumstances is your doctor allowed to leak, alter, or otherwise use your medical information against you in retaliation for filing a malpractice lawsuit. There are severe criminal, civil, and judicial penalties for taking such illegal actions. For engaging in an act such as altering your medical records, your doctor could face anywhere from criminal fraud charges to the loss of his medical license.
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