Because her breast cancer had not been treated in time, it had actually metabolized—or spread—to her lymph nodes. She immediately underwent a mastectomy and began a radiation and chemotherapy routine. However, because of the advanced stages of this cancer, it spread to her bloodstream and to her bones. As noted at trial—and looking at the facts of the spread of cancer—she might not live for much longer.

This is medical negligence. The 1) the standard of care requires a surgeon, the surgical team, and the hospital, to not leave surgical instruments inside of a patient 2) the doctor fell below the standard of care, 3) and it made the man sick for a year 4) which caused him pain and suffering, to miss work, and to incur unnecessary medical expenses both in dealing with the mystery illness after the first surgery and again for the second surgery to remove the gauze.


For claims based on negligence, the cases might be barred in various states based on the presence or lack of physical injury. Some states don’t allow emotional distress claims particularly in cases where the suffering is a direct result of physical injury. Conversely, other states require the plaintiff to demonstrate or show evidence of the physical harm suffered or illness that has resulted from the emotional distress. And other states limit NIED claims strictly to emotional distress that is experienced directly or as a bystander within a region of physical danger.

The doctor was negligent. Just because you are unhappy with your treatment or results does not mean the doctor is liable for medical malpractice. The doctor must have been negligent in connection with your diagnosis or treatment. To sue for malpractice, you must be able to show that the doctor caused you harm in a way that a competent doctor, under the same circumstances, would not have. The doctor's care is not required to be the best possible, but simply "reasonably skillful and careful." Whether the doctor was reasonably skillful and careful is often at the heart of a medical malpractice claim. Almost all states require that the patient present a medical expert to discuss the appropriate medical standard of care and show how the defendant deviated from that standard.

Our son's case was a good example. There were many instances of error, but because he was single we couldn't bring case because there was no “pain or suffering” allowed for parents of adult children over the age of 25. I did call many attorneys and mostly was asked how old he was and if he was married. Then I got a rejection letter. The solution is very simple. Be honest when errors take place, and compensate victims fairly, then peace will come a lot sooner for everyone, including doctors.
In the context of the doctor-patient relationship, proving the necessary elements of an emotional distress claim can be difficult. Plaintiffs may need medical evidence, from psychologists or orthopedists, of emotional or physical injuries -- the more intense the mental anguish and the longer the suffering, the more likely you'll be able to prove emotional distress. And the more extreme or outrageous the underlying conduct, the more likely you'll be able to link your distress to that conduct.
Second, from a procedural standpoint, medical malpractice cases can be unique (and pretty complex) depending on the state where you live. You (and your attorney) will need a good understanding of the procedural requirements necessary before - or soon after - filing the lawsuit, including filing an affidavit of merit, complying with pre-lawsuit screening, and other special steps . An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be very familiar with these rules, and will know how to avoid pitfalls and delays so that your case stays on track.

Emotional distress is a type of claim of damages for injury due to either the intentional acts or negligence of another. Severe emotional distress refers to any form of disabling mental or emotional condition, including neurosis, chronic depression, psychosis or phobia, which may be recognized and diagnosed by the proper medical professionals. Temporary anxiety or fright, regret, or disappointment, on the other hand, is not considered severe emotional distress.

The civil tort of assault is premised on the fact that a person says something or otherwise implies that he or she will have some type of harmful or offensive contact with the victim and the victim has reasonable apprehension of this contact occurring. This tort does not require that the contact actually occur, but merely requires that the victim has the apprehension that it will. In the medical context, this may occur if a doctor threatens to take medical action against the patient’s will.


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Medical Malpractice cases are very difficult to prove. Only on the very rare occasion will a medical malpractice case be so clear cut that it resolves quickly and quietly. These cases are usually long, drawn out, and very complicated. The standard of care to sue a doctor or medical professional for their negligence or medical error is a higher standard than you’d normally find in any other personal injury case. It must be proven beyond a balance of probabilities that your doctor failed to meet the care of a reasonable doctor in that same situation. So long as your doctor followed procedure, protocol and acted as a reasonable doctor in that situation, proving negligence will be very difficult.
Did the change in lifestyle trigger disturbing depression or anxiety? If you have never experienced depression before, many describe it as feeling despondent, as if a black cloud were hanging over your head. Sometimes, if the injury is taking a long time to heal, you may feel hopeless, that you will never get better. Examine the differences in your lifestyle to determine the negative impact of your personal injury.
Medical malpractice is the most common legal claim lodges against doctors. A medical malpractice claim arises when a doctor failed to treat the patient in conformance with the accepted medical standard of care and the patient suffered some injury as a result. The medical standard of care is the type of care that another physician in a similar community practicing in the same type of medicine would have provided within the same circumstances.

Many people mistakenly choose to file medical malpractice lawsuits because they are unhappy with the results of their treatment. However, a poor result -- even death -- does not always equate to malpractice. Medicine is an inexact science. Even the most routine procedure can result in complications both foreseen and unforeseen. There are no guarantees that any treatment, no matter how commonplace, will be successful. As such, it is possible -- and even common when it comes to some procedures -- for doctors to do everything right and still fail to obtain a good result.
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