3. Expect that the case will be quick and cheap. Although experienced lawyers will take on viable cases on a “contingency basis”, you will likely be expected to front the costs of initial medical opinion(s) and record gathering. Be prepared for no less than $5,000 and as much as $15,000 to get started. If the investigation is favourable, most lawyers will pay the freight from this point to the end of the case.
In fact, filing a civil suit against your doctor does not even guarantee that he will be investigated. In order for your doctor to be investigated, a complaint would have to be filed against him with the New York State Department of Health. The Office of Professional Medical Conduct (“OPMC”) is responsible for investigating complaints about physicians, physician’s assistants, and specialist assistants. An investigation may lead to a formal hearing before a committee of the Board for Professional Medical Conduct.
The injury may also result in limiting your normal activities, especially if you are disabled. You may not be able to take care of your household responsibilities, such as cooking and cleaning or pursue hobbies like gardening or bicycling, caring for your children, or having intimate relations with your spouse. Take time daily and list the way your injuries have affected both your lifestyle and emotional well-being, along with the hardships you have encountered.

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.


For medical malpractice cases, attorneys who represent the plaintiff (the patient who has been injured by medical negligence) usually do so on a "contingency" basis, which means the attorney’s payment comes as a set percentage of what the plaintiff ends up receiving after a settlement or a successful jury trial. If the plaintiff receives no payment or ends up losing at trial, the attorney is not paid. But before you sign a contingency agreement, check to see if you will be on the hook for things like filing fees and other costs.

Often, with major cases, focus groups are used to determine these kinds of situations. In a personal injury case focus group, a group of people volunteer to hear the facts of the case and then answer questions pertaining to the case so that the attorneys can get an idea of what the general public (and hopefully the future jury) is thinking. Knowing that a focus group of 20 people all thought the victim should be paid at least $50,000 can help a lot in determining a starting point.
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.
When my father passed from MRSA acquired after open heart surgery (acquired either in the hospital or rehab center) I called 40 attorneys and was told the exact same thing as the article states: He was too old, had lost his viability (translate earning potential) and had no wife (she had died). Most of them would not tell me why they would not take the case, but one did. It's not only hard to hear that your elderly parent has no value legally, but this is exactly why doctors and hospitals and other medical facilities continue their poor attempts at keeping hospitals as clean as possible. They answer to no one.
Most people are able to get to at least second base with a failure to warn claim.  Fewer are able to prove that the doctor simply did not talk to them about that particular risk, although there are cases where a patient’s word has been accepted over a doctor’s insistence that a warning was given.  Getting copies of the doctor’s medical notes can help with this element.
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.      
There are rare occasions where doctors or other medical service providers will admit they have made a mistake and will seek to come to some kind of settlement with an injured party. Tread lightly in these situations, as you may be trading a quick resolution for a substantially lower amount of compensation. However, in cases that are not particularly serious -- specifically, cases worth $20,000 or less -- you may find that settling directly with a doctor is possible.

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Malpractice lawyers decline cases because potential compensation doesn’t justify legal costs, Knutsen says. It only makes sense to accept “high-value cases,” meaning those with potentially big claims. The decision rests on the “entirely distasteful” exercise of calculating the value of a life. “It’s cheaper to kill someone than to maim them. In our legal system, as long as you are alive, you have a claim for income loss and pain and suffering. If you’re dead, those claims expire,” Knutsen says.
If you have been injured by a doctor, then the first step you MUST take is to request a copy of you medical records. This may be a little difficult, because some offices may try to stall or stonewall you. They will also charge you a copying fee for doing this, so be prepared. However, federal law states they must provide you with a copy of your records if you request it. These files may contain information about what went wrong with your treatment to cause the injury in question. That is why it is necessary to get a copy as soon as possible. (It should also be requested quickly after the incident because some records can be altered.) Simply contact the doctor’s office and ask for a copy of everything. This should include all notes from the doctor and other staff as well as lab work and medical imaging such as x-rays or CAT-Scans. If the incident occurred at a hospital, check with their medical records department for this information.
There is a functional as well as a sentimental component to loss of consortium claims. In the spousal context, loss of consortium often requires that intimate details of the couple’s relationship be examined and made part of the public record. It is important to be aware of that before considering whether to bring a loss of consortium claim. The sentimental component may include the impact the injury had on a married couple’s sexual relationship as well as companionship (such as if the couple used to go out dancing frequently). The functional component includes services the injured spouse used to provide (such as taking out the trash and driving the kids to school).
Medical malpractice among doctors is a serious issue nationwide. If you have been injured as a result of a serious medical mistake, you should seek legal consultation to discuss filing a medical malpractice claim against your doctor. Proving medical malpractice is not always easy and often requires the expert testimony of another health care provider, who must testify that medical negligence occurred in your case.
Severe or disabling permanent injuries, such as a traumatic loss of vision, brain injury, or debilitating loss of mobility, are usually multiplied by 5 times; however, an automobile accident or serious injury that tragically leaves you in a wheelchair, or with disfiguring scars, or even the death of a loved one, may be multiplied by up to 10 times.
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.

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.
The injury resulted in significant damages - Medical malpractice lawsuits are extremely expensive to litigate, frequently requiring testimony of numerous medical experts and countless hours of deposition testimony. For a case to be viable, the patient must show that significant damages resulted from an injury received due to the medical negligence. If the damages are small, the cost of pursuing the case might be greater than the eventual recovery. To pursue a medical malpractice claim, the patient must show that the injury resulted in disability, loss of income, unusual pain, suffering and hardship, or significant past and future medical bills.
Unfortunately, just because one of these things occurs does not mean you have a claim. Medicine is not an exact science, and the law does not obligate doctors to be error-free 100 percent of the time. If doctor error occurs but there is no breach of a standard of care, you may not have a strong claim. If however, doctor error occurs and there is a breach of a standard of care, then malpractice may have occurred.
Medical malpractice cases can be timely and costly, which is why most such cases are settled out of court. In addition, because medical malpractice insurance companies reject a significantly large portion of medical malpractice claims, it may be in your best interest to settle out-of-court or risk having no case at all. Keep in mind, however, that if you believe you have a strong case, then you should seek a larger settlement.
Finally, in any medical malpractice case -- in any type of lawsuit for that matter -- plaintiffs need to be mindful of time limits for going to court and getting the lawsuit process started. You need to file the initial document (the complaint) within a certain amount of time after you suffered the harm that led to the lawsuit. These deadlines are set by state laws (statutes), so they’re called “statutes of limitations.” In some jurisdictions, the statute of limitations may not begin to run until the discovery of the injury. For example, in California, a patient has three years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit after the harm occurs, or one year after the harm is discovered (whichever comes first).

Deliver the demand letter to the professional in question. Either hand carry the demand letter to the professional's office or send it to him via United States mail, return receipt requested. You will need evidence to demonstrate that the demand letter was received by the professional or that you made your best efforts to deliver the letter to him.


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.
The loser of a lawsuit has to pay some of the successful party’s legal fees. So patients who are already struggling financially because of a medical error may be reluctant to take on the financial risk, says Susan McIver, author of After the Error. “It’s a real David-and-Goliath situation … Plaintiffs risk losing their homes and life savings when going up against an organization with deep pockets filled to a significant extent by taxpayers’ money.”

Ensuring that you have the necessary documentary evidence—medical records; witness statements to establish the full scope of your pain and suffering; and expert testimony to verify your injuries and the pain they are causing you—are matters that we have years of experience handling. Before and after witnesses are those individuals who knew you both before and after the incident giving rise to your injuries and are equipped to testify regarding how the accident has impacted you from their perspective. A spouse or significant other is typically an obvious ‘before and after’ witnesses because they live with you day in and out, taking notice of your physical pain and condition.


Since medical malpractice situations can create unexpected medical expenses, it is important to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer about filing a claim against the negligent doctor or medical organization. The earlier you begin the legal process, the closer you may be to receiving an explanation regarding why the medical malpractice situation occurred and who was at fault.
Like any profession or job doctors and other medical professionals can make errors of judgement or neglect to carry out their duties to the required standard. Usually this is not the case and the vast majority of medical practitioners do excellent work every day in our hospitals and clinics. When they do occur, however, incidents of hospital negligence and medical errors are often due to the pressure (and fatigue) of working long hours in what is undoubtedly a stressful environment.
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.

My Dad was an elderly, and he was killed by the misuse of an off-label medication that was contraindicative for his medical conditions. The harm was totally preventable. After Dad’s death, we talked to 20+ attorneys. 99 percent of them said there was malpractice and the doctor was negligent. But because of my Dad’s age and the lack of future earning, no attorney was willing to take my Dad’s case on contingency.


No matter your jurisdiction, medical malpractice claims and lawsuits are primarily about one thing: accountability. People trust that doctors will take care of them and make their condition better in a patient’s hour of need. When doctors fail in that responsibility, they must be held accountable for the negligent actions they took – as well as for the actions that they failed to take under the circumstances.
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