A doctor-patient relationship existed. You must show that you had a physician-patient relationship with the doctor you are suing -- this means you hired the doctor and the doctor agreed to be hired. For example, you can't sue a doctor you overheard giving advice at a cocktail party. If a doctor began seeing you and treating you, it is easy to prove a physician-patient relationship existed. Questions of whether or not the relationship exists most frequently arise where a consulting physician did not treat you directly.
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.
Medical malpractice cases can be complex. It can sometimes take a medical expert to understand what really happened. Yet it is a jury of non-medical people who will decide whether you win or lose your malpractice case. Your lawyer and your medical expert witness must be able to present difficult medical issues to the jury in a way that is easily understandable and that makes common sense.
Make sure it’s not too late to sue. Each state has a statute of limitations on different types of offenses. These specify the length of time during which you can take action after the incident occurred. Emotional distress falls under the category of a personal injury tort. The statute of limitations for personal injury tort ranges from 1 to 6 years, depending on your state's law. After you are injured, you need to immediately look up your state's statute of limitations. Regardless of the statute of limitations, it's best to file your case sooner rather than later.
In my experience, many problems that spiral out of control could have been tackled sooner. You may have been kept waiting a long time for your hospital appointment, or a member of staff was rude to you. Perhaps you felt an elderly relative wasn’t getting adequate pain relief, or even enough to drink. In these circumstances, do as you would in any restaurant when you aren’t happy: ask to speak to a manager.
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While such an idea once sounded like pure science fiction, it would present enormous opportunities in business, leisure, and medicine. Imagine, someone with a rare disease or medical condition could quickly travel anywhere in the world to obtain the best treatment option. In fact, this is already occurring, as people travel to numerous places for both medical and dental treatment. But, as we all know, sometimes medical treatment goes wrong, and this raises an interesting question. Can you sue doctors in other countries for medical malpractice?
Suing a doctor for negligence requires much more than just filing a lawsuit in a Florida court. One of the prerequisites to filing a lawsuit against the doctor requires that you must first provide him or her with notice, indicating that you intend to file a lawsuit in the near future. A 90-day waiting period follows, during which the doctor may reject the claim outright, offer to settle the case, or ask to submit the case to arbitration.
It is usually the case that a visit to our doctor will be enough to receive the medical advice required to send us away on the road to recovery without any further intervention being required. However, on occasion, GPs act negligently which results in complications being suffered by the patient. This may lead to further treatment or surgery which would have been unnecessary but for the GP’s negligence.
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.
In most states, first responders in a medical emergency situation (such as an EMT or a firefighter) are protected from lawsuits unless the first responder does something reckless or intentional. This protection for first responders does not apply to emergency rooms in hospitals, although in some states an emergency room doctor must act with gross negligence to be held liable for harm that occurs before the patient is stabilized.
Medical malpractice cases almost always require medical experts to testify about the proper standard of care that should have been provided under the circumstances. These are often physicians who practice within the same type of medicine that the physician defendant practices in. These individuals are usually tasked with the responsibility of explaining that the defendant deviated from the standard of care and that this deviation resulted in the patient suffering the harm alleged in the complaint.
This method entails writing the pain and suffering out as if it were a job description. What would someone need to be paid in order to fulfill the job duty? For example, if a car accident put someone in a wheelchair for six months, then how much would the average person have to be paid to sit in a wheelchair everyday for 180 days? Would you sit in a wheelchair everyday for 6 months for $5,000 or would it take more like $50,000?
You may have read about a “multiplier” in personal injury or medical malpractice cases. Using a “multiplier” means that insurance companies calculate pain and suffering as being worth some multiple of your economic damages (medical bills and lost earnings). However, the “multiplier” concept should only be viewed as an very rough estimate at best. Juries do not use multipliers when they are in the jury room trying to determine your damages, and there are many other factors that affect the outcome of a case. Some of the factors that can greatly impact the value of a plaintiff’s pain and suffering damages are the following:
We certainly understand that some people have a great need for the cost savings available for medical treatment abroad. But it’s also important to consider the protections available in a foreign jurisdiction if something goes wrong. After all, our American legal system is built on the foundation that society is safeguarded when wrongdoers are held legally accountable for their actions. If you have questions about medical malpractice, please call the experienced lawyers at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield and we will be happy to answer them.
When suing a hospital or a doctor, you usually seek to recover past and future medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses. But you can also seek compensation for pain and suffering. Generally, a person can pursue a claim for pain and suffering when they are injured due to negligence and experience either pain or suffering, individually or combined.
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.
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.
Once the claimant has satisfied the pre-suit investigation and notice requirements, the claimant may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in the Florida court system. In order to prevail in a medical negligence case against a doctor, the claimant has the burden of proof. This burden may be difficult to meet, given that there is often a presumption that the doctor acted reasonably and properly under the circumstances.