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.
A large number of medical malpractice lawsuits stem from the misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition, illness, or injury. When a doctor's diagnosis error leads to incorrect treatment, delayed treatment, or no treatment at all, a patient's condition can be made much worse, and they may even die. That being said, a mistake in diagnosis by itself is not enough to sustain a medical malpractice lawsuit.
While the majority of health care providers aim to exercise the highest standard of care for all patents, there are times when things can go gravely wrong. If you or a loved one has experienced poor medical care, misdiagnosis, lack of consent, or breach of doctor-patient confidentiality that has resulted in harm or injury, you may be entitled to medical malpractice recovery.
In order to prove that the defendant's conduct was extreme and outrageous, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant's behavior was unacceptable and uncivilized behavior that a reasonable person in the plaintiff's position would believe the conduct was extreme and outrageous. Plaintiff's sensitivity is irrelevant since the standard is viewed objectively.
One attorney wrote to us that my Dad’s age was above the average life expectancy, and therefore it “seriously reduces the damages likely to be awarded for loss of future life earnings. Certainly this does not excuse the poor care he received but this makes the case economically untenable as the expenses will likely eat up the majority of likely recoverable damages. We do not have punitive damages in Washington (state) that an outraged jury could award to punish the Dr. and Hospital for their callousness. For these reasons our firm does not wish to undertake this case.”
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.
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:
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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.
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.
It is pretty simple to add up your actual costs; however, calculating an amount, to sum up your pain and suffering can be quite a challenge. The longer you estimate your pain and suffering to continue, the higher your claim will be worth. An attorney can help you effectively and reasonably convey the huge impact the pain and suffering from your injury has had on your life.
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.
In short, you can sue a doctor when all of these things are true; he didn’t follow reasonable care, didn’t show a property duty of care, you suffered a material loss and there is a direct link between your material loss and the doctor’s failure in his duty of care. Be aware though that doctors have mandatory liability insurance through the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA). The lawyers CMPA hires are going to rigorously defend the claim which can make the lawsuit a long one. As always, consult with a lawyer if you want to find out whether you would be successful if you started a lawsuit, and how long such a lawsuit would take.
“I was very fortunate to have Richard Jaffe of Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, represent me in my case. Throughout the entire process, Rich was professional, always explaining every detail of my case. He was available whether it was through a phone call, text or email. Not only was Rich an extreme professional but he also kept it personal, not making me feel like a case number. I would highly recommend Richard Jaffe, his firm and all of his staff to anyone seeking diligent and professional results.”
Expert witnesses, copies of medical records, deposition and witness fees, medical exams -- all of these things cost money. And if you lose your case, you could very well be on the hook for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in expenses - depending on your legal fee agreement. Is your case important enough to you that you feel the potential financial benefit outweighs the risk?