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.
Loss of consortium refers to the impact the injury has had on the injured party’s ability to provide love, affection, companionship, or services. People often think that loss of consortium refers to the impact the injury has had on a married couple’s sexual relationship. But it’s broader than that. Many states now allow children and parents, in addition to spouses, to bring loss of consortium claims. Note that the person who would sue for loss of consortium is the spouse, parent or child of the person who was injured.
Search for disciplinary sanctions. Visit your state’s disciplinary board to see if the attorney has been sanctioned in the past. Attorneys are sanctioned for ethics violations, such as disclosing client confidences or failing to respond to client emails. They are not sanctioned for failing to win cases, unless their performance was so low as to be negligent.
This is often the most difficult part of medical negligence cases and even lawyers have trouble getting their heads around it sometimes. You may be able to prove that a doctor did the wrong thing, but you also have to prove that what happened next was the result of that wrong thing and you have to prove that it would not have happened if the wrong thing had not been done. Deciding whether or not this is the case involves both factual and legal issues and is sometimes very hard to do. You really need a lawyer who is highly experienced in medical negligence cases to look at this for you.
In addition, the doctor’s error must have led to an injury. For instance, let’s say a patient is told that his tumor is benign, when it is really cancerous. As a result, he does not seek treatment and the cancer spreads to other areas of his body. In this case, the victim suffered harm because he did not seek treatment in a timely manner and now his condition is far worse than it was before. Likewise, a patient who is told that he has cancer when his tumor is actually benign may be injured if he undergoes unnecessary treatment because of the misdiagnosis.
Indeed, even the standard jury instruction does not provide the jurors with guidance in determining a figure. Abstract concepts, ambiguity and confusion are all defense tactics utilized by defense attorneys to dismantle your viable personal injury claim. This is why it becomes critical to open up to your attorney about the extent of your injuries and the complete impact that your injuries have had on your life.
In most cases where the other party was clearly at fault, the injured party will receive at least some compensation for their pain and suffering. Most insurance companies recognize that people who are injured in a car accident deserve something for their pain and inconvenience. Often, the amount insurance carriers try to get away with, at first, is very low. But with proper attorney representation, this number can be increased to reach an acceptable sum.
A physical impact is not necessary for an emotional distress claim when there is a breach of fiduciary duty, the superior court said. Doctors have a legal and ethical responsibility to care for patients' well-being and, under the circumstances, it was reasonably foreseeable that Toney would endure emotional distress during the birth of her son, the court said.
Most people know that if a hospital makes a mistake that hurts them, they can sue the doctor or nurse or hospital in state court under state medical malpractice/ negligence laws. What most people, including many lawyers and doctors do not know is that you can also sue hospitals for failure to evaluate and/ or stabilize a medical condition that causes harm to the patient under a federal statute. The statute is commonly referred to as the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA).
To be able to file a medical negligence claim, you must ensure the statute of limitations (or time period in which you can file a claim) has not expired. The statute of limitations for medical negligence claims will vary from state to state, so it is important to consult with your attorney about how long you have to file your lawsuit. In most states, this window of time is about two years.
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.
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.
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.