Not true! There are thousands of physicians sued successfully every year without ending in the loss of their licenses or practices. Although your doctor will have to spend some time defending the suit, throughout the process he will most likely still be able to see his patients and conduct his life as normal. Furthermore, after the conclusion of the suit, he will most likely go back to treating his patients – albeit, hopefully, more carefully this time.
If a piece of machinery fails during an operation, the doctor is not at fault unless they knew the machine was faulty and proceeded anyhow. There are several people or entities who could be to blame from the incident including the manufacturer of the equipment. One of our personal injury lawyers can advise you on any possible claim based on the details.
Disclaimer: This information is designed for general information in relation to Queensland compensation law. It does not constitute legal advice. We strongly recommend you seek legal advice in regards to your specific situation. For expert advice call 1800 266 801 or chat via live chat to arrange free initial advice with our Principal lawyer, Greg Smith.
If you have been injured in a car accident or by some other personal injury, don’t wait to seek counsel from an attorney. Be aware there is a statute of limitations and a lawsuit must be filed within a set time limit; if you wait too long, you may not be entitled to any insurance settlement. Also, personal injury statutes and laws are very different from laws for worker’s compensation, and the laws vary from state to state, so be sure to seek legal counsel concerning your injury.
I’d advise instead to try mediation, a grossly underused method that is effective, less stressful and a hell of a lot cheaper than going to court. Mediation is a relatively new concept in the NHS and takes the form of an independent, voluntary and confidential meeting in which a trained neutral sits with patients and NHS staff to allow both sides to outline their position, and see if common ground can be established and if issues can be narrowed and an agreement reached.
Medical malpractice cases must be brought soon after the injury. In most states, you must bring a medical malpractice claim fairly quickly -- often between six months and two years, depending on the state. (The time period in which you must bring the lawsuit is called the "statute of limitations.") If you don't file the lawsuit within the specified period of time, the court will dismiss the case regardless of the facts.
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.
Failure to warn a patient of known risks. Doctors have a duty to warn patients of known risks of a procedure or course of treatment -- this is known as the duty of informed consent. If a patient, once properly informed of possible risks, would have elected not to go through with the procedure, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice if the patient is injured by the procedure (in a way that the doctor should have warned could happen). (To learn more, read Nolo's article Medical Malpractice: Informed Consent.)
There is a statute of limitations (or time limit in which you can file a lawsuit) for medical malpractice cases. This limit varies from state to state, but in general it is about two years from when the injury occurred. To ensure you file a claim before the statute of limitations is up, you should reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon after you realize doctor error occurred.
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.
Traffic tickets can affect your claim, and if the insurance company determined that you were partially at fault for the car accident, then the amount of settlement could be worth less. If you were not at fault and depending on your attorney’s negotiating skills, you might possibly get the full settlement. If the driver who caused the accident was driving under the influence, then he or she would need a criminal defense attorney, as they might be fully held liable for causing the car accident.
Every doctor and nurse has a legal duty to provide a good standard of care. If you feel they have fallen short, you can report them to their regulatory body. For doctors, this is the General Medical Council (gmc-uk.org), or the Nursing and Midwifery Council (nmc.org.uk) for nurses. These bodies can investigate serious mistakes in clinical care, dishonesty or abuse of position, but can’t make a doctor or nurse apologise to you, impose a fine or help you with a compensation claim.
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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 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.”
If the injured patient is able to prove – through qualified expert testimony – that the doctor committed an act of medical negligence, then the patient has satisfied the first step of proving a malpractice claim against the doctor. However, the injured patient must also be able to show that the doctor’s negligence resulted in certain injuries or damages.
Many doctors are not employees of the hospital, and in general a hospital cannot be held vicariously liable for a non-employee's negligence. However, when a patient goes to the emergency room, the hospital cannot tell the patient what a doctor's employment status is. Therefore, hospitals may be held liable for an emergency room doctor's medical malpractice.
1. When a person comes into a medical facility and asks to be evaluated, the hospital must provide a medical screening examination (MSE) to determine if there is an emergency medical condition (EMC), including active labor. The hospital may not decide on treatment based on your ability to pay and may not delay treatment to your detriment because they want to prove you can pay, such as pre-authorization from private health insurance. Thus the statute puts your welfare above the pocketbook of the hospital. The statute requires the hospital to use the medical equipment on hand, such as xray, CAT scan, MRI, EMG, EKG equipment as part of the emergency medical screening (EMC) process. So if the hospital just figures you are ok without doing tests, they may be liable under EMTALA. EMTALA applies to any patient coming in to the hospital, not just indigent patients.
Most people are uncomfortable talking about their injuries. No one likes to be thought of as a whiner or complainer. I find that even my most severely injured clients are wary to openly discuss the full weight and burden that their injuries take on them. It’s understandable that if you have a scar from a surgery or accident that you may not like to discuss the fact that it makes you uncomfortable when strangers stare at it or friends or colleagues ask you what happened. Victims of injury do not often desire to sit and truly reflect on the extent that their injuries have had on their lives. Even so, little vignettes or stories illustrating how someone’s life was like before and then after an accident is crucial in demonstrating to the jury the magnitude of your loss.
Mike Broemmel began writing in 1982. He is an author/lecturer with two novels on the market internationally, "The Shadow Cast" and "The Miller Moth." Broemmel served on the staff of the White House Office of Media Relations. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from Benedictine College and a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University. He also attended Brunel University, London.
In order to take legal action against a medical doctor for malpractice, you cannot just simply file a lawsuit with the court. Rather, you must first send a notice to the doctor, indicating to him or her that you are planning to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice. After filing the notice, there may be a waiting period before the injured patient is eligible to file a lawsuit.