In many – but certainly not all – cases of negligent infliction of emotional distress, there must be physical harm in addition to mental harm for a plaintiff to recover damages. In the case of an incorrect cancer diagnosis, for example, the plaintiff might show that he or she underwent unnecessary chemotherapy or radiation treatment because of the error.
Successful lawsuits require proof that physicians failed to meet the “standard of care” other reasonable doctors would have and that the failure caused injury.That’s hard, Knutsen says, especially since it’s easier for doctors to find — and pay for — physician experts.“What was the cause of this person’s misfortune? Could it be the cardiac arrest or disease they showed up at the hospital with? Was it a pre-existing condition? Was it someone else’s fault?” he asks.
Whether the doctor lived up to the standard of care will likely require an expert opinion. One of the issues the expert will examine is the defendant doctor's differential diagnosis method. When trying to diagnose a patient, a doctor makes a list of diagnoses in order of probability and tests them by asking the patient questions, making further observations of the patient, or ordering tests. The goal is to rule out diagnoses until there is only one diagnosis remaining. However, in many instances, a doctor learns more information that requires him or her to supplement the list with other potential diagnoses.
Without an expert opinion from another doctor to comment on whether or not the alleged offending doctor breached the standard of care, establishing a case for negligence against the offending doctor is very difficult. Even with a favourable opinion which establishes liability, medical malpractices cases are very difficult because there are so many factors to be considered. Causation and damages are also difficult to establish in many medical malpractice cases.
For example, insurance companies will most likely consider injuries treated by a doctor or specialist to be more serious than injuries treated by a chiropractor. Insurance companies will also do their own reasoning to negate some of the most concrete concepts, like the length of treatment. If they think you didn’t need to your doctor for that last appointment, they will not include that time in the pain and suffering calculation.

I know it's difficult to live with the "what ifs" of having cancer but in this case, if you do not yet know if you have the disease, you have to wait to see if you actually do have it. Then, you can contact a personal injury attorney in your area and they will help analyze your situation. You can contact as many personal injury attorneys as you want until you find one that will take your case.

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.
If you have had emotional distress and sought counseling or treatment from a psychologist or psychiatrist, be sure and keep medical bills, prescription receipts, and records detailing your emotional state. It is important to be as genuine and honest as possible, even though it can be difficult to reveal private, personal information, There is no point in exaggerating your problems, as this can diminish your credibility and actually negatively affect your claim worth.
Doctors who fail to refer patients to a specialist can also cause a delayed diagnosis. A patient that complains of back pain and is sent home with muscle relaxers and pain medication can be at risk for permanent paralysis that an experienced neurologist could have prevented. For example, patients that go to an emergency room for treatment of severe stomach pain that are not seen by a gastrointestinal specialist could be diagnosed with the flu instead of a serious liver issue.

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.
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.
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 this New York case, a forty-year-old woman believed she felt a small lump in her breast during a self-exam, and went to her doctor. She was referred for a mammogram and underwent one. The radiologist treating her looked at the scans, and believed she had a clogged milk duct and it would just go away with him. But this lump didn’t just go away. In fact, it continued to grow and, a little over a year after her diagnosis, she went to the doctor again. At this time she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
An award for pain and suffering is not obtainable unless your injuries reach at least 15% of a most extreme case.  There is, however, no set way of measuring what 15% of a most extreme case looks like so every injured person must be individually assessed by the Judge and a percentage decided.  The maximum award for pain and suffering is about $612,500.00 and is indexed each year to keep pace with inflation.
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When it comes to lawsuits over misdiagnosis, plaintiffs need to follow the same steps for proving medical malpractice as in any other kind of case. It must be shown that, in failing to accurately diagnose a harmful health condition, the doctor failed to demonstrate the level of skill that a similarly-trained and experienced doctor would have shown under the circumstances.
Some damages that might come under this category would be: aches, temporary and permanent limitations on activity, potential shortening of life, depression or scarring. When filing a lawsuit as a result of an injury, it is common for someone to seek money both in compensation for actual money that is lost and for the pain and stress associated with virtually any injury. In a suit, pain and suffering is part of the "general damages" section of the claimant's claim, or, alternatively, it is an element of "compensatory" non-economic damages that allows recovery for the mental anguish and/or physical pain endured by the claimant as a result of injury for which the plaintiff seeks redress.

The emotional toll that misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis has on a patient can be severe. Imagine a patient that is told they have cancer. They may have endured surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments only to find out later that the diagnosis was wrong. Not only has this patient suffered physical pain and possible damage to their body, but the emotional aspect of the ordeal can leave permanent scars.
In this New York case, a forty-year-old woman believed she felt a small lump in her breast during a self-exam, and went to her doctor. She was referred for a mammogram and underwent one. The radiologist treating her looked at the scans, and believed she had a clogged milk duct and it would just go away with him. But this lump didn’t just go away. In fact, it continued to grow and, a little over a year after her diagnosis, she went to the doctor again. At this time she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Your attorney should also disclose “bad facts” in the opening statement.[20] A bad fact is anything the defense would want to bring to the jury’s attention because it makes the defense case much stronger. For example, your failure to follow your doctor’s prescribed treatment is a bad fact. By disclosing bad facts first, your attorney can take the sting out of them.
On the other hand, you may have a great case if the treatment made your condition worse. For example, imagine that your doctor diagnoses you with high blood pressure when you're really just showing a temporarily high reading due to stress and pain. The blood pressure medication causes your blood pressure to fall too low and you end up in the intensive care unit for a week at the hospital.

As to whether or not the plaintiff’s injury is a reasonably foreseeable result of the defendant’s conduct, North Carolina courts ask whether a “reasonably” cautious person might have foreseen that severe emotional distress would result to the plaintiff. What qualifies as “reasonable” and “negligent” depends on the situation; for example, medical professionals are held to a higher standard of care when treating patients.

How can you tell the difference between appropriate, but unsuccessful care and medical malpractice? Ask. Ask your doctor. Get second opinions if possible. Talk to lawyers, who may have medically trained staff that can give an informed opinion, or who may have dealt with the exact same issue (or doctor) you are dealing with. Do whatever you can to attempt to allay any misgivings you have about your care. But take any opinions with a grain of salt. Some doctors simply won’t accuse a “brother physician” of making a mistake. Some malpractice attorneys will exaggerate the potential of your claim in an attempt to make money. Use your best discretion when seeking opinions on your treatment, but be diligent in the pursuit of information. Until you file a lawsuit, you are your own best advocate and investigator.

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