For example, the standard of care for an eight-year-old child with a cough who is complaining of chest pain would be different than the standard of care for an 80-year-old man who’s complaining of the same symptoms but has smoked a pack of cigarettes daily for most of adulthood. In the case of the child, a reasonable, competent doctor would probably diagnose and treat the child for bronchitis, but that same doctor would run tests to determine whether the elderly smoker had lung cancer.
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.
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.
This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this blog or any of the email links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of any law firm or Psychology Today.
So, the best thing you can do if you think you have a good case against a hospital is to be a good client. Before you meet with a lawyer, make sure you know as much of the story as possible. How was your life before the medical negligence occurred? How was it after? Do you have any medical records from the hospital where you were harmed? You may not be asked for them at the initial meeting, but keep in mind that the lawyer may need your medical records to determine if there is medical negligence and if so, if suing the hospital would likely result in a trial verdict or settlement.

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.
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.
This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this blog or any of the email links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of any law firm or Psychology Today.
Another potential cause of action is intentional infliction of emotional distress. This is based on a doctor’s outrageous conduct that intentionally or recklessly causes a patient to suffer severe emotional distress. This must be beyond a mere slight as it must be something that would outrage society. The common law tort required a physical manifestation of injury, but most jurisdictions no longer require this element. This cause of action has been successful in some cases in which patients recorded their doctors performing medical treatment while mocking and ridiculing the patient to a serious degree.

Establish that Medical Negligence Occurred – Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare provider violates the medical standard of care, or the professionally-accepted method for diagnosing or treating a specific condition. The standard of care may vary depending on factors individual to each patient, such as age, geographic location, overall health, and the specific condition.


If you believe that you have suffered injuries as a result of a misdiagnosis, it’s important to move quickly to take legal action. California law states that plaintiffs must file a lawsuit within one year after they discover or should have discovered the injury or within three years after the date of the injury, whichever comes first. This may seem like a significant amount of time, but it will pass by very quickly if you are attempting to recover from your injuries. Therefore, it’s strongly recommended that you get in touch with an attorney right away to discuss your case.
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.
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.
Many people mistakenly choose to file medical malpractice lawsuits because they are unhappy with the results of their treatment. However, a poor result -- even death -- does not always equate to malpractice. Medicine is an inexact science. Even the most routine procedure can result in complications both foreseen and unforeseen. There are no guarantees that any treatment, no matter how commonplace, will be successful. As such, it is possible -- and even common when it comes to some procedures -- for doctors to do everything right and still fail to obtain a good result.
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