The injury resulted in significant damages - Medical malpractice lawsuits are extremely expensive to litigate, frequently requiring testimony of numerous medical experts and countless hours of deposition testimony. For a case to be viable, the patient must show that significant damages resulted from an injury received due to the medical negligence. If the damages are small, the cost of pursuing the case might be greater than the eventual recovery. To pursue a medical malpractice claim, the patient must show that the injury resulted in disability, loss of income, unusual pain, suffering and hardship, or significant past and future medical bills.

If a doctor fails to make an accurate and timely diagnosis of a harmful medical condition, patients may pursue a legal remedy by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. One key question in these kinds of cases is whether the doctor breached the applicable "medical standard of care" under the circumstances. In other words, would a similarly-trained doctor in the same medical community have spotted the health problem (or identified it within a shorter period of time)? In the sections that follow, we’ll discuss some common misdiagnosis scenarios, and illustrate how a medical malpractice case might proceed. 


Doctors and hospital officials who subscribe to this philosophy, such as those at the University of Michigan Health System, the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center and Stanford University Medical Center say they tell patients when something went wrong and offer an apology and sometimes even compensation. They say the method is more humane and often eliminates lawsuits.
One example might be a person who survives a car crash in Knoxville in which a loved one dies. If the plaintiff can prove negligence, then any mental or emotional suffering resulting from the accident might be a recoverable damage. Seeing a loved one killed in an accident would traumatize anybody, but not every case of emotional distress will be so clear.
There are no guidelines for determining the value of a malpractice victim’s pain and suffering. A jury cannot look at a chart to figure out how much to award for pain and suffering. In most states, judges simply instruct juries to use their good sense, background, and experience in determining what would be a fair and reasonable figure to compensate for the plaintiff’s pain and suffering. Because juries are given so little guidance about how to calculate damages for pain and suffering, awards of pain and suffering damages can vary widely among plaintiffs with similar injuries.

I have been seen about 6 times for UTI ( bladder infection) Each time all my symptoms have been the same, but three days later (after they treat me for the bladder infection) the culture comes back negative. Finally today they said it could possibly be Bladder Cancer. I have had all the symptoms of bladder cancer and no body has ever taken the time to test me. So in all can i sue for them not looking more into this throughout the past two years when all these problems started happening? Since it could be cancer, and it could be too far along to treat. 

We serve clients throughout North Carolina including those in the following localities: Mecklenburg County including Charlotte, Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Matthews, Mint Hill, and Pineville; Iredell County including Mooresville and Statesville; Union County including Indian Trail and Monroe; Cabarrus County including Concord, Harrisburg, and Kannapolis; Gaston County including Belmont and Gastonia; and Stanly County including Albemarle.


If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you may wish to file a formal claim with the offending doctor’s insurance company. Certainly, the doctor may be unwilling to provide you with insurance information, or you may require the assistance of an attorney to make a claim, but in some jurisdictions (particularly those without damage caps) you may find that an insurance company is willing to negotiate a settlement prior to a formal suit being filed. The expense and potential fallout of a formal, public lawsuit is a risk insurance companies are often unwilling to take.
An injury was caused by the negligence - For a medical malpractice claim to be valid, it is not sufficient that a health care professional simply violated the standard of care. The patient must also prove he or she sustained an injury that would not have occurred in the absence of negligence. An unfavorable outcome by itself is not malpractice. The patient must prove that the negligence caused the injury. If there is an injury without negligence or negligence that did not cause an injury, there is no case.
A patient was in the hospital receiving care from a doctor. The doctor does not visit for days, so the patient called his office to complain. Afterwards, while the patient's wife was visiting, the doctor stormed into the patient's hospital room and screamed: "Let me tell you one [expletive] thing, don't nobody call over to my office raising hell with my secretary. ... I don't have to be in here every [expletive] day checking on you because I check with physical therapy. ... I don't have to be your [expletive] doctor." The patient’s wife interjected by telling the doctor that he would not be the patient's doctor for much longer, and the doctor snapped in reply: "If your smart [expletive] wife would keep her mouth shut things wouldn't be so bad." The wife began crying, and the patient began suffering from uncontrollable shakes, which eventually led to the need for psychiatric treatment. The Court held that Patient could sue for IIED.[9] 
To file a certificate of merit you must first contact an expert, usually another physician. This expert will review your medical records and certify that the original health care provider deviated from accepted medical practices, which resulted in your injuries. The attorney that you hire will now file the certificate of merit, which confirms that you spoke with a medical expert and that your action has merit.
Emotional distress is a type of claim of damages for injury due to either the intentional acts or negligence of another. Severe emotional distress refers to any form of disabling mental or emotional condition, including neurosis, chronic depression, psychosis or phobia, which may be recognized and diagnosed by the proper medical professionals. Temporary anxiety or fright, regret, or disappointment, on the other hand, is not considered severe emotional distress.
A patient was in the hospital receiving care from a doctor. The doctor does not visit for days, so the patient called his office to complain. Afterwards, while the patient's wife was visiting, the doctor stormed into the patient's hospital room and screamed: "Let me tell you one [expletive] thing, don't nobody call over to my office raising hell with my secretary. ... I don't have to be in here every [expletive] day checking on you because I check with physical therapy. ... I don't have to be your [expletive] doctor." The patient’s wife interjected by telling the doctor that he would not be the patient's doctor for much longer, and the doctor snapped in reply: "If your smart [expletive] wife would keep her mouth shut things wouldn't be so bad." The wife began crying, and the patient began suffering from uncontrollable shakes, which eventually led to the need for psychiatric treatment. The Court held that Patient could sue for IIED.[9] 
Most states have case law requiring courts to simultaneously treat those who represent themselves, known as pro se (pronounced “pro say”) litigants by the same standards as a minimally competent attorney. However, they are also usually required to give pro se litigants the benefit of the doubt. This strange double standard can lead to unusual and unpredictable results.
Damages from pain and suffering are considered “general damages” and are distinguishable from “special damages.” Hospital bills, loss of income, and certain out of pocket expenses are examples of special damages because a plaintiff can provide a bill, receipt, or work contract to show the money that was lost or paid. Pain and suffering, on the other hand, is not quantifiable in a precise, mathematical way.
Second, you should never be paying money to any lawyer upfront to bring your malpractice suit. A lawyer should never ask you for money to pay for the costs of your case. If he does, find a new lawyer pronto! Law firms experienced in malpractice litigation will never ask their clients to pay for the expenses of their case. It is a cost of doing business for malpractice law firms to pay for the costs of hiring medical experts, obtaining medical records, paying for depositions, and the like. Lawyers who ask you to pay for the costs of your case before the case is resolved have no business in malpractice litigation and you should take such a request as an urgent warning to find a new lawyer.
The timeline involved is going to be important should you have a diagnosis of cancer for a few reasons. You mentioned 2 years went by from the time you were told you had a UTI until you were told you might have Bladder cancer? Is that correct? You were seen 6 times over the course of 2 years and diagnosed with a UTI every time? How many times were cultures taken? How much time was it from when your culture came back negative until you were told you may have cancer? Answers to these questions are necessary in order to have a better understanding of the facts and potential theories of negligence.

If you or someone you know is a victim, keep in mind that filing and pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be an expensive and time-consuming affair. The claimant has to prove many things including injury due to the doctor’s malpractice and as a result, considerable loss of income, enhanced pain and trauma and unaffordable costs of health care and rehabilitation.
Differential diagnosis is a systemic method used by doctors to identify a disease or condition in a patient. Based upon a preliminary evaluation of the patient, the doctor makes a list of diagnoses in order of probability. The physician then tests the strength of each diagnosis by making further medical observations of the patient, asking detailed questions about symptoms and medical history, ordering tests, or referring the patient to specialists. Ideally, a number of potential diagnoses will be ruled out as the investigation progresses, and only one diagnosis will remain at the end. Of course, given the uncertain nature of medicine, this is not always the case.
I was an RN and suffered serious and permanent harm from my cancer surgery. There were many errors, including my waking up during surgery, life-threatening infection, internal sutures that did not dissolve, renal failure, a collapsed lung after hospital discharge, abscesses and wound dehiscence. Years later, I am homebound and unable to work. I would be making $80-100,000/year now or more but am stuck barely above poverty on Social Security Disability. Since I and the various insurances have spent over $2 million for my care, and I do not have enough money to obtain all the care and medications I need, I am very unhappy. I have a potential new abscess now. It is a living horror, and the cancer may return. I am always in pain. No attorney would take my case. Even the failure to diagnose the cancer for years, with facts right there for every doctor I went to with my symptoms, isn't actionable. I am however, alive.
In Florida, when someone is injured as a result of someone else’s negligence the Florida law provides that the injured party can ask a jury to compensate them for both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those damages that are readily calculable—medical bills, lost wages, or anything with a set dollar amount. Economic damages are typically easily presentable to a jury. Jurors understand hard and fast numbers, like medical bills and lost wages, and are oftentimes readily willing to compensate an injury victim for these types of losses.
Personal injury, or tort, law, allows a person to recover in civil court for the physical, emotional and/or financial injury caused to them by an outside party. The emotional component of personal injury is most often represented by claims of negligent or intentional infliction of emotional distress. Although neither of these claims necessarily involves physical injury, NIED and IIED can have devastating and long-term impacts on a person’s life in ways that surpass many physical injuries. The bar for proving sufficient emotional distress is a fairly high one to succeed on a claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress (NIED), and is even higher for intentional infliction (IIED). This article will examine some common causes of action and the elements of negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Finally, you should also report the incident to a state regulatory agency for further investigation and possible punitive action. Although many of these punishments will be less than what you may want, it still creates a paper trail that can be presented as evidence in a civil case. Doctors and nurses should be reported to their regulatory boards. State health departments are in charge of hospitals and nursing homes, so they should be contacted if the incident occurred at one of these sites.
Medical malpractice insurance carriers generally require very large deductibles from their insured doctors. Furthermore, most states have laws that require doctors to report any claims of medical malpractice to a state-run board, which can result in higher insurance rates. Doctors may be willing to settle for an amount at or around the amount of their deductible, as it will abrogate the need for them to report the case. They are simply choosing to pay you the amount of the deductible instead of paying the insurance company. Seek counsel before accepting this type of settlement, as you need to be sure your future medical needs will be provided for.
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.
If you think you’ve been a victim of medical negligence at a hospital, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The statute of limitations, or the legal timeframe in which one can bring a medical negligence suit, begins once the injury is known or should have been known. The Florida statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is generally 2 years-absent some exceptions that can extend the period up to 4 years or 8 years for infants.
So, the lawyer sues the doctor. The doctor being sued has malpractice insurance (most states won’t allow you to practice without it). So the insurance company pays for a lawyer to defend the doctor, as well as an expert witness to evaluate the case and attest that there was no malpractice. Notice that the patient’s lawyer still hasn’t spent any money. The doctor’s insurance company has spent a lot of money on expert witnesses and lawyers.
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.”
Damages for pain and suffering, including mental anguish, date back to Roman delicts, which is equivalent to today's tort system. The basic Roman delicts were iniuria (injury to person) and damnum iniuria datum (damage to property, including slaves). Under iniuria, the wronged party had to show that the tortfeasor acted willfully and intentionally to recover damages. The action was based on the plaintiff's "sense of outrage" and not on actual economic loss. Therefore the plaintiff could be compensated for "pain or distress of mind or body" in addition to any pecuniary damages. Whereas iniuria required a showing of ill will, damnum iniuria datum only required a showing of negligence. Eventually, Roman law evolved into only compensating for pain and suffering where the tort was intentional and only providing pecuniary damages in the sole case of negligence.
For medical malpractice cases, attorneys who represent the plaintiff (the patient who has been injured by medical negligence) usually do so on a "contingency" basis, which means the attorney’s payment comes as a set percentage of what the plaintiff ends up receiving after a settlement or a successful jury trial. If the plaintiff receives no payment or ends up losing at trial, the attorney is not paid. But before you sign a contingency agreement, check to see if you will be on the hook for things like filing fees and other costs.
In most states, first responders in a medical emergency situation (such as an EMT or a firefighter) are protected from lawsuits unless the first responder does something reckless or intentional. This protection for first responders does not apply to emergency rooms in hospitals, although in some states an emergency room doctor must act with gross negligence to be held liable for harm that occurs before the patient is stabilized.
But lawyers may have to invest $50,000 or more to pursue a case, and they usually only get paid if they win or settle. The payout is determined largely by economic damages – lost earnings, medical bills and future costs caused by the injury.  Those who don’t earn big paychecks – including children, the elderly and stay-at-home-moms – are the least likely to find an attorney, studies show.
"I am writing this letter to try to express the feelings of gratitude and complete satisfaction that have accompanied my ongoing association with Mr. Goldfinger's handling of my case. With no fear of remorse I can recommend him, and his staff, fully and completely to anyone who should find themselves in a predicament as dire as the one they rescued me from.
Incidentally, under South African common law, there is the crime of "Crimen injuria", 'defined to be the act of "unlawfully, intentionally and seriously impairing the dignity of another."[1] Although difficult to precisely define, the crime is used in the prosecution of certain instances of road rage,[2] stalking,[1] racially offensive language,[3] emotional or psychological abuse[4] and sexual offences against children.[5' (from Wikipedia).
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Halifax lawyer John McKiggan, author of Health Scare, argues that the reasons for poor outcomes in medical procedures are often kept hidden. McKiggan cites the 2004 Canadian Adverse Events Study that found that 70,000 of the 185,000 adverse effects suffered annually by hospital patients are potentially preventable. Between 9,250 and 23,750 patients die annually from preventable errors, involving doctors and other health practitioners.
You will first have to find out whether you have bladder cancer to see if you even have a case. If you do have cancer (and I hope that you do not) then you would need a medical expert to be willing to say that your doctor that was treating your for the UTI's failed to diagnose you as having cancer as soon as they should have diagnosed you. This is the hard part of proving this case.
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.
When you’re faced with any kind of legal action, the decision to hire an attorney or go it alone and represent yourself is one that should be weighed very carefully. In particular, you might focus on two key questions: What is at stake? And how complex is the legal territory? Let’s look at both of those questions in the context of a medical malpractice case.
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.

When pursuing a claim against a doctor or hospital specifically, there may be “caps on damages.” This means that if a jury awards $10 million for pain and suffering in a medical malpractice case, a judge may be required by law to reduce that award to $250,000 or $500,000. These limits on non-economic damages vary from state and state, and will not always apply. Frequently catastrophic injuries, such as paralysis, brain injuries, or severe injuries to children, are allowed a higher limit. However, the caps do not generally apply to the portion of a monetary award meant for past and future medical care, lost income, or other financial losses.
We certainly understand that some people have a great need for the cost savings available for medical treatment abroad. But it’s also important to consider the protections available in a foreign jurisdiction if something goes wrong. After all, our American legal system is built on the foundation that society is safeguarded when wrongdoers are held legally accountable for their actions. If you have questions about medical malpractice, please call the experienced lawyers at Nelson MacNeil Rayfield and we will be happy to answer them.
Unfortunately, patients who have been injured from a delayed or misdiagnosis have the added burden of proving that medical malpractice has occurred. Consultation with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer is crucial to a successful outcome. At Folkman Law Offices, we advocate for patients who have suffered due to a medical mistake and help them collect the compensation they are entitled to under the law.
When you need medical care, you tend to rely on doctors whether it’s your primary care physician or a referred specialist to manage your health in the best way possible. You trust doctors to advise you about your health condition, medication, and routine care. However, there may be times when that trust is broken due to negligence. When medical mistakes or negligence occurs while you or a loved one is receiving medical care, the consequences can be devastating sometimes resulting in death or a lifelong debilitating condition.
Providing a range can also be beneficial in allowing the jury to make the determination as to what the final number will be. Your attorney can then ask the jury, “what is missing out on an activity you loved to do with your spouse worth weekly? $5? $25? $100?” If that person is 40 years old at the time of the crash and is expected to live another 42 years, the price for that loss over a lifetime ranges from $10,920 to $218,400. Presenting multiple stories from different witnesses demonstrating the extent of your pain and suffering damages and including a monetary range for each will allow the jury a viable opportunity to compensate you for that loss.
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.
Once you have figured out what kind of case you have, you will need to prepare your documents and file your lawsuit. Sometimes you can obtain forms for your lawsuit from either the clerk of court or local law libraries, but not always. Similarly, legal aid groups may be able to help you complete your paperwork, evaluate your claims, and give you advice on what to file, where, and how much your filing fees will be. When your paperwork is ready you will need to file it with the clerk of court, pay a filing fee, and arrange to have a copy of the lawsuit and summons served on the other party. If you are unable to afford the filing fees, you can usually apply for indigent status and ask for a waiver of these fees.
3. Evidence - keep track of any evidence which could be relevant to your case. Keep detailed records of your appointments with your GP, together with records of any telephone consultations and referral appointments. Your solicitor will arrange to obtain and copy of your medical notes and x-rays. You will have to pass this information on to your lawyer and it will be a lot easier if you have it at hand. Keep any prescriptions, receipts from further treatments, notes of further treatment and a diary detailing the progression of your health issues. For example, if you fell ill with appendicitis and your GP failed to diagnose it, you should keep a note of the progression of your condition, if you are well enough to do so. All of this is not vital, but very helpful.  

The negligence caused a negative legal outcome - It is not sufficient that an attorney simply was negligent for a legal malpractice claim to be valid. The plaintiff must also prove that there were legal, monetary or other negative ramifications that were caused by the negligence. An unfavorable outcome by itself is not malpractice. There must be a direct causative link between a violation of the standard of professional conduct and the negative result.
It is very common for an injured person to consult a lawyer saying ‘if Dr Smith had told me I would end up like this I would never have agreed to the procedure’.  While the saying ‘hindsight is always 20/20’ is often appropriate, there are situations where an injured person could and should sue their doctor or other professional for failing to warn them of significant risks of a procedure.

I have been seen about 6 times for UTI ( bladder infection) Each time all my symptoms have been the same, but three days later (after they treat me for the bladder infection) the culture comes back negative. Finally today they said it could possibly be Bladder Cancer. I have had all the symptoms of bladder cancer and no body has ever taken the time to test me. So in all can i sue for them not looking more into this throughout the past two years when all these problems started happening? Since it could be cancer, and it could be too far along to treat.
Plaintiffs can also sue for the negligent infliction of severe emotional distress that they experienced because of someone else’s injury. This types of suit occur sometimes when a person has to witness the injury or death of a loved one caused by another person’s negligence. However, to succeed on such a claim one must be able to prove that their distress was an immediate and foreseeable result of the defendant’s behavior. In addition, the plaintiff generally must physically witness the accident in order to be able to recover for this type of claim.
Doctors treat many patients each week and not every mistake they make qualifies as medical malpractice. In order to receive compensation for your injuries through a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove your doctor was careless or negligent and seriously hurt you as a result. While this may seem like an easy task, it can be difficult in cases where several doctors worked together or a diagnosis was unclear. For these reasons, it is best to have a personal injury lawyer you trust working with you to prove your injuries were due to medical malpractice.
There are two general types of pain and suffering: physical pain and suffering and mental pain and suffering. Physical pain and suffering has to do with a medical malpractice victim’s actual physical injuries, i.e., his/her bodily injuries. It also includes conditions like scarring, disfigurement, and permanency of the malpractice victim’s injuries.

Our dedicated team of experienced attorneys bring years of successful litigation and courtroom experience to offer a fresh outlook for all your legal matters. Regardless of the complexity of your situation, our team can provide you with a thorough evaluation of your case and current legal standing. To request additional information regarding our services, please reach out to our offices at your earliest convenience by calling 866-640-7560.
It may not be so easy to file a personal injury lawsuit against a hospital or other health care facility, if what went wrong was limited to the quality of medical treatment you received from a doctor. That’s because in many cases, a physician is not an employee of the hospital, but an independent contractor. So, the hospital may not bear the kind of vicarious liability that typically exists in an employer-employee relationship.
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