Medical Malpractice cases are very difficult to prove. Only on the very rare occasion will a medical malpractice case be so clear cut that it resolves quickly and quietly. These cases are usually long, drawn out, and very complicated. The standard of care to sue a doctor or medical professional for their negligence or medical error is a higher standard than you’d normally find in any other personal injury case. It must be proven beyond a balance of probabilities that your doctor failed to meet the care of a reasonable doctor in that same situation. So long as your doctor followed procedure, protocol and acted as a reasonable doctor in that situation, proving negligence will be very difficult.
Since the law in Tennessee leaves room for a judge or jury’s interpretation of what might constitute emotional stress, it is important for an attorney to help you gather the right evidence or expert testimony to make a persuasive case. An attorney with the Law Offices of Ogle, Elrod & Baril, PLLC can help. Call 865-546-1111 today to arrange a free consultation.
I was recently abruptly terminated by my employer of 17 years. I worked for a relatively small (25-30 employees), family-owned, manufacturing company in a niche market, in the position of general manager for the past 10, and was responsible for distributor relations, trade shows, etc for the entire 17. Without any warning, I was terminated via text message in December. I didn't have the opportunity to speak with any of the customers that I had formed relationships with over the years, to clear out my office of 17 years of accumulated personal belongings, or to even speak with anyone regarding my termination. I was sent a letter from an attorney representing the company instructing me that I was not to attempt to contact the company directly. My belongings were (literally!) thrown into a couple of boxes (picture frames and momentos were broken), and shipped to my home - I live 2 miles from the company. A friend - still employed there, noticed some of my personal things; including a 5x7 school photo of my family, in the trash, and retrieved it and other items to return to me, but had to leave the soiled items in the trash. I have no record of disciplinary problems nor any reason to have anticipated any of this. I feel stripped of my dignity, my reputation, my friends. I went from making $75,000 yr to less than $400 wk on unemployment. Since my termination I understand that the a family member of the owner has taken over many of the responsibilities that had been mine, leading me to believe that this was likely the motive, and while I understand family ties and obligations, and realize that no labor laws have been broken, it was done maliciously, knowing the devastation it would cause to me.
Failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis of an illness or injury are the basis of many medical malpractice lawsuits. Misdiagnosis on its own is not necessarily medical malpractice, and not all diagnostic errors give rise to a successful lawsuit. Even highly experienced and competent doctors make diagnostic errors. Instead, the misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose must result in improper medical care, delayed treatment, or no treatment, which in turn must result in a worsening of the patient's medical condition in order for the malpractice to be actionable.
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.
If you or someone you care about has been hurt due to the negligence of a medical professional, contact a personal injury lawyer today to learn if you have a valid claim. After reviewing the evidence in your case and your injuries, your attorney will let you know if a lawsuit is possible. While a monetary settlement cannot restore your health, it can give you the resources to move ahead after your recovery has ended.
Properly illustrating your pain and suffering damages at trial for the jury to understand is essential in order to be adequately compensated for your injuries. As stated above, while juries may have a relatively easy time determining the amount of compensation for economic damages because those are numbers can be seen reflected in medical bills and documented lost wages, they often struggle with placing a monetary value on someone’s pain and suffering because these are admittedly abstract concepts.
He had an infection plus an additional complication: His intestines had knuckled under beneath his skin. Ten days after the transplant, doctors operated again, removing 15 inches of dying intestine from Ciccotelli’s gut and scraping out the infection. The hospital, which declined to comment for this story, didn’t charge him for the clean-up procedures.

Negligence is not always the cause of a misdiagnosis. Mistakes and misjudgments typically occur in medical diagnosis because many medical conditions do not consistently exhibit the same symptoms in every individual. For example, women are much more likely to be misdiagnosed with a heart attack as they do not experience hallmark symptoms that precede a heart attack such as chest pains. Instead, women may experience discomfort in their neck, jaw, back, shoulder, arm or stomach, nausea, vomiting or heart burn. 
Here, this issue is going to be whether, in reviewing the tests, it was within the applicable standard of care to diagnose you as having a UTI. Secondly, if you have now been correctly diagnosed as having bladder cancer, is your proposed treatment protocol any different than what would have been done if this had been caught during the first couple of visits. You then must assess what additional treatment costs you have incurred, or will incur as a result of the delay. None of this can be done without a detailed assessment of your medical records, by a competent med. mal. attorney and the proper experts.
98% of the population are not the “type of people to sue”. However, when you or your loved one has been injured through the negligence of another person, you have basic responsibilities to ensure that medical bills are paid, lost wages are recovered, future medical expenses are paid – and if there is a physical disability, you must ensure that you or your loved one is compensated for the dramatic change in your life.
About three-quarters of mediations result in a satisfactory outcome, often within a day, but mediation is not legally binding until a written agreement is signed and the case can proceed to court. The NHS Litigation Authority launched a mediation service in 2014 for cases that have reached the compensation stage (contact the trust involved directly for more information). The Tutu Foundation also offers a mediation service (tutufoundationuk.org, tel 01865 514830).
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.
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.
There is a functional as well as a sentimental component to loss of consortium claims. In the spousal context, loss of consortium often requires that intimate details of the couple’s relationship be examined and made part of the public record. It is important to be aware of that before considering whether to bring a loss of consortium claim. The sentimental component may include the impact the injury had on a married couple’s sexual relationship as well as companionship (such as if the couple used to go out dancing frequently). The functional component includes services the injured spouse used to provide (such as taking out the trash and driving the kids to school).
Although medical mistakes cannot always be prevented, help is available when these unfortunate situations change the course of victims’ lives. The pain and suffering that victims are left to contend with cannot be erased, especially when death or a chronic condition is the result of medical negligence. Personal injury compensation may help to ease the burden of physical and mental trauma from a medical mistake.
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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