Intensity. The more intense the mental anguish, the better chance you have of proving that your emotional distress was severe enough to deserve compensation. In some cases, however -- particularly, cases alleging negligent (rather than intentional) infliction of emotional distress, courts will typically require some sort of physical injury as well.
We have had multiple lawyers look at the case. All of them have told us that while they believe mistakes were made, it would cost too much to prosecute the case to be worth it. Since he was 25, single and childless, there are no financial losses; no one who was depending on his paycheck. All we really want is answers and assurances that something has been done within the hospital to prevent similar mistakes from occurring again.
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.
I may not live long enough to see minor children gain the same rights that adults have to sue for outrageous instances of extreme emotional abuse (and physical abuse, and sexual abuse) but I hope that some day minor children WILL be given the right to sue their parents for ghastly instances of child abuse (such as sexual molestation), emotional abuse, and skin-crawling incidents of child neglect and child exploitation.
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.
If you wish to discuss a negligence claim against a medical professional in Ontario, please contact us. The consultation meeting or telephone discussion will not cost you anything. A bit of free advice – any claim you intend to pursue must commence sooner than the two year anniversary of the treatment that you received from your medical health professional. There are exceptions. Don’t rely upon them.
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 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.
Deliver the demand letter to the professional in question. Either hand carry the demand letter to the professional's office or send it to him via United States mail, return receipt requested. You will need evidence to demonstrate that the demand letter was received by the professional or that you made your best efforts to deliver the letter to him.
To best gauge the pain and suffering you have experienced from your accident claim, keep a daily pain log and list the problems described above; this will help accurately describe your discomfort and maximize your injury settlement. For example, if you received injections, physical therapy, or had surgery, consider the enjoyment in your life before the accident, and then measure the toll on your life from stress and problems related to your injury and treatment.
Expert testimony is required. Expert opinions are often a crucial feature of the patient's case. A qualified expert is usually required at trial. (And often, expert testimony or an expert affidavit is required at the malpractice review panel proceedings prior to commencing trial.) State rules vary as to what makes somebody qualified to provide expert medical testimony, but generally it is someone with experience in the particular field at issue. In a very limited number of circumstances, expert testimony is not required, such as when a surgical towel is left inside the patient after a surgery.
The manner in which medical malpractice is addressed in countries around the world varies widely. For example, many countries do not permit jury trials. In these locations, judges or administrators may make the final decision. Moreover, malpractice awards, even when they are given, are often much lower than amounts received in the United States, giving rise to the argument that injured patients may not be fully compensated for their losses in overseas jurisdictions. Plus, there are logistical difficulties. A foreign lawsuit necessitates retention of a foreign attorney and physical presence in the foreign country for legal proceedings. Importantly, many foreign countries do not permit attorneys to take cases on a contingency fee basis.
The doctor was negligent. Just because you are unhappy with your treatment or results does not mean the doctor is liable for medical malpractice. The doctor must have been negligent in connection with your diagnosis or treatment. To sue for malpractice, you must be able to show that the doctor caused you harm in a way that a competent doctor, under the same circumstances, would not have. The doctor's care is not required to be the best possible, but simply "reasonably skillful and careful." Whether the doctor was reasonably skillful and careful is often at the heart of a medical malpractice claim. Almost all states require that the patient present a medical expert to discuss the appropriate medical standard of care and show how the defendant deviated from that standard.
Examples of doctor negligence involve patients' complaints not being taken seriously enough, illnesses being incorrectly diagnosed, GPs refusing to carry out blood tests, incorrect or inappropriate medication being administered, incorrect doses of medication being prescribed, referrals to specialist consultants not being made in time or at all and follow up appointments/treatments not been carried out quickly enough . They can also include serious illnesses (such as cancer) being misdiagnosed as something less serious, broken or fractured bones going undiagnosed due to lack of referral for x-ray, failing to follow-up on a patient’s complaints and concerns, failing to correctly identify an illness or injury and treating an injury or illness in a manner which leads to complications and/or further injury or illness.
But it doesn’t get much more complex than a medical malpractice case. You’ll need to prove complicated legal and medical issues like the applicable medical standard of care that the doctor should have complied with in your case, and you’ll need to be prepared to refute the other side when they come to the table with their own medical evidence. What’s more, many states require medical malpractice plaintiffs to jump through certain procedural hoops at various points in the case.
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Medical malpractice includes a significant injury to the patient. It can also include situations where the hospital, or one of its staff members, acted in a way that wasn't in a manner of expected care. It can also include a medical mistake such as an overdose of medication or operations where gauze or tools were left inside an incision and/or wound. The field of medical malpractice is vast, which is why it is important to have an attorney review the facts of your situation to see if you have a case.
Notify the professional's malpractice insurance company of your claim. Although the professional should take this step on his own, you better protect your interests by making such a notification on your own. In most states professionals legally are required to provide a client with the name of their malpractice insurance carrier. If you fail in getting this information directly, the state licensing authority for a particular professional should have a record of her malpractice insurance carrier.
As we reported, the medical malpractice system often discriminates against certain patients, particularly those with low incomes. Those who can’t get representation — often women, children or the elderly — are sometimes called the “hidden victims” of medical malpractice. Studies show that the problem isn’t limited to states that have strict limits on malpractice awards.
For example, John Smith went to his local doctor because he had a black spot on his foot and his leg was painful. His doctor sent him to a surgeon who suggested a special procedure using a needle inserted into his leg artery to see whether the veins in John’s foot were blocked. The surgeon botched the procedure and John’s artery was damaged. Several weeks later John’s leg had to be amputated. When John consulted a lawyer and the lawyer investigated his claim, the lawyer found that John’s original foot condition was gangrene and he was always going to have to have his leg amputated, so the surgeon’s negligence in performing the procedure did not leave John worse off than he would otherwise have been and he fails the test of causation.
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.
Second, from a procedural standpoint, medical malpractice cases can be unique (and pretty complex) depending on the state where you live. You (and your attorney) will need a good understanding of the procedural requirements necessary before - or soon after - filing the lawsuit, including filing an affidavit of merit, complying with pre-lawsuit screening, and other special steps . An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will be very familiar with these rules, and will know how to avoid pitfalls and delays so that your case stays on track.
Unfortunately there are no limits on how long they can take to deal with your complaint, and it can depend on factors such as how many staff they need to speak to and how easy it is to access your medical records. But be persistent. If you’ve been waiting for more than six months for it to be resolved, you can report it to the independent Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (ombudsman.org.uk).
Have you suffered because of a medical professional’s failure to diagnose your condition? If so, it’s in your best interests to seek legal representation from an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Contact Carpenter, Zuckerman, & Rowley today to schedule a free consultation with our team of experienced medical malpractice lawyers.
Generally, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney if you can. An attorney will know how to navigate the legal system, will know the substantive considerations for your lawsuit, and will take a significant amount of work off of your plate. However, if you cannot afford an attorney or, for other reasons, absolutely must file and prosecute your lawsuit on your own it is possible. You can find additional resources to help you through this process throughout our site at HG.org.
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.
Although this may sound like “tough love”, if you feel that you need or want to bring suit against your doctor because he or she injured you or a loved one, and your family or friends are giving your grief about it, maybe it’s time to think about whether they really have your best interests at heart. If bringing suit is something you feel that you need to do to pay for lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, or just to regain some sense of control over the situation, your good friends and family will eventually come to understand and stick by your side.
As to what constitutes severe emotional distress, the courts here require that it rise above the level of temporary fright, regret or disappointment. Rather, the plaintiff must be able to show that they suffer from a severe and disabling emotional or mental disorder that mental health professionals generally recognize and diagnose, such as chronic depression, neurosis, psychosis or phobia.
A violation of the standard of care - The law acknowledges that there are certain medical standards that are recognized by the profession as being acceptable medical treatment by reasonably prudent health care professionals under like or similar circumstances. This is known as the standard of care. A patient has the right to expect that health care professionals will deliver care that is consistent with these standards. If it is determined that the standard of care has not been met, then negligence may be established.
Expert witnesses, copies of medical records, deposition and witness fees, medical exams -- all of these things cost money. And if you lose your case, you could very well be on the hook for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in expenses - depending on your legal fee agreement. Is your case important enough to you that you feel the potential financial benefit outweighs the risk?