Many doctors are not employees of the hospital, and in general a hospital cannot be held vicariously liable for a non-employee's negligence. However, when a patient goes to the emergency room, the hospital cannot tell the patient what a doctor's employment status is. Therefore, hospitals may be held liable for an emergency room doctor's medical malpractice.
General damages refer to damages that are not specifically monetary, for example, damages for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional trauma. There is no tangible bills or receipts that state a specific dollar amount for pain and suffering or emotional damage, but they are still losses for which an injured person deserves compensation nonetheless.
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.
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.
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.
Be aware that even though you can do your own calculations, only an experienced, competent lawyer can help you get the highest settlement possible for a serious injury. Insurance companies use a settlement calculator to determine how much you will be compensated for the medical expenses, devastating pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of income relating to your car accident, or another accident claim.
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.