This is probably the number one reason why you don’t want to sue your doctor. While it is true that most lawsuits can take some time to become resolved, it is well worth the wait. However, there are ways to speed up the process: file your lawsuit as soon as it is determined that the case has merit and make sure that the court imposes deadlines for every step of the lawsuit, such as specific dates for depositions, defense medical examinations, and the exchange of discovery responses. This will prevent the lawsuit from the inevitable delays presented by defense attorneys and their insurers and keep the case on the proverbial “fast track” to trial.
According to the Medscape Malpractice Report 2015, failure to diagnose accounts for 31% of all medical malpractice lawsuits filed. Failure to diagnose is one type of misdiagnosis, the other being diagnosing a patient with the wrong condition. If the failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis of a condition resulted from a deviation in the accepted standard of care, and the patient suffered damages as a result, they may be able to file a lawsuit against a hospital for misdiagnosis.
During patient diagnosis and treatment, a doctor might make a mistake. Such a mistake might not necessarily result in a physical injury. For instance, a misdiagnosis can be emotionally traumatic, while patient mistreatment can be psychologically damaging. Such injurious acts by health professionals, whether carried out intentionally or negligently, can make you suffer from mental stress and anguish, but can you sue a doctor for emotional distress? Here’s a look:
VII. Negligence cannot be attributed to a doctor so long as he performs his duties with reasonable skill and competence. Merely because the doctor chooses one course of action in preference to the other one available, he would not be liable if the course of action chosen by him was acceptable to the medical profession. VIII. It would not be conducive to the efficiency of the medical profession if no Doctor could administer medicine without a halter round his neck.
However, bringing a lawsuit is not for everyone. Weigh your options. If your fear of “looking bad” to family or friends outweighs your desire to bring a malpractice suit against your doctor for an injury he caused you or a loved one, bringing a suit may not be the best option for you. On the other hand, if your need or want to bring suit against your doctor outweighs your fear, taking action against your physician may be the right choice for you.
While some medical errors are unavoidable, and things go wrong even when the utmost skill and care is used, doctors and other health care providers can be held legally responsible for any injuries that result from the provision of negligent or sub-standard care to patients. If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit against a doctor, it will most likely be under a legal theory known as medical malpractice.