The United States Government will pay $42 million to the parents of a young child who suffered a permanent brain injury, resulting from improper use of forceps during his delivery. After a six day trial in Federal Court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the verdict for $42 million was rendered by U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia Rambo. The parents sued the Federal Government in a malpractice claim involving an Ob/Gyn physician, who was employed at a federal facility. The lawsuit claimed that the doctor improperly used forceps on the baby’s head during the delivery, which caused skull fractures and bleeding on the brain that resulted in permanent brain damage. Evidence presented during trial showed that the now five year old boy cannot speak, read or write and eventually will require a motorized wheelchair to get around.
And don’t kid yourself. If you think that your doctor just made a mistake and that it won’t happen again – think again. Chances are, if he made a mistake with you, he very well could have done it before and will do it again. Don’t be dissuaded by your doctor’s apologies or his downplaying of your injuries. An apology won’t pay for your medical expenses, and it certainly doesn’t ensure that he realizes the full consequences of his negligible actions.
Although Canada is often characterized as a country that has “socialized” medicine, its system differs considerably from countries in which physicians are essentially employed by the state or the entire medical profession is under unified state control. In Canada, most medical practitioners are in private practice just as they are in the United States. Most physicians have their own offices, set their own schedules, and see patients who have chosen to come to them on a regular basis or for a particular condition. Canadians are not assigned doctors by the government or an insurance plan. They do have choices.
A no-fault system may provide compensation to people who have medical outcomes that are significantly worse than would be anticipated under the circumstances, or where there is proof of injury resulting from medical error, without regard to whether or not malpractice occurred. Some no fault systems are restricted to specific types of injury, such as a birth injury or vaccine injury.
The biggest hurdle for patients to get over in bringing a claim is a law that sets up a defence for all professionals accused of negligence. It says that if the professional acted in a way that was widely accepted in Australia by that professional’s peers as competent professional practice then the professional is not liable. Note that ‘widely accepted’ does not necessarily mean that the majority of professionals have to agree to the practice.
Filing a complaint against a doctor with your state’s medical board is usually the first step in bringing disciplinary action against a doctor. Although the particulars vary by state, when the board receives complaints against doctors, it enters them into a system. The board then reviews complaints or refers them to another agency if needed. The medical board may ask to see medical records. If you complain about a doctor, the medical board will not disclose your identity.
How do you plan to PROVE that the receptionist gave you the codes? As you say, it's a he-said/she said situation. What kind of evidence do you have that would make a court rule in your favor? If the receptionist, either because she's lying to protect her job or because she's honestly forgotten doing so, says she did not give them to you, what do you have that will prove her wrong?
If you are considering a medical negligence claim and you are thinking of contacting Been Let Down to discuss your claim, we would first arrange a consultation over the telephone; this initial call is free, and there is no obligation to proceed. During this phase of the claims process, we will take the time to listen to the details of your claim in detail.
In fact, filing a civil suit against your doctor does not even guarantee that he will be investigated. In order for your doctor to be investigated, a complaint would have to be filed against him with the New York State Department of Health. The Office of Professional Medical Conduct (“OPMC”) is responsible for investigating complaints about physicians, physician’s assistants, and specialist assistants. An investigation may lead to a formal hearing before a committee of the Board for Professional Medical Conduct.
Medical malpractice lawsuits typically have a short statute of limitations. This means that you don’t have much time after your injury to start the lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, your case will be thrown out regardless of the facts. Most states have a statute of limitations of three years or less. Some states extend the deadline if you had no way of knowing you were injured for months or years after a negligent medical procedure, however.