We handle a wide range of Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), including representing medical malpractice victims at naval hospitals or medical centers. We have represented service members and their families in a wide range of cases at Navy hospitals across the country. We handle many types of medical malpractice at Navy hospitals, including Brain and spinal injury cases, wrongful death, and birth injuries.
The concept of medical responsibility is historically entrenched, with first mentions dating to the fabled Code of Hammurabi, which famously established the "eye for an eye" maxim. The code arguably offers the founding statement of medical malpractice law, reading “If the doctor has treated a gentlemen with a lancet of bronze and has caused the gentleman to die, or has opened an abscess of the eye for a gentleman with a bronze lancet, and has caused the loss of the gentleman's eye, one shall cut off his hands." Millennia later, "lancet" would become synonymous with the of concept medical responsibility in highbrow intellectual communities, and synonymous with medical malpractice itself. A famed British medical journal, The Lancet, borrows its name from the ancient code's provision. Britain would unwittingly spearhead efforts to legislate medical malpractice, establishing nomenclature and court decisions that would go on to become the ancestors of modern malpractice law.
A physician that delivers substandard care subjects him or herself to a formal compliant. Misdiagnosis, careless treatment that causes you harm, or an unusual delay in treatment are complaint-worthy medical errors. Prescribing issues, such as under- or overprescribing medication or giving you the wrong medication, are also grounds for a formal complaint. Working under the influence of drugs or alcohol; sexual misconduct; practicing without a license; and altering records are a few other examples of proper types of complaints.
If you don’t file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit against your doctor within the prescribed time period, absent some exceptional circumstances you will be barred from seeking monetary compensation for the injuries and damages you sustained. A medical malpractice lawyer should know the statute of limitations deadline in your jurisdiction and can work to make sure that a claim or lawsuit is filed in your case in a timely manner.
First, you must show that the health care provider acted negligently. Medical negligence occurs when a professional violates the standard of care. The standard of care is the professionally accepted method for treating a specific disorder. This standard varies depending on a number of factors including the patient's age, overall health, and specific disorder, as well as geographic location.
Non-economic damages are assessed for the injury itself: physical and psychological harm, such as loss of vision, loss of a limb or organ, the reduced enjoyment of life due to a disability or loss of a loved one, severe pain and emotional distress. Punitive damages are not available in all states and, when allowed, are usually only awarded in the event of wanton and reckless conduct.
No. You do not need to obtain your medical records before speaking with an attorney. However, if you have copies of your record, it will allow the evaluation of your case to proceed more quickly. Many times your case will be reviewed by a physician or nurse in order to determine if medical malpractice has occurred. This requires a thorough evaluation of your medical records. If you do not bring your medical records to your appointment with your attorney, you will be asked to sign a medical waiver, releasing your medical records to our office so that a proper investigation may be carried out.
Somewhere between 210,000 and 400,000 Americans die each year due to a medical error (James 2013); it is now the third leading cause of death in the United States (Makary 2016). Many more sustain injuries that leave them with lifelong disabilities. Moreover, a recent national survey revealed that 21% of Americans have personally experienced a medical error, and 31% have been involved in the care of a family member or friend who did. As discussed above, tort reform measures may be effective in limiting the number and success of malpractice lawsuits, but don’t necessarily address the underlying issue of the malpractice epidemic in America.
When you go to a hospital, you expect that the medical care you receive will make you better. But with multiple health care professionals in hospitals involved in your treatment, the risk of medical error increases. Sometimes, inadequate patient safety procedures cause hospitals to commit serious medical errors and patients are seriously or fatally injured. Our hospital malpractice attorneys are here for you.
SOURCES: Michael Grodin, MD, professor and director of medical ethics, Boston University School of Public Health. John C. Nelson, MD, MPH, president, American Medical Association; obstetrician-gynecologist, Salt Lake City. New York State Department of Health. Composite State Board of Medical Examiners. National Cancer Institute. American Medical Association. Administrators in Medicine, National Organization for State Medical & Osteopathic Board Executive Directors. American Board of Medical Specialties. Public Citizen.
Plaintiffs' lawyers say that the Texas law prevents patients from getting compensation or damages even in cases where the patient clearly deserves it. In particular, the “willful and wanton” negligence standard for emergency care, which requires that the harm to the patient be intentional, makes it impossible to win a case where the harm is clearly negligent but not willful.
Being unhappy with your treatment or the results of that treatment does not mean the doctor is liable or guilty of 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 would not have if they were treating you under the same circumstances. The doctor’s care is not required to be the best possible, merely “reasonably skillful and careful”. Whether the doctor was reasonably skillful and careful is often at the heart of a medical malpractice claim.
Another common form of physician negligence is surgical error. Like all types of medical malpractice, surgical error is dependent upon the standard of care. But unlike in diagnostic error cases, common surgical errors are often very easy to identify. Amputating the wrong leg, leaving surgical instruments inside a patient’s body, performing the wrong procedure, or performing a procedure without informed consent -- these types of errors constitute physician negligence and are often very east to spot. If your surgeon breached the standard of care and caused you harm, your surgeon was likely negligent.
The second main component of your case will be the establishment of medical malpractice damages. To sue the doctor, it’s not enough that he or she failed to treat or diagnose a disease or injury in time; it must also have caused additional injury. That means showing exactly how -- and to what extent -- the delay in the provision of medical care harmed you. This will also usually require the testimony of an expert medical witness.
But, anon, a successful suit doesn't remove a bad doc from practice. Only a licensure action can guarantee that. Suing someone out of a need to punish them may accomplish little. The real purpose of civil suits is to make the plaintiff whole. I suspect even "punitive" damages, if they're ever awarded in malpractice suits, would be covered by insurance.
Despite this, the perception of “lawsuits gone wild” exists. As a result, many states have imposed substantial limits on damage awards in medical-malpractice claims. These award limits typically have the greatest impact on patients who are most gravely hurt—those with catastrophic injuries and a lifetime of future medical needs. And patients who are denied justice in the courts must rely on health insurance and, in many instances, such public programs as Medicare or Medicaid to pay their future medical bills—leaving the cost of medical malpractice to the public instead of the responsible party.
No matter your jurisdiction, medical malpractice claims and lawsuits are primarily about one thing: accountability. People trust that doctors will take care of them and make their condition better in a patient’s hour of need. When doctors fail in that responsibility, they must be held accountable for the negligent actions they took – as well as for the actions that they failed to take under the circumstances.
Negligence is the predominant theory of liability concerning allegations of medical malpractice, making this type of litigation part of Tort Law. Since the 1970s, medical malpractice has been a controversial social issue. Physicians have complained about the large number of malpractice suits and have urged legal reforms to curb large damage awards, whereas tort attorneys have argued that negligence suits are an effective way of compensating victims of negligence and of policing the medical profession.
There was a violation of the standard of professional conduct - The law acknowledges that there are certain legal standards that are recognized by the profession as being acceptable conduct. These standards of professional conduct are largely determined by the ethics rules of the state bar association. Attorneys have an obligation to their clients and the bar to operate within these standards. Clients have the right to expect attorneys will follow the law, behave in an ethical and honest manner, act in the best interests of their clients with integrity, diligence and good faith, and will execute their matters at a level of competency that protects their legal rights. Lawyers must also maintain and supply clients with full and detailed reports of all money and/or property handled for them. Finally, attorneys must not inflict damage on third parties through frivolous litigation or malicious prosecution. If it is determined that the standards of professional conduct have been violated, then negligence may be established.
While it’s impossible to know to what extent Aanning’s testimony influenced the outcome, the jury sided in favor of his colleague — and, ever since, Aanning said, he has felt haunted by his decision. Now, 77 and retired, he decided to write about his choice and why he made it in a recent column for his local newspaper, The Yankton County Observer. He also posted the article in the ProPublica Patient Safety Facebook group. Aanning, who is a member, called it, “A Surgeon’s Belated Confession.”
In addition, if they lose the civil and/or criminal case it makes it easier for the patient to get the medical board to take action against the physician, rarely causing them to lose their license but maybe forcing them to take classes, pay a fine, they have to travel to the state capitol, the embarrassment of being dressed down by their peers, etc.
One exception to the general rule of informed consent is that of therapeutic privilege. While uncommon, doctor’s cannot be held responsible for untruths about a patient’s health when a worse threat could exist with complete disclosure. Such an example would be when the revelation of a debilitating condition might prompt suicidal actions on the part of the patient.