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Under What Circumstances Can You Sue A Doctor | Can You Sue A Doctor For Bad Surgery

Have you been injured due to military hospital medical malpractice? Under United States tort law, federal employees are not personally liable for most torts they commit in the course of their work. Instead, you can only hold those employees responsible using a special law called the Federal Tort Claims Act. This includes Army, Navy, and Air Force hospitals.In some respects, FTCA cases are quite different from ordinary tort cases. In such a case, the injured party may not file a lawsuit against the government until he or she has exhausted all administrative remedies. The injured party must first file an administrative claim with the proper agency of the United States government within a limited amount of time. Whitehurst, Harkness, Brees, Cheng, Alsaffar, Higginbotham, and Jacob, PLLC, has experience in representing injured parties at the administrative claim stage and throughout trial in federal courts all over the United States.
In 1793, the Supreme Court held in Chisholm v. Georgia that Article III, § 2 of the United States Constitution, which granted diversity jurisdiction to the federal courts, allowed lawsuits "between a State and Citizens of another State" as the text reads. In 1795, the Eleventh Amendment was ratified in response to this ruling, removing federal judicial jurisdiction from lawsuits "prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State". The validity and retroactivity of the Eleventh Amendment was affirmed in the 1798 case Hollingsworth v. Virginia.
County and municipal officials, when sued in their official capacity, can only be sued for prospective relief under Federal law.[19] Under state law, however, the Court in Pennhurst noted that even without immunity, suits against municipal officials relate to an institution run and funded by the state, and any relief against county or municipal officials that has some significant effect on the state treasury must be considered a suit against the state, and barred under the doctrine of sovereign immunity.
This means that if a psychiatrist properly diagnoses and treats a condition, gives the correct medication and monitors it properly, the patient can still go after the doctor if she experiences a 1 in 10,000 complication simply by saying, "If I had known X about my doctor I would have chosen to be treated by someone else." Remember there is nothing in the appellate opinion to limit the range of potential background questions. We are focussing on his responses to direct questions by the patient, but the opinion wasn't really designed to delineate what duties (if any) are owed when patients ask personal questions. The appellate opinion just opens the door, and I'm raising the 'what if' questions.
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.
You're extremely confident in your opinion. Have you considered the possibility that neither of you is interpreting reality on an objective level and that you are actually harming your son based on that absolutism? Saying that it's 100% true seems a bit off unless you have a photographic memory, especially when you think that they believe every word of his and are doing the wrong thing.
Here is the step most people don’t realize. If the patient’s lawyer wants to take the case further, they need to get an expert witness. That will cost them a lot of money. So if the case is weak, they will do some sort of calculation. For example, they will say they spent 50 hours so far, and they want to make 10,000 for that, so they will offer to dismiss the case for 20,000, which they will split with the patient. Many cases will settle at this point, because it’s easier to spend a little money and avoid the massive costs of going to court, as well as avoiding the risk of a big payout to the patient. This is the reason I say it’s easy to sue a doctor for malpractice, lose the case, but still make some money.
In some situations, a patient may not receive important communications due to clerical errors. In these situations, if treatment of a treatable medical condition is delayed, or made impossible because of the delay, that failure to communicate can form the basis for malpractice liability. In fact, this sort of claim is among the fastest-growing type of medical malpractice, with a quarter of all failure to diagnose claims stemming from failure to communicate claims.
Many factors are taken into consideration when determining the level of compensation to which you are entitled. The severity of the injury is perhaps the most important factor. We are able to provide advice as to the reasonable value of your claim based on our years of experience in handling medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, personal injury and wrongful death cases. The following is a list of recent awards we obtained for our clients.
If an expert testifies that a doctor had the opportunity to diagnose cancer earlier but failed (negligently) to do so, it would then have to be shown through complex medical evidence that the patient suffered additional harm. Proving that a delay in diagnosis lead to additional injury – death from cancer that otherwise may have been cured, or prolonged treatment and suffering that should have been avoided – is necessary to establish a medical malpractice claim.
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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.
One other feature of Canadian law that tends to discourage parties from suing physicians for malpractice is that the Supreme Court has set out guidelines that effectively cap awards for pain and suffering in all but exceptional cases.  In a trilogy of decisions released in 1978, the Supreme Court established a limit of Can$100,000 on general damages for non-pecuniary losses such as pain and suffering, loss of amenities and enjoyment of life, and loss of life expectancy.[12]  The Supreme Court did state that there may be extraordinary circumstances in which this amount could be exceeded, and courts have allowed the figure to be indexed for inflation so that the current suggested upper limit on awards for non-pecuniary losses is close to $300,000.[13]  Nevertheless, the flexible cap on non-pecuniary losses is a major disincentive to persons considering whether they should sue a physician for malpractice and for lawyers to specialize in or seek out malpractice cases.

Asking a lay juror to determine negligence in a field as nuanced and complex as medicine proved to be problematic. This issue was alleviated by formalizing the requirement of expert witnesses to assist the lay juror. On the issue, the Wisconsin Law Review wrote "The complexity of any technical field, medicine included, may well disable a lay juror who seeks independently to assess the relative risks and benefits attending a given course of conduct. That, however, only means that the juror needs advice from experts (genuine experts)' who can identify the risks and benefits at issue. Thus informed, there is no reason that a juror cannot and should not pass on the appropriateness of anyone's conduct, including a physician's."
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.

The federal government recognizes tribal nations as "domestic dependent nations" and has established a number of laws attempting to clarify the relationship between the federal, state, and tribal governments. Generally speaking, Native American tribes enjoy immunity from suit—in federal, state, or tribal courts—unless they consent to suit, or unless the federal government abrogates that immunity.[16] However, individual members of the tribe are not immune. Under certain circumstances, a tribal official acting in his or her official capacity, and within the scope of his or her statutory authority, may be cloaked with sovereign immunity. But if a tribal official's tortious acts exceed the scope of his or her authority, the official is subject to suit for those acts. See Cosentino vs. Fuller, Cal. Ct. App. (May 28, 2015).
In view of Daubert and Kuhmo, the pre trial preparation of expert witnesses is critical.[16] A problem with Daubert is that the presiding judge may admit testimony which derives from highly contested data. The judge may expand the limits contained in the "school of thought" precedent. Papers that are self-published may be admiited as the basis for expert testimony. Non-peer reviewed journals may also be admitted in similar fashion. The only criterion is the opinion of a single judge who, in all likelihood, has no relevant scientific or medical training.[17]
Your attorney can help you determine whether you were the victim of  medical malpractice. Attorneys conduct independent medical research with the assistance of physicians and nurses to determine whether medical negligence occurred. A poor medical outcome alone does not automatically mean medical malpractice was committed. In order to receive compensation, you must prove that the defendant failed to provide reasonable care. Please feel free to call usanytime for free a consultation to help you get your questions answered.

Experience: All attorneys are not created equal. Many attorneys today work as general practice attorneys, meaning they handle all types of cases from criminal matters to civil suits. However, if you have experienced a case of medical negligence, it is important to have an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice. You do not want a lawyer whose first trial is going to be this case. Even attorneys who specialize in civil matters rarely go to court, as many of their cases settle without a trial. At The O’Keefe Firm, Stephen O’Keefe has had years of actual trial experience specializing in medical malpractice cases. Although your case may be resolved without stepping into the courtroom, you can be assured that Mr. O’Keefe has the trial experience necessary to fight for your rights in front of a jury.
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.
"The opinion upholding the judgment recognizes that although not every fiduciary relationship will give rise to a claim for damages, where the specific professional responsibility of an attending physician is to convey accurate information, then failure to do so can give rise to liability if the physician's breach results in unusual and extreme emotional distress on the part of the plaintiff," Raynes said in an email, according to AMN.

This is why it’s important to work with an experienced attorney: A good lawyer will be able to walk you through not just the economic damages, but also help you estimate what you may be able to get in non-economic damages, based on familiarity with other precedents. He or she should also be able to help you determine reasonable estimates for future damages as well, depending on your condition.
Most people are able to get to at least second base with a failure to warn claim.  Fewer are able to prove that the doctor simply did not talk to them about that particular risk, although there are cases where a patient’s word has been accepted over a doctor’s insistence that a warning was given.  Getting copies of the doctor’s medical notes can help with this element.

In New York, medical malpractice lawsuits must be brought within two and a half years from the time of the malpractice, or within two and a half years from the date of the last continuous treatment for the condition that gave rise to the injury. However, there are exceptions. The Statute might be shorter if the hospital is owned and run by a municipality or the State. The Statute may be longer where a foreign object was left inside of you. It is longer when the plaintiff is a child. Calculating a medical malpractice statute of limitations requires a complete knowledge of the facts and lawyerly skill. Contact us to discuss your statute of limitations.


Under the FTCA, you can’t just go directly to the courts to file a lawsuit. You must first go to the VA or other federal agency that harmed you and notify them of your complaint. You must give the agency the opportunity to settle the claim. Only when the agency refuses, takes no action, or comes back with an unacceptable settlement offer can you file a suit for damages.
A doctor-patient relationship existed. You must show that you had a physician-patient relationship with the doctor you are suing -- this means you hired the doctor and the doctor agreed to be hired. For example, you can't sue a doctor you overheard giving advice at a cocktail party. If a doctor began seeing you and treating you, it is easy to prove a physician-patient relationship existed. Questions of whether or not the relationship exists most frequently arise where a consulting physician did not treat you directly.
The fact-finder will render a verdict for the prevailing party. If the plaintiff prevails, the fact-finder will assess damages within the parameters of the judge's instructions. The verdict is then reduced to the judgment of the court. The losing party may move for a new trial. In a few jurisdictions, a plaintiff who is dissatisfied by a small judgment may move for additur. In most jurisdictions, a defendant who is dissatisfied with a large judgment may move for remittitur. Either side may take an appeal from the judgment.
After a suit is filed, both parties gather information from the other. For example, the plaintiff’s attorney will request their client’s medical records from the defendant. There will then be interrogatory forms (a set of written questions to clarify facts) submitted by each attorney to the opposing party, and depositions (formal meetings in which an individual  –  such as the plaintiff, the defendant, or an expert for either party  –  is questioned under oath). A record of these depositions is taken for potential use in court. Usually, the people who attend the deposition include attorneys for both parties and the court reporter. In some cases, the plaintiff or defendant can also choose to attend to observe, but does not talk or ask questions. Sometimes, the defendant and their attorney will agree to settle the case prior to court  –  that is, the defendant pays the plaintiff a mutually agreed upon amount called a “settlement.”
An injury was caused by the negligence - For a medical malpractice claim to be valid, it is not sufficient that a health care professional simply violated the standard of care. The patient must also prove he or she sustained an injury that would not have occurred in the absence of negligence. An unfavorable outcome by itself is not malpractice. The patient must prove that the negligence caused the injury. If there is an injury without negligence or negligence that did not cause an injury, there is no case.
It’s important to note that even though you may have a medical malpractice action against the IME doctor if he or she is negligent, such an action is limited in scope. The IME doctor has no duty to diagnose or treat you, so you cannot bring a successful medical malpractice claim based on those theories. If the IME doctor harms you during the examination, however, you may have a claim.
I disagree about it being an issue of "personal background." Whether or not the doctor had previously lost patients from that procedure, and whether or not he had had action taken against him is professional background, not personal. "Personal" implies that it affects only the private life of the individual in question. Just because something could go wrong no matter how skilled the surgeon doesn't justify lying about the outcome of prior surgeries, especially given that the patient directly asked. It wasn't a lie of omission, it was a flat-out lie about something that the patient clearly considered important information to their decision about the surgery.
The negligence resulted in significant damages - Legal malpractice lawsuits are expensive to litigate. For a case to be viable, the plaintiff must show significant damages that resulted from the negligence. If the damages are small, the cost of pursuing the case might be greater than the eventual recovery. To be worth pursuing, the plaintiff must show that the outcome resulted in losses far in excess of the amount of legal fees and expenses necessary to bring the action.
3. Evidence - keep track of any evidence which could be relevant to your case. Keep detailed records of your appointments with your GP, together with records of any telephone consultations and referral appointments. Your solicitor will arrange to obtain and copy of your medical notes and x-rays. You will have to pass this information on to your lawyer and it will be a lot easier if you have it at hand. Keep any prescriptions, receipts from further treatments, notes of further treatment and a diary detailing the progression of your health issues. For example, if you fell ill with appendicitis and your GP failed to diagnose it, you should keep a note of the progression of your condition, if you are well enough to do so. All of this is not vital, but very helpful.  
My son was diagnosed in his teens with ADHD Paranoid schizophrenia which he was prescribed rispiridone which stabilized his condition slightly but as an adult he couldn't tollorate the side affects any longer and his team (lol) changed it over 2 years ago, since then it's been a living hell. He has been in a psychotic state since and no one is helping him, he totally believes what he thinks is happening to him is real and he has no mental illness, teams (lol) have seen him periodically and he convinced them it is all real and walked away! Fuelling his beliefs although it has been proved by the police numerous times the GP blood tests and a&e visits that nothing is being put in his water supply food etc but yet he still TRUELY believes he's being targeted and drugged. I've tried and tried to tell his GP, rang the local mental health units and told them, rang his adolescent psychiatrist who was brilliant when he was a teen but did nothing as an adult as they are moving and he wouldn't work with them after the visit to his home to section him in which they left believing him, but to my son it is real he's delusional, psychotic, violent, demanding, they are ment to be professionals! I no longer live near my son due to health issues, spinal injuries, ms/me hemoplegic migraine amongst others, so my youngest son who lives 2 mins away from my elder with the schizophrenia has now become his frontline resulting in my youngest son becoming depressed and selfharms with all the pressure and stress! Adolescent mental health care brilliant in till they are an adult then they are dropped like a stone and family has to cope best they can no matter what it does to them physically or mentally. We're all at breaking point. If he'd of had learning difficulties he'd get the help but because he's autistic and very intelligent they believe every word no matter the text, vids, messages on social media that prove his mental state, he is now facing eviction because of his psychosis. This is 100% true every word, this is care in the community, what an utter let down not fit for purpose in any way shape or form, if I hadn't experienced the neglect of care I wouldn't of believed the state of our mental health profession, they are duty bound to give help and most if all CARE, I feel that in the near future I will be seeking a solicitor to take this matter further.
Asking about action against licensure and malpractice history - in Mass, this is public information if you look it up on state web site. Even if it is not public info, it is still a relevant question. I'd MUCH rather have a doc explain briefly (without violating his/her own or other patients' privacy) what went wrong and how it has been corrected, than to have an MD who lies.

Investigation: Before a case is even filed with the Connecticut courts, it is essential that an initial investigation of the matter be completed. Our team works with medical experts in the field to determine whether medical negligence was committed by your doctor or any other medical professional. Our lawyers then determine how that negligence caused your injury.
we have understood the Eleventh Amendment to stand not so much for what it says, but for the presupposition of our constitutional structure which it confirms: that the States entered the federal system with their sovereignty intact; that the judicial authority in Article III is limited by this sovereignty, and that a State will therefore not be subject to suit in federal court unless it has consented to suit, either expressly or in the "plan of the convention." States may consent to suit, and therefore waive their Eleventh Amendment immunity by removing a case from state court to federal court. See Lapides v. Board of Regents of University System of Georgia.
The CMPA has also been criticized for defending medical malpractice suits extremely vigorously and turning down reasonable offers to settle claims to discourage other lawsuits on a number of occasions.[10]  One judge reportedly referred to the CMPA as pursuing a “scorched earth policy.”[11]  In Canada, a losing party is generally required to pay about two-thirds of a successful party’s legal fees.  Since the CMPA often incurs large legal expenses in defending claims, this is an additional disincentive to persons who believe that they have been injured through malpractice from bringing an action for damages.
Regardless of how much you want to be the one selected to do the procedure, that's the patient's choice not yours. I think it's smart to look into a physician's background before selecting them to do surgery. I would want to know how much experience you have or if there had been malpractice issues. Patients are the ones paying and taking the risks. They get to decide how much risk they're willing to take -not the physician. If you refuse to answer the questions, which I do believe is your right, then it lets the patient decide what to do next - either get on the medical board website and see if anything has been reported, talk to more people, find another physician who doesn't mind answering the questions, etc.
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.
Medical malpractice court cases have been filed against specialists, and if your specialist caused you injury due to negligent care, you may be able to file a claim, too. Medical specialists are held to a higher standard than general practitioners because of their high skill level. Therefore, when a specialist breaches the acceptable standard of care and causes you harm, you can hold him or her accountable through a physician malpractice claim.
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.
One of the most common reasons that a physician may be accused of medical malpractice is due to the failure to diagnose. This is premised on the idea that the patient needlessly suffered for an extended period of time because the doctor failed to properly evaluate tests or run tests that should have reasonably notified him or her of the potential diagnosis. Other examples of medical malpractice include misdiagnosing a medical condition, failing to provide appropriate treatment, causing an unreasonable delay in treating a diagnosed condition, violating HIPAA laws, performing wrong-site surgery and performing surgery on the wrong patient.
Many states require patients to jump through a few hoops before filing medical malpractice lawsuits. These requirements vary by state. A patient might have to file an affidavit of merit in which a qualified medical expert attests that the plaintiff has a valid case. A patient also might have to submit a claim to a medical review board before filing in court, or agree to some form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
Your safety and health should always be your first priority in any medical decision you make.  If you have already been injured by a doctor’s negligence or mistake, report the problem to your doctor immediately and seek immediate medical treatment from a different physician.  If you identify problems early, another physician may be able to improve the medical error.
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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.

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.”


Many people don’t bring a meritorious lawsuit against their doctor because of fear concerning family and friends. Only you can decide for yourself whether bringing a lawsuit against your physician is the right thing for you to do. Only you know the pain and suffering that you have endured – nobody else. Only you know the extent of your lost wages, medical bills, and injury.
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