Physicians, as professionals, owe a duty of care to those who seek their treatment. This element is rarely an issue in malpractice litigation, because once a doctor agrees to treat a patient, he or she has a professional duty to provide competent care. More important is that the plaintiff must show some actual, compensable injury that is the result of the alleged negligent care. Proof of injury can include the physical effects of the treatment performed by the physician, but it can also include emotional effects. The amount of compensation at issue is usually a highly contested part of the litigation.

There is a cap on non-economic damages for medical malpractice arising out of acts or omissions on or after April 11, 2003. The basic cap is the larger of $250,000 or three times economic damages, subject to a maximum of $350,000 per plaintiff and a maximum of $500,000 per occurrence. These maximum amounts increase to $500,000 per plaintiff and $1 million per occurrence if the plaintiff has suffered permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb, loss of a bodily organ system, or permanent physical injury that prevents self-care. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2323.43. The cap does not apply to cases brought under the wrongful death statute, Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2323.43(G)(3), but it does limit recovery by a decedent’s estate for such non-economic damages as conscious pain and suffering experienced prior to death.


An average person does not know how to correctly file a report against a doctor who has committed medical malpractice.  Further complicating matters is the fact that each state has its own procedure for filing complaints against physicians.  Generally, you should file the complaint with your state’s medical board.  Each state has its own medical board and its own forms and requirements for filing complaints against doctors.


A 2004 study of medical malpractice claims in the United States examining primary care malpractice found that though incidence of negligence in hospitals produced a greater proportion of severe outcomes, the total number of errors and deaths due to errors were greater for outpatient settings. No single medical condition was associated with more than five percent of all negligence claims, and one-third of all claims were the result of misdiagnosis.[25]
Losing a loved one is never easy, especially when the loss could have been avoided. Often in cases of medical malpractice, those who are left behind after a loved one's passing wonder why the doctor is not going to jail for murder. Is it possible for one to charge a doctor with murder when their treatment of a patient was so poor as to result in death?

Some state courts still use the Frye test that relies on scientific consensus to assess the admissibility of novel scientific evidence. Daubert expressly rejected the earlier federal rule's incorporation of the Frye test. (Daubert, 509 U.S. at 593-594) Expert testimony that would have passed the Frye test is now excluded under the more stringent requirements of Federal Rules of Evidence as construed by Daubert.
There are any number of scenarios under which a physician can be negligent. Keep in mind that in the examples above -- and in every other case -- it is incumbent upon you to prove that your physician breached his duty to practice according to the standard of care, and that breach caused you harm. See What You Need to Prove to learn about the key legal pieces you and your attorney would need to put together.

People go to see the doctor when ill or after suffering a serious injury. When you make an appointment to see your doctor, you trust that the doctor will help to improve your condition or injury – not make it worse. Doctors and other healthcare providers hold people’s lives in their hands. Consequently, when providers make serious medical mistakes, they can and should be held responsible for their negligence.
Prominent physicians Nathan Smith and R.E. Griffith of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania respectively held the belief that medical malpractice lawsuits were beneficial and necessary, serving as a tool of accountability in a profession that was poorly regulated. The American Medical Association (AMA) was founded in 1847 with the goal of promoting standardization of the profession, as well as elevating the standing of physicians in society. At the time, the vast majority of suits stemmed from orthopedic malpractice and deformations that resulted from botched amputations. As physicians sought to raise their own standards, higher patient expectations ensued. With the arrival of liability insurance for physicians, medical malpractice suits shot up in the States in the late 19th century.
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.  

Under the abrogation doctrine, while Congress cannot use its Article I powers to subject states to lawsuits in either federal courts, Seminole Tribe v. Florida, or a fortiori its own courts, Alden, supra, it can abrogate a state's sovereign immunity pursuant to the powers granted to it by §5 of the Fourteenth Amendment, and thus subject them to lawsuits. Seminole, supra; Fitzpatrick v. Bitzer. However:
Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. provides legal advice and legal representation in Chicago, IL and throughout the State of Illinois. Prior case results and client testimonials do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome in any future case. The review or use of information on this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you choose to submit information via chat, email, contact form, text message, or phone call, you agree that an attorney from Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. may contact you for a consultation as a potential client. Any information you provide will be kept confidential. If at any point you have questions, please feel free to contact us at support@chicagolawyer.com.
Why is the statute of limitations deadline so important? If you try to file your claim after the deadline has passed, the health care provider you're trying to sue us sure to make a motion to dismiss the case, and the court is certain to grant it -- unless there's a reason to extend the deadline as it applies to your case, including the exceptions we've discussed in this article.
The injury resulted in significant damages - Medical malpractice lawsuits are extremely expensive to litigate, frequently requiring testimony of numerous medical experts and countless hours of deposition testimony. For a case to be viable, the patient must show that significant damages resulted from an injury received due to the medical negligence. If the damages are small, the cost of pursuing the case might be greater than the eventual recovery. To pursue a medical malpractice claim, the patient must show that the injury resulted in disability, loss of income, unusual pain, suffering and hardship, or significant past and future medical bills.
Furthermore, we all inform our patients to some degree about the risks and benefits of procedures, meds, etc. Never have I heard that one's own track record or disciplinary history should be included. And in this case we don't for what the doc was disciplined or what led to the death. It may or may not have been relevant to Willis. The real issue here is whether he failed to warn her of the possibility of the perforation. The only thing going for the plaintiff here is that she likely claims that she would have chosen a different surgeon had she known the truth. Easy to say in retrospect when plaintiff and attorneys stand to gain $$. And apparently the same complication could as easily have occurred with a different surgeon anyway.
Examples of doctor negligence involve patients' complaints not being taken seriously enough, illnesses being incorrectly diagnosed, GPs refusing to carry out blood tests, incorrect or inappropriate medication being administered, incorrect doses of medication being prescribed, referrals to specialist consultants not being made in time or at all and follow up appointments/treatments not been carried out quickly enough . They can also include serious illnesses (such as cancer) being misdiagnosed as something less serious, broken or fractured bones going undiagnosed due to lack of referral for x-ray, failing to follow-up on a patient’s complaints and concerns, failing to correctly identify an illness or injury and treating an injury or illness in a manner which leads to complications and/or further injury or illness.
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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.
Medical negligence is defined as the act or omission in treatment of a patient by a medical professional, which deviates from the accepted medical standard of care. The medical standard of care required in a patient's treatment will become an integral element of any negligence lawsuit. By establishing the standard of care required in a patient's case, and demonstrating how a medical professional deviated from the standard of care that caused an undue injury, an attorney can prove negligence occurred to a patient.

Expert testimony is required. Expert opinions are often a crucial feature of the patient's case. A qualified expert is usually required at trial. (And often, expert testimony or an expert affidavit is required at the malpractice review panel proceedings prior to commencing trial.) State rules vary as to what makes somebody qualified to provide expert medical testimony, but generally it is someone with experience in the particular field at issue. In a very limited number of circumstances, expert testimony is not required, such as when a surgical towel is left inside the patient after a surgery.
A 1996 study by Daniel P. Kessler and Mark McClellan analyzing data on elderly Medicare beneficiaries treated for two serious cardiac diseases in 1984, 1987, and 1990 determined that "malpractice reforms that directly reduce provider liability pressure lead to reductions of 5 to 9 percent in medical expenditures without substantial effects on mortality or medical complications."[50]

Doctors' groups, patients, and insurance companies have criticized medical malpractice litigation as expensive, adversarial, unpredictable, and inefficient. They claim that the cost of medical malpractice litigation in the United States has steadily increased at almost 12 percent annually since 1975.[27] More recent research from the same source has found that tort costs as a percentage of GDP dropped between 2001 and 2009, and are now at their lowest level since 1984.[28] Jury Verdict Research, a database of plaintiff and defense verdicts, says awards in medical liability cases increased 43 percent in 1999, from $700,000 to $1,000,000. However, more recent research from the U.S. Department of Justice has found that median medical malpractice awards in states range from $109,000 to $195,000.[29]


Perhaps least surprising is that doctors give overly positive prognoses. It's hard to deliver bad news, especially when a patient has run out of options, and until recently doctors have had little training in how to do so. But Iezzoni said patients with the worst outlook especially deserve to know, so they can get their affairs in order, and patient studies have found most want to know.

In addition to notifying a health care provider that you intend to file a lawsuit, prior to filing suit in most jurisdictions, the injured patient must usually submit an affidavit or certificate from a qualified expert. This affidavit or certificate is usually completed by another doctor who can testify that there are reasonable grounds to determine that medical negligence or medical malpractice took place in a given case. Again, the exact requirements of the certificate vary from state to state and across jurisdictions.

Suing the Government under the FTCA is different than suing a private company or individual.  There are a number of hoops that you have to jump through before you can even file the lawsuit. There are also certain limitations in lawsuits against the Government that you don’t have in lawsuits against private parties.  While you are entitled to a trial under the FTCA, it is a “bench trial,” meaning the judge renders the decision and not a jury.  Fortunately for the victims in the above-referenced malpractice case, the judge recognized the serious and permanent nature of the child’s injuries and the extraordinary expenses that would be required to provide for the child’s future medical and life care needs.
A medical malpractice action must be commenced within one year after the cause of action accrues. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2305.113. A cause of action for medical malpractice accrues when the claimant discovers or, in the exercise of reasonable care and diligence, should have discovered the resulting injury, or when the physician-patient relationship for that condition terminates, whichever occurs later. Frysinger v. Leech, 32 Ohio St. 3d 38, 512 N.E.2d 337 (1987). If a malpractice claimant gives written notice to the prospective defendant within the one-year limitation period, the claimant may bring an action at any time within 180 days of that notice. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2305.113).
If you file a complaint with the medical board and then file suit, know that the medical board can only take administrative action against the doctor’s license to practice medicine. It can’t help you pursue a medical malpractice case. It also can’t disclose any information that it collects during the course of its review with you or your family members.
Furthermore, we all inform our patients to some degree about the risks and benefits of procedures, meds, etc. Never have I heard that one's own track record or disciplinary history should be included. And in this case we don't for what the doc was disciplined or what led to the death. It may or may not have been relevant to Willis. The real issue here is whether he failed to warn her of the possibility of the perforation. The only thing going for the plaintiff here is that she likely claims that she would have chosen a different surgeon had she known the truth. Easy to say in retrospect when plaintiff and attorneys stand to gain $$. And apparently the same complication could as easily have occurred with a different surgeon anyway.
Many people are shocked to learn that doctors and hospitals frequently fail to disclose important information to patients, sometimes intentionally. Sometimes the failure to disclose info relates to mistakes a doctor or hospital made, sometimes it’s about test results, and sometimes doctors are just trying to prevent needless worrying. However, if a patient is harmed or injured as a result of a doctor or hospital’s failure to communicate medical information, such as test results, then they may be liable for malpractice.
This list is not exhaustive. Nor is every item on the list a malpractice lawsuit per se. Recall the four elements above. For a psychiatrist to be liable for malpractice, he or she must have failed to take reasonable care, and the patient must have suffered injury as a result. A doctor can take reasonable care and still make an incorrect judgment call, so not every incorrect decision is actionable as malpractice. However, some items on the list—for example, engaging in a sexual relationship with a patient—almost always lead to prevailing malpractice claims.
While an investigation against your doctor could lead to the revocation of his license, such action is rare. Only in the most extreme cases, where the Board feels that your doctor is a threat to the well-being of his patients, will his or her license be revoked. The Board could decide to take lesser action such as limiting his license, issuing a censure and reprimand, or require him or her to attend training.
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