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 law protects you against any doctor providing you with substandard care. It is possible to sue a doctor who works in an NHS hospital, a private practice or a GP's surgery. Also the law understands that if a doctor has been negligent towards you, you may not always be able to make a claim for yourself. It is possible to sue a doctor for negligence on behalf of yourself, your child, an elderly relative, an individual who has passed away or another loved one who is unable to make the claim themselves.
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.
"Many cases of psychiatric malpractice are never reported because the victims are already emotionally unstable." With that sentence alone, the author condemns anyone with a valid complaint who has visited a psychiatrist even one time for simple, passing, stress-related difficulties, to risking even more by challenging perhaps the most elusive, powerful professional in existence.
Doctors must abide by what is called “the duty of informed consent”. This means that a doctor is obligated by law and by professional ethics to warn patients of all known risks of a procedure or course of treatment. If a patient who had been properly informed of risks and potential side-effects would have elected not to proceed, the doctor MAY be liable for medical malpractice. Similarly, if the patient is injured by the procedure – or during the course of treatment – in a way that the doctor should have warned could happen but didn’t, the doctor may be liable for medical malpractice.
If the prosecution and defense cannot agree on a settlement, the case will proceed to trial. Medical malpractice trials are almost always trials by jury. If a case does proceed to trial, and the losing party is unwilling to accept the jury’s verdict, they can appeal to a higher court. In some jurisdictions, they can also appeal the amount of a judgement in the same court.
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.
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.
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.
Ex.: Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases, and has adopted the continuous treatment rule. If a doctor in Texas causes an injury during surgery, and continues to treat the patient for that injury for 4 more years, then the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the doctor has completed treatment. So, the patient in this example has a total of 6 years to file a lawsuit after the injury was inflicted.
If you have been injured by someone acting on behalf of the Federal Government, you may be able to sue the Government under the FTCA. Because suing the United States Government under the FTCA is trickier than suing a private entity or private citizen, you should retain an attorney who is experienced in handling these complex cases. The FTCA attorneys at Suthers Law Firm have successfully represented individuals in medical malpractice and personal injury cases against the Government, and have the requisite experience and resources to take on the Government. If you or a loved one has been injured at the hands of the Government, contact Suthers Law Firm for a free consultation.
Many states limit the amount a plaintiff can recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit. For example, subjective damages like “pain and suffering” might be capped at $250,000. In a state with that kind of cap, you wouldn’t be able to recover more than $250,000 plus any medical expenses, lost wages and other “concrete” damages caused by the malpractice.
The patient must also prove that the doctor's negligent misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis caused the patient's injury or condition to progress beyond where it normally would have -- had the correct diagnose been made in a timely manner -- and that this progression had a negative impact upon treatment. For example, because of a delayed cancer diagnosis the patient had to undergo a more severe treatment regimen (such as chemotherapy) or the patient died because the cancer had metastasized and no longer responded to treatment. Sometimes a patient can show harm even if the condition can still be treated. For example, with some cancers a delay in treatment increases the risk of recurrence.
Medical malpractice lawsuits, like all civil cases, can only be brought within a certain period of time. That deadline is set by a law known called a “statute of limitations.” Every state has passed these kinds of laws, with different deadlines according to the kind of case you want to file. In almost every state, there is a dedicated statute of limitations that applies to medical malpractice cases.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Usually these cases are handled as civil matters, because the doctor lacked the requisite intent or did not act in a completely wanton and reckless manner. Additionally, the doctor may face disciplinary proceedings against his or her license, and could be fire by any institution for which he or she works. This could result in an enormous judgment against the doctor, loss of a professional license, and unemployment. The loss of a patient is not likely to be handled lightly, even though it may only result in civil penalties.
98% of the population are not the “type of people to sue”. However, when you or your loved one has been injured through the negligence of another person, you have basic responsibilities to ensure that medical bills are paid, lost wages are recovered, future medical expenses are paid – and if there is a physical disability, you must ensure that you or your loved one is compensated for the dramatic change in your life.