The medical industry uniquely benefits from broad autonomy and self-regulation. Standardization of care and general oversight work to balance physician autonomy, and some may say they even erode that autonomy to an extent. Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) enforce patterns of practice to which providers must adhere. Emerging technologies throughout the 20th century paved the way for new treatment methods, but they also “raised patient expectations [while] multiplying the possibilities for mishaps.” In an examination of the interplay of autonomy and oversight, the Drexel Law Review wrote "Standardization and oversight serve to further reinforce patient expectations. By way of contrast, a disorganized profession typified by idiosyncratic practices discourages perceptions of consistent quality. Formal organization of the medical profession was intended, in part, to counter this characterization.”
After experiencing negligent medical care from a trusted physician or hospital, it can be difficult choosing an attorney from a sea of unknown names. The law firm you choose may be the most important decision you ever make about your case.  Ask each attorney you are considering how many medical malpractice cases they have actually tried. Then ask yourself, for the same fee, wouldn’t you rather have the experience and expertise of The O’Keefe Firm to represent you?

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.

Causation may also be a vigorously litigated issue because a physician may allege that the injuries were caused by physical factors unrelated to the allegedly negligent medical treatment. For example, assume that a physician is sued for the negligent prescription of a drug to a patient with coronary artery disease and that the patient died of a heart attack. The plaintiff's estate cannot recover damages for the heart attack unless there is sufficient proof to show that the medication was a contributing cause.The critical element is standard of care, which is concerned with the type of medical care that a physician is expected to provide. Until the 1960s the standard of care was traditionally regarded as the customary or usual practice of members of the profession. This standard was referred to as the "locality rule," because it recognized the custom within a particular geographic area. This rule was criticized for its potential to protect a low standard of care as long as the local medical community embraced it. The locality rule also was seen as a disincentive for the medical community to adopt better practices.
This was what is known as a Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) case.  The FTCA is a federal statute that allows private parties to sue the United States in Federal Court for torts committed by persons acting on behalf of the Government.  For example, if a doctor or nurse employed by a Veterans Administration hospital or a hospital on a military base commits malpractice, the patient would need to bring a medical malpractice claim under the FTCA.  Other examples of potential negligence claims against the Government include someone injured in an auto accident involving a Government owned vehicle, and someone injured due to a fall caused by negligent maintenance in a post office or other Government-owned facility.
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.
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.

Most doctors and other medical professionals carry malpractice insurance to protect themselves in case of negligence/unintentional injury to their patients. The insurance may even be a requirement for employment within a specific medical group or hospital system. Some states, but not all, have minimum insurance requirements for medical providers. Malpractice insurance will cover both attorney costs and any money given to the plaintiff as the result of a settlement or verdict until it is exhausted, and then the medical provider or facility may be responsible for any excess verdict or judgment against them.


A personal example - I had a physician try to talk me in to ECT several years ago. I explained that I didn't want to do it, because I didn't want to accept the risks of permanent memory loss. He denied those risks at first. He told me it was cooked up by the scientologists and anti-psychiatry folks and assumed my resistance was due to having seen the movie One Flew Over a Cuckoos Nest (which I had not seen, by the way). I finally got him to concede it was a risk, a risk I wasn't willing to take. I don't care how small the risk is or if the physician thinks it's worth it. They better tell me the truth. He wasn't the one having the procedure and accepting those risks. I was. As long as I am legally competent, the decision is mine. I have real issues about trying to coerce someone into signing an informed consent document by lying. That's unethical. I continue to be glad I didn't do it. It's a very individual decision.
A difficult part of any doctor's job is analyzing a set of symptoms, and diagnosing the injury or illness which caused these symptoms to occur. In many cases, similar symptoms can actually be caused by various illnesses. A misdiagnosis of the underlying symptoms can result in the wrong treatment by the medical professional. For example, a common form of medical misdiagnosis is related to a heart attack diagnosis, or commonly referred to as coronary artery disease. CAD is a medical condition that may not show symptoms for years, but can result in a massive heart attack and death. Often, the first sign of an impending heart attack will be chest pains, which can be misdiagnosed as strained muscles.
Any of these areas of conduct could classify as negligent practice, and if it can be shown these actions caused identifiable loss, damage, pain, or injury to you, there may well be a case to report a negligent Doctor to the British Medical Association (BMA). You should also check whether the hospital has a Patient Liaison and advisory service (PALS). If they do, you can complain directly to them, and they will investigate your complaint and provide a decision whether your complaint is justified. PALS will not, however, provide legal advice whether the actions or omissions of the Doctor were negligent.
As can be seen from the above, the Canadian system is more accurately described as a “single-payer” system than a “socialized” one.  However, even this description needs to be qualified.  Canadian physicians are not required to submit bills for their fees to the provincial health insurance plans.  They can “opt out” of the systems and bill their patients directly.  However, physicians who do decline to participate in a provincial plan must operate entirely outside it as they are generally prohibited from billing the insurance plan for some of their services and patients for others.  In other words, physicians cannot be partial participants.  For this reason, the vast majority of Canada’s physicians are enrolled in the provincial health insurance plans and earn virtually all of their income from the bills they submit to them.
@ Anon, since when do we not ask lawyers about their success rates?! I don't have much experience with the legal system, but to the best of my knowledge, most people research a lawyer before hiring them. I've never hired a lawyer, but if I needed legal representation, I'd certainly find out what kind of experience and success a lawyer had before asking them to represent me! (It may be somewhat less if it's a lawyer that takes the case on contingency, but then you at least have the guarantee that they're really motivated to win.)
Have you filed your Standard Form 95? Did you fill it out correctly? Often, we have veterans and service members or their families that call us after they have filed their own Form 95. Many times, we must file amended Form 95s to correct legal, medical, or other errors that are made. Some times, we must tell these individuals that we cannot help them due to a fatal error in filing their Form 95 that cannot be corrected under the law.
In the vast majority of cases, establishing the answer to this question requires testimony from an expert medical witness. The patient (usually through an attorney) consults a doctor who specializes in the relevant field, and the doctor offers an opinion as to the proper procedures to follow when deciding whether to terminate care in cases like the patient's -- and if the proper decision is to end care, the expert will also set out the appropriate way to go about ending the doctor-patient relationship under the circumstances.
I have the same expectations of psych MDs, by the way. the issues may be harder to define, but certainly how much experience in treating a particular area, licensure, malpractice, etc. are legitimate questions. I don't have to know the doc's personal experiences of medical/MH/life issues to determine skills, but a doc should be able to give a carefully reasoned explanation of own skills/limitations. With psychiatry, I always thought it was incumbent upon the doc to have self knowledge sufficient to identify and appropriately refer clients who he/she cannot treat - ie, if you are in the midst of your own messy divorce, don't take on new clients with marital issues, etc. Yes, life is not always this neat and tidy, but isn't that why psych MDs have their own clinical supervision??
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As an analysis of the bill from Texas’ Senate Research Center notes, the “wrongful birth” cause of action was originally recognized in 1975 by the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the parents of a child with disabilities in Jacobs v. Theimer. The doctor did not inform the plaintiff that she had contracted rubella, which is known to cause “severe birth defects in infants.”

The majority of the American public supports reforms to the malpractice system. However, surveys show that the majority of the American public also vastly underestimate the extent of medical errors.[34] Recent research has shown that while both health consumers and health producers are concerned about some of the adverse consequences of healthcare litigation, health consumers perceive that increased healthcare litigation can reduce the incentives for negligence on the part of healthcare providers.[35]

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.
Cause: The link between a person’s act or failure to act and the resulting injury to the plaintiff. Imagine that a nurse practitioner did not record on the chart a patient’s current medications. If this led to a doctor prescribing a drug that was contraindicated with drugs the patient was already taking, the nurse practitioner’s inaction caused any resulting harm to the patient.
However, a study comparing states with tort reform to states without found little evidence that these measures actually stopped doctors from behaving defensively (Waxman et al. 2014). It remains to be seen whether tort reform measures can actually improve medical care, or if they just limit the amount of compensation that a plaintiff can receive to a figure lower than what is necessary to ensure proper care for the injuries they have suffered.
Prior to his presidency, Abraham Lincoln was a distinguished medical malpractice attorney, taking on cases for physicians and patients alike. Lincoln represented two defendant physicians who treated a man when a chimney fell on him. The physicians applied splints to the patient's legs, assuming he would not survive his injuries. The patient survived and was left with a crooked right leg when the splints were removed. The man recruited six attorneys, 15 physician witnesses and 21 other witnesses in his suit against the two physicians. Lincoln presented the town's only other 12 physicians. Harking to the modern statute of limitations and the importance of fresh and compelling evidence, Lincoln believed the best defense was the passage of time and so he obtained many postponements. The trial resulted in a hung jury.
^ C & L Enters., Inc. v. Citizen Band, Potawatomi Indian Tribe of Okla., 532 U.S. 411 (2001); Kiowa Tribe of Okla. v. Mfg. Techs., Inc., 523 U.S. 751 (1998); Okla. Tax Comm'n v. Citizen Band, Potawatomi Indian Tribe of Okla., 498 U.S. 505 (1991); Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez, 436 U.S. 49 (1978); Puyallup Tribe, Inc. v. Dep't of Game of State of Wash., 433 U.S. 165 (1977); United States v. U.S. Fidelity & Guar. Co., 309 U.S. 506 (1940); Turner v. United States, 248 U.S. 354 (1919). See also Oneida Indian Nation of N.Y. v. Madison Cnty., 605 F.3d 149, 156 (2d Cir. 2010), cert. granted, 131 S. Ct. 459, vacated and remanded, 131 S. Ct. 704 (2011) (per curiam).
If you want to exchange the product you ordered for a different one, you must request this exchange and complete your replacement order within 60 days of purchase. The purchase price of the original item, less any money paid to government entities, such as filing fees or taxes, or to other third parties with a role in processing your order, will be credited to your LegalZoom account. Any payments made directly by you to attorneys affiliated with our legal plans or attorney-assisted products are not eligible for exchange or credit. Any price difference between the original order and the replacement order or, if a replacement order is not completed within 60 days of purchase, the full original purchase price (in each case less any money paid to government entities or other third parties) will be credited to the original form of payment. If you paid for your original order by check, LegalZoom will mail a check for the applicable amount to your billing address.
If you are considering medical tourism, discuss the possible risks with your American general practitioner and, if possible, a local attorney. If you have already undertaken to receive treatment from a foreign doctor, and have suffered an injury, you should discuss the particular details of your case with a qualified, experienced attorney. You will need to find an attorney that has experience not just with medical malpractice, but also with international legal disputes. Before undertaking any legal action against a foreign doctor, you should ask your attorney whether your claim will be worth the trouble of fighting an international legal battle. You may find that you do not have the same entitlements that you would when bringing a claim against an American doctor, and this might make a victory a hollow exercise and a waste of time and money.
If someone you are close to has been seriously injured or worse, you are naturally devastated not only by what has happened, but by the effect that the injury or loss has had on you and your family. At a time when you're vulnerable, traumatized and emotionally exhausted, you need a team that will support you through the often complex process that lies ahead.
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.
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.
Even though your workers’ comp doctor is on the employer’s panel of physicians and paid by the workers comp insurance company, he or she still owes you a duty of care. He or she must provide acceptable care that meets the standards of what other health care providers in the field would provide. Any deviation from the appropriate standard of care and the workers’ comp doctor may be liable for your damages.
A doctor might simply forget about a patient or the patient might become "lost in the system" due to a computer glitch. In some cases, doctors have argued that they should not be held liable for abandoning a patient because there was no intent to abandon. This argument has failed almost without exception because a doctor has a duty to continue treatment of a patient until the patient is properly released. The only difference between an intentional and an inadvertent abandonment case is that punitive damages might be available in a case where there is evidence of an intent to cause harm.
A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis itself is not evidence of negligence. Skillful doctors can and do make diagnostic errors even when using reasonable care. The key is determining whether the doctor acted competently, which involves an evaluation of what the doctor did and did not do in arriving at a diagnosis. This means looking at the "differential diagnosis" method the doctor used in making treatment determinations.

We consider all cases on a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), also known as a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that if you are not successful in pursuing your claim, we will not charge you any of our base legal costs. If we are successful with your claim, we submit the costs which we have incurred in pursuing the claim to the defendant/s and or their insurers. We are also entitled to charge a success fee, which will be deducted from your recoverable damages at the end of the claim. However, we can offer a competitive success fee and our aim will always to beat a success fee offer by any other firm. This means that we aim to beat the terms offered by other law firms and you will receive more of your compensation.
The stakes grew higher as damage awards grew exponentially and kept in pace with inflation. Birth injury malpractice cases between widespread as the link between blatant physician error and cerebral palsy became clear. Five of the ten highest paid claims of all time were cerebral palsy suits, for which the plaintiffs won multimillion dollar awards. Plaintiffs became entitled to both economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses are the quantifiable monetary losses associated with the injury incurred by the defendant's negligence. Noneconomic damages are the unquantifiable emotional losses for pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life among other emotional hardships. As juries began to award substantial damages to injured plaintiffs, liability insurance for physicians increased. Physicians and other medical professionals passed these costs along to patients, resulting in higher costs for healthcare. Accessibility to health care was then directly affected by medical malpractice litigation. Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, many states introduced medical malpractice reform acts. Battling the question of whether to favor plaintiff or defendant, states began to impose what is known “damage caps,” which very widely between each state. Damage caps limit the amount of money a plaintiff can collect should they win their malpractice case. Some states impose no limit at all because such limitations are constitutionally prohibited. Other states have taken a long, hard look at the question of damage caps, assessing what numerical figure does not deprive the plaintiff of rightful compensation and is not unjustly punitive to the defendant. The lowest caps sit in the neighborhood $250,000, while the highest caps are in the neighborhood of $2.5 million. A handful of states adopted the use of a medical malpractice fund, to which all physicians in that state must contribute. The fund will pay damages in medical malpractice claims after the physician's insurance covers the first $1 million. This way, physicians need only insurance that covers up to $1 million dollars and no more. This is meant to bring down insurance premiums for medical professionals. To a minor extent, damage caps influence the state a medical professional will choose to practice in, although it is not a huge bearing in their decision. Some states allow for punitive damages, which must be paid by the defendant as punishment but which are not awarded to the plaintiff.
Typically, nurses, medical technicians, and support staff are hospital employees. As long as the employee was doing something job-related when he or she caused an injury to a patient, the patient can usually sue the hospital for resulting damages. For example, if a registered nurse (R.N.) employed by the hospital injects the wrong medication into an IV "push," and the patient ends up suffering harm as a result, then the hospital could probably be considered liable for the R.N.'s mistake.
If we accept your claim on a Conditional Fee Agreement, we will always aim to beat a success fee offer by another firm. You should be aware that there may be deductions from your damages in relation to and after-the-event (ATE) insurance policy, this protects you from any adverse costs. Here at Been Let Down, we are highly experienced Solicitors who will maximise the damages you are entitled to, which gives Been Let Down a competitive edge over other Solicitors offering the same services.

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.


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.
It is very common for an injured person to consult a lawyer saying ‘if Dr Smith had told me I would end up like this I would never have agreed to the procedure’.  While the saying ‘hindsight is always 20/20’ is often appropriate, there are situations where an injured person could and should sue their doctor or other professional for failing to warn them of significant risks of a procedure.
Not true! There are thousands of physicians sued successfully every year without ending in the loss of their licenses or practices. Although your doctor will have to spend some time defending the suit, throughout the process he will most likely still be able to see his patients and conduct his life as normal. Furthermore, after the conclusion of the suit, he will most likely go back to treating his patients – albeit, hopefully, more carefully this time.
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