If you are considering a medical negligence claim and you are thinking of contacting Been Let Down to discuss your claim, we would first arrange a consultation over the telephone; this initial call is free, and there is no obligation to proceed. During this phase of the claims process, we will take the time to listen to the details of your claim in detail.
Yes, you could, but probably not nearly as effectively as a lawyer could. In fact, the cases can be so difficult that most personal injury lawyers do not handle medical malpractice claims. A medical negligence claim is very technical. A medical malpractice lawyer has the familiarity with the requirements necessary to prove the departure from the standard of care, the resources, the money, and the experience to advocate for you in a trial. In most states for most medical negligence claims, each claim needs an expert witness, who is either a doctor or a nurse. Some cases require multiple experts. The cases are very expensive and the hospitals know it. Make sure you chose a lawyer that specializes in medical malpractice and has the resources to handle your case.
The situation is different for patients injured in an emergency room. Usually, the hospital does not have an opportunity to inform emergency room patients that a doctor is not an employee. This means that ER patients can often sue the hospital for a doctor's medical malpractice. There are also a few states that say a hospital can be sued for emergency room malpractice regardless of what the patient believed or was told. (To learn more, read Nolo's article Medical Malpractice During Emergencies.)
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.
Doctor Mistake, Injury is Minor – This category encompasses situations in which a doctor misdiagnoses an injury (perhaps an ankle sprain) and then quickly corrects the misdiagnosis. Like the no-injury scenario described above, the patient would not have a case for medical malpractice against the doctor. Because the doctor quickly corrected the mistake, the patient suffered no damage.
If a plaintiff can demonstrate that the government's action was done in bad faith, the plaintiff can receive damages despite sovereign immunity. Typically if a party can demonstrate that the government intentionally acted wrongly with the sole purpose of causing damages, that party can recover for injury or economic losses. For example, if access lanes to a major bridge are closed for repair and the closure results in severe traffic congestion, the action was in good faith and the state could not be sued. However, if, as in the Fort Lee lane closure scandal, the lanes were closed in retaliation against a mayor who declined to support a politician's campaign, with the explicit purpose of causing traffic jams, such lawsuits could proceed.
In the mid 1990s the concept of a ‘gratuitous care’ award was developed by the High Court. Basically, if you can’t look after yourself or your house (or in some cases your children) because of your injuries, then you can claim the cost of a commercial carer or cleaner even though your family is doing the tasks you can’t do. For a while this was a very lucrative area of damages but now there are laws that place both a threshold and a cap on what you can claim. Put simply, you aren’t entitled to any gratuitous care award unless you need at least 6 hours of assistance per week for at least 6 continuous months and the hourly rate of any award is capped at the Average Weekly Earnings hourly rate. You should be careful, however, not to confuse gratuitous care with commercial care, which is a different claim for damages entirely and which is not the subject of thresholds or caps.
Among the acts or omissions that may potentially support a medical malpractice claim are the failure to properly diagnose a disease or medical condition, the failure to provide appropriate treatment for a medical condition, and unreasonable delay in treating a diagnosed medical condition. In some jurisdictions a medical malpractice action may be allowed even without a mistake from the doctor, based upon principles of informed consent, where a patient was not informed of possible consequences of a course of treatment and would have declined the medical treatment had proper information been provided in advance.
They even let me know if they're going to be letting a student do my blood draw, and they sure as hell better let me know if there's any risk I'm entrusting my life to a hack. (I once found out a doc who tried to push a drug on me represented Lily or whoever was making tht drug...so I wonder if they should be required to provide all this info up front, whether asked or not. I have an effing right to know who is slicing me up.)
At the same time, the doctor or the doctor’s insurer must complete a similar investigation in order to determine whether medical negligence actually occurred, and if so, whether the negligence resulted in certain injuries and damages to the claimant. The doctor must also obtain an opinion in writing from another doctor in order to support his or her defense.
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.
The injured patient must show that the physician acted negligently in rendering care, and that such negligence resulted in injury. To do so, four legal elements must be proven: (1) a professional duty owed to the patient; (2) breach of such duty; (3) injury caused by the breach; and (4) resulting damages. This includes doing nothing when they should have done something. This may be considered an act of omission or a negligence.
The concept of medical responsibility can be traced back to the Code of Hammurabi, which is an extensive legal document from ancient Mesopotamia. The Code of Hammurabi states that, “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” (Smith 1931 as cited within Bal 2009). Of course, penalties for malpractice in most modern, developed nations are much more civilized. However, the Code of Hammurabi introduced the concept of holding medical professionals accountable for deaths or injuries that could have reasonably been prevented.
County and municipal officials, when sued in their official capacity, can only be sued for prospective relief under Federal law. 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.
Liability insurance eventually took its seat as a crucial player in medical malpractice suits. The Massachusetts Medical Insurance Society, founded in 1908, was among the first to provide and make mention of insurance against “unjust suits for alleged malpractice” in 1919. On one hand, the nascent brand of insurance offered physicians peace of mind; settlements and damages would be covered. On the other hand, it served to assure plaintiffs that every meritorious claim should be brought forward, as that claim would almost certainly see payment.
Please note that we cannot guarantee the results or outcome of your particular procedure. For instance, the government may reject a trademark application for legal reasons beyond the scope of LegalZoom's service. In some cases, a government backlog can lead to long delays before your process is complete. Similarly, LegalZoom does not guarantee the results or outcomes of the services rendered by our legal plan attorneys or attorney-assisted products. Problems like these are beyond our control and are not covered by this guarantee.
Duty of care was established not with patient's rights in mind per se, rather it was founded in, as worded by historian Harvey Teff, "the mystique of medicine and the strength of its professionalization.” The common layperson can not and will not comprehend the intricacies of medicine, so no objective standard may be set by non-medical professionals.
"Decency, security and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law, it invites every man to come a law unto himself. It invites anarchy. (United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438 (1928).
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.
An expert's opinion can be used in this situation as well, to show that the patient would have at least been made more comfortable and as stable as possible had the abandonment not occurred. On the other hand, if treatment would have had a significant chance of sustaining the patient's life, the family would probably have a more clear-cut case of medical malpractice case against the doctor.
Keep in mind, the standard of care differs from region to region and takes your doctor’s level of education and experience into account. As a result, a rural internist with a small private practice is not held to the same standard of care as a board-certified infectious disease specialist practicing in a cutting edge urban hospital. The well of knowledge and experience from which each doctor is drawing is vastly different.
Once the complaint has been filed, pre-trial preparation begins with the discovery period. The discovery of facts is often accomplished in 2 different ways: interrogatories and depositions. Interrogatories are questionnaires that witnesses fill out and are typically used for gathering preliminary details. Depositions are face-to-face interviews in which witnesses are sworn in and transcripts of the interviews are transcribed, but they do afford the attorneys the opportunity to ask follow-up questions and gather more in-depth information.
They can easily get away with anything while hiding behind "confidentiality/patient privacy." They can also be knuckleheads because there is no agreement , consensus or strict definition of the various conditions. They can make any statement sounds nuts. I agree with taping (but the client keeps the tapes) and if the shrink objects, find someone else.
The United States Government will pay $42 million to the parents of a young child who suffered a permanent brain injury, resulting from improper use of forceps during his delivery. After a six day trial in Federal Court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the verdict for $42 million was rendered by U.S. District Court Judge Sylvia Rambo. The parents sued the Federal Government in a malpractice claim involving an Ob/Gyn physician, who was employed at a federal facility. The lawsuit claimed that the doctor improperly used forceps on the baby’s head during the delivery, which caused skull fractures and bleeding on the brain that resulted in permanent brain damage. Evidence presented during trial showed that the now five year old boy cannot speak, read or write and eventually will require a motorized wheelchair to get around.
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.
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?
Battery occurs when a person intentionally touches or has other unwelcome physical contact with another person in a harmful or offensive manner. Battery may apply when patients are sexually or physically abused by their doctors. This can also occur when a doctor performs an incorrect surgery or medical treatment on the patient. Likewise, this can occur when a doctor does something to the patient without consent.
This is a crucial determination. Just because medical negligence occurred at a hospital, it doesn't necessarily follow that the facility itself can be held responsible. If your case is based on sub-standard care provided by an individual doctor, and that doctor is an independent contractor (and not an employee of the hospital), you need to pursue action against the doctor him/herself. In many cases, you can't sue a hospital for a doctor's treatment error, unless the doctor is an employee of the hospital (most are not), or when the doctor's incompetence should have been obvious to the hospital.
The philosophy of our law firm regarding damages is simple: obtain the maximum monetary recovery possible for each client. We accomplish this by relying on our decades of experience to diligently prepare our cases for trial and aggressively advocate for our clients. Our financial resources, technological tools and access to outstanding experts in various fields allow us to provide top-notch representation to our clients.
A study by Michelle M. Mello and others published in the journal Health Affairs in 2010 estimated that the total annual cost of the medical liability system, including "defensive medicine," was about 2.4 percent of total U.S. health care spending. The authors noted that "this is less than some imaginative estimates put forward in the health reform debate, and it represents a small fraction of total health care spending," although it was not "trivial" in absolute terms.
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."
Medical professionals are held to a higher standard of competence than nonprofessionals. They should have a great deal of knowledge regarding various medical conditions and treatment protocols, and therefore are responsible for providing a high standard of care. Standard of care is defined as what a “reasonable” medical practitioner would have done under similar circumstances. In other words, medical professionals are responsible for using a certain level of knowledge, training, and experience. Medical professionals received extensive training in their field, and can therefore be held to a higher standard than a well-meaning passerby at the scene of an emergency (Bal 2009).
In this case a surgeon was sued by his patient following complications from a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal). Before the procedure he explained the risks of the surgery to her, and she also asked him questions about his experience and success rate with the procedure. She asked additional questions about whether he had ever been sued for malpractice or had any action taken against his medical license. He answered no to both questions and added that he had an almost perfect success rate with the surgery. Well, bad things happened. The patient suffered a perforated intestine and an infection. She later found out that the doctor had lost a patient during this same procedure, and that he was disciplined for the board as a result of that case.
Whether a doctor is a hospital employee depends on the nature of his or her relationship with the facility. Though some doctors are hospital employees, most doctors are not. Non-employee doctors are usually classified as "independent contractors" in the eyes of the law, which means that the hospital cannot be held responsible for the doctor's medical malpractice, even if the malpractice happened at the facility, and the doctor is officially affiliated with the facility.
Doctor Liability, Damages Are Small – Some states have enacted tort reforms that apply caps to the amount of money an injured patient can recover from a medical malpractice claim. Under these caps, a patient may only be entitled to a $250,000 verdict. While this amount of money may seem large, the patient must share that money with expert witnesses, investigators, and attorneys. In the end, the patient’s financial recovery may be slight. Attorneys may hesitate to take a case if it seems like the recovery will be negligible. However, some patients are more concerned with filing suit as a matter of principle than as a means of financial recovery. Sometimes lawyers are willing to take a case to help the client make such a statement.
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Incidents of medical misdiagnoses are often higher in ERs than a doctor’s private office. The hospital staff is under tight time constraints since they usually have a waiting room full of patients to see. Therefore, they try to treat and release patients as quickly as possible. These negligent ER mistakes can be devastating since many patients who are there are in need of immediate assistance.
Generally speaking, from a legal standpoint, you may need to evaluate whether the risk of being left without legal redress in the event of a medical mistake is worth the potential cost savings of having your procedure performed overseas. With such limited remedies available to patients, and the often lower standards of care in nations offering substantially cheaper medical treatment rates, the risks of medical tourism may far exceed the benefits.
It is usually the case that a visit to our doctor will be enough to receive the medical advice required to send us away on the road to recovery without any further intervention being required. However, on occasion, GPs act negligently which results in complications being suffered by the patient. This may lead to further treatment or surgery which would have been unnecessary but for the GP’s negligence.
If the doctor's mistake was one that a reasonable doctor would make, he has not acted negligently and has not committed medical malpractice. Often when a doctor fails to diagnose a medical problem, he may mistake the problem for something else and attempt to treat that. Likewise, if the medical problem is extremely rare, unknown, or difficult to identify, than a proper diagnose may not be possible.
A no-fault system may provide compensation to people who have medical outcomes that are significantly worse than would be anticipated under the circumstances, or where there is proof of injury resulting from medical error, without regard to whether or not malpractice occurred. Some no fault systems are restricted to specific types of injury, such as a birth injury or vaccine injury.
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.”
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.
And don’t kid yourself. If you think that your doctor just made a mistake and that it won’t happen again – think again. Chances are, if he made a mistake with you, he very well could have done it before and will do it again. Don’t be dissuaded by your doctor’s apologies or his downplaying of your injuries. An apology won’t pay for your medical expenses, and it certainly doesn’t ensure that he realizes the full consequences of his negligible actions.