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.
Our attorneys have a strong record of succeeding in serious personal injury cases in which the negligent party is an agent of the government. In fact, our firm obtained two of the largest Federal Tort Claims Act verdicts in United States history: Dickerson v. U.S., a medical malpractice birth injury case in which our clients received $15.75 million, and Lebron v. U.S., another medical malpractice birth injury case in which our clients received $18.96 million.
However, an attorney may be able to help you file a law suit against the negligent physician. When seeking your legal expert, the single most important factor is the attorney’s reputation. If you hire an attorney that is notorious for settling claims for less than they’re worth, you are less likely to receive the money you deserve. For more information on attorneys and the legal processes involved in medical malpractice law suits, please read our article Medical Malpractice and the Legal Process
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.
This means that if an employee or other individual under the direction of the employer acted in a negligent manner, the employer is responsible for the injuries that resulted. Generally, nurses, medical technicians and paramedics are the direct employees of the hospital. If the hospital employee was performing a job-related function when the patient was injured, the patient can usually sue the hospital for the employee’s mistake.
Litigants who seek to bring claims against federal officials for abuses of their authority have been confused concerning the proper way to characterize their actions in the pleadings. Generally speaking, how one drafts a complaint and not what evidence is to be introduced determines whether a claim can survive as a federal cause of action. Tully v. Mott Supermarkets, Inc., 337 F.Supp. 834, 844 D.N.J. (1972).
Despite this, the perception of “lawsuits gone wild” exists. As a result, many states have imposed substantial limits on damage awards in medical-malpractice claims. These award limits typically have the greatest impact on patients who are most gravely hurt—those with catastrophic injuries and a lifetime of future medical needs. And patients who are denied justice in the courts must rely on health insurance and, in many instances, such public programs as Medicare or Medicaid to pay their future medical bills—leaving the cost of medical malpractice to the public instead of the responsible party.
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.
I haven’t touched on that question. It would make it painful for me. I would be moved to tears if that whole case revolved around just my testimony. I was on the stand so briefly. But cumulatively between what I said and the other testimony — it was never a level playing field for the plaintiff. People don’t recognize it. How the judges don’t recognize it and the system doesn’t recognize it is beyond me. It’s something I’m coming to grips with.
Dr. Zaheer A. Shah, MD, JD (Attorney and Physician): The author of this answer is an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of Arizona and he is a board certified, Ivy League trained, practicing physician. Nothing posted on this forum by the author constitutes legal advice. Additionally, any medical opinions rendered on this forum in response to a particular question do not constitute medical advice. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and are neither privileged nor confidential. While an effort is made to offer accurate information, there is no guarantee as to accuracy.