Doctors typically require patients to sign a consent form detailing the risks of any given treatment or procedure. But signing a form alone does not necessarily prove that the patient gave informed consent. The doctor must actually discuss the procedure and risks with the patient. And the patient must understand, to the extent possible, the risks he or she faces.
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The 1960's were a critical moment in the history of medical malpractice litigation in the US. The frequency of suits saw an enormous uptick. Contributing factors included new, complex treatments which allowed for more error or injury; what the AMA described as a "changing legal landscape that removed barriers to lawsuits and changed liability rules"; and finally changes in satisfaction with health care. This caused medical professionals to lobby for federal intervention in the realm of medical tort litigation. Legislators attempt to take an evenhanded approach that would excessively favor neither plaintiff nor defendant. As every state is afforded the right to legislate medical malpractice laws independently without federal oversight, the approach differs from state to state. There are two competing schools of thought that weigh into the manner of legislation regarding medical malpractice. The American Medical Association writes “Physicians and physician organizations have tended to view most medical malpractice claims as spurious and injurious to the medical system, whereas patient advocates view the malpractice system as both a deterrent against the practice of dangerous medicine and an avenue for much-deserved compensation for injured patients.”
Again – so what? Do you really want to be going to a doctor that injured you and caused you pain and suffering? There are much better options out there. You found this doctor. You’ll find another one. There are numerous resources available to help you find a new, more competent physician. A simple Google search of “find doctor New York” will yield a multitude of websites designed to do just that. If you have health insurance, contact your insurance company. They can usually provide you with a list of doctors in your area that are covered by your plan. Also, don’t under-estimate the value of your friends and family as a helpful resource regardless of whether or not you have insurance. Talk to them to find out what doctors with whom they entrust their health. In no time at all, you will be sure to find the right doctor for you.
In Hans v. Louisiana, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Eleventh Amendment re-affirms that states possess sovereign immunity and are therefore immune from being sued in federal court without their consent. In later cases, the Supreme Court has strengthened state sovereign immunity considerably. In Blatchford v. Native Village of Noatak, the court explained that
"Mental illness" is a term applied ubiquitously, without discretion. "History of mental illness," applies even if an individual is relatively not amongst the most vulnerable - may even maintain positions of power himself or herself, society criminalizes all things psychological. That individual would be forever marked, especially thanks to the Internet, even if they took a bank of other psychiatrists to a courtroom to testify on their behalf.
Other rules govern the standard of care evaluation. A few states apply the "respectable minority rule" in evaluating a physician's conduct. This rule holds that a physician is not negligent merely by electing to pursue one of several recognized courses of treatment. Some states use the "error in judgment rule." This principle exempts a physician from liability if the malpractice is based on the physician's error in judgment in choosing among different methods of treatment or in diagnosing a condition.
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.
This is probably the number one reason why you don’t want to sue your doctor. While it is true that most lawsuits can take some time to become resolved, it is well worth the wait. However, there are ways to speed up the process: file your lawsuit as soon as it is determined that the case has merit and make sure that the court imposes deadlines for every step of the lawsuit, such as specific dates for depositions, defense medical examinations, and the exchange of discovery responses. This will prevent the lawsuit from the inevitable delays presented by defense attorneys and their insurers and keep the case on the proverbial “fast track” to trial.
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."
The staff members at Zinda Law Group genuinely care about the best interests of their clients and commit 100% of their energy to fight for the damages their clients deserve. Because Zinda Law Group works on a contingency fee- if you don't receive compensation from the case, neither do they. Give the firm a call today to begin taking aggressive action against the doctor or hospital behind your medical malpractice experience.
While some diagnostic errors may be seen as reasonable, patient harm that stems from inadequate communication could be the result of negligence on the part of medical providers. Every case is different, and the strength of yours is in the details. To have those details reviewed by an experienced medical malpractice lawyer, contact The Tinker Law Firm, PLLC. Call us today or fill out our online contact form for a free claim evaluation.
To establish whether or not your doctor has been negligent they will have to be shown to have been in a position where they owed you/the patient a duty of care and that you or the patient suffered direct harm as a result of their negligent management of this care. The decisions the doctor made and the treatment they gave will be assessed. If it is found that they acted in a way in which other doctors would not have acted, and this resulted in a negative effect, you will have grounds to make a successful medical negligence claim.
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.