A study by RAND Corp. researchers published in October 2014 in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that laws restricting medical-malpractice suits do not reduce the amount of "defensive medicine" or reduce health-care costs. The researchers, led by Daniel A. Waxman, examined 3.8 million Medicare patient records from hospital emergency departments from 1997 to 2011, comparing care in three states that enacted strict malpractice reform laws about a decade earlier (Georgia, Texas and South Carolina) to care in neighboring states that did not enact such laws. The study found that the laws had no effect on whether doctors ordered resource-intensive care (e.g., CT or MRI scans and hospitalization).[55][56][57]

If someone is an employee of a hospital, the hospital is typically responsible (liable) if that employee hurts a patient by acting incompetently. In other words, if the employee is negligent (is not reasonably cautious when treating or dealing with a patient), the hospital will usually be on the hook for any resulting injuries to the patient. (Keep in mind that not every mistake or unfortunate event that happens in a hospital rises to the level of negligence. To learn more about what constitutes medical malpractice, read Nolo's article Medical Malpractice Basics. )
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.
A malpractice claim exists if a provider's negligence causes injury or damages to a patient. However, experiencing a bad outcome isn't always proof of medical negligence. Also, on occasion, health-care providers will inform a patient that the person has received negligent medical care from a previous health-care provider and—presumably in an effort at complete honesty—will sometimes tell a patient that they, themselves, have made a mistake.
For help on choosing a good medical malpractice attorney, read Nolo's article Finding a Personal Injury Lawyer . Or, you can go straight to Nolo's Lawyer Directory for a list of personal injury attorneys in your geographical area (click on the "Types of Cases" and "Work History" tabs to learn about a particular lawyer's experience, if any, with medical malpractice claims).
Most medical procedures or treatments involve some risk. It is the doctor's responsibility to give the patient information about a particular treatment or procedure so the patient can decide whether to undergo the treatment, procedure, or test. This process of providing essential information to the patient and getting the patient's agreement to a certain medical procedure or treatment is called informed consent.
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There was a violation of the standard of professional conduct - The law acknowledges that there are certain legal standards that are recognized by the profession as being acceptable conduct. These standards of professional conduct are largely determined by the ethics rules of the state bar association. Attorneys have an obligation to their clients and the bar to operate within these standards. Clients have the right to expect attorneys will follow the law, behave in an ethical and honest manner, act in the best interests of their clients with integrity, diligence and good faith, and will execute their matters at a level of competency that protects their legal rights. Lawyers must also maintain and supply clients with full and detailed reports of all money and/or property handled for them. Finally, attorneys must not inflict damage on third parties through frivolous litigation or malicious prosecution. If it is determined that the standards of professional conduct have been violated, then negligence may be established.
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.
When your doctor or other healthcare provider fails to provide to you the proper, acceptable standard of care or treatment, he or she has committed medical malpractice. The treatment can fall below the acceptable standard of care because of their mistakes, ignorance, negligence, lack of skill, misdiagnosis or other errors. The law holds doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals responsible for providing care at acceptable standards. When they deviate from those standards, they may be held accountable for medical malpractice. These claims are often quite complex, and the services of a hired medical professional are necessary in order to prevail. Michaels & Smolak uses the most qualified medical professionals, including medical doctors, to support their clients’ medical malpractice claims. If you want to find out more, contact us for a free consultation.
When a claimant uses this exception, the state cannot be included in the suit; instead, the name of the individual defendant is listed. The claimant cannot seek damages from the state, because the claimant cannot list the state as a party. The claimant can seek prospective, or future, relief by asking the court to direct the future behavior of the official.[citation needed]
Lets make it psychiatric: A psychiatrist recommends lamotrigine and warns of the risk of fatal skin rash. The patient asks the psychiatrist whether any of her patients has suicided. She lies and says no. The patient sloughs her skin, almost dies, discovers the lie and sues. She says if she had know the doctor has lost a patient to suicide she would have found another psychiatrist.
State medical boards: Contacting your state's medical board by phone or on the web provides information about whether the health-care provider has a valid license to practice in that state. The site www.docboard.org provides free access to a database of 18 member state medical and osteopathic boards as well as links to non-member state medical and osteopathic board web sites. Several states, including California, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Connecticut, have physician profile laws that require physicians to provide disclosure on public web sites about disciplinary actions and outcomes of malpractice suits filed against them. Some physician profile sites also provide information on prior felony convictions.
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.”
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??
The medical standard of care can be thought of as a playbook that outlines patient treatment under various medical situations. Medical professionals must adhere to mandatory requirements to ensure the safety of their patients. When doctors are granted a medical license, they take the Hippocratic Oath, which is basically a promise to treat their patients, to the best of their ability, to avoid causing them harm. When a doctor or other medical professional breaks this oath, they are considered negligent in legal terms. When a court is attempting to determine if a medical professional acted negligently, they will compare their performance to the accepted medical standard of care.
Medical malpractice among doctors is a serious issue nationwide. If you have been injured as a result of a serious medical mistake, you should seek legal consultation to discuss filing a medical malpractice claim against your doctor. Proving medical malpractice is not always easy and often requires the expert testimony of another health care provider, who must testify that medical negligence occurred in your case.
A number of states hold the hospital responsible if it gives staff privileges to an incompetent or dangerous doctor, even if the doctor is an independent contractor. The hospital is also responsible if it should have known that a previously safe doctor had become incompetent or dangerous. For example, if a doctor becomes severely addicted to drugs and the hospital management knew about it, or it was so obvious they should have known about it, a patient injured by that doctor can probably sue the hospital.
Trying to resolve your workers compensation or medical malpractice claim can be frustrating, difficult, and time consuming. But help is available. Contact workers comp attorney and Newport News medical malpractice attorney Corey Pollard today for help resolving your case. And if you’re unable to return to work because of your industrial accident or the damages caused by medical negligence, we’ll help you get approved for Social Security disability benefits.

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.
Expert witnesses must be qualified by the Court, based on the prospective experts qualifications and the standards set from legal precedent. To be qualified as an expert in a medical malpractice case, a person must have a sufficient knowledge, education, training, or experience regarding the specific issue before the court to qualify the expert to give a reliable opinion on a relevant issue.[14] The qualifications of the expert are not the deciding factors as to whether the individual will be qualified, although they are certainly important considerations. Expert testimony is not qualified "just because somebody with a diploma says it is so" (United States v. Ingham, 42 M.J. 218, 226 [A.C.M.R. 1995]). In addition to appropriate qualifications of the expert, the proposed testimony must meet certain criteria for reliability. In the United States, two models for evaluating the proposed testimony are used:
Furthermore, we all inform our patients to some degree about the risks and benefits of procedures, meds, etc. Never have I heard that one's own track record or disciplinary history should be included. And in this case we don't for what the doc was disciplined or what led to the death. It may or may not have been relevant to Willis. The real issue here is whether he failed to warn her of the possibility of the perforation. The only thing going for the plaintiff here is that she likely claims that she would have chosen a different surgeon had she known the truth. Easy to say in retrospect when plaintiff and attorneys stand to gain $$. And apparently the same complication could as easily have occurred with a different surgeon anyway.
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.
Why is it important to differentiate between malpractice and simply poor doctoring? Because in a successful malpractice case, the patient can recover money damages to compensate for injury, including emotional harm. Alternatives to a malpractice lawsuit include filing a human rights complaint, filing a complaint with the psychiatrist’s employer, filing an ethics charge against the psychiatrist, writing negative online reviews for the psychiatrist, or speaking with the psychiatrist directly. However, these alternatives will not provide recompense to the patient for any harm inflicted.
Under the Virginia Workers Compensation Act your employer and its insurance company can force you to see a doctor of their choosing for a one-time medical examination. This is called an IME, though it’s anything but independent since the insurance company chooses the doctor. If you fail to attend the IME then the insurance company can file an employer’s application to cut off your temporary total disability benefits or medical treatment.
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.
3. Evidence - keep track of any evidence which could be relevant to your case. Keep detailed records of your appointments with your GP, together with records of any telephone consultations and referral appointments. Your solicitor will arrange to obtain and copy of your medical notes and x-rays. You will have to pass this information on to your lawyer and it will be a lot easier if you have it at hand. Keep any prescriptions, receipts from further treatments, notes of further treatment and a diary detailing the progression of your health issues. For example, if you fell ill with appendicitis and your GP failed to diagnose it, you should keep a note of the progression of your condition, if you are well enough to do so. All of this is not vital, but very helpful.  
Asking about action against licensure and malpractice history - in Mass, this is public information if you look it up on state web site. Even if it is not public info, it is still a relevant question. I'd MUCH rather have a doc explain briefly (without violating his/her own or other patients' privacy) what went wrong and how it has been corrected, than to have an MD who lies.
Our law firm has the resources to build a strong claim for maximum damages. As our legal team prepares claims for damages, we often collaborate with experts in such areas as medicine, vocational rehabilitation and economics, as well as such specialties as neuropsychology, geriatrics, pediatrics or child development, depending on the specific circumstances of the case. In appropriate cases and with the permission and assistance of our client, our damages presentation may also include the creation of a “day-in-the-life” video to illustrate the ways in which negligent medical care has changed our client’s life. Our team goes above and beyond to demonstrate what full and fair compensation should be for our clients.
A medical malpractice action must be commenced within one year after the cause of action accrues. However, if, at the time the injury occurs, the claimant is a minor or of unsound mind, the one-year statutes are tolled until the disability is removed (the minor reaches 18) Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2305.16. However, with the passage of time it can be more difficult to pursue the case as memories can fade or witnesses may have moved away. We recommend contacting our office right away for a free consultation to make sure you understand all of your rights and to have all of your questions answered.

The doctor's negligence caused the injury. Because many malpractice cases involve patients that were already sick or injured, there is often a question of whether what the doctor did, negligent or not, actually caused the harm. For example, if a patient dies after treatment for lung cancer, and the doctor did do something negligent, it could be hard to prove that the doctor's negligence caused the death rather than the cancer. The patient must show that it is "more likely than not" that the doctor's incompetence directly caused the injury. Usually, the patient must have a medical expert testify that the doctor's negligence caused the injury.
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.
Membership fees paid to the CMPA give physicians insurance coverage and a right to representation in medical malpractice lawsuits.  However, provincial governments reimburse physicians for at least a portion of their membership fees.  These arrangements are not generally made public.  However, a recently released Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Health, the Ontario Medical Association, and the CMPA reveals that physicians are currently reimbursed for about 83 percent of their membership fees.[7]  It has been reported that the Ontario government paid about Can$112 million to reimburse physicians for medical malpractice fees in 2008.[8]  Government officials in Ontario have explained that the purpose of the reimbursement program is to encourage physicians to practice in the province and not to move to another province or the United States where average incomes may be higher.  Critics contend that because the CMPA’s fees are not based upon a physician’s record, the system does little to penalize physicians who are found to be liable for malpractice even on multiple occasions.[9]  Physicians who have committed acts of malpractice may, however, be disciplined by their provincial licensing body.  Discipline can range from suspensions to losses of the privilege to continue practicing medicine.
The process for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Connecticut is quite complex and requires the attentive eye of a seasoned attorney. At Wocl Leydon, our team has extensive experience pursuing actions against medical professionals who act negligently and cause unnecessary harm. We know how to help individuals and families recover financially after suffering an injury or wrongful death at the hands of a medical provider.

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.


Expert testimony is required. Expert opinions are often a crucial feature of the patient's case. A qualified expert is usually required at trial. (And often, expert testimony or an expert affidavit is required at the malpractice review panel proceedings prior to commencing trial.) State rules vary as to what makes somebody qualified to provide expert medical testimony, but generally it is someone with experience in the particular field at issue. In a very limited number of circumstances, expert testimony is not required, such as when a surgical towel is left inside the patient after a surgery.
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
Ex.: New York has a two-and-a-half year statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases, set by New York Civil Practice Law and Rules section 214-a. Let’s say a surgeon in New York negligently leaves a foreign object in a patient during surgery. What if the patient discovers the object 3 years after the surgery? In this example, the patient still has time to sue because New York has adopted a 1 year discovery rule. This patient actually has 1 year after discovery of the object to file a lawsuit. (Note, however, that if there is proven evidence that the plaintiff missed the statute of limitations because the object should have been discovered earlier than it was, then the case could be dismissed.)
Lets make it psychiatric: A psychiatrist recommends lamotrigine and warns of the risk of fatal skin rash. The patient asks the psychiatrist whether any of her patients has suicided. She lies and says no. The patient sloughs her skin, almost dies, discovers the lie and sues. She says if she had know the doctor has lost a patient to suicide she would have found another psychiatrist.
Hi. I recently got a hernia surgery. Before surgery, dr said I'll be fully recovered in 2 weeks. After surgery he said I would feel the pain for 4-6 weeks. Also, he wouldn't perscribed painkillers after the first two weeks, telling me to take advil, return to full activity, and to not be a chicken. After painkillers stopped, I noticed sharp nerve pains shooting in my abs and pelvis, ranging from mild to SEVERE. I even went to the ER because of it. The dr claimed it has nothing to do with his surgery and told me to see my physician and he couldn't help me further.
Differential diagnosis is a systemic method used by doctors to identify a disease or condition in a patient. Based upon a preliminary evaluation of the patient, the doctor makes a list of diagnoses in order of probability. The physician then tests the strength of each diagnosis by making further medical observations of the patient, asking detailed questions about symptoms and medical history, ordering tests, or referring the patient to specialists. Ideally, a number of potential diagnoses will be ruled out as the investigation progresses, and only one diagnosis will remain at the end. Of course, given the uncertain nature of medicine, this is not always the case.
The 10th US Court of Appeals reviewed various similar informed consent cases and found that courts took different views on whether or not lying to a patient about a physician's background could be considered a breach of informed consent. Some courts held that doctors could be found liable only if they lied regarding the risks of the proposed treatment. In this case, the appellate court decided that the patient should have had a chance to make the argument, and sent the case back for retrial on that issue.
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