Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is harmed by a doctor (or other medical professional) who fails to competently perform his or her medical duties. The rules about medical malpractice -- from when you must bring your lawsuit to whether you must notify the doctor ahead of time -- vary from state to state. But there are some general principals and broad categories of rules that apply to most medical malpractice cases. Here's an overview of the law and some of these special rules.
Cost: Your prospective attorney should offer you a free consultation. Our consultations are always free. No client should be turned away from legal aid simply because they cannot afford a consultation fee. Once you have met with an attorney and have decided to hire him/her, you should discuss prospective costs of the case. In medical malpractice cases, clients frequently pay nothing upfront. In fact, a client only pays if they win their case. Usually, an attorney will work on a “contingency fee” basis, earning a percentage of the settlement or jury verdict. Be sure to ask your attorney whether she/he will be responsible for the costs of the litigation. The cost of litigating a case can easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
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.
Army Medical Malpractice Cancer $701,790 received by clients $250,000 attorneys' fees $48,209 litigation expenses Owen v. United States Darnall Army Community Hospital Our client underwent surgery at the U.S. Army MEDDAC in Nuremberg, Germany. Following surgery, our client transferred her care to DACH. Despite pathology results that revealed cancer, Ft.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this blog or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of any law firm or Psychology Today.
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."[50]

The FTCA basically carves out a limited exception to the doctrine of sovereign immunity. As it applies in the context of claims against the Veterans Administration, the law only allows veterans to sue to recover damages incurred due to negligence of an employee or agent acting “within the scope of their employment.” Furthermore, the law only allows for damages if the plaintiff would ordinarily be entitled to damages even if the negligence or omission was due to the actions of an employee of a private company, under the laws in effect where the incident happened.
This form of medical negligence involves a doctor prescribing treatment, but failing to monitor the progress, and adjusting or terminating treatment when needed. An example would be a patient with a high blood iron content being prescribed regular blood drawings to reduce the iron levels in his or her blood. Routinely drawing blood can have a negative impact on the general immune system function. If a doctor is negligent and fails to monitor the progress, a nurse could continue the regular blood drawings as ordered, but unknowingly cause severe damage to the patients' immune system, which could eventually result in death.
There is a limited amount of time within which a patient can make a medical malpractice claim against a medical professional. While the actual statutes of limitations for these claims vary by state, you will always have at least a year after the injury has taken place. The list below contains the statute of limitations for each state. Note that in many states, the statute contains considerations regarding when a patient discovered or realized medical negligence occurred. This is referred to as the discovery rule.
In order to succeed with a medical malpractice claim you must prove that your doctor or other health care provider’s treatment of you was “negligent”, which in medical malpractice cases is defined as treatment that falls below the “standard of care” of practice for a reasonable practitioner in a particular area of medicine. Just proving you had a bad result from a medical treatment or procedure is not sufficient; some bad results can occur even when your doctor was not negligent. Sometimes there are “known risks” that are unavoidable with certain surgeries, treatments or medication. Further, even proving a departure from the standard of care is not enough! You must then prove that the mistake or error “proximately caused” the injury or damage to you. For example, your doctor may have departed from a reasonable standard of care in not diagnosing properly your fractured wrist. Maybe he completely overlooked the fracture. But what if he had properly diagnosed it? Would your wrist be any better now? If a proper diagnosis would not have lead to a better result, then there is no “causation” between your doctor’s negligence and your injury. In other words, “no harm, no foul”. A good medical malpractice lawyer knows how to analyze carefully the “elements” (what you have to prove) of a medical malpractice case. He or she also knows how to present these elements to a jury. The Syracuse medical malpractice lawyers of Michaels & Smolak has the skill, experience and expertise to maximize your chances of prevailing. So contact us for a free consultation.
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.

The Seattle medical malpractice lawyers at The Tinker Law Firm, PLLC can help if you have reason to believe that you or a loved one was harmed by a negligent breakdown in the communication of medical test results. Our attorneys have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of those injured by negligent medical care. For a free review of your case, complete our online contact form.
We decided to sue the other insurance company, and Jared was able to obtain the full limits of the policy. This covered a brand new pickup truck for myself, my medical bills, and then some pain and suffering compensation. If you have to go to trial, or if you have to be in front of a mitigator, he’s going to have a strong case for you and present it in a professional manner.
Medical malpractice cases are inherently complex and difficult to prove. There is no law that says, “If this doctor failed to do X procedure in Y amount of time, negligence has occurred”. You’ll need to find a lawyer with experience in medical malpractice cases (these lawyers typically have a medical expert available to look into potential cases) to look at the facts of your case, and determine if all the required legal and medical elements are there, to justify pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If the act that harmed you was committed by a contractor, the Federal Tort Claims Act generally does not kick in, unless the contractor was being closely supervised at the time by the VA itself, in a relationship more common in employer-employee settings. You cannot go after the government for damages, unless the government was in close supervision of the day-to-day activities, say, of a physician in private practice contracted with the VA.
In order to have a malpractice claim, your medical professional must have acted negligently. This is to say that your doctor failed to treat you with a standard of care. A standard of care is the agreed upon method or methods employed by medical providers in the given geographic area for a condition or illness. This standard changes depending on a number of factors, including the age of the patient and the condition being treated.
An average person does not know how to correctly file a report against a doctor who has committed medical malpractice.  Further complicating matters is the fact that each state has its own procedure for filing complaints against physicians.  Generally, you should file the complaint with your state’s medical board.  Each state has its own medical board and its own forms and requirements for filing complaints against doctors.
^ Department of Revenue v. Kuhnlein, 646 So.2d 717, 721 (Florida Supreme Court 1994) ("The State next argues that the cause below was barred by the state's sovereign immunity, by an alleged common law rule that no one is entitled to the refund of an illegal tax, and by the requirements of Florida's refund statutes. Even if true, these are not proper reasons to bar a claim based on constitutional concerns. Sovereign immunity does not exempt the State from a challenge based on violation of the federal or state constitutions, because any other rule self-evidently would make constitutional law subservient to the State's will. Moreover, neither the common law nor a state statute can supersede a provision of the federal or state constitutions.").
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. 

If you file a complaint with the medical board and then file suit, know that the medical board can only take administrative action against the doctor’s license to practice medicine. It can’t help you pursue a medical malpractice case. It also can’t disclose any information that it collects during the course of its review with you or your family members.
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Approximately 1% of all medical patients will be a victim of medical negligence (malpractice). However, less than 3% of those victims will file a claim for malpractice. This means that the overwhelming majority of victims never seek justice. There could be many reasons why. They may not know that they were victims of malpractice. They may not know what malpractice actually is. They may be  unaware of the legal process that would help them recover damages. Whatever the reason, every victim of medical negligence has the right to pursue a claim in a court of law, and there is a process to filing and pursuing a medical negligence claim.

An average person does not know how to correctly file a report against a doctor who has committed medical malpractice.  Further complicating matters is the fact that each state has its own procedure for filing complaints against physicians.  Generally, you should file the complaint with your state’s medical board.  Each state has its own medical board and its own forms and requirements for filing complaints against doctors.
Roman law spread throughout continental Europe around 1200 AD, and many countries’ current laws regarding personal injury and medical malpractice derive from Roman origin. English common law was greatly influenced by the Romans, and in turn 19th century English common law had a substantial influence on the American legal system. During the reign of Charles V, a law took form that required medical professionals’ opinions to be taken into account in cases of violent deaths. This served as a precursor to the presence of expert testimony in medical malpractice cases in order to establish standard of care (for more information on standard of care, see “Medical Malpractice in the U.S.”)
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In 2003, President george w. bush addressed the medical community's concerns by endorsing legislation that would place a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages at the national level. According to Bush, who spoke before an American Medical Association (AMA) advocacy conference, "There are too many frivolous lawsuits against good doctors, and the patients are paying the price." The president cited the fact that the federal government suffers losses of $28 million per year as a result of liability insurance and defensive medicine practices.
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.

The first medical malpractice cases in the United States centered around a breach of contract and not failure to adhere to a standard of care. This meant that the defendant physician made some sort of express promise to skillfully render care and obtain a good result. Failure to do so was grounds for a suit. Five years after George Washington's inauguration, the country saw its first recorded medical malpractice lawsuit. A man sued the surgeon who operated on his wife and caused her to die, despite having made promises to the two that he would operate skillfully and safely. This breach of contract case resulted in a plaintiff verdict and an award of 40 pounds.
You must make your claim against the correct person or entity. In some cases, you would sue the doctor directly, but in other cases you might sue the hospital or health care system. In Washington, D.C. you have three years from the date of injury to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. You must make sure that you take action immediately when you have been injured at the hands of a trusted physician or another medical care provider.

Although the laws of medical malpractice differ significantly between nations, as a broad general rule liability follows when a health care practitioner does not show a fair, reasonable and competent degree of skill when providing medical care to a patient.[2] If a practitioner holds himself out as a specialist a higher degree of skill is required.[2] Jurisdictions have also been increasingly receptive to claims based on informed consent, raised by patients who allege that they were not adequately informed of the risks of medical procedures before agreeing to treatment.[2]
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.
There is a statute of limitations (or time limit in which you can file a lawsuit) for medical malpractice cases. This limit varies from state to state, but in general it is about two years from when the injury occurred. To ensure you file a claim before the statute of limitations is up, you should reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon after you realize doctor error occurred.

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.”


The principle was not mentioned in the original United States Constitution. The courts have recognized it both as a principle that was inherited from English common law, and as a practical, logical inference (that the government cannot be compelled by the courts because it is the power of the government that creates the courts in the first place).[10]

Prominent physicians Nathan Smith and R.E. Griffith of Yale and the University of Pennsylvania respectively held the belief that medical malpractice lawsuits were beneficial and necessary, serving as a tool of accountability in a profession that was poorly regulated. The American Medical Association (AMA) was founded in 1847 with the goal of promoting standardization of the profession, as well as elevating the standing of physicians in society. At the time, the vast majority of suits stemmed from orthopedic malpractice and deformations that resulted from botched amputations. As physicians sought to raise their own standards, higher patient expectations ensued. With the arrival of liability insurance for physicians, medical malpractice suits shot up in the States in the late 19th century.
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.
Medical malpractice lawsuits, like all civil cases, can only be brought within a certain period of time. That deadline is set by a law known called a “statute of limitations.” Every state has passed these kinds of laws, with different deadlines according to the kind of case you want to file. In almost every state, there is a dedicated statute of limitations that applies to medical malpractice cases.
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.
The biggest hurdle for patients to get over in bringing a claim is a law that sets up a defence for all professionals accused of negligence.  It says that if the professional acted in a way that was widely accepted in Australia by that professional’s peers as competent professional practice then the professional is not liable.  Note that ‘widely accepted’ does not necessarily mean that the majority of professionals have to agree to the practice.
Malpractice in the misdiagnosis of cancer may involve failure to order proper tests, failure to evaluate test results, failure to refer the patient to a specialist and failure to identify obvious physical symptoms. The most common types of cancer that are misdiagnosed include colon cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer. A delay in the diagnosis of cancer may allow the disease to advance and make the condition more difficult to manage.
Though the Workers’ Compensation Act protects employers from being sued for medical malpractice, it does not provide any such protection to workers’ comp doctors. In Fauver v. Bell, 192 Va. 518 (1951), the court stated that there is no legal provision that relieves a third-party wrongdoer, including a physician, of liability for negligence. As such, an injured employee with a workers’ compensation claim in Virginia can also file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the negligent doctor.
While both doctors in the above example should be able to diagnose the flu or pneumonia with relative ease, it would be more difficult to argue that the rural doctor was negligent for missing a diagnosis of some type of exotic disease usually only seen in people from foreign countries. On the other hand, the big city infectious disease expert would likely be negligent in not making the same diagnosis.
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]
During discovery both sides have an opportunity to force the other side to produce documents and other relevant materials such as medical records, tax returns, social security records, etc. They also have the opportunity to interview relevant witnesses under oath in a process known as a deposition. Prior to your deposition, we will work closely with you to ensure that you make the most effective presentation possible.
Examples of doctor negligence involve patients' complaints not being taken seriously enough, illnesses being incorrectly diagnosed, GPs refusing to carry out blood tests, incorrect or inappropriate medication being administered, incorrect doses of medication being prescribed, referrals to specialist consultants not being made in time or at all and follow up appointments/treatments not been carried out quickly enough . They can also include serious illnesses (such as cancer) being misdiagnosed as something less serious, broken or fractured bones going undiagnosed due to lack of referral for x-ray, failing to follow-up on a patient’s complaints and concerns, failing to correctly identify an illness or injury and treating an injury or illness in a manner which leads to complications and/or further injury or illness.
In C & L Enterprises, Inc. v. Citizen Band, Potawatomi Indian Tribe of Oklahoma, 532 U.S. 411 (2001), the Supreme Court of the United States held that sovereigns are not immune under the Federal Arbitration Act. Since arbitration is a matter of contract between the parties, agreeing to participate in arbitration constitutes consent to be subject to the arbitrator's jurisdiction, thus constituting a voluntary waiver of immunity.[24]
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.
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