Physicians, as professionals, owe a duty of care to those who seek their treatment. This element is rarely an issue in malpractice litigation, because once a doctor agrees to treat a patient, he or she has a professional duty to provide competent care. More important is that the plaintiff must show some actual, compensable injury that is the result of the alleged negligent care. Proof of injury can include the physical effects of the treatment performed by the physician, but it can also include emotional effects. The amount of compensation at issue is usually a highly contested part of the litigation.
In the vast majority of cases, the Doctor who takes on your care will do so in a highly professional manner, but there may be occasions when their standards fall short of acceptable. If it can be shown your Doctor failed in their duty of care, in a manner tantamount to negligence, and that you suffered some form of loss, damage, or pain as a result, you may have cause to pursue a claim for medical negligence.
It’s vital to note, however, that the prosecution of medical malpractice cases—in addition to having a high likelihood of failure—can be extremely expensive, stressful and time-consuming. It’s estimated that medical errors kill roughly 200,000 patients in the U.S. each year. Yet only 15% of the personal-injury lawsuits filed annually involve medical-malpractice claims, and more than 80% of those lawsuits end with no payment whatsoever to the injured patient or their survivors.
Doctor Mistake, No Injury to Patient – Not all medical errors cause injury to the patient. For example, a doctor may prescribe the incorrect dosage of medication. The patient then takes the wrong dose, has a temporary reaction, and reports it to the doctor or pharmacist. If the error is caught before the patient suffers any serious or lasting injuries, then this would be considered a mistake on the doctor’s fault but would not be considered medical malpractice. The lack of harm to the patient does not erase the fact that the doctor made a serious mistake. In this situation, however, this would not be considered medical malpractice by the doctor because there is no lasting harm to the patient.
Here is the step most people don’t realize. If the patient’s lawyer wants to take the case further, they need to get an expert witness. That will cost them a lot of money. So if the case is weak, they will do some sort of calculation. For example, they will say they spent 50 hours so far, and they want to make 10,000 for that, so they will offer to dismiss the case for 20,000, which they will split with the patient. Many cases will settle at this point, because it’s easier to spend a little money and avoid the massive costs of going to court, as well as avoiding the risk of a big payout to the patient. This is the reason I say it’s easy to sue a doctor for malpractice, lose the case, but still make some money.
Under Ohio law, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within one year from the later of one of two dates. This is known as the statute of limitations. Those dates are (1) when you discover the injury or (2) from the last date of treatment with the negligent medical provider. There are exceptions to this rule. Therefore, if you think you or a loved one has suffered due to medical malpractice it is imperative that you contact us at your earliest possible convenience so that we can provide you with an opinion as to whether or not you have a potential medical negligence claim. If a loved one has passed away due to medical negligence the family has a separate claim known as a wrongful death lawsuit. This is subject to a two year statute of limitations from the date of death.
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. It has been reported that the Ontario government paid about Can$112 million to reimburse physicians for medical malpractice fees in 2008. 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. 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.
My problem now is I feel like a shell of who I was, a very successful sale manager earning 6 figures+ to now, not being able to hold a job and being on disability. I can't remember things or conversations that I have had. I can't be in places where there are too many people, forget a mall or a nice restaurant. My wife and daughter have affectionately resorted to nicknaming me "turtle" because I can't keep up. I just roll with it but it really hurts knowing I was once the sole provider of a very nice lifestyle for my family to becoming this exhausted, tired, uninterested person. I speak with no one, I have not 1 friend and for the most part, never leave the house. My brain feels scrambled all the time, foggy.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, stating that “true consent to what happens to one’s self is the informed exercise of a choice, and that entails an opportunity to evaluate knowledgeably the options available and the risks attendant upon each … it is the prerogative of the patient, not the physician, to determine for himself the direction in which his interests seem to lie.”