In the US alone, 0.8% to 1% of all hospital patients become victims of medical malpractice, though only 2.9% of them file claims. If you’re in pain and suffering because of a doctors’ negligence, it’s normal for you to feel frustrated and victimized.
This is medical malpractice, which causes some of the worst injuries because even the smallest mistake could lead to severe health complications. You may be conflicted about it, but you are undoubtedly within your rights to sue a doctor. By law, doctors are required to uphold the appropriate standard of care stipulated in the states they practice in.
Failure to do so means they can and should be held accountable for their mistakes. Medical mistakes are some of the worst because they lead to injuries, pain, suffering, medical bills, and possible emotional and psychological damages.
In this article, we’ll explore medical malpractice and show you that you can sue a doctor.
- 1 Can You Sue a Doctor for Pain and Suffering?
- 2 Can You Sue a Doctor for the Wrong Diagnosis?
- 3 Can You Sue a Doctor for Failure to Treat?
- 4 Can You Sue a Doctor for Surgical Errors?
- 5 Can You Sue a Doctor for Birth Injuries?
- 6 Other Forms of Medical Negligence
- 7 Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim: Where Do You Start?
- 8 Suing a Doctor for Medical Malpractice
Can You Sue a Doctor for Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering is a major part of the non-economic damages calculated in medical malpractice claims, and you can sue a doctor for it. Economic damages like lost income and medical bills are easy to calculate, but pain and suffering, not so much. So, how is it calculated?
In medical injury cases, pain and suffering are divided into two categories, which are mental and physical. Physical pain refers to the actual injuries you suffered, which 1 include scarring, discomfort, and possible disfigurement. Mental pain included discomfort, distress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, embarrassment, anger, fear, among others.
Of course, both physical and mental pain are intertwined as anxiety and stress can lead to insomnia, lack of appetite, sexual dysfunction, and more. There is no given guideline when it comes to determining the dollar value of pain and suffering. So in most cases, the jury decides the amount of compensation a victim should get.
Some insurance companies use a multiplier to calculate pain and suffering depending on the economic damages, but a lot of factors can determine how much you get in the end.
Can You Sue a Doctor for the Wrong Diagnosis?
Can you sue a doctor for misdiagnosis? Yes! Misdiagnosis is a lot more common than most people think, especially because very few people file claims.
How do you file a medical malpractice claim if you have no idea you were misdiagnosed? Besides, some lawsuits can be quite expensive, and most hospitals and insurance companies have very intimidating lawyers, so people just give up.
If you were misdiagnosed and treated for the wrong illness, the results could be dire. Conditions like cancer and heart disease can be fatal when misdiagnosed. It’s always better to catch an illness early before it progresses.
But what if you expressed your symptoms and concerns to a doctor that did not pay attention? What if they did not take enough tests or did not inquire about your family history? The worst-case scenario is knowing that you have to live with an illness that could have been cured had the doctor diagnosed you correctly.
In this case, you can sue a doctor because they should have referred you to a more capable practitioner if they were not qualified to treat you. If this has happened to you or a loved one, the best thing you can do is hire a medical malpractice attorney who will file the claim and get you the compensation you deserve.
Can You Sue a Doctor for Failure to Treat?
Suppose the doctor made a clear diagnosis but did not offer you timely treatment, are you at liberty to sue them? Healthcare practitioners and caregivers are responsible for not just diagnosing an illness, but seeing the bigger picture.
They should recognize the symptoms and signs of an illness or disease in their field of practice. When they fail to treat due to negligence or substandard care, it could be malpractice.
Can You Sue a Doctor for Surgical Errors?
How many times have you heard of surgeries gone wrong, or seen similar scenarios in movies and series? It may come as a surprise, but it’s possible for a surgeon to sew in a foreign object after surgery, a mistake that could cost someone their life. Surgical errors are broad, however.
It could be anything from operating on the wrong body part, damaging healthy organs during surgery, failing to monitor vitals, or anesthesia errors. If the surgeon does not take enough precautions to prevent an infection after surgery, it could be medical negligence.
Can You Sue a Doctor for Birth Injuries?
Birth injury malpractice is one of the most common forms of medical negligence. Birth injuries can occur in different ways, such as medication mix-ups, cerebral palsy, misdiagnosis, among others. These are some of the most expensive injuries.
Apart from the financial impact, there may be physical and emotional damages as well.
Other Forms of Medical Negligence
There are many other types of preventable medical errors, such as obstetrics errors, medication errors, monitoring errors, miscommunication, among others. If you believe you are suffering due to medical malpractice, it’s important for you to hire a professional medical malpractice attorney.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim: Where Do You Start?
Let’s discuss how to sue a doctor for malpractice. You should start by checking the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in your state. If you still have enough time to file a claim, hire a professional medical malpractice lawyer and a medical expert as your witness.
The medical expert will get you a certificate of merit, which you must present while filing your lawsuit. Your attorney will gather all the documents and medical reports as evidence and pursue your case till you get the compensation you deserve.
Suing a Doctor for Medical Malpractice
Now that you know you can sue a doctor for medical malpractice, all you have to do is hire a competent and professional medical malpractice lawyer. Malpractice cases can be complicated, and doing it alone may not be enough.