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Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice laws are aimed at protecting the patient from negligent medical treatment. These cases usually arise when the patient has been injured due to the improper actions of a healthcare professional. Take note, though--these cases can also arise through the inaction of the healthcare professional.

Medical malpractice is governed by state law and each state varies. But the basics are the same: the healthcare professional owes a duty to the patient and that duty entails competence in performance. But in order for there to be a duty, there must first be a special relationship between the medical professional and the injured party. For example, a doctor in a restaurant owes no duty to help a stranger at another table who is having a heart attack, unless the doctor comes forward and agrees to help.

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Any misdiagnosis, whether falsely identifying an issue that doesn't exist or failing to discover one that does, can be harmful. This can be especially true for hyperthyroidism, which affects millions of people per year. If not accurately diagnosed, those people may go untreated, or undergo potentially harmful treatments based on a doctor's misreading of their symptoms.

Misdiagnosis is a form of medical malpractice, and doctors that fail to properly diagnose and treat hyperthyroidism can be held liable. Here's what you need to know.

Medical negligence, commonly referred to as medical malpractice, can take many different forms. Depending on who caused the injury, medical negligence claims can be brought against hospitals, hospital staff, or directly against a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional.

However, sometimes, after a person suffers an injury in a hospital, or after a medical procedure, they may not know what kind of claim to bring. Generally, if the injury does not involve the medical care, such as a slip and fall on a wet floor in a hospital waiting room, then there will not be a medical negligence case.

To help you determine whether you have suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence, below you will find some common examples.

Almost one in every eight American women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their lives. And sadly, many of those women won't find out they have breast cancer until long after they should. According to one medical website, a whopping 61 percent of all medical malpractice claims involving breast cancer patients are related to alleged delays in diagnosis.

Misdiagnosis -- whether diagnosing an issue that doesn't exist or failing to diagnose one that does -- is a form of medical malpractice, and doctors that fail to diagnose breast cancer can be liable.

In April of 2010, then 17-year-old Sarah Adams was prescribed a NuvaRing contraceptive device by a nurse practitioner at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. Less than three months later, Adams suffered a total cardiac arrest that left her with "significant and permanent brain damage with marked cognitive and fine motor skills deficits," according to a lawsuit she filed against Montefiore.

And last week, a state appeals court in New York allowed that lawsuit to continue, denying Montefiore's motion to dismiss the claims. Here's what happened, factually and legally.

Most people are well aware of the fact that if a hospital or doctor makes a mistake, or is negligent, a medical malpractice claim can be made. However, when hospice services fail to provide care, or provide substandard care, individuals, family members, and loved ones, are often confused about possible legal remedies. Shockingly, this occurs more often than the hospice industry would like to admit.

People in hospice care generally must be terminally ill and seeking palliative care, meaning medical treatment that is not intended to cure the problem, but rather just reduce or relieve associated pains. Hospices contract with these individuals to provide palliative care, such as the administration of strong pain medications, physical therapy, and even helping with hygiene and other matters.

When a hospice fails to provide care, or is negligent in the care provided, there may be legal claims depending on the resulting injury.

Whomever said that 'there's no such thing as bad publicity' probably never had naked photographs of themselves posted on the internet. Sure, some celebrities built careers off purportedly leaked sex tapes, but the same cannot be said about the vast majority of women who have their before and after breast augmentation photos posted online by their plastic surgeon.

Breast augmentation can often be controversial. Some people have no problem sharing their experience with the procedure (though might prefer faceless and nameless photos), while others want their cosmetic surgery to remain private. In a recently filed Chicago lawsuit, a woman is suing her plastic surgeon for posting her before and after photos, despite her not providing the legally required consent.

The Florida Supreme Court reached a decision this week that is sure to please medical malpractice lawyers and victims currently pursuing their cases in the state. The state law limiting pain and suffering, and other non-economic, monetary awards in medical malpractice cases has been ruled unconstitutional, rendering the cap null and void.

Under the old law, a person that suffered an injury due to medical malpractice could only be awarded $500,000 for pain and suffering by the court regardless of what a jury decided. If a person was catastrophically injured, the limit jumped up to an even million. However, these limits do not include monetary damages for lost wages, medical care, or other directly attributable losses, only the esoteric pain and suffering, and other categories of non-economic damages, like loss of enjoyment of life, loss of companionship, and emotional distress. Caps, or limits, on damages vary from state to state, but usually only apply to medical malpractice matters.

Just about every single type of legal matter can be resolved without getting the courts involved. This means that a medical malpractice claim can be settled without filing a lawsuit.

However, before attempting to negotiate a settlement on a medical malpractice claim, seeking the advice of an experienced attorney in your area is a good idea. Below, you'll find the top three reasons why you should talk to a medical malpractice lawyer before taking any actions on your claim.

The hospitals in VA health system are just as susceptible to the same type of medical malpractice claims as any other hospital. However, due to the fact that the VA system is both overburdened and underfunded, those hospitals may also face claims for injuries related to delays in treatment.

Regardless of whether the injury is the result of hospital negligence, medical malpractice, or just ordinary negligence, veterans can sue the VA in court. A recent medical malpractice settlement against a VA hospital neared seven figures. In that case, a veteran underwent an unneeded surgery that caused him further, and life changing, injuries.

When suing a hospital or a doctor, you usually seek to recover past and future medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses. But you can also seek compensation for pain and suffering. Generally, a person can pursue a claim for pain and suffering when they are injured due to negligence and experience either pain or suffering, individually or combined.

Pain and suffering compensation is essentially what it sounds like. If a person experiences physical pain, or suffers mentally from things like stress, anxiety, or depression, and the pain and/or suffering can be attributed to a compensable injury, then money can be awarded for it.