Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

On this page, our medical malpractice lawyers will explain the process of suing a doctor or other healthcare provider for medical malpractice. Will we look at what plaintiffs need to prove to win a medical malpractice case, how likely they are to win, and how much settlement compensation they can expect to get.


Alabama Medical Malpractice Settlement
Georgia Medical Malpractice Law and Settlements
Illinois Medical Malpractice Settlement Value
Kentucky Malpractice Settlement Amounts
Maryland Medical Malpractice
Nevada Medical Malpractice Settlement Amounts
Ohio Medical Malpractice Settlements and Statistics
Oklahoma Medical Malpractice Settlements
Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Virginia Medical Malpractice Law and Settlements

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is essentially medical negligence or negligent treatment provided by a doctor, nurse, hospital, or any other licensed healthcare provider. A doctor or provider commits medical malpractice if they negligently fail to provide a patient with level of medical care required in the medical industry. Medical malpractice can result from mistakes, inattentiveness, lack of understanding, and a variety of other issues.

In order bring a lawsuit for medical malpractice, you will need to show that the doctor’s negligence actually caused you some type of harm. You can’t sue a doctor for medical malpractice if their mistake didn’t really hurt you in anyway.

Medical malpractice can and does occur in a variety of healthcare contexts and at all stages during the treatment process. Some of the most common types or categories of medical malpractice include:

How to Sue a Doctor: Three Key Steps

Suing a doctor for medical malpractice is somewhat more complicated than bringing a normal personal injury lawsuit. Below is summary of the first three critical steps involved in filing a malpractice lawsuit against a doctor.

#1 Notifying the Doctor About Your Medical Malpractice Claim

If you are ready to sue a doctor for malpractice, you can’t just file your case in court. Almost all states have specific laws that require plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases to provide the doctor with written notice of their malpractice claim in advance of filing the actual lawsuit. This notice requirement must be satisfied as a prerequisite to filing the lawsuit.

The specific notice requirements for malpractice cases are different in each state, so you will need to work with your medical malpractice attorney to make sure you comply with the applicable rules in your location. The general purpose of these rules, however, is to give the doctor advance warning of the lawsuit. If you fail to comply with the applicable notice requirements, your malpractice case will get dismissed.

#2 Expert Affidavit Supporting Your Malpractice Claims

In most states, plaintiffs who want to sue a doctor for medical malpractice first need to get an affidavit from a qualified expert (i.e., another doctor) stating that the expert has reviewed the case and believes that there is evidence of medical negligence. The specific requirements for the expert affidavit vary significantly in each state, so your lawyer will need to guide you through this process.

The intent behind this requirement is to provide an additional level of screening to prevent the filing of frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits. You can’t file a malpractice case unless and until you get another doctor to sign off on the validity of your case.

#3 Proving Your Medical Malpractice Claims

After meeting all of the other pre-conditions and filing your medical malpractice lawsuit, the third and final step will be actually proving your medical malpractice allegations in court. To succeed in a medical malpractice case, plaintiffs need to prove that the doctor’s treatment breached the applicable duty of care owed to the patient.

Breaching the Standard of Care is Medical Malpractice

Doctors and other medical professionals have a duty of care to their patients. What is the duty of care? In most situations, doctors are held to the standard of care of a reasonable doctor acting under the same circumstances and in the same location. So the question becomes what would a reasonable doctor have done under the circumstances.

The only way to prove that a doctor breached the standard of care and committed medical malpractice is to present testimony from qualified expert witnesses. A qualified expert witness generally means another doctor of the same are of medical specialty as the defendant. The plaintiffs’ expert witness will need to testify as to what the standard of care was. The expert will also need to testify as to how the defendant breached that standard of care in the plaintiff’s case.

What Damages Can You Get When You Sue a Doctor for Malpractice?

Plaintiffs who successfully prove medical malpractice are entitled to damages (financial compensation) for any and all injuries and loses, both past and future, that they incurred as a result of the doctor’s negligence. In medical malpractice cases, the injuries to the plaintiff resulting from the doctor’s negligence are often very serious and can have long-term consequences. As a result, establishing the plaintiffs’ damages in a malpractice case can often be complicated and require expert testimony.

The typical categories of damages for which a medical malpractice plaintiff can get financial compensation include:

  • Compensation for all part medical expenses related to the doctor’s negligence
  • Compensation for future medical expenses (e.g., future care or surgery) that will be required as a result of the doctor’s negligence
  • Prior lost income or wages
  • Future lost income or loss of future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering related to the plaintiff’s physical injuries
  • Loss of quality of life

Damages in medical malpractice cases fall into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are things like medical expenses and lost income. Non-economic damages are pain & suffering and loss of quality of life.

What is the Average Settlement Amount of a Malpractice Case Against a Doctor?

Medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors are high value personal injury cases because they often involve very serious injuries. Nationally, the average compensation payout in medical malpractice lawsuits is $257,000. This includes both settlements and verdicts. The average verdict in medical malpractice cases nationally is around $1,000,000.

There are a few things to keep in mind if you are wondering about the potential value of your case.  First, the value of a claim is driven not by how badly the doctors messed up, but by how serious you were injured as a result. The value of a malpractice case is based on the level of injury, not the level of negligence.

No matter how egregious or grossly negligent the doctors were, if it only results in minor injuries, the case will not be worth very much and it may be hard to find a lawyer to fight for you.  When the malpractice results in a serious, permanent injury or death the case will be worth much more.

Why Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer to Sue a Doctor?

Medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors are very complex and difficult cases to litigate. Bringing a malpractice case without a lawyer is not really an option because these cases require specialized knowledge and skill. Getting a good medical malpractice attorney with a track record of success is essential if you want to win you malpractice case and get fair compensation.

An experienced medical malpractice attorney can maximize the value of your case and increase your likelihood of success. A medical malpractice attorney will know what to look for in your case and what damages you can claim to receive the compensation you deserve. Most injury victims will not have the skills necessary to negotiate a favorable settlement with an insurance company that will undoubtedly have a seasoned team of lawyers trying to deny the claim.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits are Very Expensive

The other big reason why you need a medical malpractice lawyer to handle your case is because litigating a malpractice lawsuit against a doctor can be incredibly expensive. To prove your case, you will need to hire multiple expert witnesses. Medical experts charge $500 per hour or more. Even a small malpractice case with just a few experts can easily cost $100,000 just to get to trial.

Our medical malpractice lawyers – and most other malpractice attorneys – front these expenses  and swallow the costs if your case is unsuccessful.  So in the vast majority of cases, when you hire a malpractice lawyer, they will go out-of-pocket and front these costs and if you lose your case you won’t owe them anything. So you can see why malpractice attorneys tend to take only cases they feel strongly they can win.

Contact Miller & Zois About Suing a Doctor for Malpractice

Contact Miller & Zois today for a free consultation about potential malpractice lawsuits against a doctor. Call our medical malpractice lawyers at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation.

This page digs into medical malpractice lawsuits in Nevada. Our lawyers focus on the potential settlement amounts victims see, often strong settlements in spite of Nevada’s cap on noneconomic damages.

The aim is to provide you with an understanding of what your medical negligence claim might be worth in terms of a settlement or jury payout. Our lawyers also explain Nevada’s medical malpractice laws in layman’s terms, as if we were explaining them to you directly, not as an explanation for a Nevada malpractice attorney.

If you have a potential claim, you want to know what it it worth. The main objective of any personal injury or wrongful death claim is to secure financial compensation.

If you are having a hard time contemplating how “unauthorized penis surgery” can happen, you are not alone. I had the same reaction when I first saw the headline about this case. But as explained below, unauthorized penis surgery is something that actually happened to a man in California and he got a malpractice award of $9 million.

Before getting into the details of the case, it is worth noting here that California caps damages for pain & suffering in malpractice cases at $250,000. This is one of the strictest caps on damages in the entire country, but it didn’t prevent the plaintiff in this case from getting a big award for what happened to this penis.

This post is about this case but also provides settlement and verdicts in penis injury medical malpractice cases.

chiropractor malpractice

This page is about medical malpractice lawsuits against chiropractors and settlement amounts and jury awards in these cases.

Chiropractic Malpractice Lawsuits

There are not that many chiropractor malpractice cases.  Is it that chiropractors are particularly competent health care providers?  No. Not at all. But chiropractic negligence usually does not result in serious injury.

Most of the chiropractic malpractice lawsuits our lawyers get calls on are negligent manipulation cases where the injury is not particularly serious by viable malpractice case standards and proof of what caused what is usually an exacerbation of a preexisting condition and is a challenge.  If you have a case like this – where there is clear malpractice but the injuries are relatively minor – our firm will not help you and you will likely have a hard time finding a lawyer.  That is not fair. But it is reality.

That said, there are sometimes significant claims made against chiropractors. Because they do not have the halo effect that doctors have with juries, there is a very level playing field for plaintiffs filing suit against them.  Stunningly, chiropractors are trusted less in most communities than lawyers (but ahead of Congress, of course).  Which really is saying something.

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North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers looked at the 5,401 med-mal cases filed in North Carolina from 1998 through 2006 and compiled a few statistics. The median jury award in medical malpractice cases was $301,300. The largest medical malpractice award was $8.1 million.

Looking at personal injury cases in North Carolina generally, Jury Verdict Research estimates the median award in North Carolina is $10,000. Personal injury plaintiff receive damages in 61% of cases that are tried (the national average is 53%).

The average jury verdict in medical malpractice cases in North Carolina is relatively low. I do not have the national median for medical malpractice cases in front of me but the average – as opposed to the median which makes a difference – is over $1 million. The national median for personal injury cases generally is $38,179 which means that North Carolina and the nationwide plaintiff recovery probability, the number of plaintiff verdicts to total verdicts, is 53 percent.

This page looks at settlement compensation and jury payouts in stoke malpractice lawsuits.  We begin with a sample lawsuit and then provide example verdicts and settlements to give you some insight into the potential value of a stroke malpractice lawsuit.  

Facts of Malpractice Lawsuit

A jury awarded a Maryland Heights man and his wife $6.4 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit against the man’s physician after he suffered a stroke. The plaintiffs alleged the stroke could have been prevented if the physician had adequately diagnosed and treated a bacterial infection on the man’s heart valve.

Our law firm handles medical malpractice cases around the country.  These are some of the questions we are most commonly asked by people who have suffered or lost a loved one because of the medical malpractice of a doctor or other healthcare provider.

What Is the Average Settlement for Medical Malpractice?

If you have a potential medical malpractice claim, you want to know what the average settlement value is for malpractice cases.  But, even more specifically, you want to know the expected settlement payout in your case.

Our lawyers handle cervical cancer misdiagnosis lawsuits throughout the country. If you think you may have been the victim of cervical cancer misdiagnosis, reach out to us.  Our cervical misdiagnosis lawyers can help you or at least send you in the right direction.

Cervical Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, more than one million people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer each year.  Cancer is a disease that manifests from the uncontrolled proliferation of cells that transform from normal into cancerous cells.  The human immune system sometimes has the potential to eliminate cancerous cells. But cancer cells can have the ability to turn off or evade the immune system. When this happens, cancer cells can grow unchecked until diagnosed and treated.

Cauda equina syndrome is a neurological disorder that stems from an injury to the nerve root bundle that exits the spinal cord.

Symptoms of CES include severe back pain, weakness or numbness in the legs, bowel or bladder dysfunction, and sexual dysfunction. If not treated promptly and adequately, CES can lead to permanent nerve damage and even paralysis.

When a patient presents with symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, healthcare professionals must recognize the condition promptly and provide appropriate treatment. Unfortunately, medical malpractice can occur when healthcare providers fail to diagnose or properly treat CES, leading to permanent nerve damage, paralysis, and other long-term injuries.

If you or a loved one has suffered from CES due to medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Our experienced malpractice attorneys can help you understand your legal rights and pursue justice via a medical malpractice lawsuit on your behalf.

cauda equina settlements

The treatment for cauda equina syndrome is generally immediate surgical decompression. The sooner this can be achieved, the better. You usually have a 48-hour window of opportunity to reverse the symptoms. The malpractice lawsuits occur when the symptoms were there to be seen during that window but were missed, usually in the ER or by a primary care doctor, or by the surgical staff after spinal surgery.

Cauda Equina Syndrome Causes and Symptoms

CES is caused by compression of the cauda equina nerves located at the base of the spinal cord. The condition can result from a variety of underlying factors, including:

  • Herniated disc
  • Trauma to the spinal cord
  • Tumor or lesion on the spinal cord
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Infection or inflammation

Symptoms of cauda equina syndrome can include:

  • Severe back pain
  • Weakness or numbness in the legs
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Numbness in the groin or genital area
  • Loss of sensation in the buttocks, inner thighs, or back of the legs

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A lawsuit filed against the Cleveland VA Medical Center has settled for $500,000. The lawsuit was filed after the death of a 59 year old veteran, who was being operated on to repair a hernia. What he was not told was that the VA surgeon had only been licensed for a few months, and that this was the first time that he had ever performed the procedure by himself. Experience matters is such a cliche. In surgery, data shows time and time again that experience is everything. Sadly, a hole was made in the deceased man’s intestines during the surgery, allowing the contents of his bowel to spill out into his abdomen – a hole which the VA hospital failed to recognize for several days. The deceased became very sick after developing an infection, and died several months later. Just a tragic, sensless story.

Hernia Repair Verdicts and Settlements