Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice issue.

Data differ dramatically on the number of medical mistakes that occur in the United States. Some studies place the variety of medical errors in excess of one million every year while other research studies position the number as low as a couple of hundred thousand. It is widely accepted however that iatrogenic disease (disease or injury brought on by a medical mistake or medical treatment) is the third leading cause of death in the United States after cardiovascular disease and cancer. See, The JOURNAL of the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA) Vol 284, No 4, July 26th 2000.

As a lawyer who has actually limited his practice to representation of victims hurt by somebody else's negligence, medical or otherwise, I have actually gotten thousands of calls from potential customers over the last Twenty Years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Considering that medical malpractice litigation is very expensive and extremely lengthy the legal representatives in our company are extremely careful what medical malpractice cases where we decide to get included. It is not unusual for a lawyer, or law practice to advance lawsuits expenses in excess of $100,000.00 just to get a case to trial. These expenditures are the costs associated with pursuing the litigation which include expert witness fees, deposition costs, show preparation and court expenses. What follows is an outline of the problems, concerns and considerations that the attorneys in our firm think about when discussing with a client a prospective medical malpractice case.

Exactly What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice is medical treatment that breaches of the "Requirement of Care" for medical physicians (or nurses, chiropractic practitioners, dental professionals, podiatrists etc.) which leads to an injury or death. "Standard of Care" suggests medical treatment that an affordable, prudent medical provider in the very same neighborhood need to supply. Most cases include a disagreement over exactly what the relevant requirement of care is. The requirement of care is typically supplied through the use of expert testament from consulting physicians that practice or teach medication in the same specialty as the offender( s).

When did the malpractice occur (Statute of Limitations)?

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In Ohio the medical malpractice statute of restrictions is one year from the date of the malpractice, or the last date the defendant dealt with the complainant (victim) or the date the plaintiff found or fairly need to have discovered the malpractice. Some states have a two year statute of limitations. In Ohio if the victim is a small the statute of restrictions will not even begin to run up until the small becomes 18 years of ages. Be encouraged nevertheless derivative claims for parents might run many years earlier. If you believe you might have a case it is essential you call a lawyer soon. Regardless of of restrictions, physicians move, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The sooner counsel is engaged the earlier crucial evidence can be maintained and the much better your possibilities are of prevailing.

Exactly what did the doctor do or cannot do?

Just because a patient does not have a successful result from a surgical treatment, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself indicate the medical professional made a mistake. Medical practice is by no suggests an assurance of health or a complete healing. Most of the time when a client experiences an unsuccessful arise from medical treatment it is not due to the fact that the medical provider made a mistake. Most of the time when there is a bad medical outcome it is in spite of great, quality healthcare not because of sub-standard healthcare.

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When going over a potential case with a client it is essential that the customer have the ability to inform us why they believe there was medical neglect. As all of us understand individuals often die from cancer, heart disease or organ failure even with great medical care. Nevertheless, we likewise know that people normally should not pass away from knee surgical treatment, appendix removal, hernia repair work or some other "minor" surgical treatment. When something extremely unforeseen like that happens it certainly is worth exploring whether there was a medical error. If in doubt most medical malpractice lawyers will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. of legal representatives do not charge for a preliminary assessment in negligence cases.

So what if there was a medical mistake (proximate cause)?

In any neglect case not only is the burden of proof on the complainant to prove the medical malpractice the plaintiff must also prove that as a direct result of the medical neglect some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "near cause." Because medical malpractice lawsuits is so costly to pursue the injuries must be substantial to warrant moving on with the case. All medical errors are "malpractice" however only a small percentage of mistakes trigger medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a moms and dad takes his boy to the emergency room after a skateboard mishap and the ER doctor does not do x-rays in spite of an apparent bend in the kid's forearm and tells the dad his kid has "simply a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. However, if the kid is appropriately identified within a few days and makes a total recovery it is unlikely the "damages" are extreme enough to carry out a lawsuit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. Nevertheless, if because of the hold-up in being correctly identified, the kid needs to have his arm re-broken and the growth plate is irreparably damaged due to the delay then the damages likely would call for additional examination and a possible lawsuit. to consider.

Other concerns that are very important when determining whether a client has a malpractice case consist of the victim's behavior and case history. Did the victim do anything to cause or add to the bad medical result? A typical technique of medical malpractice defense attorneys is to blame the patient. If it is a birth trauma case, did the mama have appropriate prenatal care, did she smoke or use drugs during her pregnancy? In other cases, did the patient follow the doctor's orders, keep his consultations, take his medicine as instructed and inform the doctor the reality? These are realities that we have to know in order to identify whether the physician will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice claim?

Exactly what takes place if it appears like there is a case?

If it appears that the patient might have been a victim of a medical mistake, the medical error triggered a significant injury or death and the patient was compliant with his medical professional's orders, then we have to get the patient's medical records. Most of the times, acquiring the medical records includes absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the doctor and/or health center along with a letter asking for the records. In the case of wrongful death, an executor of the victims estate has to be appointed in the local county court of probate and then the executor can sign the release requesting the records.

When the records are gotten we review them to make sure they are complete. It is not unusual in medical negligence cases to receive insufficient medical charts. When all the pertinent records are gotten they are provided to a competent medical professional for evaluation and opinion. If the case is against an emergency room physician we have an emergency clinic doctor evaluate the case, if it's against a cardiologist we need to acquire an opinion from a cardiologist, etc

. Primarily, exactly what we wish to know form the expert is 1) was the medical care provided listed below the standard of care, 2) did the violation of the standard of care result in the clients injury or death? If the doctors viewpoint agrees with on both counts a claim will be prepared on the customer's behalf and typically filed in the court of typical pleas in the county where the malpractice was committed or in the county where the accused lives. In some limited situations jurisdiction for the malpractice lawsuit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, an excellent malpractice attorney will carefully and thoroughly review any possible malpractice case before submitting a lawsuit. 's not fair to the victim or the medical professionals to submit a claim unless the specialist informs us that he believes there is a strong basis to bring the lawsuit. Due to the expenditure of pursuing a medical negligence action no good legal representative has the time or resources to waste on a "unimportant claim."

When seeking advice from a malpractice attorney it's important to precisely offer the lawyer as much information as possible and answer the lawyer's concerns as entirely as possible. Prior to talking to a legal representative consider making some notes so you don't forget some crucial reality or scenario the legal representative might need.

Finally, if you think you might have a malpractice case contact an excellent malpractice lawyer as soon as possible so there are no statute of restrictions problems in your case.

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