Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice issue.

Stats differ considerably on the number of medical mistakes that occur in the United States. Some studies position the number of medical errors in excess of one million every year while other studies place the number as low as a couple of hundred thousand. It is widely accepted nevertheless that iatrogenic disease (illness or injury brought on by a medical error 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 restricted his practice to representation of victims injured by another person's carelessness, medical or otherwise, I have gotten countless calls from prospective customers over the last Twenty Years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Considering that medical malpractice litigation is extremely costly and extremely protracted the attorneys in our company are very mindful what medical malpractice cases in which we choose to get involved. is not unusual for an attorney, or law office to advance litigation expenses in excess of $100,000.00 simply to get a case to trial. These costs are the expenses connected with pursuing the litigation that include professional witness fees, deposition costs, display preparation and court costs. What follows is a summary of the issues, questions and factors to consider that the legal representatives in our firm think about when discussing with a customer a potential medical malpractice case.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice is medical treatment that breaches of the "Standard of Care" for medical doctors (or nurses, chiropractic specialists, dentists, podiatrists etc.) which leads to an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" implies medical treatment that a sensible, prudent medical company in the very same community should offer. Many cases include a disagreement over what the suitable standard of care is. The requirement of care is generally provided through using expert testimony from seeking advice from physicians that practice or teach medication in the very 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 limitations is one year from the date of the malpractice, or the last date the accused dealt with the complainant (victim) or the date the complainant found or reasonably should have discovered the malpractice. Some states have a two year statute of constraints. In Ohio if the victim is a small the statute of limitations will not even start to run until the small becomes 18 years old. Be recommended nevertheless derivative claims for parents may run several years previously. If you think you might have a case it is essential you get in touch with an attorney soon. Regardless of the statute of limitations, physicians relocate, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The faster counsel is engaged the sooner essential proof can be protected and the better your possibilities are of prevailing.

Exactly what did the medical professional do or cannot do?

Simply due to the fact that a patient does not have an effective result from a surgery, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself indicate the physician slipped up. Medical practice is by no indicates a warranty of health or a complete recovery. of the time when a patient experiences an unsuccessful arise from medical treatment it is not since the medical company slipped up. The majority of the time when there is a bad medical result it is despite great, quality medical care not because of sub-standard healthcare.

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When talking about a possible case with a client it is very important that the client be able to inform us why they think there was medical neglect. As how long does it take to find a hit and run driver of us know individuals frequently pass away from cancer, heart problem or organ failure even with good treatment. Nevertheless, we also know that people typically need to not pass away from knee surgery, appendix elimination, hernia repair work or some other "small" surgical treatment. When something extremely unexpected like that happens it certainly is worth checking out whether there was a medical error. If in doubt most medical malpractice lawyers will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. Most lawyers do not charge for a preliminary consultation in neglect cases.

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

In any negligence case not only is the burden of proof on the complainant to prove the medical malpractice the plaintiff must likewise show that as a direct outcome of the medical carelessness some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "proximate cause." Considering that medical malpractice lawsuits is so pricey to pursue the injuries should be substantial to warrant moving forward with the case. All medical mistakes are "malpractice" nevertheless only a small portion of mistakes generate medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a moms and dad takes his kid to the emergency clinic after a skateboard accident and the ER medical professional does not do x-rays regardless of an obvious bend in the child's lower arm and tells the daddy his kid has "just a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. However, if the kid is correctly diagnosed within a few days and makes a complete healing it is not likely the "damages" are severe adequate to undertake a claim that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the delay in being properly identified, the kid needs to have his arm re-broken and the growth plate is irreparably harmed due to the hold-up then the damages likely would require further investigation and a possible suit.

Other important factors to consider.

Other concerns that are necessary when figuring out whether a client has a malpractice case include the victim's habits and medical history. Did the victim do anything to cause or contribute to the bad medical outcome? A common technique of medical malpractice defense lawyer is to blame the client. If it is a birth trauma case, did the mama have appropriate prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs throughout her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the medical professional's orders, keep his appointments, take his medicine as instructed and inform the doctor the fact? These are facts that we have to know in order to figure out whether the medical professional will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice suit?

What happens if it appears like there is a case?

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

As soon as the records are gotten we review them to make sure they are total. It is not unusual in medical neglect cases to get incomplete medical charts. Once all the pertinent records are gotten they are supplied to a certified medical expert for review and viewpoint. If the case is against an emergency clinic physician we have an emergency room physician evaluate the case, if it protests a cardiologist we have to acquire a viewpoint from a cardiologist, etc

. Primarily, exactly what we wish to know form the professional is 1) was the treatment provided below the requirement of care, 2) did the infraction of the requirement of care lead to the patients injury or death? If the medical professionals opinion is favorable on both counts a lawsuit will be prepared on the customer's behalf and typically filed in the court of common pleas in the county where the malpractice was dedicated or in the county where the defendant lives. In some restricted situations jurisdiction for the malpractice claim could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a good malpractice legal representative will thoroughly and completely examine any prospective malpractice case before filing a suit. It's not fair to the victim or the medical professionals to file a suit unless the professional informs us that he believes there is a strong basis to bring the suit. Due to the cost of pursuing a medical negligence action no good legal representative has the time or resources to waste on a "frivolous suit."

When seeking advice from a malpractice attorney it is very important to properly provide the legal representative as much detail as possible and respond to the attorney's concerns as totally as possible. Prior to talking with a lawyer consider making some notes so you don't forget some crucial truth or circumstance the lawyer may need.

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

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