Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice issue.

Data vary drastically on the variety of medical mistakes that take place in the United States. Some studies position the variety of medical errors in excess of one million annually while other studies put the number as low as a few hundred thousand. It is commonly accepted nevertheless that iatrogenic illness (disease or injury triggered by a medical mistake or medical treatment) is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States after heart problem and cancer. See, The JOURNAL of the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA) Vol 284, No 4, July 26th 2000.

As an attorney who has restricted his practice to representation of victims hurt by somebody else's carelessness, medical or otherwise, I have received thousands of calls from prospective clients over the last 20 years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Considering that medical malpractice lawsuits is extremely pricey and extremely lengthy the attorneys in our firm are extremely careful exactly what medical malpractice cases in which we choose to get included. slip and fall at work is not at all unusual for a lawyer, or law practice to advance litigation costs in excess of $100,000.00 simply to get a case to trial. These expenses are the expenses related to pursuing the lawsuits that include expert witness fees, deposition costs, display preparation and court expenses. What follows is a summary of the problems, concerns and factors to consider that the legal representatives in our firm think about when discussing with a customer a potential 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 physicians, dental practitioners, podiatrists etc.) which results in an injury or death. "Standard of Care" means medical treatment that an affordable, prudent medical company in the exact same neighborhood should offer. The majority of cases include a dispute over what the appropriate requirement of care is. The standard of care is typically provided through using expert statement from consulting doctors that practice or teach medicine in the exact same specialized as the accused( 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 offender treated the plaintiff (victim) or the date the plaintiff found or reasonably need to have discovered the malpractice. Some states have a 2 year statute of limitations. In Ohio if the victim is a minor the statute of limitations will not even start to run till the small ends up being 18 years of ages. Be advised nevertheless derivative claims for moms and dads may run several years previously. If you think you may have a case it is necessary you call an attorney quickly. Regardless of the statute of restrictions, physicians transfer, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The earlier counsel is engaged the faster crucial proof can be maintained and the much better your opportunities are of prevailing.

Exactly what did the physician do or cannot do?

Merely to the fact that 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 doctor slipped up. Medical practice is by no means a guarantee of health or a total healing. The majority of the time when a patient experiences a not successful result 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 result it is regardless of good, quality medical care not because of sub-standard medical care.

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When talking about a possible case with a customer it is important that the client have the ability to tell us why they think there was medical neglect. As all of us understand individuals often die from cancer, cardiovascular disease or organ failure even with excellent treatment. Nevertheless, we also know that individuals normally must not pass away from knee surgery, appendix elimination, hernia repair or some other "small" surgery. When something really unexpected like that happens it definitely deserves checking out whether there was a medical mistake. If in doubt most medical malpractice lawyers will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. A lot of lawyers do not charge for an initial assessment in neglect cases.

So what if there was (near cause)?

In is the burden of proof on the complainant to prove the medical malpractice the plaintiff need to likewise prove that as a direct outcome of the medical neglect some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "near cause." Given that medical malpractice litigation is so costly to pursue the injuries need to be substantial to call for progressing with the case. All medical errors are "malpractice" however only a little percentage of errors trigger medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a moms and dad takes his boy 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 kid's forearm and tells the papa his kid has "just a sprain" this likely is medical malpractice. But, if the kid is appropriately diagnosed within a few days and makes a complete recovery it is unlikely the "damages" are extreme enough to carry out a claim that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the delay in being properly identified, the kid has to have his arm re-broken and the growth plate is irreparably harmed due to the hold-up then the damages likely would necessitate further investigation and a possible claim.

Other important factors to consider.

Other problems that are very important when figuring out whether a client has a malpractice case consist of the victim's habits and case history. Did the victim do anything to cause or contribute to the bad medical result? A common tactic of medical malpractice defense lawyer is to blame the client. If it is a birth trauma case, did the mom have proper prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs during her pregnancy? In other cases, did the patient follow the doctor's orders, keep his appointments, take his medication as advised and tell the medical professional the truth? These are facts that we need to understand in order to determine whether the doctor will have a valid defense to the malpractice claim?

What takes place if it appears like there is a case?

If it appears that the patient may have been a victim of a medical error, the medical mistake caused a considerable injury or death and the patient was certified with his doctor's orders, then we need to get the client's medical records. For the most parts, acquiring the medical records includes nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the doctor and/or healthcare facility in addition to a letter asking for the records. In the case of wrongful death, an executor of the victims estate needs to be designated in the local county probate court and after that the executor can sign the release requesting the records.

When the records are received we review them to make sure they are total. It is not uncommon in medical neglect cases to receive insufficient medical charts. Once all the appropriate records are acquired they are provided to a qualified medical professional for evaluation and opinion. If the case protests an emergency clinic doctor we have an emergency clinic physician evaluate the case, if it protests a cardiologist we need to obtain an opinion from a cardiologist, etc

. Mostly, what we need to know form the professional is 1) was the treatment supplied below the standard of care, 2) did the offense of the requirement of care result in the patients injury or death? If the physicians opinion agrees with on both counts a suit will be prepared on the client's behalf and typically filed in the court of typical pleas in the county where the malpractice was devoted or in the county where the accused lives. In some restricted circumstances jurisdiction for the malpractice claim could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a good malpractice lawyer will carefully and completely examine any potential malpractice case before submitting a lawsuit. It's not fair to the victim or the physicians to file a lawsuit unless the specialist informs us that he believes there is a strong basis to bring the suit. Due to the expenditure of pursuing a medical negligence action no good lawyer has the time or resources to lose on a "frivolous claim."

When talking to a malpractice legal representative it is essential to precisely give the attorney as much information as possible and address the lawyer's concerns as totally as possible. Prior to talking to a legal representative consider making some notes so you don't forget some crucial fact or scenario the attorney might need.

Last but not least, if you think you may have a malpractice case get in touch with a good malpractice attorney as soon as possible so there are no statute of limitations issues in your case.

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