Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

Data differ drastically on the variety of medical mistakes that happen in the United States. Some studies position the number of medical mistakes in excess of one million every year while other research studies position the number as low as a few hundred thousand. It is extensively accepted nevertheless that iatrogenic disease (illness or injury triggered by a medical error 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. iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen>

As a lawyer who has limited his practice to representation of victims hurt by someone else's carelessness, medical or otherwise, I have actually received thousands of calls from potential customers over the last 20 years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Because medical malpractice lawsuits is extremely pricey and very lengthy the legal representatives in our firm are really careful exactly what medical malpractice cases where we decide to get involved. It is not unusual for a lawyer, or law practice to advance litigation expenses in excess of $100,000.00 just to get a case to trial. These expenses are the expenses associated with pursuing the litigation that include professional witness charges, deposition costs, display preparation and court costs. What follows is a summary of the concerns, concerns and considerations that the legal representatives in our company think about when going over with a customer a prospective medical malpractice case.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice is medical treatment that breaches of the "Requirement of Care" for medical physicians (or nurses, chiropractic physicians, dental experts, podiatric doctors etc.) which leads to an injury or death. "Standard of Care" means medical treatment that an affordable, sensible medical company in the very same neighborhood need to provide. The majority of cases include a disagreement over what the applicable standard of care is. The requirement of care is usually offered through the use of expert statement from consulting medical professionals that practice or teach medicine in the very 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 defendant treated the complainant (victim) or the date the complainant found or reasonably must have discovered the malpractice. Some states have a two year statute of restrictions. In Ohio if the victim is a minor the statute of limitations will not even start to run until the minor becomes 18 years of ages. Be advised nevertheless acquired claims for moms and dads might run many years earlier. If think you might have a case it is essential you contact an attorney soon. Irrespective of the statute of limitations, physicians move, witnesses vanish and memories fade. The quicker counsel is engaged the faster important evidence can be protected and the better your opportunities 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 treatment or medical treatment does not in and of itself mean the medical professional made a mistake. Medical practice is by no implies a warranty of good health or a complete recovery. The majority of the time when a patient experiences a not successful arise from medical treatment it is not due to the fact that the medical company made a mistake. Most of the time when there is a bad medical outcome it is in spite of excellent, quality treatment not because of sub-standard treatment.

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When talking about a potential case with a client it is essential that the customer have the ability to inform us why they think there was medical neglect. As we all know people typically die from cancer, heart disease or organ failure even with great healthcare. However, see more understand that people generally ought to not pass away from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair or some other "minor" surgical treatment. When something very unanticipated like that happens it certainly deserves checking out whether there was a medical error. If in doubt most medical malpractice legal representatives will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. Most lawyers do not charge for an initial assessment in carelessness cases.

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

In any carelessness case not just is the burden of proof on the complainant to prove the medical malpractice the complainant need to likewise show that as a direct outcome of the medical carelessness some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "near cause." Considering that medical malpractice lawsuits is so costly to pursue the injuries should be considerable to require moving forward with the case. All medical errors are "malpractice" nevertheless just 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 mishap and the ER medical professional does not do x-rays regardless of an obvious bend in the child's lower arm and informs the papa his kid has "just a sprain" this likely is medical malpractice. However, if the child is appropriately identified within a few days and makes a complete recovery it is not likely the "damages" are serious sufficient to carry out a claim that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. Nevertheless, if because of the hold-up in being properly diagnosed, the young boy has to have his arm re-broken and the growth plate is irreparably harmed due to the delay then the damages likely would call for further investigation and a possible lawsuit.

Other crucial factors to consider.

Other problems that are very important when identifying whether a customer has a malpractice case include the victim's habits and case history. Did the victim do anything to cause or add 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 appropriate prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs during her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the medical professional's orders, keep his visits, take his medicine as advised and inform the medical professional the reality? These are facts that we have to know in order to identify whether the doctor will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice suit?

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

If it appears that the client may have been a victim of a medical mistake, the medical error caused a significant injury or death and the patient was certified with his medical professional's orders, then we have to get the patient's medical records. Most of the times, obtaining the medical records includes absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the physician and/or hospital in addition to a letter requesting the records. In the case of wrongful death, an executor of the victims estate has to be designated in the regional county court of probate and then the executor can sign the release requesting the records.

When the records are received we examine them to make sure they are total. It is not uncommon in medical neglect cases to get insufficient medical charts. Once all the relevant records are acquired they are provided to a certified medical expert for evaluation and opinion. If the case protests an emergency room physician we have an emergency room physician review the case, if it's against a cardiologist we have to acquire a viewpoint from a cardiologist, etc

. Mostly, what we need to know form the expert is 1) was the healthcare supplied listed below the standard of care, 2) did the violation of the standard of care result in the patients injury or death? If the physicians opinion agrees with on both counts a claim will be prepared on the client's behalf and generally submitted in the court of common 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 suit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a great malpractice lawyer will thoroughly and thoroughly review any prospective malpractice case prior to filing a suit. It's unfair to the victim or the medical professionals to file a claim unless the expert informs us that he thinks there is a strong basis to bring the suit. Due to the cost of pursuing a medical neglect action no good legal representative has the time or resources to lose on a "frivolous suit."

When seeking advice from a malpractice attorney it is very important to properly provide the lawyer as much detail as possible and address the legal representative's concerns as completely as possible. Prior to talking to a lawyer consider making some notes so you don't forget some crucial fact or circumstance the attorney might require.

Lastly, if you believe you may have a malpractice case get in touch with a good malpractice lawyer as soon as possible so there are no statute of restrictions problems in your case.

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