Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

Statistics vary dramatically on the number of medical mistakes that happen in the United States. Some studies position the number of medical mistakes in excess of one million annually while other studies position the number as low as a few hundred thousand. It is widely accepted however that iatrogenic disease (disease or injury triggered by a medical mistake or medical treatment) is the third 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 limited his practice to representation of victims injured by someone else's carelessness, 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. Since medical malpractice litigation is extremely expensive and really lengthy the attorneys in our firm are really careful exactly what medical malpractice cases in which we opt to get involved. It is not unusual for an attorney, or law firm to advance lawsuits expenditures in excess of $100,000.00 just to get a case to trial. These expenses are the expenses related to pursuing the litigation that include expert witness costs, deposition costs, show preparation and court costs. What follows is an overview of the issues, concerns and considerations that the attorneys in our firm think about when going over with a client a prospective medical malpractice case.

Exactly What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice is medical treatment that breaches of the "Standard of Care" for medical doctors (or nurses, chiropractic specialists, dental practitioners, podiatrists and so on.) which leads to an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" implies medical treatment that a reasonable, prudent medical company in the same neighborhood must offer. Most cases include a disagreement over what the relevant standard of care is. The standard of care is usually provided through the use of professional statement from speaking with medical professionals that practice or teach medicine in the very same specialty as the defendant( s).

When did the malpractice happen (Statute of Limitations)?

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In Ohio the medical malpractice statute of constraints is one year from the date of the malpractice, or the last date the offender treated the complainant (victim) or the date the complainant discovered or reasonably ought to have found 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 begin to run until the small becomes 18 years old. Be encouraged however acquired claims for moms and dads might run many years earlier. If you believe you might have a case it is necessary you contact an attorney soon. Irrespective of the statute of constraints, physicians relocate, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The sooner counsel is engaged the sooner crucial evidence can be maintained and the better your opportunities are of dominating.

Exactly what did the physician do or cannot do?

Merely because a client does not have an effective arise from a surgical treatment, medical treatment or medical treatment does not in and of itself suggest the medical professional made a mistake. Medical practice is by no suggests a warranty of health or a total healing. The majority of the time when a patient experiences an unsuccessful result from medical treatment it is not since the medical company slipped up. Most of the time when there is a bad medical outcome it is in spite of great, quality medical care not because of sub-standard treatment.

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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 believe there was medical neglect. As we all know people typically die from cancer, heart disease or organ failure even with excellent treatment. However, we likewise understand that people typically should not die from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair work or some other "minor" surgery. When something very unforeseen like that occurs it certainly is worth 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. Many attorneys do not charge for a preliminary assessment in carelessness cases.

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

In any carelessness case not only is the burden of proof on the plaintiff to prove the medical malpractice the plaintiff need to also show that as a direct result of the medical carelessness some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "proximate cause." Given that medical malpractice lawsuits is so pricey to pursue the injuries need to be considerable to warrant progressing with the case. are "malpractice" nevertheless only a little portion of mistakes give rise to 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 physician doesn't do x-rays in spite of an apparent bend in the child's forearm and informs the daddy his boy has "just a sprain" this likely is medical malpractice. However, if the kid is correctly diagnosed within a couple of days and makes a complete healing it is unlikely the "damages" are severe sufficient to carry out a lawsuit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the delay in being effectively diagnosed, the boy needs to have his arm re-broken and the development plate is irreparably damaged due to the delay then the damages likely would call for further examination and a possible claim.

Other important factors to consider.

Other issues that are important when figuring out whether a customer has a malpractice case consist of the victim's behavior and case history. Did the victim do anything to trigger or contribute to the bad medical result? A common method of medical malpractice defense attorneys is to blame the patient. If it is a birth trauma case, did the mommy have correct prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs throughout her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the physician's orders, keep his consultations, take his medicine as advised and inform the medical professional the truth? These are facts that we need to understand in order to figure out whether the doctor will have a valid defense to the malpractice suit?

Exactly what takes slip and fall accidents settlement amount 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 error caused a significant injury or death and the client was certified with his physician's orders, then we have to get the client's medical records. Most of the times, acquiring the medical records involves absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the customer to the doctor and/or medical facility in addition to a letter requesting the records. When it comes to wrongful death, an executor of the victims estate needs to be designated in the local county probate court then the executor can sign the release asking for 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. When all the relevant records are gotten they are supplied to a certified medical expert for review and opinion. If the case is against an emergency room medical professional we have an emergency room medical professional review the case, if it protests a cardiologist we need to get a viewpoint from a cardiologist, etc

. Mainly, exactly what we need to know form the expert is 1) was the medical care supplied below the requirement of care, 2) did the infraction of the standard of care lead to the clients injury or death? If the medical professionals viewpoint is favorable on both counts a claim will be prepared on the client's behalf and normally 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 minimal scenarios jurisdiction for the malpractice suit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, an excellent malpractice legal representative will carefully and thoroughly review any possible malpractice case before filing a claim. It's not fair to the victim or the medical professionals to submit a lawsuit unless the expert tells us that he believes there is a strong basis to bring the suit. Due to the expense of pursuing a medical carelessness action no good lawyer has the time or resources to lose on a "pointless claim."

When speaking with a malpractice attorney it is essential to accurately offer the legal representative as much information as possible and respond to the legal representative's questions as entirely as possible. Prior to speaking with an attorney consider making some notes so you always remember some important fact or situation the attorney may 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 limitations issues in your case.

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