Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

Statistics differ significantly on the variety of medical errors that occur in the United States. Some studies place the number of medical mistakes in excess of one million annually while other research studies position the number as low as a couple of hundred thousand. It is extensively accepted nevertheless that iatrogenic illness (illness or injury triggered 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 an attorney who has actually restricted his practice to representation of victims injured by somebody else's neglect, medical or otherwise, I have gotten countless calls from prospective customers over the last 20 years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Given that medical malpractice lawsuits is extremely expensive and very protracted the attorneys in our company are very careful what medical malpractice cases in which we choose to get included. It is not at all uncommon for an attorney, or law firm to advance lawsuits expenditures in excess of $100,000.00 just to obtain a case to trial. are the costs associated with pursuing the litigation which include professional witness fees, deposition expenses, display preparation and court costs. What follows is an overview of the concerns, concerns and factors to consider that the legal representatives in our firm think about when going over with a client a potential medical malpractice case.

Exactly What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice is medical treatment that breaches of the "Standard of Care" for medical physicians (or nurses, chiropractic specialists, dentists, podiatrists and so on.) which leads to an injury or death. "Standard of Care" implies medical treatment that a reasonable, prudent medical supplier in the very same neighborhood need to offer. The majority of cases include a disagreement over exactly what the applicable standard of care is. The standard of care is usually offered through using expert statement from speaking with medical professionals that practice or teach medicine in the exact same specialized as the accused( s).

When did the malpractice happen (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 accused treated the plaintiff (victim) or the date the complainant found or fairly need to have discovered the malpractice. Some states have a 2 year statute of restrictions. In Ohio if the victim is a minor the statute of limitations will not even begin to run until the minor ends up being 18 years old. Be advised however acquired claims for parents might run several years previously. If you believe you may have a case it is very important you contact a lawyer soon. Regardless of the statute of restrictions, physicians transfer, witnesses vanish and memories fade. The faster counsel is engaged the earlier crucial proof can be maintained and the much better your possibilities are of prevailing.

Exactly what did the medical professional do or cannot do?

Just since a patient does not have an effective arise from a surgical treatment, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself imply the medical professional made a mistake. Medical practice is by no suggests a warranty of good health or a total recovery. Most of the time when a client 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 outcome it is despite excellent, quality healthcare not because of sub-standard treatment.

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When talking about a possible case with a customer it is important that the client be able to tell us why they think there was medical negligence. As all of us know people often pass away from cancer, cardiovascular disease or organ failure even with great healthcare. However, we also know that individuals typically should not pass away from knee surgery, appendix elimination, hernia repair work or some other "minor" surgical treatment. When like that occurs 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. A lot of legal representatives 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 only is the burden of proof on the plaintiff to show the medical malpractice the plaintiff should likewise prove that as a direct outcome of the medical negligence some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "proximate cause." Since medical malpractice litigation is so costly to pursue the injuries need to be significant to require progressing with the case. All medical mistakes are "malpractice" nevertheless only a little percentage of errors generate medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a parent takes his son to the emergency clinic after a skateboard mishap and the ER physician does not do x-rays in spite of an obvious bend in the kid's forearm and informs the daddy his boy has "simply a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. However, if is correctly identified within a couple of days and makes a complete recovery it is unlikely the "damages" are extreme enough to undertake a suit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. Nevertheless, if because of the hold-up in being properly diagnosed, the young boy needs to have his arm re-broken and the growth plate is irreparably damaged due to the delay then the damages likely would warrant additional examination and a possible suit.

Other crucial considerations.

Other concerns that are necessary when identifying whether a customer has a malpractice case consist of the victim's behavior and medical history. Did the victim do anything to trigger or contribute to the bad medical result? A typical strategy of medical malpractice defense attorneys is to blame the patient. If it is a birth injury case, did the mommy have correct prenatal care, did she smoke or use drugs throughout her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the physician's orders, keep his appointments, take his medicine as advised and tell the medical professional the fact? These are truths that we need to understand in order to figure out whether the physician will have a valid defense to the malpractice lawsuit?

Exactly what happens if it looks 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 client was compliant with his doctor's orders, then we need 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 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 appointed in the local county court of probate and then the executor can sign the release asking for the records.

Once the records are gotten we review them to make sure they are complete. It is not uncommon in medical carelessness cases to receive incomplete medical charts. Once all the appropriate records are gotten they are supplied to a competent medical expert for evaluation and opinion. If the case protests an emergency room medical professional we have an emergency clinic physician review the case, if it's against a cardiologist we have to acquire an opinion from a cardiologist, and so on

. Primarily, exactly what we wish to know form the professional is 1) was the healthcare offered listed below the requirement of care, 2) did the infraction of the requirement of care result in the clients injury or death? If the doctors opinion is favorable on both counts a lawsuit will be prepared on the client's behalf and generally submitted in the court of typical pleas in the county where the malpractice was dedicated or in the county where the accused lives. In some limited situations jurisdiction for the malpractice claim could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, an excellent malpractice attorney will carefully and completely examine any potential malpractice case prior to filing a lawsuit. It's not fair to the victim or the medical professionals to submit a suit unless the specialist informs us that he thinks there is a strong basis to bring the lawsuit. Due to the expenditure of pursuing a medical neglect action no good legal representative has the time or resources to lose on a "frivolous lawsuit."

When speaking with a malpractice legal representative it is necessary to accurately offer the lawyer as much information as possible and respond to the attorney's questions as completely as possible. Prior to talking to a lawyer think about making some notes so you remember some crucial truth or circumstance the legal representative may require.

Last but not least, if you think you may have a malpractice case call a great malpractice legal representative as soon as possible so there are no statute of restrictions problems in your case.

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