Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

Data 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 yearly while other studies position the number as low as a couple of hundred thousand. It is extensively accepted nevertheless that iatrogenic illness (disease or injury caused by a medical mistake or medical treatment) is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. See, The JOURNAL of the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA) Vol 284, No 4, July 26th 2000.

As a lawyer who has limited his practice to representation of victims hurt by somebody else's carelessness, medical or otherwise, I have received thousands of calls from prospective customers over the last Twenty Years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Since is very pricey and really lengthy the legal representatives in our company are extremely careful what medical malpractice cases in which we opt to get involved. It is not uncommon for an attorney, or law office to advance litigation costs in excess of $100,000.00 simply to obtain a case to trial. These expenses are the expenses associated with pursuing the litigation which include professional witness fees, deposition expenses, show preparation and court costs. What follows is an overview of the issues, questions and considerations that the lawyers in our company think about when discussing with a client a potential medical malpractice case.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice is medical treatment that breaches of the "Requirement of Care" for medical doctors (or nurses, chiropractors, dental experts, podiatric doctors etc.) which results in an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" indicates medical treatment that an affordable, sensible medical company in the exact same neighborhood need to supply. Most cases involve a dispute over what the relevant standard of care is. The standard of care is generally supplied through making use of expert testament from seeking advice from medical professionals that practice or teach medication 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 offender treated the plaintiff (victim) or the date the complainant discovered or fairly need to have discovered the malpractice. Some states have a two year statute of limitations. In Ohio if the victim is a minor the statute of constraints will not even begin to run until the small becomes 18 years of ages. Be encouraged nevertheless acquired slip and fall court cases for moms and dads may run many years previously. If you believe you may have a case it is essential you contact a lawyer quickly. Regardless of the statute of limitations, physicians move, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The earlier counsel is engaged the sooner crucial proof can be preserved and the much better your chances are of prevailing.

What did the physician do or cannot do?

Simply due to the fact that a patient does not have a successful arise from a surgical treatment, medical treatment or medical treatment does not in and of itself indicate the doctor made a mistake. Medical practice is by no suggests an assurance of good health or a complete recovery. The majority of the time when a client experiences a not successful result from medical treatment it is not due to the fact that the medical supplier made a mistake. The majority of the time when there is a bad medical outcome it is regardless of great, quality medical care not because of sub-standard treatment. blockquote class="curated_content">

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When discussing a potential case with a customer it is essential that the customer have the ability to tell us why they think there was medical neglect. As all of us understand people typically pass away from cancer, heart problem or organ failure even with excellent healthcare. Nevertheless, we also know that individuals usually must not die from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair work or some other "minor" surgical treatment. When something very unexpected like that happens it definitely 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. Many attorneys do not charge for an initial assessment in neglect cases.

So what if there was a medical error (proximate 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 negligence some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "near cause." Given that click this link now is so costly to pursue the injuries should be significant to warrant moving on with the case. All medical errors are "malpractice" however only a little portion of mistakes generate medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a moms and dad takes his child to the emergency clinic after a skateboard mishap and the ER physician doesn't do x-rays regardless of an apparent bend in the kid's forearm and informs the dad his son has "simply a sprain" this likely is medical malpractice. But, if the kid is correctly detected within a few days and makes a complete healing it is not likely the "damages" are serious sufficient to undertake a claim that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the hold-up in being appropriately diagnosed, the kid has to have his arm re-broken and the development plate is irreparably harmed due to the hold-up then the damages likely would necessitate additional examination and a possible claim.

Other essential factors to consider.

Other concerns that are essential when determining whether a customer has a malpractice case consist of the victim's behavior and medical history. Did the victim do anything to cause or contribute to the bad medical result? A typical 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 throughout her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the medical professional's orders, keep his consultations, take his medicine as instructed and inform the medical professional the truth? These are realities that we need to understand in order to determine 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 might have been a victim of a medical error, the medical error triggered 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. For the most parts, acquiring the medical records involves nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the doctor and/or hospital together with a letter asking for the records. When it comes to wrongful death, an executor of the victims estate has to be appointed in the regional county court of probate then the administrator can sign the release asking for the records.

As soon as the records are received we evaluate them to make sure they are total. It is not uncommon in medical neglect cases to receive insufficient medical charts. As soon as all the appropriate records are obtained they are provided to a qualified medical specialist for review and opinion. If the case is against an emergency clinic doctor we have an emergency clinic doctor review the case, if it protests a cardiologist we have to get a viewpoint from a cardiologist, etc

. Primarily, what we would like to know form the professional is 1) was the medical care provided below the standard of care, 2) did the offense 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 filed in the court of typical pleas in the county where the malpractice was committed or in the county where the offender lives. In some limited 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 possible malpractice case prior to filing a suit. It's unfair to the victim or the medical professionals to submit a claim unless the professional informs us that he thinks there is a strong basis to bring the suit. Due to the cost of pursuing a medical carelessness action no good lawyer has the time or resources to waste on a "pointless suit."

When speaking with a malpractice attorney it's important to accurately give the lawyer as much information as possible and address the legal representative's concerns as totally as possible. Prior to talking to an attorney think about making some notes so you don't forget some important reality or situation the lawyer might need.

Lastly, if you think you might have a malpractice case contact a great malpractice lawyer as soon as possible so there are no statute of restrictions problems in your case.

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