Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

Data vary drastically on the variety of medical mistakes that take place in the United States. Some research studies put the number of medical mistakes in excess of one million yearly while other studies place the number as low as a few hundred thousand. It is widely accepted nevertheless that iatrogenic illness (illness or injury caused 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.

As an attorney who has limited his practice to representation of victims injured by another person's neglect, medical or otherwise, I have gotten countless calls from prospective customers over the last Twenty Years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Since medical malpractice lawsuits is extremely costly and very drawn-out the attorneys in our company are really cautious what medical malpractice cases where we opt to get included. It is not uncommon for an attorney, or law practice to advance litigation expenses in excess of $100,000.00 just to obtain a case to trial. These expenses are the costs related to pursuing the litigation that include expert witness costs, deposition expenses, show preparation and court expenses. What follows is an overview of the problems, questions and considerations that the lawyers in our firm think about when going over with a client a prospective 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 professionals, podiatric doctors and so on.) which results in an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" indicates medical treatment that a reasonable, prudent medical provider in the exact same community must offer. Most cases include a dispute over exactly what the suitable standard of care is. The requirement of care is normally provided through the use of professional testament from consulting medical professionals that practice or teach medication in the very same specialty as the offender( s).

When did the malpractice occur (Statute of Limitations)?

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In Ohio the medical malpractice statute of limitations 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 found the malpractice. Some states have a two year statute of limitations. In Ohio if the victim is a small the statute of limitations will not even begin to run up until the small ends up being 18 years of ages. Be advised however acquired claims for moms and dads might run many years earlier. If you think you may have a case it is very important you call a lawyer soon. Irrespective of the statute of limitations, physicians relocate, witnesses disappear and memories fade. is engaged the quicker essential proof can be maintained and the better your possibilities are of prevailing.

Exactly what did the doctor do or cannot do?

Just since a client does not have an effective arise from a surgical treatment, medical treatment or medical treatment does not in and of itself mean the doctor made a mistake. Medical practice is by no indicates a warranty of health or a complete 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 company slipped up. 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.

More Doctors Willing to Hide Mistakes, Survey Says

More Doctors Willing to Hide Mistakes, Survey Says The greater willingness of doctors to hide mistakes runs counter to a trend among hospitals to fess up. A number of hospitals in recent years have begun to voluntarily report medical mishaps to patients, apologize for them, and offer compensation in an effort to reduce malpractice suits. Some states have passed "disclose, apologize, and offer" laws to give health professionals a process for settling with injured patients.

When discussing with a customer it is necessary that the client have the ability to inform us why they believe there was medical neglect. As know individuals frequently die from cancer, heart disease or organ failure even with great treatment. Nevertheless, we also understand that people normally must not pass away from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair work or some other "small" surgery. When something really unanticipated like that occurs it certainly deserves exploring whether there was a medical error. If in doubt most medical malpractice attorneys will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. The majority of legal representatives do not charge for a preliminary consultation in neglect cases.

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

In any negligence case not just is the burden of proof on the complainant to show the medical malpractice the plaintiff must likewise show that as a direct outcome of the medical negligence some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "proximate cause." Given that medical malpractice litigation is so expensive to pursue the injuries should be substantial to necessitate progressing with the case. All medical mistakes are "malpractice" nevertheless only a little portion of mistakes 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 doctor does not do x-rays regardless of an obvious bend in the child's lower arm and tells the papa his son has "just a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. However, if the child is correctly identified within a few days and makes a complete healing it is not likely the "damages" are extreme sufficient to carry out a suit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the hold-up in being properly detected, the young boy has to have his arm re-broken and the growth plate is irreparably harmed due to the hold-up then the damages likely would require further examination and a possible suit.

Other crucial considerations.

Other concerns that are very important when determining whether a customer has a malpractice case consist of the victim's behavior and case history. Did the victim do anything to cause or contribute to the bad medical result? A typical technique of medical malpractice defense lawyer is to blame the patient. If it is a birth injury case, did the mama have proper prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs during her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the physician's orders, keep his visits, take his medicine as instructed and inform the medical professional the fact? These are facts that we have to understand in order to identify whether the medical professional will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice suit?

Exactly what occurs if it looks like there is a case?

If it appears that the client might have been a victim of a medical mistake, the medical mistake triggered a considerable injury or death and the client was certified with his doctor's orders, then we need to get the patient's medical records. For the most parts, obtaining the medical records involves absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the customer to the medical professional and/or medical facility in addition to a letter asking for the records. When it comes to wrongful death, an executor of the victims estate needs to be selected in the local county court of probate and after that the executor can sign the release requesting the records.

Once the records are gotten we examine them to make sure they are total. It is not unusual in medical neglect cases to get insufficient medical charts. As soon as all the appropriate records are obtained they are provided to a qualified medical professional for review and opinion. If the case protests an emergency room physician we have an emergency room medical professional examine the case, if it's against a cardiologist we need to acquire a viewpoint from a cardiologist, etc

. Mainly, what we need to know form the specialist is 1) was the medical care supplied below the requirement of care, 2) did the violation of the standard of care result in the clients injury or death? If the medical professionals viewpoint is favorable on both counts a claim will be prepared on the customer's behalf and typically 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 restricted scenarios jurisdiction for the malpractice lawsuit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a great malpractice legal representative will thoroughly and completely examine any prospective malpractice case before filing a lawsuit. It's unfair to the victim or the physicians to file a lawsuit unless the specialist tells us that he thinks there is a strong basis to bring the claim. Due to the cost of pursuing a medical carelessness action no good lawyer has the time or resources to lose on a "frivolous suit."

When consulting with a malpractice legal representative it is necessary to precisely provide the attorney as much detail as possible and respond to the legal representative's questions as completely as possible. Prior to speaking to an attorney consider making some notes so you do not forget some important reality or situation the legal representative may require.

Finally, if you believe you may have a malpractice case get in touch with an excellent malpractice legal representative as soon as possible so there are no statute of limitations issues in your case.

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