Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice issue.

Data vary considerably on the number of medical errors that occur in the United States. Some research studies put the variety of medical errors in excess of one million annually while other studies position the number as low as a few 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 an attorney who has limited his practice to representation of victims injured by another person's neglect, medical or otherwise, I have actually received countless calls from prospective clients over the last 20 years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Considering more info here is really pricey and very lengthy the legal representatives in our firm are really cautious what medical malpractice cases where we decide to get involved. It is not at all uncommon for a lawyer, or law office to advance lawsuits expenditures in excess of $100,000.00 simply to obtain a case to trial. These expenses are the costs connected with pursuing the litigation which include professional witness costs, deposition costs, show preparation and court expenses. What follows is an outline of the problems, concerns and considerations that the attorneys in our company consider when discussing with a customer a potential 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 physicians, dentists, podiatrists and so on.) which results in an injury or death. "Standard of Care" means medical treatment that a sensible, sensible medical supplier in the exact same neighborhood should offer. Most cases involve a dispute over exactly what the applicable requirement of care is. The standard of care is typically offered through the use of specialist testament from seeking advice from medical professionals that practice or teach medicine in the very 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 limitations 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 should have discovered the malpractice. Some states have a two year statute of restrictions. In Ohio if the victim is a small the statute of limitations will not even start to run till the small ends up being 18 years of ages. Be encouraged however derivative claims for parents might run many years previously. If you believe you may have a case it is necessary you contact a legal representative soon. Regardless of the statute of constraints, physicians move, witnesses vanish and memories fade. The sooner counsel is engaged the sooner essential evidence can be preserved and the better your possibilities are of prevailing.

Exactly what did the doctor do or fail to do?

Just because a client does not have an effective arise from a surgery, medical treatment or medical treatment does not in and of itself suggest the physician made a mistake. Medical practice is by no suggests a guarantee of good health or a total recovery. Most of the time when a patient experiences a not successful arise from medical treatment it is not due to the fact that the medical provider slipped up. Most of the time when there is a bad medical outcome it is regardless of excellent, quality healthcare not because of sub-standard healthcare.

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When going over a possible case with a client it is important that the client have the ability to tell us why they think there was medical negligence. As all of us understand individuals often die from cancer, cardiovascular disease or organ failure even with excellent treatment. However, we also know that people normally need to not pass away from knee surgical treatment, appendix removal, hernia repair or some other "small" surgical treatment. When something very unanticipated like that occurs it certainly is worth checking out whether there was a medical error. If in doubt most medical malpractice attorneys will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. Most attorneys do not charge for a preliminary consultation in negligence cases.

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

In any neglect case not only is the burden of proof on the complainant to prove the medical malpractice the complainant should also prove that as a direct outcome of the medical negligence some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "proximate cause." Because medical malpractice lawsuits is so pricey to pursue the injuries must be significant to require moving on with the case. All medical errors are "malpractice" nevertheless only a small percentage of mistakes generate medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a parent takes his kid to the emergency room after a skateboard accident and the ER physician does not do x-rays in spite of an apparent bend in the child's forearm and informs the daddy his kid has "simply a sprain" this likely is medical malpractice. But, if the child is correctly identified within a few days and makes a total recovery it is unlikely the "damages" are serious enough to undertake a claim that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the delay in being appropriately detected, the young boy needs to have his arm re-broken and the development plate is irreparably harmed due to the delay then the damages likely would warrant additional investigation and a possible claim.

Other important considerations.

Other problems that are important when identifying whether a client has a malpractice case consist of the victim's habits and case history. Did the victim do anything to trigger or add to the bad medical result? A typical method of medical malpractice defense attorneys is to blame the patient. If it is a birth injury case, did the mom have proper prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs throughout her pregnancy? In other cases, did the patient follow the medical professional's orders, keep his consultations, take his medicine as advised and tell the physician 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 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 mistake, the medical mistake triggered a substantial injury or death and the client was certified with his doctor's orders, then we have to get the client's medical records. In many cases, getting the medical records involves absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the medical professional and/or medical facility together with a letter asking for the records. In the case of wrongful death, an executor of the victims estate has to be designated in the regional county probate court and then the executor can sign the release asking for the records.

When the records are received we evaluate them to make sure they are complete. car accident yesterday night is not uncommon in medical neglect cases to get incomplete medical charts. When all the relevant records are gotten they are supplied to a qualified medical specialist for review and viewpoint. If the case protests an emergency room medical professional we have an emergency room doctor evaluate the case, if it's against a cardiologist we need to get an opinion from a cardiologist, and so on

. Primarily, what want to know form the expert is 1) was the medical care supplied listed below the requirement of care, 2) did the infraction of the standard of care result in the patients injury or death? If the physicians viewpoint agrees with 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 dedicated or in the county where the defendant lives. In some minimal circumstances jurisdiction for the malpractice claim could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a great malpractice lawyer will thoroughly and thoroughly evaluate any potential malpractice case before submitting a claim. It's unfair to the victim or the medical professionals to file a lawsuit unless the professional tells us that he believes there is a strong basis to bring the lawsuit. Due to the expense of pursuing a medical carelessness action no good lawyer has the time or resources to lose on a "unimportant claim."

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

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

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