Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

Stats vary dramatically on the variety of medical errors that happen in the United States. Some research studies place the number of medical errors in excess of one million each year while other research studies put the number as low as a couple of hundred thousand. It is widely accepted however that iatrogenic disease (disease or injury brought on by a medical error 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 actually restricted his practice to representation of victims injured by another person's carelessness, 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 really expensive and very lengthy the attorneys in our company are really mindful what medical malpractice cases where we decide to get included. It is not at all unusual for a lawyer, or law firm to advance lawsuits expenses in excess of $100,000.00 just to obtain a case to trial. These expenses are the costs connected with pursuing the litigation that include skilled witness charges, deposition expenses, exhibit preparation and court costs. What follows is a summary of the concerns, concerns and considerations that the attorneys in our company think about when talking about with a client a potential medical malpractice case.

Exactly What is ?

Medical Malpractice is medical treatment that breaches of the "Requirement of Care" for medical physicians (or nurses, chiropractic doctors, dental experts, podiatric doctors etc.) which leads to an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" implies medical treatment that a sensible, sensible medical provider in the same community should provide. A lot of cases include a disagreement over what the appropriate requirement of care is. The standard of care is typically offered through making use of specialist statement from speaking with doctors that practice or teach medication in the very same specialized as the defendant( 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 offender dealt with the plaintiff (victim) or the date the plaintiff discovered or reasonably ought to have found the malpractice. Some states have a 2 year statute of restrictions. In Ohio if the victim is a minor the statute of restrictions will not even begin to run till the minor becomes 18 years old. Be recommended however derivative claims for parents might run many years earlier. If you believe you might have a case it is important you call a lawyer soon. Irrespective of the statute of restrictions, physicians move, witnesses vanish and memories fade. The sooner counsel is engaged the earlier important evidence can be preserved and the better your chances are of prevailing.

What did or cannot do?

Simply since a patient does not have a successful result from a surgical treatment, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself mean the medical professional slipped up. Medical practice is by no suggests a guarantee of good health or a complete healing. Most of the time when a client experiences a not successful arise from medical treatment it is not due to the fact that the medical company made a mistake. 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 discussing a prospective case with a customer it is very important that the customer be able to inform us why they think there was medical negligence. As we all understand people frequently pass away from cancer, heart problem or organ failure even with good healthcare. Nevertheless, we also know that individuals usually need to not die from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair work or some other "small" surgical treatment. When something extremely unanticipated like that occurs it definitely deserves checking out whether there was a medical mistake. If in doubt most medical malpractice attorneys will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. Many lawyers do not charge for an initial consultation in negligence cases.

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

In any carelessness case not just is the burden of proof on the complainant to prove the medical malpractice the complainant need to also prove that as a direct outcome of the medical negligence some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "near cause." Given that medical malpractice litigation is so costly to pursue the injuries need to be significant to require progressing with the case. All medical errors are "malpractice" nevertheless just a small portion of errors generate medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a moms and dad takes his kid to the emergency room after a skateboard mishap and the ER medical professional doesn't do x-rays despite an obvious bend in the child's lower arm and tells the papa his boy has "just a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. However, if the child is effectively identified within a few days and makes a total healing it is not likely the "damages" are severe sufficient to undertake a claim that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the delay in being appropriately identified, the boy has to have his arm re-broken and the growth plate is irreparably damaged due to the delay then the damages likely would warrant further examination and a possible claim.

Other important factors to consider.

Other problems that are important when identifying whether a customer has a malpractice case consist of the victim's habits and case history. Did the victim do anything to trigger or contribute to the bad medical outcome? A common strategy of medical malpractice defense attorneys is to blame the client. If is a birth injury case, did the mama have proper prenatal care, did she smoke or use drugs throughout her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the physician's orders, keep his consultations, take his medication as instructed and inform the physician the truth? These are truths that we need to understand in order to identify whether the doctor will have a valid defense to the malpractice lawsuit?

What occurs 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 error triggered a significant injury or death and the patient was compliant with his doctor's orders, then we have to get the patient's medical records. In many cases, acquiring the medical records involves absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the medical professional and/or healthcare facility together with a letter asking for the records. In the case of wrongful death, an administrator of the victims estate needs to be designated in the regional county court of probate then the administrator can sign the release requesting the records.

As soon as the records are received we review them to make sure they are complete. It is not unusual in medical neglect cases to receive incomplete medical charts. Once all the relevant records are acquired they are supplied to a certified medical expert for review and viewpoint. If the case is against an emergency room medical professional we have an emergency clinic doctor review the case, if it protests a cardiologist we have to get a viewpoint from a cardiologist, and so on

. Mainly, exactly what we would like to know form the expert is 1) was the treatment provided listed below the requirement of care, 2) did the offense of the standard of care lead to the clients injury or death? If the doctors viewpoint is favorable on both counts a claim will be prepared on the customer's behalf and usually filed 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 scenarios jurisdiction for the malpractice suit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, an excellent malpractice lawyer will thoroughly and completely evaluate any prospective malpractice case prior to submitting a suit. It's not fair to the victim or the doctors to submit a claim unless the expert tells us that he thinks there is a strong basis to bring the claim. Due to the expense of pursuing a medical carelessness action no good lawyer has the time or resources to squander on a "unimportant claim."

When seeking advice from a malpractice lawyer it is very important to precisely offer the attorney as much detail as possible and respond to the attorney's concerns as totally as possible. Prior to speaking with a lawyer consider making some notes so you don't forget some essential fact or situation the lawyer might require.

Finally, if you think you may have a malpractice case contact an excellent malpractice attorney as soon as possible so there are no statute of constraints issues in your case.

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