Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice issue.

Statistics vary dramatically on the number of medical errors that occur in the United States. Some studies place the number of medical mistakes in excess of one million every year while other research studies put the number as low as a couple of hundred thousand. It is extensively accepted nevertheless that iatrogenic disease (disease or injury triggered by a medical error or medical treatment) is the third 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 restricted his practice to representation of victims injured by someone else's neglect, medical or otherwise, I have received thousands of calls from potential clients over the last 20 years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Since medical malpractice lawsuits is very costly and very protracted the legal representatives in our company are very careful exactly what medical malpractice cases where we opt to get included. It is not at all uncommon for a lawyer, or law practice to advance lawsuits expenses in excess of $100,000.00 simply to get a case to trial. These costs are the expenses related to pursuing the lawsuits which include expert witness charges, deposition expenses, exhibit preparation and court expenses. What follows is an overview of the concerns, questions and factors to consider that the attorneys in our company 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 "Requirement of Care" for medical physicians (or nurses, chiropractors, dental professionals, podiatrists etc.) which results in an injury or death. look at this now of Care" indicates medical treatment that an affordable, sensible medical supplier in the same neighborhood must supply. Most cases involve a dispute over exactly what the applicable requirement of care is. The requirement of care is typically supplied through the use of specialist testimony from consulting medical professionals that practice or teach medication in the very same specialty as the defendant( s).

When did the malpractice take place (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 defendant dealt with the complainant (victim) or the date the plaintiff found or fairly ought to have discovered the malpractice. Some states have a 2 year statute of limitations. In Ohio if the victim is a minor the statute of restrictions will not even start to run up until the minor becomes 18 years old. Be recommended nevertheless acquired claims for parents might run many years earlier. If you think you may have a case it is essential you get in touch with a legal representative soon. Regardless of the statute of limitations, medical professionals relocate, witnesses vanish and memories fade. The faster counsel is engaged the quicker crucial proof can be maintained and the much better your chances are of dominating.

What did the doctor do or cannot do?

Simply since a client does not have an effective arise from a surgery, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself imply the physician slipped up. Medical practice is by no means an assurance of good health or a total healing. The majority of the time when a patient experiences a not successful arise from medical treatment it is not because the medical provider slipped up. Most of the time when there is a bad medical result it is in spite of good, quality healthcare not because of sub-standard medical care.

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When talking about a prospective case with a customer it is essential that the customer be able to tell us why they believe there was medical neglect. As all of us understand individuals frequently die from cancer, heart disease or organ failure even with excellent medical care. However, we also understand that individuals usually need to not die from knee surgery, appendix elimination, hernia repair or some other "minor" surgery. When something really unforeseen like that occurs 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. The majority of 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 plaintiff to show the medical malpractice the plaintiff should likewise prove that as a direct result of the medical neglect some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "near cause." Considering that medical malpractice lawsuits is so costly to pursue the injuries should be substantial to warrant moving forward with the case. All medical errors are "malpractice" nevertheless only a little portion of errors trigger medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a moms and dad takes his child to the emergency room after a skateboard accident and the ER doctor does not do x-rays regardless of an obvious bend in the kid's lower arm and tells the dad his son has "simply a sprain" this likely is medical malpractice. However, if the kid is effectively diagnosed within a few days and makes a total recovery it is unlikely the "damages" are extreme sufficient to carry out a lawsuit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. Nevertheless, if because of in being properly detected, the young boy has to have his arm re-broken and the development plate is irreparably damaged due to the hold-up then the damages likely would necessitate more investigation and a possible lawsuit.

Other crucial considerations.

Other concerns that are very important when determining whether a client 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 tactic of medical malpractice defense attorneys is to blame the client. If it is a birth injury case, did the mom have proper prenatal care, did she smoke or use drugs during her pregnancy? In what do police do in a hit and run , did the client follow the medical professional's orders, keep his visits, take his medication as instructed and tell the doctor the truth? These are facts that we need to know in order to figure out whether the doctor will have a valid defense to the malpractice claim?

Exactly what takes place if it appears like there is a case?

If standing ripeness mootness appears that the patient might have been a victim of a medical error, the medical mistake triggered a significant injury or death and the client was compliant with his physician's orders, then we have to get the client's medical records. For the most parts, obtaining the medical records includes absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the customer to the doctor and/or healthcare facility together with a letter requesting the records. In the case of wrongful death, an administrator of the victims estate needs to be appointed in the regional county probate court then the administrator can sign the release asking for the records.

When the records are received we evaluate them to make sure they are complete. It is not uncommon in medical negligence cases to get insufficient medical charts. Once all the appropriate records are obtained they are offered to a competent medical specialist for review and viewpoint. If the case is against an emergency room doctor we have an emergency room physician evaluate the case, if it protests a cardiologist we need to obtain a viewpoint from a cardiologist, etc

. Primarily, exactly what we would like to know form the expert is 1) was the treatment supplied below the requirement of care, 2) did the violation of the standard of care result in the clients injury or death? If the doctors opinion agrees with on both counts a lawsuit will be prepared on the client's behalf and typically submitted in the court of typical pleas in the county where the malpractice was committed or in the county where the defendant lives. In some minimal scenarios jurisdiction for the malpractice lawsuit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a good malpractice attorney will carefully and thoroughly evaluate any potential malpractice case before submitting a suit. It's unfair to the victim or the medical professionals to file a lawsuit unless the expert informs us that he believes there is a strong basis to bring the suit. Due to the expense of pursuing a medical carelessness action no good legal representative has the time or resources to lose on a "pointless suit."

When speaking with a malpractice lawyer it is necessary to accurately offer the attorney as much detail as possible and answer the attorney's concerns as totally as possible. Prior to talking with a legal representative consider making some notes so you do not forget some crucial truth or circumstance the lawyer might require.

Last but not least, if you think you may have a malpractice case contact a good malpractice attorney as soon as possible so there are no statute of limitations issues in your case.

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