Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

go to website differ significantly on the number of medical errors that happen in the United States. Some research studies position the variety of medical mistakes in excess of one million every year while other studies put the number as low as a few hundred thousand. It is extensively accepted however that iatrogenic disease (illness or injury caused 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 limited his practice to representation of victims injured by someone else's negligence, medical or otherwise, I have gotten thousands of calls from potential customers over the last Twenty Years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Given that medical malpractice litigation is really pricey and extremely protracted the lawyers in our company are really careful 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 obtain a case to trial. These expenses are the expenses related to pursuing the litigation which include skilled witness fees, deposition expenses, exhibit preparation and court costs. What follows is a summary of the issues, concerns and factors to consider that the lawyers in our firm think about when discussing with a customer a prospective medical malpractice case.

Exactly What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice is medical treatment that breaches of the "Requirement of Care" for medical doctors (or nurses, chiropractic practitioners, dental experts, podiatric doctors etc.) which leads to an injury or death. "Standard of Care" indicates medical treatment that an affordable, prudent medical company in the same community must supply. A lot of cases involve a disagreement over exactly what the suitable requirement of care is. The standard of care is generally offered through making use of specialist testimony from seeking advice from doctors that practice or teach medicine in the very same specialized as the defendant( 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 accused treated the plaintiff (victim) or the date the plaintiff found or reasonably must have found the malpractice. Some states have a 2 year statute of constraints. In Ohio if the victim is a minor the statute of restrictions will not even start to run up until the minor ends up being 18 years old. Be advised however derivative claims for parents might run several years earlier. If you think you might have a case it is important you get in touch with a lawyer soon. Regardless of the statute of constraints, doctors move, witnesses vanish and memories fade. The quicker counsel is engaged the sooner important evidence can be protected and the better your possibilities are of prevailing.

What did the physician do or cannot do?

Merely because does not have a successful result from a surgical treatment, medical treatment or medical treatment does not in and of itself indicate the medical professional made a mistake. Medical practice is by no suggests an assurance of good health or a total recovery. The majority of the time when a patient experiences a not successful result from medical treatment it is not because the medical company slipped up. The majority of the time when there is a bad medical result it is despite great, quality healthcare not because of sub-standard treatment.

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When talking about a prospective case with a customer it is important that the client have the ability to tell us why they believe there was medical carelessness. As we all know people frequently die from cancer, heart problem or organ failure even with excellent treatment. However, we also know that individuals generally need to not die from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair or some other "minor" surgery. When something extremely unexpected like that occurs it certainly deserves exploring whether there was a medical mistake. If in doubt most medical malpractice lawyers will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. Most attorneys do not charge for an initial consultation in negligence cases.

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

In any neglect case not just is the burden of proof on the complainant to prove the medical malpractice the complainant should also prove that as a direct result of the medical carelessness some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "proximate cause." Considering that medical malpractice lawsuits is so costly to pursue the injuries need to be substantial to necessitate moving on with the case. All medical mistakes are "malpractice" however just a small portion of errors give rise to medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a moms and dad takes his boy to the emergency room after a skateboard mishap and the ER medical professional doesn't do x-rays in spite of an obvious bend in the kid's forearm and tells the papa his child has "simply a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. But, if the kid is effectively diagnosed within a few days and makes a complete healing it is unlikely the "damages" are severe adequate to undertake a lawsuit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. Nevertheless, if because of the hold-up in being effectively detected, the boy has to have his arm re-broken and the growth plate is irreparably damaged due to the hold-up then the damages likely would require further examination and a possible lawsuit.

Other important considerations.

Other problems 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 add to the bad medical result? A common method of medical malpractice defense attorneys is to blame the client. If it is a birth injury case, did the mother have correct prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs during her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the doctor's orders, keep his consultations, take his medication as advised and inform the doctor the reality? These are truths that we have to know in order to determine whether the medical professional will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice suit?

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

If it appears that the patient may have been a victim of a medical error, the medical error caused a significant injury or death and the client was certified with his medical professional's orders, then we need to get the patient's medical records. In , getting the medical records includes nothing more mailing a release signed by the customer to the doctor and/or medical facility together with a letter asking for the records. When it comes to wrongful death, an administrator of the victims estate has to be designated in the local county probate court and after that the executor can sign the release requesting the records.

When the records are gotten we review them to make sure they are total. It is not unusual in medical carelessness cases to receive incomplete medical charts. Once all the appropriate records are gotten they are offered to a qualified medical specialist for review and viewpoint. If the case protests an emergency room physician we have an emergency room doctor evaluate the case, if it's against a cardiologist we need to acquire an opinion from a cardiologist, etc

. Primarily, what we need to know form the professional is 1) was the healthcare offered listed below the standard of care, 2) did the offense of the standard of care lead to the clients injury or death? If the doctors opinion agrees with on both counts a suit will be prepared on the client's behalf and normally filed in the court of typical pleas in the county where the malpractice was dedicated or in the county where the defendant lives. In some restricted situations jurisdiction for the malpractice claim could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a great malpractice attorney will carefully and completely evaluate any potential malpractice case before filing a lawsuit. It's unfair to the victim or the doctors to file a lawsuit unless the professional informs 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 attorney has the time or resources to squander on a "pointless claim."

When seeking advice from a malpractice attorney it is essential to precisely provide the legal representative as much information as possible and answer the legal representative's concerns as totally as possible. Prior to speaking to a lawyer think about making some notes so you remember some essential fact or scenario the lawyer may need.

Finally, if you believe you might have a malpractice case call a good malpractice legal representative as soon as possible so there are no statute of restrictions problems in your case.

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