Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

Statistics differ significantly on the variety of medical errors that take place in the United States. Some studies place the number of medical mistakes in excess of one million every year while other research studies place the number as low as a few hundred thousand. It is extensively accepted however that iatrogenic disease (illness or injury triggered 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 a lawyer who has restricted his practice to representation of victims injured by another person's neglect, medical or otherwise, I have actually gotten thousands of calls from prospective clients over the last 20 years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Given that medical malpractice litigation is very expensive and extremely drawn-out the attorneys in our firm are very careful exactly what medical malpractice cases where we decide to get included. It is not at all uncommon for an attorney, or law office to advance litigation expenditures in excess of $100,000.00 simply to get a case to trial. These costs are the costs related to pursuing the lawsuits that include professional witness costs, deposition costs, display preparation and court expenses. What follows is an outline of the problems, questions and considerations that the lawyers in our company consider when talking about with a client a potential medical malpractice case.

Exactly What is ?

Medical Malpractice is medical treatment that breaches of the "Standard of Care" for medical physicians (or nurses, chiropractic physicians, dental professionals, podiatric doctors etc.) which leads to an injury or death. "Standard of Care" means medical treatment that a sensible, prudent medical service provider in the very same community need to provide. of cases include a disagreement over exactly what the appropriate requirement of care is. The standard of care is generally provided through the use of specialist testimony from speaking with physicians that practice or teach medication in the exact same specialty as the defendant( s).

When did the malpractice occur (Statute of Limitations)?

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In Ohio the medical malpractice statute of constraints is one year from the date of the malpractice, or the last date the defendant treated the plaintiff (victim) or the date the plaintiff discovered or fairly must have discovered the malpractice. Some states have a 2 year statute of restrictions. In Ohio if the victim is a small the statute of constraints will not even start to run until the minor ends up being 18 years of ages. Be encouraged nevertheless acquired claims for parents might run many years previously. If you think you might have a case it is very important you contact an attorney quickly. Irrespective of the statute of restrictions, medical professionals transfer, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The quicker counsel is engaged the quicker essential proof can be maintained and the better your possibilities are of dominating.

Exactly what did the doctor do or fail to do?

Just since a client does not have a successful result from a surgical treatment, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself suggest the doctor slipped up. Medical practice is by no means a warranty of health or a total recovery. The majority of the time when a patient experiences an unsuccessful arise from medical treatment it is not due to the fact that the medical company made a mistake. The majority of the time when there is a bad medical result it is regardless of excellent, quality treatment not because of sub-standard medical care.

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When discussing a prospective case with a customer it is necessary that the client have the ability to tell us why they think there was medical neglect. As all of us know individuals typically pass away from cancer, heart disease or organ failure even with good healthcare. Nevertheless, we also know that individuals typically need to not pass away from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair or some other "small" surgical treatment. When like that happens it definitely is worth checking out whether there was a medical mistake. If in doubt most medical malpractice legal representatives will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. A lot of attorneys do not charge for a preliminary consultation in carelessness cases.

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

In any neglect case not just is the burden of proof on the plaintiff to prove the medical malpractice the complainant must also prove that as a direct result of the medical carelessness some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "near cause." Given that medical malpractice lawsuits is so pricey to pursue the injuries must be significant to warrant moving on with the case. All medical errors are "malpractice" however only a little portion of mistakes give rise to medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a moms and dad takes his kid to the emergency clinic after a skateboard accident and the ER physician doesn't do x-rays despite an apparent bend in the kid's forearm and informs the papa his boy has "simply a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. But, if the child is correctly identified within a couple of days and makes a complete healing it is not likely the "damages" are serious adequate to undertake a claim that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. Nevertheless, if because of the hold-up in being properly diagnosed, the young boy needs to have his arm re-broken and the development plate is irreparably damaged due to the hold-up then the damages likely would call for more examination and a possible lawsuit.

Other crucial considerations.

Other concerns that are necessary when identifying whether a client has a malpractice case include the victim's habits and case history. Did the victim do anything to trigger or contribute to the bad medical outcome? A typical strategy of medical malpractice defense attorneys is to blame the patient. If it is a birth trauma 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 reality? These are realities that we need to understand in order to identify whether the doctor will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice claim?

Exactly what takes place 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 error triggered a substantial injury or death and the patient was compliant with his doctor's orders, then we have to get the client's medical records. In many cases, acquiring the medical records involves absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the doctor and/or healthcare facility along with a letter requesting the records. When it comes to wrongful death, an executor 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 examine them to make sure they are total. It is not uncommon in medical neglect cases to get incomplete medical charts. Once all the appropriate records are obtained they are provided to a competent medical expert for evaluation and viewpoint. If the case is against an emergency clinic physician we have an emergency room physician examine the case, if it protests a cardiologist we have to get an opinion from a cardiologist, and so on

. Primarily, exactly what we would like to know form the expert is 1) was the treatment offered below the standard of care, 2) did the violation of the standard of care lead to the clients injury or death? If the doctors viewpoint 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 accused lives. In some restricted circumstances jurisdiction for the malpractice lawsuit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a good malpractice lawyer will thoroughly and completely evaluate any potential malpractice case prior to submitting a claim. It's unfair to the victim or the doctors to file a lawsuit unless the expert tells us that he thinks there is a strong basis to bring the claim. Due to the cost of pursuing a medical negligence action no good attorney has the time or resources to lose on a "pointless claim."

When speaking with a malpractice attorney it is necessary to properly offer the lawyer as much information as possible and respond to the attorney's questions as completely as possible. Prior to speaking with a lawyer consider making some notes so you remember some crucial fact or circumstance the attorney may need.

Lastly, if you think you might have a malpractice case get in touch with a great malpractice attorney as soon as possible so there are no statute of constraints issues in your case.

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