Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice issue.

Statistics differ dramatically on the number of medical mistakes that occur in the United States. Some research studies position the variety of medical errors in excess of one million annually while other studies position the number as low as a couple of hundred thousand. It is commonly accepted nevertheless 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 a lawyer who has restricted his practice to representation of victims hurt by somebody else's negligence, medical or otherwise, I have actually received thousands of calls from prospective clients over the last Twenty Years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Since medical malpractice lawsuits is very expensive and extremely lengthy the lawyers in our company are extremely mindful exactly what medical malpractice cases in which we opt to get involved. It is not at all unusual for a lawyer, or law practice to advance litigation expenses in excess of $100,000.00 simply to obtain a case to trial. These costs are the expenses associated with pursuing the litigation that include professional witness costs, deposition costs, display preparation and court costs. What follows is an overview of the concerns, concerns and factors to consider that the lawyers in our company consider when talking about with a customer a prospective 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 doctors, dental professionals, podiatrists etc.) which results in an injury or death. "Standard of Care" implies medical treatment that a reasonable, sensible medical supplier in the same neighborhood ought to offer. The majority of cases include a dispute over what the appropriate requirement of care is. The requirement of care is normally offered through the use of specialist statement from speaking with physicians that practice or teach medication in the exact same specialized as the accused( 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 offender dealt with the plaintiff (victim) or the date the plaintiff discovered or fairly must have discovered the malpractice. a fantastic read have a two year statute of restrictions. In Ohio if the victim is a minor the statute of constraints will not even begin to run up until the minor becomes 18 years old. Be encouraged nevertheless derivative claims for moms and dads may run several years previously. If you think you may have a case it is essential you get in touch with an attorney soon. Irrespective of the statute of limitations, medical professionals transfer, witnesses vanish and memories fade. The sooner counsel is engaged the sooner important evidence can be preserved and the much better your chances are of prevailing.

Exactly what did the medical professional do or cannot do?

Simply due to the fact that a client does not have a successful arise from a surgery, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself indicate the medical professional made a mistake. Medical practice is by no suggests a warranty of good health or a complete recovery. Most of the time when a client experiences an unsuccessful result from medical treatment it is not due to the fact that the medical service provider slipped up. Most of the time when there is a bad medical result it is in spite of good, quality medical care not because of sub-standard treatment.

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When talking about a prospective case with a customer it is necessary that the client be able to tell us why they believe there was medical negligence. As all of us understand people frequently die from cancer, heart problem or organ failure even with excellent medical care. Nevertheless, we also understand that individuals generally must not die from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair work or some other "small" surgical treatment. When something really unforeseen like that happens it certainly 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. Many attorneys do not charge for an initial consultation in carelessness cases.

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

In any neglect case not only is the burden of proof on the plaintiff to show the medical malpractice the plaintiff must also prove that as a direct outcome of the medical neglect some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "proximate cause." Since medical malpractice lawsuits is so costly to pursue the injuries need to be considerable to warrant moving forward with the case. All medical mistakes are "malpractice" however only a little portion of mistakes trigger medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a moms and dad takes his son to the emergency clinic after a skateboard accident and the ER doctor does not do x-rays regardless of an obvious bend in the child's lower arm and tells the papa his son has "just a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. However, if the child is properly diagnosed within a few days and makes a total healing it is unlikely the "damages" are extreme sufficient to undertake a lawsuit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the delay in being properly diagnosed, the boy has to have his arm re-broken and the development plate is irreparably harmed due to the hold-up then the damages likely would call for further examination and a possible claim.

Other important factors to consider.

Other problems that are important when determining whether a customer 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 result? A typical tactic of medical malpractice defense lawyer is to blame the client. If it is a birth trauma case, did the mom have appropriate prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs throughout her pregnancy? In other cases, did the patient follow the doctor's orders, keep his appointments, take his medication as instructed and tell the medical professional the fact? These are truths that we need to know in order to figure out whether the doctor will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice lawsuit?

What happens if it looks like there is a case?

If it appears that the client may have been a victim of a medical mistake, the medical mistake caused a considerable injury or death and the patient was certified with his medical professional's orders, then we need to get the patient's medical records. Most of the times, getting the medical records includes nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the physician and/or medical facility in addition to a letter requesting the records. In the case of wrongful death, an executor of the victims estate needs to be appointed in the local county probate court and after that the executor can sign the release requesting the records.

When the records are gotten we examine them to make sure they are total. It is not unusual in medical carelessness cases to get incomplete medical charts. As soon as all the appropriate records are obtained they are offered to a competent medical professional for review and viewpoint. If the case is against an emergency clinic physician we have an emergency room doctor evaluate the case, if it's against a cardiologist we have to obtain a viewpoint from a cardiologist, etc

. Primarily, what we would like to know form the specialist is 1) was the medical care provided listed below the standard of care, 2) did the offense of the requirement of care lead to the patients injury or death? If the medical professionals viewpoint agrees with on both counts a suit will be prepared on the customer's behalf and normally filed in the court of common pleas in the county where the malpractice was committed or in the county where the accused lives. In some restricted situations jurisdiction for the malpractice lawsuit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a good malpractice legal representative will thoroughly and completely review any potential malpractice case before filing a suit. It's not fair to the victim or the physicians to submit a claim 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 negligence action no good legal representative has the time or resources to lose on a "pointless claim."

When speaking with a malpractice attorney it's important to accurately provide the legal representative as much information as possible and address the legal representative's questions as totally as possible. Prior to speaking to a lawyer think about making some notes so you don't forget some important truth or situation the attorney might require.

Last but not least, if you think you might have a malpractice case call a great malpractice lawyer as soon as possible so there are no statute of constraints problems in your case.

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