Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

Stats differ dramatically on the number of medical errors that take place in the United States. Some studies place the variety of medical errors in excess of one million each year while other research studies position the number as low as a few hundred thousand. It is commonly accepted nevertheless that iatrogenic disease (illness or injury triggered by a medical mistake 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 limited his practice to representation of victims injured by somebody else's neglect, medical or otherwise, I have actually received thousands of calls from prospective customers over the last 20 years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Since medical malpractice lawsuits is really pricey and very protracted the attorneys in our firm are extremely cautious exactly what medical malpractice cases where we choose to get involved. It is not uncommon for an attorney, or law practice to advance lawsuits costs in excess of $100,000.00 just to get a case to trial. These costs are the expenses associated with pursuing the litigation that include expert witness charges, deposition costs, exhibit preparation and court expenses. What follows is a summary of the concerns, questions and factors to consider that the legal representatives in our company think about when discussing with a client a prospective medical malpractice case.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice is medical treatment that breaches of the "Requirement of Care" for medical doctors (or nurses, chiropractic doctors, dental experts, podiatric doctors etc.) which leads to an injury or death. "Standard of Care" means medical treatment that a reasonable, sensible medical service provider in the same community should supply. A lot of cases involve a conflict over exactly what the relevant standard of care is. The requirement of care is normally provided through making use of professional testament from consulting physicians that practice or teach medication in the very same specialty as the accused( 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 found or reasonably should have found the malpractice. Some states have a 2 year statute of restrictions. In Ohio if the victim is a small the statute of limitations will not even start to run up until the small ends up being 18 years of ages. Be encouraged nevertheless derivative claims for parents might run many years previously. If you believe you might have a case it is important you call an attorney soon. Irrespective of the statute of constraints, doctors transfer, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The quicker counsel is engaged the faster essential proof can be protected and the much better your possibilities are of prevailing.

Exactly what did the medical professional do or cannot do?

Merely because a client does not have an effective result from a surgery, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself suggest the physician made a mistake. Medical practice is by no suggests an assurance of health or a total healing. Most of the time when a client 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 regardless of great, quality medical care not because of sub-standard medical care.

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When talking about a potential case with a client it is essential that the client be able to tell us why they believe there was medical carelessness. As we all know people often die from cancer, heart problem or organ failure even with great medical care. However, we likewise know that people usually need to not die from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair or some other "minor" surgery. When something really unforeseen like that occurs it certainly is worth exploring whether there was a medical mistake. If in doubt most medical malpractice lawyers will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. A lot of lawyers do not charge for an initial consultation in negligence cases.

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

In any neglect case not just is the burden of proof on the plaintiff to prove the medical malpractice the plaintiff must also show that as a direct outcome of the medical carelessness some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "near cause." Since medical malpractice litigation is so pricey to pursue the injuries need to be considerable to call for moving on with the case. All medical mistakes are "malpractice" nevertheless only a small portion of mistakes give rise to medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a parent takes his boy to the emergency room after a skateboard accident and the ER physician does not do x-rays in spite of an apparent bend in the child's forearm and tells the dad his son has "simply a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. But, if the kid is correctly detected within a few days and makes a complete healing it is unlikely the "damages" are severe adequate to carry out a claim that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the hold-up in being correctly detected, the kid needs to have his arm re-broken and the development plate is irreparably harmed due to the delay then the damages likely would warrant additional investigation and a possible lawsuit.

Other essential considerations.

Other issues that are essential when determining whether a client has a malpractice case include the victim's habits and medical history. Did the victim do anything to cause or add to the bad medical outcome? A common technique of medical malpractice defense lawyer is to blame the client. If is a birth trauma case, did the mommy have appropriate prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs throughout her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the physician's orders, keep his visits, take his medication as instructed and inform the physician the reality? These are facts that we need to understand in order to determine whether the physician will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice lawsuit?

What takes place if it appears like there is a case?

If it appears that the client might have been a victim of a medical error, the medical error caused a substantial injury or death and the client was certified with his doctor's orders, then we have to get the patient's medical records. In many cases, getting the medical records involves nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the physician and/or healthcare facility along with a letter requesting the records. In the case of wrongful death, an administrator of the victims estate needs to be selected in the regional county court of probate and after that the administrator can sign the release requesting the records.

When the records are gotten we review them to make sure they are total. It is not uncommon in medical carelessness cases to receive insufficient medical charts. Once all the relevant records are acquired they are offered to a qualified medical professional for review and viewpoint. If the case protests an emergency clinic doctor we have an emergency clinic medical professional review the case, if it protests a cardiologist we need to acquire a viewpoint from a cardiologist, etc

. Primarily, exactly what we wish to know form the expert is 1) was the healthcare provided listed below the standard of care, 2) did the violation of the standard of care lead to the patients injury or death? If the medical professionals opinion is favorable on both counts a lawsuit will be prepared on the client's behalf and generally filed in the court of typical pleas in the county where the malpractice was committed or in the county where the offender lives. In motor vehicle accident restricted situations jurisdiction for the malpractice lawsuit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, an excellent malpractice legal representative will thoroughly and completely examine any possible malpractice case before filing a claim. It's unfair to the victim or the doctors to file a lawsuit unless the specialist tells us that he thinks there is a strong basis to bring the lawsuit. to the cost of pursuing a medical neglect action no good lawyer has the time or resources to waste on a "pointless claim."

When speaking with a malpractice attorney it's important to accurately give the legal representative as much information as possible and answer the lawyer's concerns as totally as possible. Prior to talking with a legal representative think about making some notes so you do not forget some important reality or circumstance the attorney may need.

Finally, if you think you might have a malpractice case contact a great malpractice attorney as soon as possible so there are no statute of restrictions issues in your case.

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