Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice issue. differ dramatically on the number of medical errors that happen in the United States. Some studies position the variety of medical mistakes in excess of one million each year while other studies place the number as low as a couple of hundred thousand. It is widely accepted nevertheless that iatrogenic illness (disease or injury brought on by a medical error or medical treatment) is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States after cardiovascular disease and cancer. See, of the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA) Vol 284, No 4, July 26th 2000.

As a lawyer who has actually limited his practice to representation of victims hurt by somebody else's carelessness, medical or otherwise, I have received countless calls from prospective customers over the last 20 years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Given that medical malpractice litigation is really expensive and very lengthy the attorneys in our firm are very careful what medical malpractice cases where we decide to get involved. It is not at all unusual for a lawyer, or law firm to advance litigation costs in excess of $100,000.00 just to obtain a case to trial. These costs are the expenses connected with pursuing the lawsuits which include skilled witness costs, deposition costs, show preparation and court expenses. What follows is a summary of the problems, concerns and factors to consider that the attorneys in our company consider when talking about with a client 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 specialists, dental experts, podiatrists etc.) which results in an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" means medical treatment that an affordable, prudent medical provider in the very same community must offer. The majority of cases include a dispute over what the appropriate requirement of care is. The requirement of care is typically provided through the use of expert statement from speaking with doctors that practice or teach medicine in the same specialized as the accused( s).

When did the malpractice happen (Statute of Limitations)?

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In Ohio the medical malpractice statute of limitations is one year from the date of the malpractice, or the last date the offender treated the plaintiff (victim) or the date the complainant found or reasonably ought to have found the malpractice. Some states have a two year statute of restrictions. In Ohio if the victim is a minor the statute of restrictions will not even start to run till the small ends up being 18 years of ages. Be advised nevertheless acquired claims for parents may run several years earlier. If you think you may have a case it is essential you get in touch with a lawyer quickly. Regardless of of limitations, physicians relocate, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The sooner counsel is engaged the sooner crucial evidence can be preserved and the better your chances are of prevailing.

Exactly what did the medical professional do or cannot do?

Merely due to the fact that a client does not have a successful result from a surgery, medical treatment or medical treatment does not in and of itself imply the doctor made a mistake. Medical practice is by no indicates a guarantee of good health or a complete recovery. The majority of the time when a client experiences a not successful arise from medical treatment it is not because the medical company slipped up. The majority of the time when there is a bad medical outcome it is despite good, quality medical care not because of sub-standard treatment.

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When discussing a possible case with a client it is very important that the customer be able to inform us why they believe there was medical neglect. As we all understand people typically pass away from cancer, cardiovascular disease or organ failure even with good healthcare. Nevertheless, we likewise know that individuals usually ought to not pass away from knee surgery, appendix elimination, hernia repair or some other "small" surgical treatment. When something really unforeseen like that occurs it definitely deserves checking out whether there was a medical mistake. If in doubt most medical malpractice attorneys will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. Many lawyers do not charge for a preliminary assessment in neglect cases.

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

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

By way of example, if a parent takes his son to the emergency room after a skateboard mishap and the ER physician doesn't do x-rays regardless of an apparent bend in the child's lower arm and informs the daddy his kid has "just a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. However, if the kid is effectively identified within a few days and makes a complete healing it is not likely the "damages" are severe sufficient to carry out a claim that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. Nevertheless, if because of the hold-up in being appropriately identified, the boy has to have his arm re-broken and the growth plate is irreparably damaged due to the delay then the damages likely would necessitate more investigation and a possible lawsuit.

Other important considerations.

Other problems that are necessary when determining whether a client has a malpractice case consist of the victim's habits and medical history. Did the victim do anything to trigger or add to the bad medical outcome? A common method of medical malpractice defense attorneys is to blame the patient. If it is a birth injury case, did the mama have appropriate prenatal care, did she smoke or use drugs during her pregnancy? In other cases, did the patient follow the doctor's orders, keep his consultations, take his medicine as instructed and inform the doctor the reality? These are realities that we need to understand in order to identify whether the medical professional will have a valid defense to the malpractice suit?

Exactly what happens if it looks like there is a case?

If it appears that the client might have been a victim of a medical error, the medical error triggered a considerable injury or death and the patient was certified with his medical professional's orders, then we have to get the patient's medical records. Most of the times, obtaining the medical records involves nothing more mailing a release signed by the customer to the medical professional and/or health center along with a letter asking for the records. When it comes to wrongful death, an administrator of the victims estate has to be selected in the local county probate court and then the executor can sign the release asking for the records.

As soon as the records are gotten we evaluate them to make sure they are total. It is not unusual in medical neglect cases to get insufficient medical charts. As soon as all the relevant records are gotten they are provided to a competent medical specialist for evaluation and viewpoint. If the case is against an emergency clinic medical professional we have an emergency room physician evaluate the case, if it's against a cardiologist we have to acquire a viewpoint from a cardiologist, etc

. Primarily, what we want to know form the specialist is 1) was the treatment provided listed below the standard of care, 2) did the infraction of the requirement of care lead to the clients injury or death? If the medical professionals viewpoint is favorable on both counts a lawsuit will be prepared on the client's behalf and generally submitted in the court of typical pleas in the county where the malpractice was devoted or in the county where the offender lives. In some limited situations jurisdiction for the malpractice suit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, an excellent malpractice lawyer will thoroughly and thoroughly evaluate any prospective malpractice case before filing a suit. It's not fair to the victim or the doctors to file a suit unless the professional informs us that he believes there is a strong basis to bring the lawsuit. Due to the expense of pursuing a medical carelessness action no good attorney has the time or resources to lose on a "unimportant claim."

When consulting with a malpractice legal representative it is essential to properly give the lawyer as much information as possible and answer the lawyer's concerns as entirely as possible. Prior to talking with an attorney consider making some notes so you don't forget some important truth or situation the lawyer may require.

Finally, if you think you may have a malpractice case contact an excellent malpractice lawyer as soon as possible so there are no statute of limitations issues in your case.

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