Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice issue.

Stats vary dramatically on the number of medical mistakes that take place in the United States. put the number of medical mistakes in excess of one million each year while other studies place the number as low as a few hundred thousand. It is extensively accepted however that iatrogenic disease (illness or injury caused by a medical mistake or medical treatment) is the third leading cause of death in the United States after cardiovascular 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 another person's neglect, medical or otherwise, I have gotten thousands of calls from prospective customers over the last Twenty Years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Since medical malpractice litigation is very costly and really drawn-out the legal representatives in our company are very mindful exactly what medical malpractice cases in which we decide to get included. It is not at all uncommon for a lawyer, or law practice to advance litigation expenses in excess of $100,000.00 simply to obtain a case to trial. These expenses are the costs related to pursuing the litigation which include expert witness charges, deposition expenses, display preparation and court costs. What follows is of the problems, concerns and factors to consider that the lawyers in our firm consider when discussing with a customer a potential 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 specialists, dental practitioners, podiatrists etc.) which leads to an injury or death. "Standard of Care" suggests medical treatment that a sensible, prudent medical service provider in the very same neighborhood should provide. Most cases include a conflict over what the applicable requirement of care is. The requirement of care is typically provided through making use of professional testament from speaking with doctors that practice or teach medication in the very same specialty as the offender( s).

When did the malpractice occur (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 accused treated the complainant (victim) or the date the complainant found or fairly ought to have found the malpractice. Some states have a 2 year statute of restrictions. In Ohio if the victim is a minor the statute of limitations will not even start to run till the small becomes 18 years old. Be advised however derivative claims for moms and dads may run several years previously. If you think you might have a case it is important you get in touch with an attorney quickly. Irrespective of the statute of restrictions, physicians move, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The faster counsel is engaged the earlier important proof can be protected and the better your chances are of dominating.

Exactly what did the physician do or cannot do?

Merely because a patient does not have a successful arise from a surgery, medical treatment or medical treatment does not in and of itself indicate the medical professional made a mistake. official source is by no indicates a guarantee of good health or a total recovery. Most of the time when a client experiences an unsuccessful arise from medical treatment it is not since the medical supplier slipped up. The majority of the time when there is a bad medical outcome it is despite excellent, quality medical care not because of sub-standard healthcare.

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When going over a prospective case with a customer it is essential that the client be able to inform us why they think there was medical neglect. As we all know 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 surgical treatment, appendix removal, hernia repair work or some other "small" surgical treatment. When something extremely unforeseen like that happens it definitely deserves checking out whether there was a medical error. If in doubt most medical malpractice legal representatives will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. Most legal representatives do not charge for an initial assessment in negligence cases.

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

In any negligence case not only is the burden of proof on the plaintiff to prove the medical malpractice the complainant should likewise prove that as a direct result of the medical carelessness some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "near cause." Considering that medical malpractice litigation is so expensive to pursue the injuries must be significant to warrant moving on with the case. All medical mistakes are "malpractice" nevertheless only a small percentage of errors give rise to medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a moms and dad takes his son to the emergency room after a skateboard accident and the ER physician doesn't do x-rays regardless of an apparent bend in the kid's forearm and informs the dad his kid has "just a sprain" this likely is medical malpractice. However, if the kid is properly diagnosed within a couple of days and makes a complete recovery it is unlikely the "damages" are extreme sufficient to carry out a claim that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the delay in being effectively detected, the kid needs to have his arm re-broken and the growth plate is irreparably damaged due to the hold-up then the damages likely would necessitate additional examination and a possible lawsuit.

Other important factors to consider.

Other concerns that are important when identifying whether a client has a malpractice case consist of the victim's habits and medical history. Did the victim do anything to cause or contribute to the bad medical result? A typical method 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 use drugs throughout her pregnancy? In other cases, did the patient follow the doctor's orders, keep his visits, take his medication as advised and tell the physician the reality? These are realities that we need to know in order to identify whether the physician will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice lawsuit?

What happens if it appears like there is a case?

If it appears that the client may have been a victim of a medical mistake, the medical error triggered a significant injury or death and the client was certified with his doctor's orders, then we have to get the patient's medical records. For the most parts, getting the medical records includes absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the physician and/or hospital in addition to a letter asking for the records. When it comes to wrongful death, an executor of the victims estate has to be designated in the local county probate court then the administrator can sign the release requesting the records.

Once the records are gotten we evaluate them to make sure they are total. It is not unusual in medical neglect cases to receive incomplete medical charts. When all the pertinent records are gotten they are provided to a competent medical professional for evaluation and opinion. If the case is against an emergency clinic physician we have an emergency room physician examine the case, if it protests a cardiologist we need to acquire a viewpoint from a cardiologist, and so on

. Mostly, exactly what we want to know form the expert is 1) was the treatment supplied below the standard of care, 2) did the infraction of the standard of care lead to the patients injury or death? If the doctors viewpoint agrees with on both counts a suit will be prepared on the client's behalf and usually filed in the court of typical pleas in the county where the malpractice was committed or in the county where the offender lives. In some restricted situations jurisdiction for the malpractice lawsuit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, an excellent malpractice legal representative will carefully and thoroughly examine any potential malpractice case prior to filing a suit. It's unfair to the victim or the medical professionals to submit a lawsuit unless the specialist tells us that he believes there is a strong basis to bring the lawsuit. Due to the cost of pursuing a medical carelessness action no good attorney has the time or resources to waste on a "unimportant lawsuit."

When consulting with a malpractice legal representative it is very important to precisely offer the attorney as much information as possible and respond to the legal representative's concerns as totally as possible. Prior to talking to a lawyer think about making some notes so you don't forget some crucial fact or circumstance the attorney might need.

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

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