Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice issue.

Data vary drastically on the number of medical errors that happen in the United States. Some research studies put the number of medical errors in excess of one million each year while other studies put the number as low as a couple of hundred thousand. It is extensively accepted however that iatrogenic disease (disease 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 an attorney who has limited his practice to representation of victims injured by another person's neglect, medical or otherwise, I have received thousands of calls from potential customers over the last 20 years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Considering that medical malpractice litigation is really costly and really drawn-out the legal representatives in our firm are very cautious exactly what medical malpractice cases in which we decide to get included. It is not unusual for an attorney, or law firm to advance lawsuits expenditures in excess of $100,000.00 just to get a case to trial. These expenditures are the costs related to pursuing the lawsuits which include skilled witness charges, deposition costs, exhibit preparation and court costs. What follows is an outline of the concerns, questions and factors to consider that the attorneys in our company think about when going over 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 practitioners, podiatrists etc.) which leads to an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" suggests medical treatment that a reasonable, prudent medical provider in the very same community should offer. Most cases include a conflict over what the relevant requirement of care is. The requirement of care is normally supplied through using professional statement from seeking advice from doctors that practice or teach medication in the very same specialized as the offender( s).

When did the malpractice take place (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 defendant dealt with the complainant (victim) or the date the plaintiff found or reasonably must have discovered the malpractice. Some states have a 2 year statute of limitations. In Ohio if the victim is a small the statute of limitations will not even start to run up until the small becomes 18 years old. Be encouraged however acquired claims for moms and dads might run several years earlier. If you think you might have a case it is very important you call a legal representative soon. Irrespective of the statute of constraints, physicians transfer, witnesses vanish and memories fade. The faster counsel is engaged the sooner essential evidence can be protected and the better your chances are of prevailing.

What did the physician do or cannot do?

Merely due to the fact that a client does not have a successful arise from a surgical treatment, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself indicate the doctor slipped up. Medical practice is by no implies a guarantee of health or a total healing. Most of the time when a client experiences a not successful result from medical treatment it is not since the medical provider slipped up. of the time when there is a bad medical result it is regardless of great, quality medical care not because of sub-standard healthcare.

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When discussing a possible case with a client it is important that the client be able to inform us why they think there was medical neglect. As we all understand individuals often pass away from cancer, heart disease or organ failure even with excellent medical care. However, we likewise understand that people generally must not die from knee surgery, appendix elimination, hernia repair work or some other "minor" surgery. When something really unanticipated like that occurs it definitely deserves exploring whether there was a medical mistake. If in doubt most medical malpractice attorneys will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. Most lawyers do not charge for a preliminary assessment in carelessness cases.

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

In any neglect case not only is the burden of proof on the complainant to show the medical malpractice the plaintiff need to likewise show that as a direct outcome of the medical carelessness some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "proximate cause." Since medical malpractice lawsuits is so expensive to pursue the injuries should be significant to require moving on with the case. All medical errors are "malpractice" however just a small portion of errors trigger medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a parent takes his kid to the emergency clinic after a skateboard accident and the ER physician does not do x-rays regardless of an obvious bend in the kid's lower arm and tells the father his child has "simply a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. But, if the child is appropriately diagnosed within a couple of days and makes a total healing it is unlikely the "damages" are serious adequate to undertake a suit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the delay in being appropriately detected, the boy needs to have his arm re-broken and the growth plate is irreparably damaged due to the hold-up then the damages likely would require further examination and a possible claim.

Other important factors to consider.

Other issues that are essential when figuring out whether a customer 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 result? A common strategy of medical malpractice defense attorneys is to blame the client. If it is a birth trauma case, did the mama have correct prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs during her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the medical professional's orders, keep his visits, take his medication as advised and inform the doctor the fact? are truths that we have to know in order to identify whether the medical professional will have a valid defense to the malpractice suit?

Exactly what occurs if it appears like there is a case?

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

As soon as the records are received we review them to make sure they are complete. It is not unusual in medical neglect cases to receive incomplete medical charts. As soon as all the pertinent records are gotten they are offered to a certified medical expert for review and opinion. If the case protests an emergency clinic medical professional we have an emergency room medical professional evaluate the case, if it's against a cardiologist we need to obtain a viewpoint from a cardiologist, and so on

. Mostly, what we want to know form the specialist is 1) was the healthcare offered listed below the requirement of care, 2) did the infraction of the requirement of care result in the clients injury or death? If the medical professionals viewpoint is favorable on both counts a lawsuit will be prepared on the customer's behalf and normally submitted in the court of common pleas in the county where the malpractice was devoted or in the county where the defendant lives. In some minimal circumstances jurisdiction for the malpractice lawsuit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a great malpractice lawyer will thoroughly and thoroughly evaluate any possible malpractice case before submitting a suit. It's unfair to the victim or the doctors to submit a claim unless the expert informs us that he believes there is a strong basis to bring the suit. Due to the expenditure of pursuing a medical negligence action no good lawyer has the time or resources to waste on a "frivolous lawsuit."

When consulting with a malpractice legal representative it is essential to accurately offer the attorney as much detail as possible and answer the legal representative's concerns as completely as possible. Prior to speaking with think about making some notes so you remember some essential fact or scenario the lawyer might require.

Lastly, if you think you may have a malpractice case contact a good malpractice lawyer as soon as possible so there are no statute of constraints issues in your case.

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