Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice issue.

Statistics differ considerably on the variety of medical mistakes that happen in the United States. Some studies put the number of medical mistakes in excess of one million each year while other research studies position the number as low as a couple of hundred thousand. It is commonly accepted however that iatrogenic disease (illness or injury triggered 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 actually restricted his practice to representation of victims injured by someone else's neglect, medical or otherwise, I have gotten thousands of calls from potential clients over the last 20 years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Considering that medical malpractice lawsuits is really expensive and extremely drawn-out the attorneys in our company are very cautious what medical malpractice cases where we choose to get included. It is not at all uncommon for an attorney, or law office to advance litigation expenses in excess of $100,000.00 just to get a case to trial. These expenses are the expenses associated with pursuing the litigation which include professional witness costs, deposition expenses, exhibit preparation and court costs. What follows is an outline of the problems, concerns and considerations that the legal representatives in our company consider when going over with a customer a potential medical malpractice case.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice is medical treatment that breaches of the "Standard of Care" for medical physicians (or nurses, chiropractors, dentists, podiatrists and so on.) which results in an injury or death. of Care" suggests medical treatment that an affordable, prudent medical supplier in the very same community need to offer. A lot of cases involve a dispute over what the relevant requirement of care is. The requirement of care is generally offered through the use of expert statement from seeking advice from medical professionals that practice or teach medicine in the exact same specialty as the defendant( s).

When did the malpractice occur (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 treated the plaintiff (victim) or the date the complainant found or reasonably must have discovered the malpractice. Some states have a two year statute of constraints. In Ohio if the victim is a minor the statute of constraints will not even start to run up until the small becomes 18 years old. Be advised however acquired claims for parents may run many years previously. If you believe you may have a case it is very important you call an attorney soon. Regardless of the statute of restrictions, physicians relocate, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The sooner counsel is engaged the earlier crucial proof can be maintained and the better your possibilities are of prevailing.

What did the physician do or fail to do?

Just because a client does not have an effective arise from a surgical treatment, medical treatment or medical treatment does not in and of itself mean the medical professional slipped up. Medical practice is by no implies a warranty of good health or a total recovery. The majority of the time when a client experiences a not successful arise from medical treatment it is not because the medical service provider slipped up. The majority of the time when there is a bad medical result it is regardless of excellent, quality treatment not because of sub-standard medical care.

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When going over a prospective case with a client it is important that the client have the ability to tell us why they believe there was medical carelessness. As all of us know individuals frequently pass away from cancer, heart disease or organ failure even with good medical care. Nevertheless, we also know that people normally must not die from knee surgery, appendix elimination, hernia repair work or some other "small" surgical treatment. When something extremely unexpected like that occurs it certainly deserves exploring whether there was a medical error. If in doubt most medical malpractice legal representatives will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. The majority of lawyers do not charge for a preliminary assessment in negligence cases.

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

In any neglect case not only is the burden of proof on the complainant to prove the medical malpractice the plaintiff need to 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 expensive to pursue the injuries should be significant to call for moving on with the case. All medical mistakes are "malpractice" nevertheless only a little percentage of mistakes generate medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a parent takes his kid to the emergency room after a skateboard accident and the ER medical professional does not do x-rays despite an obvious bend in the child's forearm and tells the papa his son has "just a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. But, if is appropriately detected within a couple of days and makes a complete healing it is not likely the "damages" are severe enough to undertake a lawsuit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the delay in being correctly detected, the boy has to have his arm re-broken and the development plate is irreparably damaged due to the hold-up then the damages likely would warrant further examination and a possible lawsuit.

Other essential factors to consider.

Other concerns that are important when figuring out whether a customer has a malpractice case include the victim's behavior and case 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 mommy have appropriate prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs during her pregnancy? In , did the patient follow the doctor's orders, keep his visits, take his medicine as advised and inform the doctor the fact? These are realities that we have to understand in order to figure out whether the doctor will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice lawsuit?

Exactly what takes place if it looks like there is a case?

If it appears that the patient may have been a victim of a medical error, the medical mistake triggered a significant injury or death and the patient was compliant with his doctor's orders, then we have to get the patient's medical records. For the most parts, obtaining the medical records includes nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the physician and/or healthcare facility together with a letter requesting the records. In the case of wrongful death, an administrator of the victims estate needs to be appointed in the regional county court of probate then the executor can sign the release requesting the records.

Once the records are received we review 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 appropriate records are gotten they are provided to a certified medical professional for evaluation and opinion. If the case protests an emergency clinic doctor we have an emergency room doctor review the case, if it's against a cardiologist we need to get a viewpoint from a cardiologist, and so on

. Mainly, what home remedies for burns need to know form the professional is 1) was the healthcare supplied listed below the requirement of care, 2) did the infraction of the requirement of care result in the patients injury or death? If the physicians viewpoint agrees with on both counts a suit will be prepared on the client's behalf and usually filed in the court of common pleas in the county where the malpractice was dedicated or in the county where the accused lives. In some limited situations jurisdiction for the malpractice suit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, an excellent malpractice legal representative will thoroughly and completely examine any prospective malpractice case before filing a suit. It's not fair to the victim or the physicians to file a suit unless the professional tells us that he thinks 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 lose on a "frivolous suit."

When consulting with a malpractice legal representative it is essential to precisely give the lawyer as much detail as possible and respond to the legal representative's concerns as completely as possible. Prior to speaking to a legal representative consider making some notes so you always remember some essential fact or scenario the lawyer might require.

Finally, if you think you may have a malpractice case call a great malpractice legal representative as soon as possible so there are no statute of constraints issues in your case.

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