Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

Stats differ considerably on the variety of medical errors that occur in the United States. Some studies place the number of medical mistakes in excess of one million every year while other research studies position the number as low as a few hundred thousand. It is widely accepted nevertheless 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 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 restricted his practice to representation of victims hurt by somebody else's negligence, medical or otherwise, I have gotten countless calls from prospective customers over the last Twenty Years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Since medical malpractice litigation is extremely expensive and extremely lengthy the lawyers in our firm are very cautious what medical malpractice cases where we decide to get included. It is not at all uncommon for a lawyer, or law office to advance lawsuits expenses in excess of $100,000.00 just to get a case to trial. These costs are the costs related to pursuing the lawsuits that include expert witness costs, deposition expenses, display preparation and court expenses. What follows is an outline of the problems, concerns and factors to consider that the lawyers in our company think about 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 "Standard of Care" for medical physicians (or nurses, chiropractors, dental practitioners, podiatric doctors etc.) which results in an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" suggests medical treatment that an affordable, sensible medical supplier in the exact same community must supply. A lot of cases include a dispute over exactly what the applicable standard of care is. The standard of care is generally supplied through making use of professional testimony from speaking with medical professionals that practice or teach medication in the exact same specialized as the offender( s).

When did the malpractice happen (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 must have found the malpractice. Some states have a two year statute of constraints. In Ohio if the victim is a small the statute of restrictions will not even start to run up until the small ends up being 18 years old. Be advised however derivative claims for moms and dads may run several years previously. If think you might have a case it is necessary you contact an attorney quickly. Regardless of the statute of constraints, doctors transfer, witnesses vanish and memories fade. is engaged the sooner essential proof can be maintained and the much better your chances are of prevailing.

What did the doctor do or cannot do?

Just due to the fact that a patient does not have a successful result from a surgical treatment, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself suggest the doctor slipped up. Medical practice is by no indicates a warranty of good health or a total recovery. The majority of the time when a patient experiences a not successful arise from medical treatment it is not due to the fact that the medical company slipped up. The majority of the time when there is a bad medical result it is despite good, quality treatment not because of sub-standard healthcare.

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When talking about a possible case with a customer it is very important that the customer be able to tell us why they believe there was medical neglect. As we all understand people typically die from cancer, cardiovascular disease or organ failure even with good healthcare. However, we likewise know that people typically ought to not die from knee surgical treatment, appendix removal, hernia repair or some other "small" surgery. When something really unexpected like that occurs it certainly is worth checking out 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 a preliminary consultation in carelessness 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 also show that as a direct outcome of the medical negligence some injury or death resulted (damages). is called "proximate cause." Given that medical malpractice litigation is so expensive to pursue the injuries must be considerable to necessitate moving forward 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 physician doesn't do x-rays regardless of an apparent bend in the kid's lower arm and tells the papa his son has "simply a sprain" this likely is medical malpractice. But, if the kid is effectively detected within a few days and makes a complete healing it is unlikely the "damages" are serious enough to undertake a lawsuit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of -up in being appropriately diagnosed, the boy has to have his arm re-broken and the growth plate is irreparably harmed due to the hold-up then the damages likely would necessitate further investigation and a possible lawsuit.

Other important considerations.

Other issues that are essential when figuring out whether a client has a malpractice case include the victim's behavior and medical history. Did the victim do anything to cause or contribute to the bad medical result? A common tactic of medical malpractice defense lawyer is to blame the client. If it is a birth injury case, did the mom have correct prenatal care, did she smoke or use drugs throughout her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the physician's orders, keep his visits, take his medication as advised and inform the physician the reality? These are facts that we need to understand in order to identify whether the doctor will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice suit?

What occurs if it appears like there is a case?

If it appears that the patient may have been a victim of a medical mistake, the medical error triggered a considerable injury or death and the patient was compliant with his medical professional's orders, then we need to get the patient's medical records. In many cases, acquiring the medical records involves absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the customer to the physician and/or medical facility in addition to 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 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 total. It is not unusual in medical negligence cases to get insufficient medical charts. When all the appropriate records are acquired they are provided to a certified medical professional for review and viewpoint. If the case is against an emergency room medical professional we have an emergency room physician examine the case, if it's against a cardiologist we have to get a viewpoint from a cardiologist, etc

. Mostly, what we want to know form the specialist is 1) was the medical care offered listed below the standard of care, 2) did the infraction of the standard of care result in the patients injury or death? If the physicians opinion 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 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 evaluate any prospective malpractice case prior to submitting a suit. It's not fair to the victim or the medical professionals to submit a claim unless the expert informs us that he thinks there is a strong basis to bring the lawsuit. Due to the expense of pursuing a medical negligence action no good lawyer has the time or resources to waste on a "frivolous lawsuit."

When speaking with a malpractice attorney it is very important to properly offer the lawyer as much detail as possible and address the attorney's concerns as entirely as possible. Prior to speaking with an attorney think about making some notes so you don't forget some essential fact or scenario the legal representative may require.

Finally, if you believe you might have a malpractice case get in touch with an excellent malpractice lawyer as soon as possible so there are no statute of limitations problems in your case.

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