Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice issue.

Statistics differ drastically on the number of medical mistakes that occur in the United States. Some research studies place the number of medical mistakes in excess of one million yearly while other research studies put the number as low as a few 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, 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 injured by someone else's neglect, medical or otherwise, I have actually gotten countless calls from prospective clients over the last 20 years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Because medical malpractice litigation is really pricey and really protracted the legal representatives in our company are very careful exactly what medical malpractice cases in which we opt to get involved. It is not unusual for an attorney, or law office to advance litigation expenditures in excess of $100,000.00 just to get a case to trial. are the expenses related to pursuing the litigation that include professional witness fees, deposition costs, show preparation and court costs. What follows is an overview of the concerns, concerns and considerations that the legal representatives in our firm think about when going over with a client 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 professionals, podiatrists and so on.) which leads to an injury or death. "Standard of Care" indicates medical treatment that an affordable, prudent medical service provider in the same community need to offer. Many cases include a dispute over what the relevant standard of care is. The standard of care is normally offered through making use of expert testament from consulting medical professionals that practice or teach medicine in the same specialized 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 plaintiff found or reasonably ought to have found the malpractice. Some states have a two year statute of constraints. In Ohio if the victim is a small the statute of limitations will not even begin to run up until the small becomes 18 years old. Be advised however derivative claims for parents might run several years previously. If you believe you might have a case it is very important you call a legal representative soon. Regardless of the statute of restrictions, doctors relocate, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The faster counsel is engaged the faster crucial evidence can be maintained and the much better your possibilities are of dominating.

Exactly what did the physician do or cannot do?

Simply due to the fact that a client does not have a successful result 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 indicates a guarantee of health or a complete healing. The majority of the time when a client experiences a not successful arise from medical treatment it is not because the medical supplier slipped up. The majority of the time when there is a bad medical result it is regardless of great, quality healthcare not because of sub-standard medical care.

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Personal injury cases are among the most common civil cases and a lot of people will find themselves involved in such a case at least once in their life. Some of the different types of personal injury cases are those involving injuries that arise from vehicular accidents, medical malpractice, intentional acts, construction accidents, dental malpractice, wrongful death, product liability, and premises liability, among others. Three Tips for Choosing a Personal Injury Lawyer - Legal Reader

When discussing a potential case with a client it is very important that the customer have the ability to inform us why they believe there was medical neglect. As we all know people often die from cancer, heart disease or organ failure even with great medical care. Nevertheless, we also know that people typically ought to not die from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair or some other "small" surgical treatment. When something extremely unforeseen like that happens it definitely deserves exploring whether there was a medical error. If in doubt most medical malpractice lawyers will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. The majority of legal representatives do not charge for an initial consultation in neglect cases.

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

In any carelessness case not only is the burden of proof on the complainant to prove the medical malpractice the complainant need to also 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 lawsuits is so pricey to pursue the injuries need to be substantial to warrant moving on with the case. are "malpractice" however just a little percentage of mistakes generate medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a parent takes his boy to the emergency room after a skateboard accident and the ER physician doesn't do x-rays despite an apparent bend in the child's forearm and tells the father his child has "simply a sprain" this likely is medical malpractice. But, if the child is correctly identified within a couple of days and makes a total recovery it is not likely the "damages" are severe adequate to carry out a claim that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the hold-up in being appropriately diagnosed, the young 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 necessitate more examination and a possible suit.

Other crucial factors to consider.

Other problems that are very important 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 cause or contribute to the bad medical outcome? A common tactic of medical malpractice defense lawyer is to blame the patient. If it is a birth trauma case, did the mom have proper prenatal care, did she smoke or use drugs during her pregnancy? In other cases, did the patient follow the doctor's orders, keep his visits, take his medication as instructed and tell the physician the truth? These are facts that we have to know in order to figure out whether the doctor will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice claim?

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

If it appears that the patient may have been a victim of a medical mistake, the medical mistake caused a substantial injury or death and the client was compliant with his physician's orders, then we need to get the patient's medical records. Most of the times, obtaining the medical records includes nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the medical professional and/or hospital along with a letter requesting the records. When it comes to wrongful death, an administrator of the victims estate needs to be appointed in the local county court of probate and after that the administrator can sign the release asking for the records.

When the records are received we review them to make sure they are complete. It is not unusual in medical carelessness cases to get incomplete medical charts. When all the pertinent records are gotten they are provided to a qualified medical expert for evaluation and viewpoint. If the case is against an emergency clinic doctor we have an emergency room medical professional examine the case, if it's against a cardiologist we have to obtain an opinion 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 requirement of care result in the patients injury or death? If the medical professionals opinion is favorable on both counts a claim will be prepared on the customer's behalf and generally submitted in the court of typical pleas in the county where the malpractice was dedicated or in the county where the accused lives. In some limited scenarios jurisdiction for the malpractice lawsuit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a good malpractice attorney will carefully and completely review any potential malpractice case prior to filing a suit. It's unfair to the victim or the physicians to file a lawsuit unless the expert informs us that he thinks there is a strong basis to bring the claim. Due to the cost of pursuing a medical carelessness action no good lawyer has the time or resources to waste on a "pointless claim."

When talking to is necessary to accurately provide the legal representative as much information as possible and respond to the attorney's questions as completely as possible. Prior to talking with a lawyer consider making some notes so you always remember some important truth or scenario the lawyer might need.

Lastly, if you believe you may have a malpractice case get in touch with a good malpractice lawyer as soon as possible so there are no statute of limitations problems in your case.

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