Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

Statistics vary drastically on the number of medical errors that happen in the United States. Some studies position the number of medical errors in excess of one million annually while other research studies put the number as low as a couple of hundred thousand. It is extensively accepted however that iatrogenic illness (illness or injury caused 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 an attorney who has actually restricted his practice to representation of victims hurt by someone else's neglect, medical or otherwise, I have actually received thousands of calls from prospective clients over the last Twenty Years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Because medical malpractice litigation is really expensive and very drawn-out the lawyers in our firm are really mindful what medical malpractice cases in which we choose to get included. It is not uncommon for an attorney, or law firm to advance lawsuits expenditures in excess of $100,000.00 simply to obtain a case to trial. These expenses are the expenses related to pursuing the litigation that include skilled witness charges, deposition costs, display preparation and court costs. What follows is an overview of the concerns, concerns and factors to consider that the lawyers in our company think about when talking about 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 physicians (or nurses, chiropractic physicians, dental experts, podiatric doctors etc.) which results in an injury or death. "Standard of Care" means medical treatment that a reasonable, sensible medical supplier in the same community should provide. A lot of cases involve a disagreement over what the applicable standard of care is. The standard of care is usually provided through the use of specialist testimony from speaking with doctors that practice or teach medicine in the very 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 constraints 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 ought to 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 nevertheless derivative claims for moms and dads might run many years previously. If you believe you might have a case it is necessary you contact a legal representative soon. Regardless of the statute of constraints, doctors relocate, witnesses vanish and memories fade. The earlier counsel is engaged the sooner important proof can be preserved and the better your opportunities are of dominating.

Exactly what did the medical professional do or fail to do?

Merely because a patient does not have a successful result from a surgery, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself indicate the physician made a mistake. Medical practice is by no suggests an assurance of good health or a total recovery. Most of the time when a client experiences a not successful result from medical treatment it is not due to the fact that the medical service provider made a mistake. The majority of the time when there is a bad medical result it is in spite of excellent, quality treatment not because of sub-standard healthcare.

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When talking about a potential case with a client it is important that the customer be able to tell us why they believe there was medical neglect. As we all know people frequently pass away from cancer, cardiovascular disease or organ failure even with excellent treatment. Nevertheless, we also understand that people typically need to not pass away from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair or some other "minor" surgery. When something very unforeseen like that occurs it definitely is worth checking out whether there was a medical mistake. If in doubt most medical malpractice attorneys will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. Many legal representatives do not charge for an initial assessment in carelessness cases.

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

In any carelessness case not just is the burden of proof on the plaintiff to prove the medical malpractice the plaintiff need to likewise prove that as a direct result of the medical carelessness some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "near cause." Since medical malpractice litigation is so pricey to pursue the injuries must be considerable to call for moving on with the case. All medical errors are "malpractice" however only a little percentage of mistakes trigger medical malpractice cases.

By of example, if a parent takes his boy to the emergency room after a skateboard accident and the ER medical professional does not do x-rays despite an apparent bend in the kid's lower arm and informs the papa his boy has "just a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. But, if the child is effectively detected within a couple of days and makes a total healing it is unlikely the "damages" are serious 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 identified, the young boy needs to have his arm re-broken and the development plate is irreparably damaged due to the hold-up then the damages likely would call for additional investigation and a possible lawsuit.

Other important factors to consider.

Other problems that are important when determining whether a client has a malpractice case consist of the victim's behavior and medical history. Did the victim do anything to trigger or contribute to the bad medical outcome? A common technique of medical malpractice defense attorneys is to blame the patient. If please click the next web page is a birth injury case, did the mama have proper prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs during her pregnancy? In other cases, did the patient follow the medical professional's orders, keep his appointments, take his medication as instructed and inform the medical professional the reality? These are truths that we need to understand in order to determine whether the medical professional will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice suit?

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

If it appears that the patient might have been a victim of a medical error, the medical error triggered a significant injury or death and the client was certified with his physician's orders, then we need to get the client's medical records. Most of the times, getting the medical records involves absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the doctor and/or healthcare facility together with a letter requesting the records. In the case of wrongful death, an executor of the victims estate has to be selected in the regional county court of probate and then the executor can sign the release requesting the records.

When the records are gotten we evaluate them to make sure they are complete. It is not unusual in medical negligence cases to receive insufficient medical charts. When all the appropriate records are gotten they are provided to a certified medical specialist for evaluation and viewpoint. If the case protests an emergency room physician we have an emergency room physician examine the case, if it's against a cardiologist we need to acquire an opinion from a cardiologist, etc

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


In sum, an excellent malpractice lawyer will carefully and completely evaluate any possible malpractice case before submitting a claim. It's not fair to the victim or the doctors to submit a lawsuit unless the professional informs us that he thinks there is a strong basis to bring the claim. Due to the expenditure of pursuing a medical neglect action no good lawyer has the time or resources to waste on a "pointless claim."

When consulting with a malpractice attorney it is essential to precisely offer the attorney as much information as possible and respond to the legal representative's questions as completely as possible. Prior to speaking to an attorney think about making some notes so you always remember some essential reality or situation the lawyer might require.

Lastly, if you believe you might have a malpractice case call a good malpractice attorney as soon as possible so there are no statute of limitations problems in your case.

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