Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice issue.

Data differ dramatically 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 couple of hundred thousand. It is widely accepted however that iatrogenic disease (illness 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, simply click the next web page 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 hurt by somebody else's carelessness, medical or otherwise, I have actually gotten thousands of calls from prospective customers over the last Twenty Years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Considering that medical malpractice litigation is extremely expensive and very protracted the attorneys in our company are extremely careful what medical malpractice cases where we choose 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 simply to obtain a case to trial. These costs are the expenses related to pursuing the litigation which include expert witness charges, deposition expenses, show preparation and court expenses. What follows is an outline of the problems, questions and considerations that the lawyers in our firm consider when discussing with a client 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, chiropractic physicians, dentists, podiatric doctors and so on.) which leads to an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" suggests medical treatment that an affordable, prudent medical supplier in the exact same community should provide. A lot of cases include a disagreement over what the relevant standard of care is. The standard of care is normally offered through making use of professional statement from speaking with doctors that practice or teach medication in the exact same specialty as the accused( s).

When did the malpractice take place (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 complainant (victim) or the date the plaintiff discovered or fairly should have found the malpractice. Some states have a 2 year statute of restrictions. In Ohio if the victim is a small the statute of restrictions will not even begin to run up until the small becomes 18 years of ages. Be advised however derivative claims for moms and dads may run many years earlier. If you think you might have a case it is very important you get in touch with a legal representative quickly. Irrespective of the statute of constraints, medical professionals move, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The earlier counsel is engaged the faster crucial evidence can be preserved and the much better your opportunities are of prevailing.

Exactly what did the medical professional do or cannot do?

Simply since a patient does not have an effective result from a surgery, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself mean the medical professional made a mistake. Medical practice is by no means a guarantee of good health or a complete recovery. Most of the time when a patient experiences an unsuccessful arise from medical treatment it is not due to the fact that the medical service provider made a mistake. Most of the time when there is a bad medical result it is despite good, quality healthcare not because of sub-standard treatment.

Should you hire your own insurance claims adjuster?

Mark Huffman has been a consumer news reporter for ConsumerAffairs since 2004. He covers real estate, gas prices and the economy and has reported extensively on negative-option sales. He was previously an Associated Press reporter and editor in Washington, D.C., a correspondent for Westwoood One Radio Networks and Marketwatch.  Read Full Bio? Should you hire your own insurance claims adjuster?

When discussing a potential case with a customer it is important that the customer have the ability to tell us why they think there was medical negligence. As we all understand individuals typically pass away from cancer, cardiovascular disease or organ failure even with good medical care. However, we also know that people generally ought to not die from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair or some other "minor" surgical treatment. When something very unanticipated like that happens it definitely deserves exploring whether there was a medical mistake. If in doubt most medical malpractice lawyers 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 (proximate cause)?

In any carelessness case not just is the burden of proof on the plaintiff to show the medical malpractice the complainant should also show that as a direct result of the medical negligence some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "near cause." Because is so pricey to pursue the injuries need to be substantial to call for moving on with the case. are "malpractice" however only a little portion of mistakes generate medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a parent takes his kid to the emergency clinic after a skateboard accident and the ER doctor doesn't do x-rays despite an apparent bend in the kid's forearm and tells the dad his son has "simply a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. But, if the kid is correctly diagnosed within a few days and makes a complete healing it is unlikely the "damages" are serious adequate to undertake a claim that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the hold-up in being effectively detected, the young 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 call for additional investigation and a possible suit.

Other crucial considerations.

Other concerns that are important when determining whether a client has a malpractice case consist of the victim's habits and case history. Did the victim do anything to cause or contribute to the bad medical result? A typical method 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 during her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the doctor's orders, keep his consultations, take his medicine as advised and inform the medical professional the reality? These are realities that we have to know in order to determine whether the doctor will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice lawsuit?

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

If it appears that the client might have been a victim of a medical error, the medical mistake triggered a substantial injury or death and the patient was certified with his doctor's orders, then we need to get the patient's medical records. In many cases, obtaining the medical records includes absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the customer to the doctor and/or medical facility along with a letter requesting the records. When it comes to wrongful death, an administrator of the victims estate needs to be selected in the regional county probate court then the administrator can sign the release asking for the records.

As soon as the records are gotten we examine them to make sure they are complete. It is not unusual in medical negligence cases to receive insufficient medical charts. When all the pertinent records are gotten they are supplied to a competent medical expert for review and viewpoint. If the case is against an emergency clinic doctor we have an emergency clinic doctor examine the case, if it's against a cardiologist we need to get an opinion from a cardiologist, etc

. Mostly, exactly what we would like to know form the specialist is 1) was the medical care supplied below the standard of care, 2) did the violation of the standard of care result in the patients injury or death? If the doctors opinion is favorable on both counts a claim will be prepared on the client's behalf and usually submitted in the court of common pleas in the county where the malpractice was devoted or in the county where the offender lives. In some minimal scenarios jurisdiction for the malpractice suit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a good malpractice legal representative will carefully and thoroughly review any potential malpractice case before submitting a lawsuit. It's not fair to the victim or the physicians to file a suit unless the expert tells us that he believes there is a strong basis to bring the claim. Due to the expenditure of pursuing a medical carelessness action no good attorney has the time or resources to squander on a "frivolous suit."

When talking to a malpractice legal representative it is essential to precisely provide the attorney as much detail as possible and address the legal representative's concerns as totally as possible. Prior to speaking to a lawyer consider making some notes so you always remember some crucial truth or circumstance the attorney may require.

Finally, if you think you might have a malpractice case contact a good malpractice legal representative as soon as possible so there are no statute of constraints problems in your case.

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