Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

Data vary dramatically on the variety of medical mistakes that take place in the United States. Some studies place the variety 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 commonly accepted nevertheless that iatrogenic illness (disease or injury caused by a medical mistake 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 negligence, medical or otherwise, I have actually received thousands of calls from potential clients over the last Twenty Years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Since medical malpractice litigation is really expensive and really protracted the lawyers in our firm are extremely careful what medical malpractice cases in which we choose to get involved. It is not at all uncommon for a lawyer, or law office to advance lawsuits expenses in excess of $100,000.00 simply to get a case to trial. These costs are the expenses associated with pursuing the litigation which include professional witness charges, deposition expenses, exhibit preparation and court costs. What follows is a summary of the concerns, questions and factors to consider that the lawyers in our firm consider when discussing with a customer a prospective 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 practitioners, dental experts, podiatrists and so on.) which leads to an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" means medical treatment that an affordable, prudent medical provider in the very same neighborhood should supply. The majority of cases involve a conflict over exactly what the appropriate requirement of care is. The requirement of care is typically offered through making use of expert testimony from consulting medical professionals that practice or teach medication in the exact 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 limitations is one year from the date of the malpractice, or the last date the accused treated the complainant (victim) or the date the complainant discovered or fairly need to have found the malpractice. Some states have a 2 year statute of constraints. In linked internet page if the victim is a minor the statute of restrictions will not even start to run till the minor becomes 18 years of ages. Be advised nevertheless derivative claims for moms and dads may run several years earlier. If think you might have a case it is necessary you get in touch with an attorney soon. Regardless of the statute of restrictions, doctors transfer, witnesses vanish and memories fade. The quicker counsel is engaged the quicker essential evidence can be preserved and the much better your opportunities are of prevailing.

What did the physician do or cannot do?

Simply due to the fact that a client does not have an effective arise from a surgical treatment, medical treatment or medical treatment does not in and of itself suggest the medical professional slipped up. Medical practice is by no implies a guarantee of good health or a total recovery. Most of the time when a patient experiences a not successful result from medical treatment it is not since the medical supplier made a mistake. The majority of the time when there is a bad medical result it is in spite of good, quality medical care not because of sub-standard treatment.

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When going over a prospective case with a customer it is necessary that the client have the ability to tell us why they think there was medical carelessness. As we all know individuals typically pass away from cancer, heart disease or organ failure even with excellent treatment. However, we also understand that individuals typically ought to not pass away from knee surgical treatment, appendix removal, hernia repair work or some other "small" surgery. When something really unexpected like that occurs it definitely deserves exploring whether there was a medical mistake. If in doubt most medical malpractice attorneys will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. Most legal representatives do not charge for an initial consultation in carelessness cases.

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

In is the burden of proof on the plaintiff to prove the medical malpractice the complainant must also prove that as a direct outcome of the medical carelessness some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "near cause." Given that medical malpractice litigation is so expensive to pursue the injuries must be considerable to necessitate moving on with the case. All medical mistakes are "malpractice" nevertheless only a small portion of errors generate medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a parent takes his child to the emergency room after a skateboard accident and the ER physician does not do x-rays in spite of an apparent bend in the kid's forearm and informs the papa his son has "just a sprain" this likely is medical malpractice. But, if the kid is properly diagnosed within a few days and makes a complete healing it is unlikely the "damages" are severe enough to undertake a claim that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. Nevertheless, if because of the delay in being properly identified, the 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 require additional examination and a possible claim.

Other crucial considerations.

Other issues that are essential when figuring out whether a customer has a malpractice case include the victim's habits and medical 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 injury case, did the mama have correct prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs during her pregnancy? In other cases, did the patient follow the doctor's orders, keep his appointments, take his medicine as advised and tell the doctor the truth? These are truths that we have to know in order to determine whether the physician will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice lawsuit?

Exactly what happens if Recommended Web site looks like there is a case?

If it appears that the patient might have been a victim of a medical mistake, 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, acquiring the medical records includes absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the doctor and/or medical facility in addition to a letter asking for the records. In the case of wrongful death, an executor of the victims estate has to be selected in the local county probate court and then the administrator can sign the release asking for the records.

When the records are gotten we review them to make sure they are total. It is not uncommon in medical carelessness cases to receive incomplete medical charts. As soon as all the pertinent records are acquired they are offered to a certified medical professional for review and opinion. If the case is against an emergency clinic medical professional we have an emergency room physician review the case, if it's against a cardiologist we have to get an opinion from a cardiologist, etc

. Primarily, exactly what we need to know form the specialist is 1) was the treatment offered listed below the requirement of care, 2) did the infraction of the requirement of care lead to the clients injury or death? If the medical professionals viewpoint is favorable on both counts a claim will be prepared on the customer's behalf and generally filed in the court of common pleas in the county where the malpractice was devoted or in the county where the defendant lives. In some minimal situations jurisdiction for the malpractice suit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a good malpractice lawyer will carefully and completely evaluate any potential malpractice case before submitting a claim. It's not fair to the victim or the medical professionals to file a suit unless the specialist tells 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 legal representative has the time or resources to waste on a "unimportant suit."

When seeking advice from a malpractice attorney it is essential to properly provide the attorney as much detail as possible and answer the lawyer's concerns as completely as possible. Prior to speaking to a legal representative think about making some notes so you do not forget some essential reality or circumstance the legal representative might require.

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

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