Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

Statistics differ significantly on the variety of medical mistakes that take place in the United States. Some studies put the variety of medical mistakes in excess of one million every year 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 brought on by a medical mistake or medical treatment) is the third 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 limited his practice to representation of victims injured by someone else's negligence, medical or otherwise, I have received thousands of calls from prospective clients over the last 20 years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Considering that medical malpractice litigation is really expensive and very protracted the attorneys in our firm are extremely cautious exactly what medical malpractice cases where we choose to get included. It is not uncommon for an attorney, or law firm to advance litigation expenses in excess of $100,000.00 simply to get a case to trial. These expenditures are the expenses associated with pursuing the litigation which include professional witness costs, deposition expenses, exhibit preparation and court costs. What follows is an overview of the concerns, questions and factors to consider that the attorneys in our company think about when talking about with a customer a prospective medical malpractice case.

Exactly What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice is medical treatment that breaches of the "Requirement of Care" for medical physicians (or nurses, chiropractic practitioners, dental professionals, podiatric doctors and so on.) which results in an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" means medical treatment that an affordable, prudent medical supplier in the exact same community ought to offer. The majority of cases include a conflict over what the relevant requirement of care is. The requirement of care is normally offered through making use of professional testimony from seeking advice from medical professionals that practice or teach medicine in the very same specialty as the offender( 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 accused dealt with the plaintiff (victim) or the date the complainant discovered or reasonably should have found the malpractice. Some states have a 2 year statute of constraints. In Ohio if the victim is a minor the statute of restrictions will not even start to run till the small ends up being 18 years old. Be encouraged however acquired injury lawyers ca for parents may run many years earlier. If believe you may have a case it is very important you get in touch with a legal representative soon. Regardless of the statute of constraints, medical professionals relocate, witnesses vanish and memories fade. The earlier counsel is engaged the sooner important proof can be preserved and the much better your opportunities are of dominating.

What did the physician do or fail to do?

Just since 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 made a mistake. Medical practice is by no implies a guarantee of good health or a total 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. Most 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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When discussing a potential case with a client it is necessary that the client be able to tell us why they think there was medical carelessness. As all of us know individuals frequently die from cancer, heart disease or organ failure even with good healthcare. Nevertheless, understand that people typically need to not pass away from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair or some other "minor" surgery. When something really unforeseen like that occurs it definitely is worth checking out whether there was a medical error. If in doubt most medical malpractice legal representatives will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. Many attorneys do not charge for an initial assessment in carelessness cases.

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

In any carelessness case not only is the burden of proof on the plaintiff to show the medical malpractice the plaintiff need to also prove that as a direct outcome of the medical neglect some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "near cause." Given that medical malpractice litigation is so pricey to pursue the injuries need to be considerable to warrant moving forward with the case. All medical errors are "malpractice" however only a little percentage of errors generate medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a parent takes his son to the emergency room after a skateboard mishap and the ER doctor doesn't do x-rays despite an obvious bend in the child's forearm and informs the papa his child has "just a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. But, if is effectively diagnosed within a few days and makes a total healing it is unlikely the "damages" are severe adequate to undertake a suit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. Nevertheless, if because of the delay in being properly identified, the kid 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 additional examination and a possible suit.

Other essential factors to consider.

Other problems that are important when identifying whether a client has a malpractice case consist of the victim's behavior and medical history. Did the victim do anything to trigger or add to the bad medical result? A typical method of medical malpractice defense attorneys is to blame the client. If it is a birth injury case, did the mother have proper prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs during her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the medical professional's orders, keep his consultations, take his medicine as instructed and inform the medical professional the truth? These are realities that we have to understand in order to figure out whether the physician will have a valid defense to the malpractice lawsuit?

What occurs 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 error caused a significant injury or death and the patient was certified with his medical professional's orders, then we have to get the patient's medical records. Most of the times, obtaining the medical records involves absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the medical professional and/or health center in addition to a letter asking for the records. When it comes to wrongful death, an administrator of the victims estate has to be appointed in the regional county probate court and then the executor can sign the release requesting 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 get incomplete medical charts. As soon as all the pertinent records are acquired they are provided to a qualified medical professional for review and viewpoint. If the case protests an emergency room physician we have an emergency clinic doctor review the case, if it protests a cardiologist we need to acquire a viewpoint from a cardiologist, and so on

. Mainly, what we wish to know form the specialist is 1) was the treatment supplied listed below the standard of care, 2) did the violation of the standard of care lead to the patients injury or death? If the physicians opinion agrees with on both counts a lawsuit will be prepared on the client's behalf and normally filed in the court of common pleas in the county where the malpractice was dedicated or in the county where the offender lives. In some minimal scenarios jurisdiction for the malpractice claim could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a great malpractice legal representative will carefully and thoroughly review any prospective malpractice case prior to filing a claim. It's not fair to the victim or the physicians to submit a suit 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 neglect action no good legal representative has the time or resources to lose on a "pointless claim."

When seeking advice from a malpractice attorney it is essential to properly give the attorney as much information as possible and respond to the lawyer's concerns as completely as possible. Prior to talking to an attorney think about making some notes so you do not forget some important reality or scenario the attorney might need.

Last but not least, if you think you might have a malpractice case contact a good malpractice attorney as soon as possible so there are no statute of constraints problems in your case.

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