Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

Stats vary considerably on the variety of medical errors that occur in the United States. Some research studies put the number of medical mistakes in excess of one million each year while other research studies position the number as low as a couple of hundred thousand. It is commonly accepted however that iatrogenic illness (illness or injury brought on by a medical error or medical treatment) is the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. See, The JOURNAL of the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA) Vol 284, No 4, July 26th 2000.

As a lawyer who has actually restricted his practice to representation of victims injured by another person's neglect, medical or otherwise, I have actually received thousands of calls from prospective customers over the last 20 years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Considering that medical malpractice litigation is very expensive and really lengthy the legal representatives in our company are extremely cautious what medical malpractice cases where we decide to get included. It is not unusual for a lawyer, or law firm to advance litigation expenses in excess of $100,000.00 simply to obtain a case to trial. These expenses are the expenses connected with pursuing the litigation which include skilled witness costs, deposition expenses, display preparation and court costs. What follows is an overview of the concerns, concerns and considerations that the attorneys in our firm think about when going over with a customer a potential 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, chiropractors, dental professionals, podiatrists and so on.) which leads to an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" means medical treatment that an affordable, sensible medical provider in the exact same neighborhood ought to offer. see post involve a disagreement over exactly what the suitable requirement of care is. The standard of care is typically offered through making use of professional testimony from speaking with doctors that practice or teach medicine in the exact same specialty as the defendant( s).

When did the malpractice happen (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 complainant (victim) or the date the complainant found or fairly must have found the malpractice. Some states have a two year statute of restrictions. In Ohio if the victim is a small the statute of limitations will not even start to run until the small ends up being 18 years old. Be encouraged nevertheless derivative claims for parents may run several years earlier. If you think you might have a case it is important you get in touch with an attorney soon. Regardless of the statute of restrictions, doctors move, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The sooner counsel is engaged the earlier important proof can be preserved and the better your chances are of dominating.

What did the physician do or fail to do?

Merely because a patient does not have an effective arise from a surgery, medical treatment or medical treatment does not in and of itself mean the medical professional slipped up. Medical practice is by no indicates an assurance of good health or a complete healing. The majority of the time when a patient experiences a not successful result from medical treatment it is not due to the fact that the medical company made a mistake. The majority of the time when there is a bad medical result it is despite good, quality treatment not because of sub-standard treatment.

How to Choose a Personal Injury Attorney

These are excellent points. Hiring a good lawyer with personal injury experience and the willingness to take a case to trial are essential to being represented well. Specific steps clients can take to research and interview lawyers before deciding which one to hire are discussed in my book, “Choosing Your Lawyer: An Insider’s Practical Guide to Making a Really Good Choice,” available through Amazon. How to Choose a Personal Injury Attorney

When talking about a possible case with a client it is important that the client be able to inform us why they think there was medical negligence. As all of us know people often pass away from cancer, heart problem or organ failure even with great treatment. However, we likewise understand that people typically ought to not die from knee surgery, appendix elimination, hernia repair work or some other "small" surgery. When something very unanticipated like that happens it definitely is worth checking out whether there was a medical mistake. If in doubt most medical malpractice lawyers will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. Many lawyers do not charge for an initial consultation in neglect cases.

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

In any neglect case not only is the burden of proof on the plaintiff to prove the medical malpractice the plaintiff must likewise prove that as a direct outcome of the medical carelessness some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "proximate cause." Considering that medical malpractice litigation is so expensive to pursue the injuries should be substantial to warrant progressing with the case. All medical errors are "malpractice" nevertheless just a small percentage of errors generate medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a parent takes his son to the emergency clinic after a skateboard mishap and the ER physician does not do x-rays in spite of an obvious bend in the child's forearm and tells the dad his kid has "just a sprain" this likely is medical malpractice. But, if the kid is correctly detected within a couple of days and makes a complete recovery it is unlikely the "damages" are extreme adequate to carry out a claim that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the delay in being appropriately detected, the kid has to have his arm re-broken and the development plate is irreparably damaged due to the hold-up then the damages likely would warrant additional investigation and a possible lawsuit. to consider. that are very important when identifying whether a customer has a malpractice case include the victim's habits and medical history. Did the victim do anything to trigger or contribute to the bad medical outcome? of medical malpractice defense attorneys is to blame the client. If it is a birth trauma case, did the mom have correct prenatal care, did she smoke or use drugs throughout her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the medical professional's orders, keep his appointments, take his medication as instructed and tell the medical professional the fact? These are facts that we need to know in order to identify whether the physician will have a valid defense to the malpractice claim?

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

If it appears that the client may have been a victim of a medical mistake, the medical mistake caused a substantial injury or death and the patient was compliant with his physician's orders, then we need to get the client's medical records. In most cases, getting the medical records includes absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the medical professional and/or hospital in addition to a letter requesting the records. In the case of wrongful death, an administrator of the victims estate has to be appointed in the local county court of probate then the administrator can sign the release requesting the records.

When the records are received we examine them to make sure they are complete. It is not unusual in medical negligence cases to get insufficient medical charts. As soon as all the appropriate records are acquired they are provided to a qualified medical professional for review and viewpoint. If the case is against an emergency room doctor we have an emergency room medical professional evaluate the case, if it protests a cardiologist we have to get a viewpoint from a cardiologist, and so on

. Primarily, exactly what we wish to know form the specialist is 1) was the medical care supplied below the requirement of care, 2) did the infraction of the standard of care lead to the clients injury or death? If the medical professionals opinion is favorable on both counts a suit will be prepared on the client's behalf and usually submitted in the court of common pleas in the county where the malpractice was committed or in the county where the defendant lives. In some limited circumstances jurisdiction for the malpractice claim could be federal court or some other court.


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

When seeking advice from a malpractice legal representative it's important to accurately give the legal representative as much information as possible and respond to the attorney's concerns as totally as possible. Prior to talking with a lawyer think about making some notes so you remember some crucial reality or circumstance the lawyer may need.

Last but not least, if you think you may 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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