Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice issue.

Data differ drastically on the number of medical errors that happen in the United States. Some research studies place the number of medical mistakes in excess of one million yearly while other research studies place the number as low as a couple of hundred thousand. is widely accepted however that iatrogenic illness (disease or injury brought on by a medical mistake or medical treatment) is the 3rd 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 limited his practice to representation of victims injured by someone else's carelessness, medical or otherwise, I have actually received thousands of calls from prospective customers over the last Twenty Years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Because medical malpractice lawsuits is extremely expensive and really lengthy the legal representatives in our firm are very cautious what medical malpractice cases in which we opt to get included. It is not unusual for an attorney, or law firm to advance lawsuits expenses in excess of $100,000.00 simply to obtain a case to trial. These costs are the costs related to pursuing the lawsuits that include skilled witness charges, deposition costs, exhibit preparation and court costs. What follows is of the concerns, questions and considerations that the legal representatives in our company think about when going over with a customer a prospective 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 doctors, dentists, podiatric doctors etc.) which results in an injury or death. "Standard of Care" suggests medical treatment that an affordable, sensible medical provider in the same community must provide. A lot of cases include a conflict over exactly what the relevant requirement of care is. The standard of care is typically offered through making use of specialist testament from consulting physicians that practice or teach medicine in the same specialized as the offender( s).

When did the malpractice happen (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 complainant (victim) or the date the plaintiff discovered or fairly should have found the malpractice. Some states have a 2 year statute of limitations. In Ohio if the victim is a small the statute of limitations will not even start to run up until the small becomes 18 years of ages. Be encouraged nevertheless derivative claims for moms and dads might run many years previously. If you think you might have a case it is very important you call a legal representative quickly. Irrespective of the statute of limitations, medical professionals move, witnesses vanish and memories fade. The sooner counsel is engaged the sooner crucial proof can be protected and the better your chances are of prevailing.

What did the medical professional do or cannot do?

Simply due to the fact that a patient does not have a successful arise from a surgery, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself mean the physician slipped up. Medical practice is by no suggests an assurance of good health or a complete recovery. The majority of the time when a patient experiences a not successful arise from medical treatment it is not since the medical company made a mistake. Most of the time when there is a bad medical result it is in spite of good, quality medical care not because of sub-standard medical care.

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When talking about a prospective case with a client it is very important that the customer have the ability to tell us why they think there was medical carelessness. As we all know people often die from cancer, heart problem or organ failure even with great medical care. However, we likewise understand that people normally should not pass away from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair work or some other "minor" surgical treatment. When something extremely unforeseen like that occurs it certainly 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. The majority of attorneys do not charge for a preliminary consultation in negligence cases.

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

In any negligence case not just is the burden of proof on the complainant to show the medical malpractice the complainant must also show that as a direct result of the medical carelessness some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "proximate cause." Because medical malpractice lawsuits is so pricey to pursue the injuries must be considerable to require progressing with the case. All medical mistakes are "malpractice" however just a little portion of errors trigger medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a parent takes his son to the emergency clinic after a skateboard mishap and the ER medical professional doesn't do x-rays regardless of an obvious bend in the kid's lower arm and tells the papa his boy has "just a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. But, if the kid is effectively detected within a few days and makes a total recovery it is unlikely the "damages" are severe sufficient to undertake a lawsuit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the hold-up in being correctly diagnosed, the kid has to have his arm re-broken and the development plate is irreparably harmed due to the hold-up then the damages likely would call for more examination and a possible claim.

Other crucial factors to consider.

Other problems that are necessary when figuring out whether a client has a malpractice case consist of the victim's habits and case history. Did do anything to trigger or add to the bad medical outcome? A common tactic of medical malpractice defense attorneys is to blame the patient. If it is a birth injury case, did the mom have proper prenatal care, did she smoke or use drugs throughout her pregnancy? In other cases, did the patient follow the physician's orders, keep his consultations, take his medicine as instructed and inform the medical professional the fact? These are realities that we have to know in order to determine whether the medical professional will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice claim?

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

If it appears that the client might have been a victim of a medical mistake, the medical mistake caused 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. In many cases, obtaining the medical records involves absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the physician and/or healthcare facility together with a letter asking for the records. When it comes to wrongful death, an executor of the victims estate has to be selected in the local county probate court then the administrator can sign the release asking for the records.

Once the records are gotten we examine them to make sure they are total. It is not unusual in medical neglect cases to get incomplete medical charts. As soon as all the pertinent records are obtained they are offered to a competent medical specialist for evaluation and viewpoint. If the case protests an emergency clinic doctor we have an emergency clinic physician review the case, if it protests a cardiologist we need to acquire a viewpoint from a cardiologist, etc

. Primarily, what we would like to know form the professional is 1) was the treatment provided below the requirement of care, 2) did the offense of the standard of care lead to the clients injury or death? If read article agrees with on both counts a suit will be prepared on the client's behalf and normally submitted in the court of typical pleas in the county where the malpractice was dedicated or in the county where the offender lives. In some minimal situations jurisdiction for the malpractice suit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, an excellent malpractice lawyer will carefully and completely review any prospective malpractice case prior to submitting a suit. 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 lawsuit. Due to the expense of pursuing a medical negligence action no good legal representative has the time or resources to squander on a "pointless suit."

When consulting with a malpractice attorney it is essential to precisely offer the attorney as much information as possible and respond to the lawyer's questions as completely as possible. Prior to speaking with a legal representative think about making some notes so you do not forget some essential fact or scenario the lawyer may need.

Finally, if you think you might have a malpractice case contact an excellent malpractice attorney as soon as possible so there are no statute of restrictions problems in your case.

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