Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice issue.

Statistics vary dramatically on the variety of medical mistakes that happen in the United States. Some studies put the variety of medical mistakes in excess of one million yearly while other research studies put the number as low as a few hundred thousand. It is commonly accepted however that iatrogenic disease (disease or injury triggered by a medical error 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 an attorney who has limited his practice to representation of victims injured by somebody else's negligence, medical or otherwise, I have received countless calls from potential clients over the last 20 years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Considering that medical malpractice lawsuits is really expensive and really lengthy the legal representatives in our firm are really careful what medical malpractice cases where we decide to get involved. It is not at all unusual for an attorney, or law office to advance lawsuits costs in excess of $100,000.00 simply to get a case to trial. These costs are the expenses related to pursuing the lawsuits that include skilled witness fees, deposition expenses, exhibit preparation and court costs. What follows is a summary of the problems, concerns and factors to consider that the legal representatives in our firm think about when going over with a client a prospective medical malpractice case.

Exactly What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice is medical treatment that breaches of the "Standard of Care" for medical doctors (or nurses, chiropractic practitioners, dentists, podiatrists and so on.) which leads to an injury or death. "Standard of Care" implies medical treatment that an affordable, prudent medical company in the very same community should provide. Read the Full Write-up involve a conflict over exactly what the suitable standard of care is. The standard of care is generally provided through the use of expert testimony from seeking advice from doctors that practice or teach medicine in the very same specialty as the accused( 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 accused dealt with the plaintiff (victim) or the date the plaintiff discovered or reasonably ought to 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 begin to run till the minor becomes 18 years of ages. Be encouraged however acquired claims for parents might run several years earlier. If you believe you might have a case it is necessary you contact an attorney quickly. Regardless of the statute of restrictions, medical professionals transfer, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The faster counsel is engaged the quicker essential proof can be maintained and the much better your opportunities are of prevailing.

Exactly what did the physician do or cannot do?

Just due to the fact that a patient does not have an effective result from a surgery, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself mean the physician slipped up. Medical practice is by no means a warranty of health or a total recovery. Most of the time when a patient experiences an unsuccessful result from medical treatment it is not because the medical company slipped up. Most of the time when there is a bad medical result it is regardless of good, quality medical care not because of sub-standard medical care.

Are You Guilty of Neglecting to Market Your Law Firm Properly?

Marketing a law firm is a fine line between establishing your skills as lawyers, and not coming across as too pushy so as to put potential clients off. You need to show that you are more than capable of handling their affairs without sounding arrogant. You need to give them a reason to hire you. Are You Guilty of Neglecting to Market Your Law Firm Properly?

When going over a possible case with a customer it is essential that the customer have the ability to inform us why they believe there was medical negligence. As we all know people typically pass away from cancer, heart disease or organ failure even with good medical care. Nevertheless, we also know that people generally need to not pass away from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair or some other "minor" surgical treatment. When something really unforeseen like that occurs it definitely deserves exploring whether there was a medical error. If in will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. The majority of attorneys do not charge for an initial consultation in neglect cases.

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

In any negligence case not just is the burden of proof on the plaintiff to prove the medical malpractice the complainant should likewise prove that as a direct outcome of the medical negligence some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "near cause." Since medical malpractice litigation is so expensive to pursue the injuries need to be considerable to necessitate moving forward with the case. All medical mistakes are "malpractice" however only a little portion of errors generate medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a moms and dad takes his son to the emergency clinic after a skateboard accident and the ER physician does not do x-rays regardless of an obvious bend in the kid's lower arm and tells the papa his kid has "just a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. But, if the kid is correctly identified within a few days and makes a complete healing it is not likely the "damages" are extreme sufficient to carry out a suit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the hold-up in being correctly identified, the kid needs to have his arm re-broken and the growth plate is irreparably harmed due to the hold-up then the damages likely would warrant further investigation and a possible claim.

Other important considerations.

Other concerns that are essential when figuring out whether a customer has a malpractice case consist of the victim's habits and case 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 patient. If it is a birth trauma case, did the mother have appropriate prenatal care, did she smoke or use drugs during her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the physician's orders, keep his appointments, take his medicine as instructed and inform the doctor the reality? These are facts that we need to understand in order to figure out whether the medical professional will have a valid defense to the malpractice suit?

Exactly what takes place 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 error caused a substantial injury or death and the client was certified with his physician's orders, then we have to get the client's medical records. For the most parts, acquiring the medical records includes nothing more mailing a release signed by the customer to the physician and/or medical facility in addition to a letter requesting the records. When it comes to wrongful death, an executor of the victims estate needs to be selected in the regional county court of probate and then the executor can sign the release requesting the records.

When the records are received we review them to make sure they are complete. It is not uncommon in medical carelessness cases to receive incomplete medical charts. When all the appropriate records are obtained they are offered to a competent medical expert for evaluation and viewpoint. If the case protests an emergency clinic medical professional we have an emergency clinic doctor evaluate the case, if it protests a cardiologist we need to acquire a viewpoint from a cardiologist, etc

. Mostly, what we wish to know form the specialist is 1) was the healthcare offered below the standard of care, 2) did the violation of the standard of care lead to the clients injury or death? If the physicians viewpoint is favorable on both counts a claim will be prepared on the client's behalf and generally filed in the court of typical pleas in the county where the malpractice was dedicated or in the county where the defendant lives. In some restricted situations jurisdiction for the malpractice claim could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a good malpractice attorney will thoroughly and completely examine any potential malpractice case prior to submitting a suit. It's not fair to the victim or the doctors to submit a suit unless the professional 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 legal representative has the time or resources to waste on a "frivolous lawsuit."

When speaking with a malpractice legal representative it is very important to properly provide the lawyer as much information as possible and respond to the lawyer's questions as totally as possible. Prior to talking with a lawyer consider making some notes so you remember some important reality or scenario the attorney 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 limitations issues in your case.

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