Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case? of the medical malpractice problem.

Data differ drastically on the number of medical mistakes that take place in the United States. Some studies place the number of medical errors in excess of one million annually while other studies position the number as low as a couple of hundred thousand. It is extensively accepted however that iatrogenic illness (illness 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 actually restricted his practice to representation of victims hurt by another person's neglect, medical or otherwise, I have gotten countless calls from prospective customers over the last Twenty Years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Because medical malpractice litigation is very costly and really protracted the legal representatives in our company are extremely careful exactly what medical malpractice cases where we choose to get involved. It is not at all uncommon for a lawyer, or law practice 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 professional witness costs, deposition costs, display preparation and court costs. What follows is a summary of the issues, questions and factors to consider that the legal representatives in our firm think about when going over with a customer a potential 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 specialists, dentists, podiatrists and so on.) which results in an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" means medical treatment that a sensible, sensible medical provider in the exact same neighborhood should provide. A lot of cases include a conflict over what the appropriate standard of care is. The standard of care is normally provided through the use of specialist testament from consulting physicians 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 constraints is one year from the date of the malpractice, or the last date the accused treated the plaintiff (victim) or the date the complainant discovered or reasonably need to have discovered the malpractice. Some states have a 2 year statute of restrictions. In Ohio if the victim is a minor the statute of constraints will not even start to run until the small ends up being 18 years old. Be advised however acquired claims for moms and dads may run many years previously. If you think you may have a case it is essential you contact a legal representative soon. Regardless of the statute of constraints, medical professionals transfer, witnesses vanish and memories fade. The sooner counsel is engaged the faster important evidence can be preserved and the much better your opportunities are of prevailing.

What did the physician do or cannot do?

Merely because a client does not have a successful result from a surgical treatment, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself suggest the medical professional made a mistake. Medical practice is by no indicates an assurance of health or a total healing. The majority of the time when a patient experiences an unsuccessful result from medical treatment it is not since the medical provider made a mistake. Most of the time when there is a bad medical result it is regardless of great, quality healthcare not because of sub-standard treatment.

What's A Lawyer Worth?

'What's a lawyer worth?' is a serious question that could also launch a stand-up routine. In a free market economy, compensation is generally linked to the value of the service; supply and demand; complexity/specialization; and urgency/available resources. Law has operated as a guild-- not a competitive market-until recently. And is the seminal reason why lawyers are so expensive. What's A Lawyer Worth?

When going over a possible case with a customer it is very important that the customer be able to tell us why they think there was medical carelessness. As we all know people often pass away from cancer, heart disease or organ failure even with excellent treatment. Nevertheless, know that people normally should not die from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair work or some other "small" surgical treatment. When something extremely unexpected like that happens 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. A lot of legal representatives do not charge for an initial consultation in neglect cases.

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

In any carelessness case not only is the burden of proof on the plaintiff to show the medical malpractice the plaintiff should likewise show that as a direct result of the medical negligence some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "near cause." Given that medical malpractice lawsuits is so pricey to pursue the injuries must be considerable to necessitate moving on with the case. All medical mistakes are "malpractice" nevertheless just a small portion of errors generate medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a moms and dad takes his kid to the emergency room after a skateboard mishap and the ER physician doesn't do x-rays regardless of an apparent bend in the child's lower arm and informs the dad his son has "just a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. But, if the kid is appropriately detected within a few days and makes a complete recovery it is not likely the "damages" are extreme enough to undertake a lawsuit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. Nevertheless, if because of the delay in being appropriately detected, 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 call for further examination and a possible lawsuit. .

Other concerns that are essential when identifying whether a customer has a malpractice case consist of the victim's behavior and medical history. Did the victim do anything to cause or add to the bad medical outcome? A common method of medical malpractice defense lawyer is to blame the client. 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 client follow the physician's orders, keep his consultations, take his medicine as advised and tell the medical professional the fact? These are truths that we have to know in order to determine whether the doctor will have a valid defense to the malpractice claim?

What takes place if it appears like there is a case?

If it appears that the client may have been a victim of a medical error, the medical mistake triggered a significant injury or death and the patient was compliant with his physician's orders, then we need to get the patient's medical records. Most of the times, getting the medical records includes absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the customer to the doctor and/or healthcare facility together with a letter requesting the records. In the case of wrongful death, an executor of the victims estate has to be appointed in the regional county probate court and after that the executor can sign the release asking for the records.

When the records are received we evaluate them to make sure they are complete. It is not uncommon in medical neglect cases to receive insufficient medical charts. As soon as all the pertinent records are obtained they are supplied to a competent medical expert for evaluation and opinion. If the case protests an emergency room medical professional we have an emergency clinic medical professional evaluate the case, if it protests a cardiologist we have to get an opinion from a cardiologist, and so on

. Mainly, what we would like to know form the professional is 1) was the treatment supplied below the standard of care, 2) did the violation of the standard of care lead to the clients injury or death? If the medical professionals opinion is favorable on both counts a lawsuit will be prepared on the customer's behalf and normally submitted in the court of common pleas in the county where the malpractice was dedicated or in the county where the accused lives. In some minimal circumstances jurisdiction for the malpractice suit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a great malpractice legal representative will carefully and thoroughly evaluate any possible malpractice case before filing a claim. It's not fair to the victim or the doctors to submit a suit unless the expert tells us that he believes there is a strong basis to bring the lawsuit. Due to the expense of pursuing a medical neglect action no good legal representative has the time or resources to lose on a "pointless suit."

When seeking advice from a malpractice lawyer it is very important to precisely offer the legal representative as much detail as possible and respond to the attorney's questions as totally as possible. Prior to speaking with an attorney think about making some notes so you don't forget some essential reality or scenario the attorney might need.

Lastly, if you believe you may have a malpractice case get in touch with a good malpractice attorney as soon as possible so there are no statute of limitations issues in your case.

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