Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

Data vary dramatically on the variety of medical mistakes that occur in the United States. Some research studies put the variety of medical mistakes in excess of one million annually while other research studies place the number as low as a few hundred thousand. It is commonly accepted nevertheless that iatrogenic disease (illness or injury caused 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 limited his practice to representation of victims hurt by someone else's carelessness, medical or otherwise, I have actually gotten countless calls from prospective clients over the last Twenty Years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Because medical malpractice lawsuits is extremely expensive and extremely drawn-out the legal representatives in our company are extremely cautious what medical malpractice cases where we choose to get included. It is not at all unusual for an attorney, or law practice to advance litigation expenditures in excess of $100,000.00 just to obtain a case to trial. These expenses are the expenses connected with pursuing the lawsuits which include expert witness fees, deposition costs, exhibit preparation and court costs. What follows is an overview of the problems, concerns and considerations that the lawyers in our firm consider when discussing with a customer a prospective medical malpractice case.

Exactly What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice is medical treatment that breaches of the "Standard of Care" for medical physicians (or nurses, chiropractic doctors, dental professionals, podiatric doctors etc.) which leads to an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" suggests medical treatment that a sensible, prudent medical company in the very same community must supply. The majority of cases include a disagreement over exactly what the applicable requirement of care is. The requirement of care is usually provided through the use of professional statement from seeking advice from doctors that practice or teach medication in the exact 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 restrictions is one year from the date of the malpractice, or the last date the offender treated the complainant (victim) or the date the plaintiff found or reasonably need to have found the malpractice. Some states have a two year statute of restrictions. In Ohio if the victim is a minor the statute of limitations will not even begin to run till the minor becomes 18 years of ages. Be advised however acquired claims for parents may run several years earlier. If you think you might have a case it is important you call a lawyer quickly. Regardless of the statute of limitations, medical professionals transfer, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The sooner counsel is engaged the sooner essential proof can be protected and the better your chances are of dominating.

Exactly what did the medical professional do or cannot do?

Merely because a client does not have an effective result from a surgical treatment, medical treatment or medical treatment does not in and of itself suggest the doctor made a mistake. Medical practice is by no suggests an assurance of good health or a total healing. Most of the time when a patient experiences an unsuccessful result from medical treatment it is not due to the fact that the medical provider slipped up. The majority of the time when there is a bad medical result it is despite good, quality medical care not because of sub-standard medical care.

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When talking about a potential case with a customer it is important that the customer have the ability to inform us why they think there was medical neglect. As we all know people typically die from cancer, cardiovascular disease or organ failure even with good treatment. However, we also understand that people normally ought to not pass away from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair work or some other "small" surgical treatment. When something extremely unanticipated like that happens it definitely deserves exploring whether there was a medical mistake. If in doubt most medical malpractice legal representatives will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. Many lawyers do not charge for a preliminary assessment in carelessness cases.

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

In any carelessness case not only is the burden of proof on the complainant to prove the medical malpractice the complainant should likewise show that as a direct result of the medical negligence some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "near cause." Considering that medical malpractice litigation is so costly to pursue the injuries must be substantial to necessitate moving on with the case. All medical mistakes are "malpractice" nevertheless only a little percentage of mistakes generate medical malpractice cases.

By Accident Lawyers Philadelphia of example, if a moms and dad takes his boy 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 tells the daddy his boy has "just a sprain" this likely is medical malpractice. But, if the child is effectively detected within a few days and makes a total recovery it is unlikely the "damages" are severe sufficient to carry out a lawsuit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the delay in being appropriately detected, the young boy needs to have his arm re-broken and the development plate is irreparably damaged due to the hold-up then the damages likely would call for additional investigation and a possible suit.

Other crucial factors to consider.

Other problems that are essential when figuring out whether a client has a malpractice case include the victim's habits and medical history. Did the victim do anything to cause or add to the bad medical result? A typical strategy of medical malpractice defense attorneys is to blame the client. If it is a birth trauma case, did the mama 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 inform the medical professional the fact? These are facts that we have to understand in order to identify whether the medical professional will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice claim?

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

If appears that the client may have been a victim of a medical mistake, the medical mistake caused a considerable injury or death and the client was certified with his medical professional's orders, then we need to get the client's medical records. In compensation for slip and fall , getting the medical records includes nothing more mailing a release signed by the client to the doctor and/or hospital along with a letter requesting the records. When it comes to wrongful death, an administrator of the victims estate has to be designated in the regional county probate court and then the administrator can sign the release asking for the records.

As soon as the records are received we examine them to make sure they are complete. It is not uncommon in medical negligence cases to receive insufficient medical charts. As soon as all the pertinent records are acquired they are supplied to a certified medical specialist for evaluation and viewpoint. If the case is against an emergency room medical professional we have an emergency room medical professional review the case, if it's against a cardiologist we need to obtain a viewpoint from a cardiologist, and so on

. Primarily, what we wish to know form the professional is 1) was the healthcare offered below the standard of care, 2) did the violation of the standard of care lead to the patients injury or death? If the physicians viewpoint agrees with on both counts a claim will be prepared on the client's behalf and generally filed in the court of common pleas in the county where the malpractice was devoted or in the county where the offender lives. In some limited circumstances jurisdiction for the malpractice suit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a good malpractice legal representative will carefully and thoroughly examine any possible malpractice case before submitting a claim. It's unfair to the victim or the physicians to file a lawsuit unless the expert informs us that he believes there is a strong basis to bring the suit. Due to the expense of pursuing a medical negligence action no good attorney has the time or resources to lose on a "pointless lawsuit."

When talking to a malpractice lawyer it is very important to accurately give the attorney as much detail as possible and respond to the lawyer's concerns as completely as possible. Prior to talking with a lawyer consider making some notes so you do not forget some essential fact or circumstance the lawyer may need.

Finally, if you think you may have a malpractice case contact an excellent malpractice lawyer as soon as possible so there are no statute of constraints issues in your case.

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