Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice issue.

Data differ considerably on the variety of medical errors that happen in the United States. Some studies place the number of medical errors in excess of one million each year while other studies put the number as low as a few hundred thousand. It is commonly accepted however that iatrogenic illness (illness or injury triggered 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 an attorney who has limited his practice to representation of victims hurt by somebody else's negligence, medical or otherwise, I have received countless calls from potential clients over the last Twenty Years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Given that medical malpractice litigation is extremely costly and very lengthy the lawyers in our firm are really careful exactly what medical malpractice cases in which we decide to get involved. It is not at all unusual for a lawyer, or law firm to advance litigation costs in excess of $100,000.00 simply to obtain a case to trial. These expenditures are the expenses associated with pursuing the litigation that include skilled witness costs, deposition costs, show preparation and court expenses. What follows is an outline of the issues, questions and factors to consider that the attorneys in our firm consider when discussing with a client a prospective medical malpractice case.

What is Medical Malpractice? is medical treatment that breaches of the "Requirement of Care" for medical doctors (or nurses, chiropractors, dental experts, podiatrists and so on.) which leads to an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" means medical treatment that a sensible, sensible medical service provider in the same neighborhood must supply. A lot of cases involve a dispute over what the appropriate requirement of care is. The standard of care is usually supplied through making use of professional testament from speaking with doctors that practice or teach medication in the 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 accused dealt with the complainant (victim) or the date the plaintiff found or fairly should have found the malpractice. Some states have a 2 year statute of constraints. In Ohio if the victim is a small the statute of restrictions will not even begin to run until the small becomes 18 years old. Be encouraged nevertheless acquired claims for moms and dads might run several years earlier. If you believe you might have a case it is important you get in touch with a lawyer quickly. Regardless of the statute of restrictions, medical professionals relocate, witnesses vanish and memories fade. The sooner counsel is engaged the earlier crucial proof can be maintained and the better your opportunities are of prevailing.

What did the medical professional do or cannot do?

Just because a client does not have an effective arise from a surgical treatment, medical treatment or medical treatment does not in and of itself indicate the doctor made a mistake. Medical practice is by no implies a guarantee of health or a complete recovery. The majority of the time when a patient experiences a not successful arise from medical treatment it is not because the medical service provider slipped up. The majority of the time when there is a bad medical result it is regardless of great, quality medical care not because of sub-standard medical care.

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How lawyers are integrating paraprofessionals into practice

“We have actually been surprised that law firms have been sending their paralegals to the programs. I think they realize that law firms will benefit because they will be able to use additional trained staff to serve clients. I believe that the ‘bread and butter’ for LLLT practice will be well-done parenting plans and child support orders. The benefits to the general public are clear. These are potentially folks who would be pro se and would do the plans and orders without understanding them at all. In this way, they can have plans and orders that are enforceable and that reflect their thinking of their relationship with their children.” How lawyers are integrating paraprofessionals into practice

When going over a potential case with a customer it is important that the client be able to tell us why they believe there was medical negligence. As we all understand people often pass away from cancer, heart problem or organ failure even with good healthcare. Nevertheless, we also know that individuals generally should not die from knee surgery, appendix elimination, hernia repair or some other "minor" surgical treatment. When something extremely unexpected like that occurs 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. A lot of legal representatives do not charge for a preliminary assessment in neglect cases.

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

In any neglect case not just is the burden of proof on the complainant to show the medical malpractice the plaintiff must also show that as a direct result of the medical carelessness some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "proximate cause." Since medical malpractice lawsuits is so costly to pursue the injuries should be significant to call for moving forward with the case. All medical mistakes are "malpractice" nevertheless just a small portion of mistakes give rise to 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 despite an obvious bend in the kid's forearm and tells the daddy his child has "just a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. But, if the child is correctly detected within a couple of days and makes a total healing it is unlikely the "damages" are severe sufficient to carry out a claim that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. Nevertheless, if because of the hold-up in being appropriately diagnosed, the boy needs to have his arm re-broken and the development plate is irreparably damaged due to the delay then the damages likely would warrant further examination and a possible claim.

Other essential factors to consider.

Other concerns that are very important when figuring out whether a client has a malpractice case consist of the victim's habits and medical history. Did the victim do anything to trigger or add to the bad medical result? A typical strategy of medical malpractice defense lawyer is to blame the patient. If it is a birth trauma case, did the mother have proper prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs throughout her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the medical professional's orders, keep his consultations, take his medicine as instructed and tell the medical professional the fact? These are truths that we need to know in order to identify whether the medical professional will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice lawsuit?

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 error, the medical error triggered a significant injury or death and the patient was certified with his physician's orders, then we need to get the patient's medical records. For the most parts, obtaining the medical records involves nothing more mailing a release signed by the customer to the medical professional and/or health center along with a letter requesting the records. When comes to wrongful death, an administrator of the victims estate needs to be selected in the local county court of probate then the executor can sign the release requesting the records.

As soon as the records are received we evaluate them to make sure they are total. It is not unusual in medical neglect cases to receive insufficient medical charts. Once all the appropriate records are obtained they are offered to a competent medical expert for evaluation and viewpoint. If the case is against an emergency clinic doctor we have an emergency clinic medical professional examine the case, if it's against a cardiologist we need to get a viewpoint from a cardiologist, and so on

. Primarily, exactly what we would like to know form the expert is 1) was the treatment provided below the standard of care, 2) did the infraction of the requirement of care result in the patients injury or death? If the doctors opinion agrees with on both counts a suit will be prepared on the customer's behalf and generally submitted in the court of typical pleas in the county where the malpractice was committed or in the county where the accused lives. In some restricted scenarios jurisdiction for the malpractice lawsuit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, an excellent malpractice attorney will thoroughly and completely evaluate any prospective malpractice case prior to submitting a lawsuit. It's not fair to the victim or the doctors to file a lawsuit unless the professional informs us that he believes there is a strong basis to bring the claim. Due to the expense of pursuing a medical neglect action no good lawyer has the time or resources to lose on a "unimportant lawsuit."

When speaking with a malpractice lawyer it is essential to precisely offer the legal representative as much detail as possible and respond to the legal representative's concerns as completely as possible. Prior to speaking to a lawyer consider making some notes so you remember some essential fact or situation the lawyer may need.

Lastly, if you think you might have a malpractice case get in touch with an excellent malpractice lawyer as soon as possible so there are no statute of limitations problems in your case.

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