Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

Data differ considerably on the number of medical errors that occur in the United States. Some studies put the variety of medical mistakes in excess of one million yearly while other research studies position the number as low as a couple of hundred thousand. It is widely accepted nevertheless that iatrogenic disease (disease or injury triggered by a medical mistake or medical treatment) is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States after heart problem 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 negligence, 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 pricey and really protracted the lawyers in our company are very careful what medical malpractice cases where we decide to get involved. It is not at all unusual for an attorney, or law practice to advance lawsuits costs in excess of $100,000.00 simply to obtain a case to trial. These costs are the costs connected with pursuing the litigation that include skilled witness costs, deposition costs, show preparation and court expenses. What follows is an overview of the problems, questions and considerations that the attorneys in our firm consider when discussing with a client 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, chiropractors, dentists, podiatric doctors etc.) which leads to an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" implies medical treatment that a reasonable, prudent medical supplier in the same neighborhood need to supply. The majority of cases involve a disagreement over what the suitable requirement of care is. The requirement of care is generally offered through making use of specialist testimony from speaking with doctors that practice or teach medication in the same specialized 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 dealt with the plaintiff (victim) or the date the complainant found or fairly must have discovered the malpractice. Some states have a 2 year statute of restrictions. In Ohio if the victim is a small the statute of limitations will not even start to run until the small becomes 18 years of ages. Be recommended however derivative claims for parents may run several years earlier. If you believe you may have a case it is important you call a legal representative quickly. Irrespective of the statute of limitations, medical professionals move, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The faster counsel is engaged the quicker important evidence can be preserved and the better your chances are of prevailing.

Exactly what did the physician do or cannot do?

Merely since personal injury lawyers las vegas does not have an effective result from a surgery, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself suggest the medical professional slipped up. Medical practice is by no indicates a warranty of good health or a complete healing. Most of the time when a patient experiences a not successful arise from medical treatment it is not due to the fact that the medical supplier slipped up. The majority of the time when there is a bad medical outcome it is despite great, quality treatment not because of sub-standard medical care.

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When talking about a possible case with a customer it is very important that the client be able to tell us why they think there was medical carelessness. As know individuals frequently die from cancer, cardiovascular disease or organ failure even with good healthcare. Nevertheless, we also know that people generally need to not die from knee surgery, appendix elimination, hernia repair work or some other "minor" surgery. When something very unanticipated like that happens it definitely deserves exploring whether there was a medical error. If in doubt most medical malpractice legal representatives will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. A lot of legal representatives do not charge for an initial assessment in negligence cases.

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

In any negligence case not only is the burden of proof on the plaintiff to show the medical malpractice the complainant need to 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 litigation is so costly to pursue the injuries should be significant to call for moving on with the case. All medical mistakes are "malpractice" however only a small percentage of mistakes give rise to medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a moms and dad takes his boy to the emergency clinic after a skateboard accident and the ER physician does not do x-rays in spite of an obvious bend in the child's lower arm and informs the daddy his child has "just a sprain" this likely is medical malpractice. However, if the kid is correctly diagnosed within a few days and makes a complete recovery it is not likely the "damages" are extreme enough to carry out a suit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the hold-up in being properly detected, the boy needs to have his arm re-broken and the growth plate is irreparably damaged due to the delay then the damages likely would require more examination and a possible lawsuit.

Other essential considerations.

Other problems that are important when determining whether a client has a malpractice case consist of the victim's habits and medical history. Did the victim do anything to cause or contribute to the bad medical result? of medical malpractice defense attorneys is to blame the client. If it is a birth trauma case, did the mommy have proper prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs during her pregnancy? In other cases, did the client follow the doctor's orders, keep his consultations, take his medicine as advised and tell the physician the reality? These are facts that we have to know in order to figure out whether the medical professional will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice claim?

What occurs if it appears like there is a case?

If it appears that the patient might have been a victim of a medical error, the medical mistake triggered a significant injury or death and the patient was compliant with his doctor's orders, then we need to get the patient's medical records. In most cases, getting the medical records involves nothing more mailing a release signed by the customer to the doctor and/or medical facility in addition to a letter asking for the records. When it comes to wrongful death, an executor of the victims estate needs to be selected in the local county probate court and then the executor can sign the release requesting the records.

When the records are received we evaluate them to make sure they are complete. It is not unusual in medical neglect cases to receive insufficient medical charts. As soon as all the relevant records are acquired they are provided to a competent medical professional for evaluation and viewpoint. If the case protests an emergency room medical professional we have an emergency room physician evaluate the case, if it's against a cardiologist we need to obtain a viewpoint from a cardiologist, and so on

. Mostly, what we need to know form the professional is 1) was the medical care offered below the standard of care, 2) did the violation of the standard of care result in the clients injury or death? If the doctors viewpoint agrees with on both counts a lawsuit will be prepared on the client's behalf and usually filed in the court of common pleas in the county where the malpractice was dedicated or in the county where the accused lives. In some restricted scenarios 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 submit a lawsuit unless the specialist tells us that he believes there is a strong basis to bring the lawsuit. Due to the expenditure of pursuing a medical carelessness action no good lawyer has the time or resources to waste on a "frivolous claim."

When seeking advice from a malpractice legal representative it is very important to precisely provide the attorney as much information as possible and respond to the lawyer's questions as totally as possible. Prior to talking with a legal representative consider making some notes so you remember some important reality or scenario the lawyer may need.

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

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