Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice problem.

car accident lawyer sacramento vary dramatically on the number of medical errors that happen in the United States. amarillo personal injury law firm of medical errors in excess of one million annually while other studies place the number as low as a couple of hundred thousand. It is extensively accepted nevertheless 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 a lawyer who has limited his practice to representation of victims injured by another person's carelessness, medical or otherwise, I have actually gotten countless calls from prospective clients over the last 20 years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Because medical malpractice lawsuits is extremely costly and extremely protracted the attorneys in our firm are really careful exactly what medical malpractice cases in which we opt to get involved. It is not at all uncommon for an attorney, or law firm to advance lawsuits expenses in excess of $100,000.00 just to obtain a case to trial. These costs are the expenses related to pursuing the litigation which include expert witness charges, deposition costs, exhibit preparation and court costs. What follows is a summary of the problems, concerns and factors to consider that the legal representatives in our company consider when talking about with a customer a potential 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, chiropractors, dental experts, podiatric doctors and so on.) which leads to an injury or death. "Requirement of Care" implies medical treatment that a reasonable, prudent medical provider in the same neighborhood ought to offer. A lot of cases involve a conflict over exactly what the relevant standard of care is. The standard of care is usually offered through making use of specialist statement from seeking advice from doctors that practice or teach medicine in the exact same specialty as the defendant( s).

When did the malpractice take place (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 fairly ought to have found the malpractice. Some states have a two year statute of constraints. In Ohio if the victim is a small the statute of restrictions will not even start to run till the small ends up being 18 years old. Be advised however acquired claims for moms and dads may run many years previously. If you believe you might have a case it is important you get in touch with a lawyer soon. Regardless of the statute of restrictions, doctors move, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The earlier counsel is engaged the sooner important proof can be protected and the much better your chances are of prevailing.

What did the medical professional do or cannot do?

Simply since a client does not have an effective result from a surgical treatment, medical procedure or medical treatment does not in and of itself suggest the physician made a mistake. Medical practice is by no suggests a warranty of health or a complete recovery. Most of the time when a patient experiences an unsuccessful arise from medical treatment it is not due to the fact that the medical provider made a mistake. Most of the time when there is a bad medical outcome it is regardless of great, quality treatment not because of sub-standard healthcare.

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When discussing a prospective case with a client it is important that the client be able to tell us why they think there was medical negligence. As all of us know people typically pass away from cancer, heart disease or organ failure even with great treatment. However, understand that individuals usually ought to not pass away from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair or some other "minor" surgery. When something extremely unexpected like that happens it certainly is worth exploring whether there was a medical mistake. If in doubt most medical malpractice attorneys will discuss your case with you informally on the telephone. Many attorneys do not charge for an initial assessment in negligence cases.

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

In any neglect case not just is the burden of proof on the complainant to prove the medical malpractice the complainant need to also prove that as a direct outcome of the medical neglect some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "proximate cause." Because medical malpractice lawsuits is so costly to pursue the injuries need to be considerable to warrant moving forward with the case. All medical errors are "malpractice" nevertheless just a small percentage of mistakes give rise to medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a parent takes his kid to the emergency clinic after a skateboard accident and the ER doctor doesn't do x-rays in spite of an apparent bend in the kid's forearm and tells the daddy his kid has "just a sprain" this likely is medical malpractice. However, if the child is properly detected within a couple of days and makes a complete recovery it is not likely the "damages" are serious adequate to undertake a claim that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the delay in being properly detected, the young boy needs to have his arm re-broken and the growth plate is irreparably damaged due to the delay then the damages likely would warrant additional investigation and a possible lawsuit.

Other important factors to consider.

Other concerns that are essential when determining whether a customer has a malpractice case include 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 client. If it is a birth trauma case, did the mama have proper prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs during her pregnancy? In other cases, did the patient follow the doctor's orders, keep his consultations, take his medicine as advised and inform the medical professional the truth? These are truths that we have to know in order to determine whether the medical professional will have a valid defense to the malpractice suit?

What happens if it appears like there is a case?

If it appears that the patient may have been a victim of a medical mistake, the medical error caused a substantial injury or death and the patient was certified with his physician's orders, then we have to get the patient's medical records. For the most parts, acquiring the medical records involves absolutely nothing more mailing a release signed by the customer to the medical professional and/or health center in addition to a letter asking for the records. In the case of wrongful death, an administrator of the victims estate has to be designated in the local county court of probate and then the executor can sign the release requesting the records.

Once personal injury questions are gotten we examine them to make sure they are total. It is not unusual in medical negligence cases to receive incomplete medical charts. When all the pertinent records are obtained they are provided to a competent medical expert for evaluation and viewpoint. If the case protests an emergency clinic doctor we have an emergency room doctor evaluate the case, if it's against a cardiologist we need to get a viewpoint from a cardiologist, and so on

. Primarily, what we need to know form the professional is 1) was the treatment offered below the standard of care, 2) did the violation of the standard of care result in the clients injury or death? If the physicians opinion is favorable on both counts a suit will be prepared on the customer's behalf and generally submitted in the court of common pleas in the county where the malpractice was committed or in the county where the accused lives. In some limited scenarios jurisdiction for the malpractice lawsuit could be federal court or some other court.


In sum, a great malpractice attorney will thoroughly and completely evaluate any potential malpractice case prior to submitting a lawsuit. It's not fair to the victim or the doctors to submit a lawsuit 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 claim."

When seeking advice from a malpractice lawyer it is essential to precisely provide the lawyer as much detail as possible and answer the legal representative's concerns as totally as possible. Prior to speaking with a legal representative consider making some notes so you do not forget some crucial reality or scenario the lawyer may need.

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

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