Do I Have A Medical Malpractice-Wrongful Death Case?

The scope of the medical malpractice issue.

Stats vary drastically on the number of medical errors that happen in the United States. Some research studies put the variety of medical mistakes in excess of one million every year while other research studies put the number as low as a few hundred thousand. It is commonly accepted however that iatrogenic disease (illness or injury caused by a medical error or medical treatment) is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States after cardiovascular disease and cancer. See, The JOURNAL of the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (JAMA) Vol 284, No 4, July 26th 2000.

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As a lawyer who has restricted his practice to representation of victims injured by another person's neglect, medical or otherwise, I have gotten countless calls from prospective clients over the last 20 years asking me if they have a medical malpractice case. Given that medical malpractice litigation is really costly and very lengthy the attorneys in our firm are extremely mindful exactly what medical malpractice cases where we decide to get involved. It is not at all uncommon for an attorney, or law practice to advance lawsuits costs in excess of $100,000.00 simply to obtain a case to trial. These expenses are the expenses associated with pursuing the litigation that include professional witness charges, deposition expenses, show preparation and court expenses. What follows is an outline of the issues, questions and factors to consider that the attorneys in our firm think about when going over with a customer a prospective medical malpractice case.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice is medical treatment that breaches of the "Standard of Care" for medical doctors (or nurses, chiropractors, dental experts, podiatrists etc.) which leads to an injury or death. "Standard of Care" means medical treatment that a reasonable, prudent medical service provider in the exact same community ought to supply. Most cases include a dispute over exactly what the appropriate standard of care is. The standard of care is normally offered through making use of specialist testament from seeking advice from medical professionals that practice or teach medication in the same specialty as the accused( s).

When did the malpractice occur (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 complainant (victim) or the date the plaintiff discovered or fairly need to have discovered 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 start to run up until the minor ends up being 18 years old. Be recommended nevertheless derivative claims for moms and dads may run many years earlier. If you believe you may have a case it is necessary you call a legal representative quickly. Irrespective of the statute of constraints, medical professionals transfer, witnesses disappear and memories fade. The faster counsel is engaged the sooner important evidence can be maintained and the much better your chances are of prevailing.

What did the medical professional do or cannot do?

Simply since a patient does not have an effective arise from a surgery, medical treatment or medical treatment does not in and of itself imply the doctor made a mistake. Medical practice is by no means an assurance of good health or a total healing. read this article of the time when a client experiences a not successful result from medical treatment it is not because the medical service provider made a mistake. Most of the time when there is a bad medical result it is despite excellent, quality treatment not because of sub-standard treatment.

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One big case early in her career: She prosecuted 12 U.S. Army drill sergeants in a sexual assault case in Maryland in 1996, when she was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps. In 2006, Chapa Lopez was lead prosecutor for the case, and ultimate conviction, against Joaquin Mario Valencia-Trujillo, who authorities considered a top Cali drug cartel kingpin. And, more recently, Chapa Lopez was part of the team that handled the case against Mexican drug cartel members who ambushed and killed an Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent in 2011. A federal jury convicted two members of that gang, the Los Zetas cartel, last year. Next Step -- Business Observer - Tampa Bay, Bradenton, Sarasota, Fort Myers, Naples

When talking about a prospective case with a customer it is essential that the client have the ability to inform us why they believe there was medical carelessness. As all of us understand individuals often die from cancer, heart disease or organ failure even with excellent healthcare. However, we also understand that people normally should not pass away from knee surgery, appendix removal, hernia repair or some other "small" surgery. When like that happens it certainly deserves 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 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 just is the burden of proof on the plaintiff to prove the medical malpractice the complainant need to also show that as a direct outcome of the medical neglect some injury or death resulted (damages). This is called "proximate cause." Given that medical malpractice lawsuits is so pricey to pursue the injuries must be significant to warrant moving on with the case. All medical mistakes are "malpractice" however just a small portion of mistakes generate medical malpractice cases.

By way of example, if a moms and dad takes his son to the emergency clinic 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 papa his child has "just a sprain" this most likely is medical malpractice. However, if the kid is effectively detected within a few days and makes a complete recovery it is unlikely the "damages" are severe adequate to undertake a lawsuit that likely would cost in excess of $50,000.00. However, if because of the hold-up in being correctly detected, the boy has 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 further investigation and a possible claim.

Other important considerations.

Other issues that are very important when figuring out whether a customer has a malpractice case include the victim's habits and medical history. Did the victim do anything to cause or contribute to the bad medical outcome? A common strategy of medical malpractice defense lawyer is to blame the client. If it is a birth injury case, did the mother have appropriate prenatal care, did she smoke or utilize drugs during her pregnancy? In other cases, did the patient follow the medical professional's orders, keep his consultations, take his medication as advised and inform the physician the fact? These are realities that we have to understand in order to identify whether the physician will have a legitimate defense to the malpractice claim?

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

If it appears that the patient might have been a victim of a medical mistake, the medical mistake triggered a substantial injury or death and the patient was compliant with his physician's orders, then we need to get the client's medical records. In most cases, acquiring the medical records involves nothing more mailing a release signed by the customer to the doctor and/or hospital in addition to a letter asking for the records. In the case of wrongful death, an administrator of the victims estate needs to be selected in the regional county court of probate and then the administrator can sign the release asking for the records.

As soon as the records are gotten we evaluate them to make sure they are complete. It is not unusual in medical negligence cases to get insufficient medical charts. When all the appropriate records are acquired they are offered to a qualified medical professional for review and viewpoint. If the case protests an emergency clinic physician we have an emergency room doctor examine the case, if it protests a cardiologist we have to obtain an opinion from a cardiologist, and so on

. Primarily, what we wish to know form the professional is 1) was the medical care offered listed below the standard of care, 2) did the violation of the requirement 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 client's behalf and normally submitted in the court of typical 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, an excellent malpractice attorney will thoroughly and thoroughly evaluate any possible malpractice case prior to submitting a claim. It's not fair to the victim or the doctors to file a lawsuit unless the professional tells us that he believes there is a strong basis to bring the suit. Due to the expense of pursuing a medical neglect action no good legal representative has the time or resources to waste on a "frivolous lawsuit."

When seeking advice from a malpractice attorney it is necessary to properly provide the legal representative as much information as possible and respond to the attorney's concerns as entirely as possible. Prior to speaking to a lawyer consider making some notes so you remember some essential truth or situation the legal representative may need.

Lastly, if you think you may have a malpractice case call an excellent malpractice attorney as soon as possible so there are no statute of restrictions problems in your case.

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