At Mishkind Kulwicki Law, we review hundreds and hundreds of Ohio medical malpractice cases every year for merit. Sometimes, the decision can be made quickly, during the initial telephone consultation. Other times, the determination is more complicated, requiring detailed research and thorough review of the caller’s medical records. Our reviews typically go through several stages. The first stage is the initial telephone conference. We employ a full-time registered nurse to assist us in screening this call. She will inquire about the chronology of events, the extent of the injuries caused, the healthcare providers involved, the patient’s past medical history and other important facts. If the factual scenario related by the caller bears further inquiry, we will obtain medical records and have one of our experienced legal nurse consultants conduct thorough in-office review, including pertinent medical research. Finally, if our in-office review indicates that the case is likely meritorious, we will send the case out for review by a qualified medical expert. We will consider filing a lawsuit on behalf of our client only after we have secured a favorable review from a qualified medical expert.
Our thorough pre-suit evaluation is useful and necessary. By doing a detailed analysis at the outset, we avoid many surprises down the road. Medical negligence litigation is time-consuming and expensive, so unnecessary expenses and delays must be avoided if possible.
More often than not, we advise first-time callers that we cannot pursue litigation on their behalf. In fact, we file suit on a very small percentage of cases that we review. There are many good reasons for our selectivity. First, we often find that callers have simply been ill-advised by their caregivers about the reasons for a bad outcome. Our nurses spend countless hours counseling callers about their healthcare, despite making the determination that there is no basis for a lawsuit. Another reason why we turn cases down has to do with the difficulties of proof in medical negligence litigation. In many instances, it is impossible to prove that a different course of treatment would have changed the outcome in a particular case. This is particularly difficult in circumstances where caregivers under-assess or under-test patients, leaving a lack of data upon which to base a lawsuit. Another common reason for us to defer representation has to do with damages. Due to the massive expenses associated with medical negligence litigation, we are frequently unable to handle “smaller” cases where the amount spent on litigation might exceed the potential damage award.