Medical Negligence Lawyer Cleveland, OH
According to multiple studies, medical negligence is the number three cause of death in this country, following heart disease and cancer. In fact, it is estimated that more than a quarter of a million people die each year because of medical errors. In Ohio and other states, victims of medical errors can pursue medical malpractice lawsuits.
At Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., L.P.A, each Cleveland, OH medical negligence lawyer understands that although medical errors are so common, proving that medical malpractice took place can be complex. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a medical error, call our office to find out how our firm can help. In the meantime, the following is a brief overview of the elements needed in a malpractice lawsuit.
Burden of Proof
In a medical malpractice lawsuit, the burden of proof lies with the victim. A Cleveland medical negligence lawyer must prove that the injury or illness the victim suffered was due to the negligence or recklessness of a medical professional.
In order to be successful at proving medical malpractice, a medical negligence lawyer in Cleveland, OH must show that three elements exist in the case:
- The medical professional was negligent and deviated from acceptable medical standard of care.
- The victim suffered an injury or illness as a result of that negligence and deviation.
- The victim sustained damages (losses) as a result of their injury or illness.
Statute of Limitations
Just like all personal injury lawsuits, there is a statute of limitations for how long a victim has to file their medical malpractice claim. Although there may be some exceptions, for most cases, once the statute of limitations has expired, a victim can no longer pursue their claim.
Each state sets its own statute of limitations. A Cleveland medical negligence lawyer can explain to you what the time limit is in your situation.
Settlement vs. Award
The majority of medical malpractice lawsuits do not go to trial. They are usually settled through negotiations between the victim’s Cleveland medical negligence lawyer and the alleged at-fault medical professional’s malpractice insurance company. Litigating a case can be extremely expensive, making settlements much more attractive to insurance companies. However, because higher attorney fees, court costs, and other expenses are avoided when there is a settlement, the amount the victim receives is usually less than what they would have been awarded by a jury trial. But keep in mind that there will be minimal deductions from the victim’s award like there would be if there was a trial.
Getting Your Medical Malpractice Claim Filed on Time
If you or a loved one were a victim of medical malpractice, there is a time limit for which you have to file a claim. This time limit is called the statute of limitations, and it varies by state. For example, one state might allow a victim four years, and a neighboring state might allow a victim only two years. It’s important you speak with a medical negligence lawyer Cleveland, OH families trust so you can better understand how long you have to file the claim.
If You Miss the Deadline
If time has passed beyond the statute of limitations in your state, but you try to file a claim anyway, the case will most likely be dismissed. Unfortunately, when you wait too long, you lose your right to compensation, regardless of the severity of your injuries or illness. If you miss the deadline, speak with a medical negligence lawyer in Cleveland, OH to find out if your situation qualifies for any exceptions.
Exceptions to the Rule
In most cases of medical malpractice, the statute of limitations begins counting down as soon as the medical mistake is made. There are special rules and exceptions to the rule depending on the state in which you live. The following are some of these:
Discovery – If it takes a longer period of time than the statute of limitations to discover malpractice, the statute would actually begin at the time of discovery. For example, you might live in a state where the statute of limitations is two years. If an object was left in your body during a surgery in 2015, you may not know it’s there. In 2020 when you start having health issues and discover that a foreign object is causing them, you’d “discover” you were the potential victim of malpractice. The statute would then likely begin in 2020. A medical negligence lawyer Cleveland, OH has to offer can explain the discovery rule in further detail during a consultation.
- Minors – There are some states that allow a minor to file a claim after he or she reaches the age of 18, regardless of how many years earlier the malpractice occurred. For example, if a ten-year-old child is misdiagnosed and suffers for years because of the mistake, even in a state with a two-year statute of limitations, he or she could file a claim sometime between turning 18 and 20. This is because the statute wouldn’t begin until the child turned 18. If you are newly 18 years of age and would like to know about filing a claim based upon medical malpractice when you were a child, please call a medical negligence lawyer in Cleveland, OH.
- Unconsciousness – Sometimes medical malpractice results in unconsciousness. If that is the case, the individual would be unable to file a claim. If he or she wakes up ten years later, the statute would begin counting down at that point.
Living with the repercussions of medical malpractice can be debilitating, but there are people who can help you. To learn more about medical malpractice claims and how long you have to file one, contact a Cleveland, Ohio medical negligence lawyer today.
4 Common Mistakes That Lead to Medical Malpractice
People put their lives in the hands of medical professionals. The type of care one receives from a doctor could be the difference between good health and bad health, or even life and death. When someone in the health care industry fails to act in a responsible way, and his or her negligence results in a patient’s injury or illness, that patient may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. The following are four common mistakes that could lead to this. For more detailed information, contact a medical negligence lawyer in Cleveland, OH.
Errors Related to Medication
The wrong medication could have the opposite effect of the intended purpose, which can be devastating in many situations. Whether the doctor prescribed the wrong medication, the nurse placed the order to the pharmacy incorrectly or the pharmacist messed up when filling the order, the responsible party should be held liable and the patient should receive proper compensation.
Errors During Surgery
A Cleveland, OH medical negligence lawyer knows that surgical errors are some of the most common reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits, due in part to the delicate nature of the job and the varied outcomes. Something outlandish could happen, such as the surgeon leaving a medical device inside the patient. Something life-threatening could also happen, such as the surgeon nicking a vein that continues to bleed and cannot be easily stopped. There’s also the possibility the surgeon will operate on the wrong body part. Any of these situations are typically good reasons for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Errors of Childbirth
Unfortunately, there’s a lot that goes wrong with both mom and baby during childbirth. Fo