Medical Negligence Lawyer
As a Cleveland, Ohio medical negligence lawyer, we represent victims of medical malpractice throughout the State of Ohio. Due to our unique location near world-class healthcare facilities, we have also had numerous occasions to represent individuals who have suffered harm as a result of medical mistakes from around the world. If you or a loved one have suffered personal injuries or wrongful death as a result of medical error, feel free to contact us for advice. We can put our wealth of experience and resources to work for you.
Under Ohio law, the terms “medical negligence” and “medical malpractice” are used interchangeably. For practical purposes, these terms also cover hospital negligence, nursing negligence, lab errors, pharmacy errors, and the negligence of other healthcare professionals, such as radiology technologists and CRNAs. All of these examples of healthcare negligence are defined as “medical claims” under Ohio law, subject to a one-year statute of limitations.
Note that the one-year statute of limitations applicable to medical claims in Ohio is subject to a number of important exceptions. For instance, the one-year period does not begin to run until an injured patient discovers sufficient facts to put them on notice that they may have been harmed by an act of medical negligence. The one-year period also does not run until a patient has terminated his/her relationship with the healthcare provider who caused their injury. Finally, the one-year period does not begin to run on the claims of minor children until they reach their 18th birthday. When an act of medical negligence results in death, the wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date of death.
The one-year statute of limitations can also be extended by serving a 180-day letter on each potential defendant before the one-year deadline expires. If you fail to file a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations, you will be forever barred for seeking compensation for injuries or death caused by an act of medical negligence. Note further that the statute of limitations is subject to another rule, called the statute of repose. The statute of repose imposes an absolute four-year limit on most claims. Due to the complex nature of these rules, it is important to contact a medical malpractice law firm as soon as possible after experiencing harm during the course of your healthcare.
After we are contacted by a potential client, we will conduct an extensive interview regarding the facts surrounding your healthcare-related injury, along with prior medical history, preexisting risk factors, and other relevant circumstances. If that interview raises our suspicion that you have been the victim of medical malpractice, we will obtain all of your relevant medical records for review.
Our standard practice is to carefully review all of your medical records and prepare a timeline of events. The chronology of events is often very important in evaluating the merits of a potential medical claim. We also conduct research using relevant medical journals to understand what standards of practice apply to your medical care and whether those standards of care were met. Finally, after a review of your medical records, when warranted, we will have your medical care reviewed by a qualified medical expert from the specialty of medicine involved. If the medical expert agrees that you have a meritorious medical claim, we will obtain an affidavit of merit, which is required to file a lawsuit on your behalf.
As an experienced Cleveland, Ohio medical negligence lawyer, I can tell you that in most cases, a bad outcome alone does not equate to negligence. Many complications of healthcare are unavoidable, and therefore will not support a medical claim in Ohio courts. Further, there are many instances where mere suspicion of negligence simply cannot be proven due to the vagaries of medicine.
Under Ohio law, to prove a medical claim, the injured party must prove three elements: (1) negligence; (2) causation; and (3) damages. Negligence is proven by showing that the physician, nurse, pharmacist or other healthcare professional failed to comply with the applicable standard of care. Causation is established by showing that, with proper care, the harm that was caused would have been avoided. Finally, damages are simply a reflection of all of the harms and losses caused by the injury, including medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, future medical expenses, future lost earning capacity, pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. We often use the services of nonmedical experts to prove some of the economic losses associated with a medical malpractice claim, such as economists, life care planners, and vocational rehabilitation experts.
Generally speaking, a Cleveland, Ohio medical negligence lawyer can conduct an in-house investigation of a potential medical claim within 3 to 6 months. At that time, assuming the claim is meritorious, a lawsuit will be filed. In most of Ohio’s 88 counties, a trial date can be obtained within about one year of filing a lawsuit. However, unavoidable delays in a scheduled trial date are common. We strive to move our clients’ cases to resolution, either through settlement or verdict, as expeditiously as possible.
If we determine that your case cannot be proven or otherwise lacks merit, we will be upfront with you about that. In many instances, getting your questions answered can provide some measure of comfort. Generally, when we do not proceed with a claim, we do not charge you for the costs associated with our investigation, including legal fees and expenses.
We have tried over 100 jury trials and recovered over $300,000,000.00 on behalf of clients in Ohio courts for healthcare-related injuries. Call Mishkind Kulwicki Law Firm today, if you would like professional legal service, based on extensive experience, resources, and caring lawyers.