Medical malpractice is distinct from a negative medical outcome. Your medical injury is considered medical malpractice if your doctor failed to live up to their responsibilities as your healthcare provider. According to Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, your doctor may have committed malpractice if they:
- Had a duty of care to you
- Failed to meet their duty in any way
- Caused your injury as a direct result of their failure
- Caused an injury that had significant negative consequences
If your case meets all the above criteria, then you may have a medical malpractice case. To know for sure, however, you may want to discuss the subject with an attorney from our firm who handles medical malpractice cases.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice in Ohio
Proving medical malpractice may require you to present testimony from a medical expert with similar training as the doctor who harmed you, per Ohio Revised Code Section 2743.43. This testimony may need to establish that:
- Your doctor’s actions fell below a reasonable standard of medical care
- A different doctor in the same position would likely have taken different actions that would have avoided harm to you or a loved one
Medicine is a complex, ever-evolving field. It is entirely possible for a doctor to do their job properly and still not be able to protect their patient from harm. This information is not meant to dismiss your suffering or imply that your injuries have not impacted your life. It is simply to inform you that tragic or undesirable medical outcomes do not necessarily equal medical malpractice. It is important to understand this distinction before you begin a lawsuit.
How to Identify and Calculate Your Damages
You may sue for economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to monetary losses, possibly including:
- Medical expenses: If you needed treatment to mitigate the damage done by the malpractice
- Loss of wages: If your injuries temporarily or permanently prevent you from earning a living
- Loss of employment: If your injuries prevent you from returning to your old job or working the same number of hours you did before suffering injuries
Non-economic damages refer to physical or mental losses without an apparent economic cost, possibly including:
- Pain and suffering: If your injuries caused physical or emotional distress
- Disfigurement or scarring: If your injuries left permanent marks
- Reduced quality of life: If you cannot live as you used to, whether that means you have lost physical abilities, have mental health problems, or made other sacrifices
If you lost a loved one to medical malpractice, you might choose to pursue a wrongful death case. Recoverable damages in such cases may include:
- Funeral expenses: If you covered your loved one’s end-of-life expenses
- Medical expenses: If you paid for your loved one’s health care expenses while they received treatment for an injury or illness
- Loss of financial support: If you were financially dependent on your loved one
- Loss of companionship: If your loved one was a source of support, care, guidance, and other non-economic benefits
Why Should I Pursue a Medical Malpractice Claim?
You may face several risks if you choose not to pursue a medical malpractice claim. You also could face certain other risks if you pursue a malpractice claim but without a personal injury lawyer’s help.
If you choose not to pursue a medical malpractice claim when you’re eligible to do so, then you may:
- Have to pay out of your own pocket or rely on your own insurance for all medical procedures resulting from an instance of malpractice
- Need to hire a full-time caregiver to help the person victimized by malpractice (and, once again, pay out of pocket for the cost of care)
- Suffer significant professional damage and not receive compensation to cover lost wages
- Miss your window for filing a medical malpractice claim, as you generally have a limited time to do so
Once you decide to pursue a medical malpractice claim, you must decide: Should I hire an attorney to lead my case? If so, which firm should I hire?
What are the Benefits of Hiring an Attorney to Lead My Medical Malpractice Claim?
Having an attorney lead your case means, first and foremost, that you won’t have to deal with the legal process. This alone is reason enough for many victims to hire a lawyer. Because your lawyer will handle your claim, you will:
- Avoid any direct financial cost related to your case, such as experts’ fees, administrative costs, and fees for case-related exhibits and testing
- Avoid the time investment necessary to complete a medical malpractice case
- Avoid the stress that comes with a complex medical malpractice case—stress that may cause further harm to your physical and mental health
- Not have to worry about your case’s details
- Be able to focus entirely on your recovery or caring for an injured loved one
Our firm brings several assets to your case. Our experience in medical malpractice cases means we understand what is necessary to manage a successful case. We may also be familiar with the challenges that could emerge as we complete your case.
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What Attributes Should I Look for in a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
When considering attorneys to lead your case, you may seek a lawyer (and law firm) who:
- Has handled medical malpractice cases in the past
- Offers a contingency fee structure, which puts all the financial burden on the law firm instead of on you
- Inspires confidence in you during the consultation process
- Will put you in direct contact with your attorney
- Answers all your questions in a satisfactory manner
Our law firm meets each of these standards. We do whatever we can to make clients feel important and aim to win their medical malpractice cases. Our attorneys will represent you from the moment you retain us for your case. We will get to work, filing all necessary paperwork to get your case underway. However, please note that we only accept catastrophic injury and death cases.
How to Get Legal Representation in a Medical Malpractice Case
Even if money is tight, you can afford a lawyer from our firm. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we charge no attorney’s fee unless and until we help you win compensation. Make sure to discuss payment before hiring any law firm.
Other services that our law firm commonly provides are:
- Free case reviews: Our law firm can tell you over the phone whether they believe you have a viable case and how we can help you with it.
- Conducting an independent investigation: Your lawyer can gather as much evidence as possible to try to prove that malpractice occurred.
- Filing forms: Your lawyer can notify responsible parties of your insurance claim or lawsuit, submit evidence, and complete other forms.
- Negotiating: You do not have to meet face-to-face with the responsible party’s insurance company. Your lawyer can sit down with them and fight for a fair settlement on your behalf.
- Going to a trial: Negotiations are not always successful, and sometimes a trial is necessary.
- Keeping in touch: Your lawyer can manage all communications between you and the liable party. They will also keep you up to date on developments in your case.
The Fitch Law Firm LLC Can Help You With a Medical Malpractice Case
The Fitch Law Firm LLC defends the rights of medical malpractice victims in Columbus, Ohio. We would like to help you further understand what is considered medical malpractice and, if you qualify, represent you in your fight for compensation. For a free case review with a member of our team, call the Fitch Law Firm LLC today.
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