Most doctors in Ohio and around the country will face medical malpractice litigation sooner or later. Studies reveal that more than half of the doctors in America over the age of 55 have defended themselves in such a lawsuit, and their legal costs average $30,000 even when the claims against them are dropped or dismissed. Female doctors tend to be sued less often than their male colleagues, but some experts say that this is because they are generally younger and specialize in areas where this kind of legal action is rarer.
The most common cause of a medical malpractice lawsuit is a delayed or missed diagnosis. The damages awarded in misdiagnosis cases are often high because the plaintiffs may have not received treatment that could have prevented serious injury or death or because they suffered the negative side effects of unnecessary treatment. Claims involving mistakes made during childbirth or prenatal care are also common, and the injuries involved, such as paralysis, cerebral palsy and seizures, are often catastrophic.
Doctors may be sued when they do not provide their patients with enough information to make an informed decision, and hospitals can face medical malpractice lawsuits when patients are exposed to potentially deadly staph infections. Other common causes of this type of litigation include medication errors, mistakes made by anesthesiologists and botched surgeries.
When pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit, experienced personal injury attorneys may call on specialists to establish that the treatment their clients received did not meet commonly accepted healthcare standards. These specialists might then help attorneys to convince juries that a competent doctor would have acted differently and the injury, loss or damage was suffered as a direct consequence of the error. Attorneys may also urge hospitals, doctors and their insurance providers to avoid protracted and costly litigation by settling these cases quickly and discretely.