Ohio Medical Malpractice
Ohio Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Get Help From Experienced Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Many people never falter in their belief that state-of-the-art medical equipment, sophisticated diagnostic procedures, and highly trained specialists will see them through any health problem. But not even the best doctors and hospitals in America are immune from errors that inflict complications, injuries, needless pain and suffering, or even death on their patients. One study published in the Journal of Patient Safety estimates that as many as 440,000 patients die each year because a hospital or a medical professional failed to adhere to an acceptable standard of care, and harmed them in a way that contributed to their death.
Not every law firm is equipped to handle the complexities of a case involving medical malpractice. But the Ohio medical malpractice attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law have helped countless clients who have suffered because health care providers did not live up to their duty to provide an acceptable standard of care. If you have been affected by medical negligence, arrange a consultation with an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer in one of our Cincinnati, Cleveland, Chagrin Falls, Columbus, or Chesterland offices. If you cannot visit our office, an attorney can visit you at home or in the hospital.
What is a medical negligence claim?
In Ohio, a medical negligence claim is brought by a patient who has sustained an injury while being treated by a doctor, nurse or any other medical professional. Doctors do sometimes make mistakes, but for an error to rise to the level of medical negligence and warrant a lawsuit, the medical professional’s actions must represent a breach of the accepted standard of care.
What Is a Medical “Standard of Care”?
“Standard of care” is a concept, accepted throughout the medical profession, of the type and quality of care that a reasonably competent health care professional in a particular specialty would provide in a given set of circumstances. Failure to adhere to the standard can be the basis of a medical malpractice claim.
The components of a medical malpractice claim are called its “elements.” To win a medical malpractice lawsuit the person bringing the case (the plaintiff) must prove every element of his or her claim “by a preponderance of evidence.” The elements you must prove as a plaintiff are:
- A legal duty of reasonable care existed when the hospital or health care provider (the “defendant”) undertook the plaintiff’s treatment.
- The duty was breached when the hospital or health care provider failed to conform to a proper standard of care for the plaintiff.
- The breach of duty was the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injury.
- The plaintiff sustained damages (physical injury, death, monetary loss, or emotional injury) for which he or she should be compensated.
The plaintiff has the burden of proving all the elements. At trial, both parties usually present experts to testify as to the standard of care required, and other technical issues. A judge or jury then weighs all the evidence and finds in favor of the plaintiff or the defendant and what, if any, compensation the plaintiff ought to receive. Your Ohio medical malpractice attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law help build a strong case against the defendant, providing strong evidence in your favor.
What Are Some Examples of Medical Malpractice?
There are numerous ways in which an act of medical malpractice can be committed. Some of the stories people come to us to tell include instances of:
- Anesthesia errors. These include harmful drug interactions, the use of too little or too much anesthesia, failure to recognize allergic reactions, defective anesthesia equipment, loss of airway, and inattention by medical staff. Depending on the situation, they can result in tracheal damage, brain damage, birth defects, paralysis, heart attack, stroke, and death.
- Administration of dangerous drugs. Some medications can be dangerous if their producers fail to test them properly or manufacture them in unsafe ways. Their use may cause patient injury or birth defects in newborns, especially when their risks are not fully understood, or understood but ignored.
- Dilaudid® (hydromorphone) administration. Dilaudid is a powerful opiate used as a painkiller. Errors in its administration can be fatal because it is eight times more powerful than morphine, and can suppress breathing and circulation. It is an addictive narcotic, and cutting back after prolonged use triggers withdrawal symptoms.
- Installation of defective medical devices. Implanting a medical device, such as a heart valve or artificial joint, requires major surgery. So does replacing the device if it is defective or improperly installed.
- Errors made during emergency room treatment. In the high-pressure environment of an emergency room, quick decisions and quick action are vital. The rush to diagnose and treat, however, can cause mistakes that lead to serious injury and even death.
- Failure to diagnose, or improper diagnosis or treatment. Whether treating a patient in the office, a hospital room, or an emergency room, a doctor must be aware of potentially life-threatening conditions, even those the patient is not complaining about. Failure to recognize a dangerous condition, or mistaken recognition of the condition and incorrect treatment, can have disastrous consequences. This is especially true of failure to diagnose and treat infection, stroke, bleeding, cancer, heart conditions/heart attack, or bowel leakage into the abdominal cavity.
- Surgical errors. These can range from damaging or mistakenly removing a healthy organ, to amputating the wrong limb.
Malpractice can also arise from treatment without informed consent, treatment against the patient’s wishes, errors in type or dosage of medication, improper administration of transforaminal epidurals for chronic pain management, penile injection errors, and failure to preserve an airway. It can also arise from treatment errors by inebriated or otherwise incapacitated medical professionals.
How to sue a doctor for malpractice in Ohio
To prevail in a medical malpractice case in Ohio, the plaintiff (the person filing the lawsuit) must be able to prove the following:
- There exists a doctor-patient relationship
- The doctor’s negligent action or failure to act was a breach of the standard of care
- The doctor’s breach of the standard of care caused the patient’s injury
- The patient’s injury caused damages
The plaintiff has one year from the date of injury to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, the statute of limitations may be extended if the plaintiff sends a “180-day letter” to potential defendants notifying them of their plans to file a lawsuit. The potential defendants must receive the letter before the one-year statute of limitations has expired. This extends the plaintiff’s time limit for filing a lawsuit by 180 days.
A medical malpractice lawsuit must have an affidavit of merit filed by the expert witness which contains their opinion regarding how the defendant breached the standard of care and how that breach caused injury to the defendant.
Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorneys Work Directly With You and Your Family
At Crandall & Pera Law, our team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys and Registered Nurses discusses and evaluates your injuries with the compassionate, personal, and professional attention you deserve, and answers any questions you may have. The Crandall & Pera Law team works closely with you as it conducts its investigation of your case and develops a strategy against those responsible for your injuries. As former malpractice defense lawyers, we can anticipate how the team on the “other side of the aisle” will build their strategies, and ensure safeguards are in place from the very start.
Your Counsel for Catastrophic Medical Malpractice Injuries
AT Crandall & Pera Law, we care deeply about our clients. To reserve a no-obligation consultation with an experienced Ohio medical malpractice lawyer, please call 877-686-8879 or fill out our contact form. We have five Ohio law offices conveniently located in Cleveland, Chesterland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Chagrin Falls.