What Does Medical Malpractice Look Like in Cincinnati?
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Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or another medical professional fails to perform an adequate standard of care, harming a patient. According to the most recent data from the Ohio Department of Insurance, the state reported just under 2,500 medical malpractice claims in 2017.
When you put your life into the hands of a doctor, you expect them to make the best possible effort to help you get well again. However, the US is seeing an epidemic of medical malpractice in recent years, with over 250,000 people dying each year due to negligent medical professionals. While not all medical errors qualify for a lawsuit, a doctor or hospital could be responsible for your damages.
Medical malpractice can cause devastating and, in some cases, lifelong injuries. Moreover, many victims of negligent doctors succumb to their injuries, causing immeasurable grief and heartache to their loved ones. Morgan & Morgan has your back if you or a family member is affected by medical malpractice in Cincinnati. Contact us now for a free consultation to determine whether you qualify for compensation.
Examples of Medical Malpractice in Cincinnati
Medical malpractice can come in various forms. Examples that could lead to a legal claim include:
Hospital and Doctor Malpractice
Perhaps the most common form of medical malpractice occurs in hospitals, emergency rooms, and doctor’s offices. Medical professionals and hospitals in Cincinnati must provide a certain standard of medical care. Failing to care for patients adequately can lead to a malpractice claim if an individual suffers harm. Examples of hospital malpractice can include:
- Surgical errors
- Anesthetic errors
- Birth injuries
- Misdiagnosis or late diagnosis
- Failure to order or interpret tests
- Emergency room malpractice
- Failing to provide adequate aftercare
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Premature discharge
Like all medical professionals, oral surgeons, dentists, endodontists, and others must perform to a certain standard of care. Avoidable dental errors can include:
- Failing to diagnose oral cancer
- Unnecessary dental procedures
- Failure to diagnose and treat an infection
- Facial nerve damage
- Permanent numbness
- Failure to diagnose and treat gum disease
- Unnecessary extractions
- Inferior dental work
Dental mistakes can be far from harmless and could cause significant injuries and suffering. A late diagnosis of oral cancer or a severe infection could lead to premature death. Moreover, the costs to correct bad workmanship or treat a late-diagnosed condition can be astronomically expensive.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Ohio Can Be Challenging
The time to file a medical malpractice claim in Ohio is prohibitively short. According to Ohio Revised Code section 2305.113, victims generally have only one year to file a medical malpractice claim. The time starts ticking down when you discover your injury or the relationship with your doctor ends.
However, there can be exceptions to the one-year rule. In some cases, the time only starts to run when the victim discovers or should have discovered their injuries. It is advisable to speak to a medical malpractice attorney to determine when you should file your lawsuit.
An Affidavit of Merit Is Required
According to Ohio law, claimants must file medical malpractice lawsuits together with an affidavit of merit, completed by an expert medical witness under oath. The expert should practice in the same field as the defendant. The medical expert witness must have reviewed the relevant medical records and concluded that the medical standard was not met by the professional in question.
The affidavit should also contain the expert’s opinion that the plaintiff was injured due to medical malpractice. Filing a lawsuit without the required affidavit will most likely lead to the dismissal of the case.
Since Ohio medical malpractice lawsuits can be challenging and involve strict time constraints, consider hiring an experienced Cincinnati medical malpractice attorney for your case.
Proving a Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice claims can be tough to prove. Proving a claim may require several expert witnesses from the relevant medical field testifying on the victim’s behalf. A medical negligence claim must show that the doctor or other responsible party did not perform within the generally accepted medical standard of care. However, the details of what qualifies as a good standard of care and what constitutes negligence may be hotly debated. Having a seasoned and determined attorney in your corner is essential for prevailing in a medical malpractice case.
Victims and their attorneys must prove the following elements in a medical malpractice claim:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed.
- The medical provider acted negligently and breached their duty of care.
- The substandard care caused the patient’s injuries.
- The injury caused the patient’s damages.
Expert witness testimony is typically required to show that the standard of care provided was inadequate, and there is a direct link between the injury and the negligent conduct. In other words, victims have to prove that they would not have suffered the injury if the doctor had acted with due care and attention.
Medical malpractice victims must also prove their financial losses and damages in a lawsuit, which includes providing evidence of their medical costs, lost income, and other expenses.
Medical malpractice cases are time-consuming to prepare and often require a great deal of expert research. Morgan & Morgan has helped countless victims of medical malpractice receive the compensation they deserve and could help you too.
How a Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help
Medical malpractice is a hugely complex field best handled by a specialist attorney who only works on medical malpractice claims. Attorneys must know the relevant Ohio state laws and have an excellent knowledge of medical issues. They should also be well-connected in the medical field, allowing them to obtain crucial expert witnesses to testify on victims’ behalf. Our medical malpractice attorneys can:
- Help you get adequate medical advice and care
- Explain your rights and legal options
- Collect evidence and review your medical records to prove negligence
- Gather and present evidence for your damages
- Determine all potentially liable parties in your claim
- Provide respected medical expert witnesses
- Negotiate with the insurers
- Present your case strongly at trial
What Does Medical Malpractice Look Like in Cincinnati– FAQ
Which Damages Can I Recover in a Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Medical malpractice can lead to steep medical expenses and other high costs for victims and families. Damages you could qualify for include:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Loss of wages and loss of future income
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Physical and emotional pain and anguish
- Reduced life enjoyment
Depending on the scope of your injuries and expenses, you could be entitled to other and additional compensation types. For example, if your medical provider acted with wanton disregard for your health, you could recover punitive damages in addition to compensation.
Caps on Damages in Ohio
There is a cap on the amount you can recover for so-called “non-economic damages,” such as pain and suffering or emotional distress in Ohio. State law limits non-economic damages to either $250,000 or three times a victim’s economic damages, whichever is higher. The maximum one plaintiff (the person bringing the suit) can recover in non-economic damages in Ohio is $350,000.
My Loved One Died Due to Medical Malpractice; Do I Qualify for Compensation?
According to figures from Johns Hopkins Medicine, over a quarter of a million people die each year in the US as a result of medical malpractice. Behind every person is a unique story and a family grieving a loved one. While compensation cannot bring back your family member, you could file a wrongful death lawsuit and receive damages, helping you recover financially. The compensation you could receive can include but is not limited to:
- Burial and funeral costs
- Medical expenses before death
- Loss of income and services from the deceased
- Loss of benefits such as health insurance, pension, and others
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
If you believe that your loved one passed away due to a doctor’s negligence, contact our compassionate Cincinnati medical malpractice attorneys, who can help you move forward with a lawsuit.
Do I Still Have a Case if I Signed a Consent Form?
Yes, even if you signed a consent form, you could still receive compensation for medical malpractice. A consent form does not release medical professionals from liability if they act recklessly or carelessly. However, to have a case, you must show that your doctor deviated from the medical standard of care and that your injury resulted from their negligence.
How Do I Know Whether My Doctor Was Negligent?
Consulting with an experienced attorney and medical experts may be the only way to determine whether medical malpractice has occurred. Therefore, if you suspect that you or a loved one experienced medical malpractice, you should speak to our lawyers as soon as possible to discover your legal options and the next best steps.
My Procedure Was Unsuccessful; Do I Have a Claim?
There are many potential reasons why medical treatments turn out unsuccessful. A doctor is not automatically negligent if you experience a bad outcome. Even with the highest level of care, a positive result is never guaranteed as there can be many variables. However, if your procedure was unsuccessful due to a doctor’s deviation from the general standard of care, you could have a medical malpractice claim and pursue damages. An attorney can advise you and help you move forward with a claim if you qualify.
How Much Do Medical Malpractice Attorneys Charge?
Medical malpractice attorney’s fee structures can vary. Most work with a no-win-no-fee agreement also called “contingency.” This means that you do not have to pay any attorney’s fees out of pocket. Instead, the attorney will receive a percentage of your settlement if – and only if – they win your case. If you lose, neither you nor your attorney will receive anything.
However, as some medical malpractice attorneys may charge hourly fees and retainers, you should discuss the issue before hiring a lawyer. Also, consider that some lawyers may not ask for any attorney’s fees upfront but could require you to pay legal costs, such as:
- Court filing expenses
- Expert witness fees
- Deposition costs
These legal costs can quickly spiral out of control in an expensive medical malpractice lawsuit, especially if multiple expert witnesses are required.
Morgan & Morgan understand the financial hardship medical malpractice victims can face as a result of their injury. We do not charge you a dime unless and until we win your case and recover compensation for you.
Why Should I Choose Morgan & Morgan?
As America’s largest personal injury firm, our experienced lawyers have seen and handled countless medical malpractice claims and recovered billions in damages for injured clients. While some law firms may not have the resources to handle a potentially lengthy and costly medical malpractice claim, we do, and we leave no stone unturned in fighting for malpractice victims.
Morgan & Morgan never settle for less because we believe that you deserve the full value of your claim to put your life back together after suffering an injury. Many other law firms are prepared to accept the last best offer from an insurer because they shy away from trials. Our medical malpractice attorneys are all experienced trial attorneys who will fight tirelessly and vigorously for what you need and deserve.
Contact Us Now for Help
In our practice, we see almost every day the catastrophic impact of a malpractice injury on the lives of victims and their families. Individuals are often dealing with physical pain, emotional trauma, and financial hardship due to an injury caused by a negligent doctor. However, you do not have to fight alone. Morgan & Morgan can be by your side, hold those responsible accountable, and relieve you of the burden of handling a lawsuit.
Our seasoned Cincinnati medical malpractice attorneys can progress your claim while you can focus on what is most important: your health and well-being. We want to help you receive the maximum possible compensation so you can put this ordeal behind you and focus on the future. Contact us today to determine whether you have a medical malpractice claim and qualify for damages.