Medical Malpractice FAQ
Answers you can trust from an experienced Ohio medical malpractice lawyer
Legal cases involving medical malpractice can be confusing. Even knowing what your rights are might not be clear. That’s why it’s critical that you have a source you can trust for accurate information about medical negligence. That’s why we want to help.
Cleveland medical malpractice attorney John A. Lancione has an in-depth understanding of such legal cases. That’s because our law firm has decades of experience handling medical malpractice claims.
The Lancione Law Firm has a well-earned reputation for our ability to successfully resolve such complex legal cases. That’s why other lawyers routinely refer medical malpractice claims to our law firm. They know we know how to get the job done right.
What is your question?
Below, you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about medical malpractice claims. If you don’t see your specific question, don’t worry. We can answer your question face to face when you meet with us. And even if you see your question listed below, we strongly encourage you to schedule an appointment with attorney Lancione. That’s because every legal case often presents its own unique challenges.
- What is medical malpractice?
- What are common medical malpractice cases?
- Who determines if medical malpractice occurred?
- Who investigates medical malpractice allegations?
- What if a medical professional denies doing anything wrong?
- How much is my medical malpractice claim worth?
- Should I accept a settlement offer?
- What can I be compensated for?
- Should I file a medical malpractice lawsuit?
- How much time do I have to take legal action?
- Why should I hire a medical malpractice lawyer?
Medical malpractice is a legal term used to describe an injury or illness caused by a medical professional’s negligent actions. A negligent action involves not following standard medical protocols, including failing to perform certain preventative tests or other measures designed to diagnose or treat a serious illness or injury.
To establish a medical malpractice case, your case must have several conditions:
- You were a patient of a certain doctor, nurse or any other health professional.
- The practitioner deviated from the established standard of care.
- This negligence caused an injury.
- This injury caused you harm.
Medical malpractice cases can cover a wide range. In general, such legal cases involve a healthcare professional or facility (like an emergency room or hospital) failing to provide medical care to an approved standard of care. Examples of medical malpractice can include misdiagnosis errors (including cancer misdiagnosis), nursing malpractice, prescription errors, emergency room mistakes and surgical errors, including anesthesia errors.
An investigation is often conducted by the parties directly involved in order to determine whether medical malpractice occurred. In a legal case, this often involves the plaintiff (the injured party or the injured party’s family members) and the defendant, which is the at-fault party. The at-fault party is the doctor, medical professional, hospital or healthcare facility accused of medical malpractice. The insurance company for the at-fault party also conducts its own investigation to determine whether medical malpractice occurred. That’s why it’s critical that you have an attorney conducting an investigation on your behalf. Otherwise, your injury or illness might not get the attention it rightfully deserves. You also might not get the financial compensation you may be legally entitled to for your medical negligence claim.
Each state has its own official agency that investigates allegations of medical malpractice. In Ohio, the State Medical Board of Ohio investigates most formal complaints of medical malpractice. One of the exceptions is medical malpractice complaints involving certified nurses, including Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs). Medical malpractice complaints involving nurses are handled by the Ohio Board of Nursing.
However, it’s important to understand that such state agencies are only concerned with determining whether negligence occurred. If so, the state agency will then decide whether to impose punitive measures, including revoking a healthcare professional’s medical license. Such investigations do not decide whether or not to award damages (a legal term for financial compensation) to injury victims and their families. This is why you need an experienced medical malpractice lawyer investigating your case and advocating for the money you rightfully deserve.
Don’t be surprised if the doctor, surgeon, nurse, EMT or other medical professional denies doing anything wrong. Sometimes, the defendant (the at-fault party) will eventually agree to settle out of court or will admit partial negligence. But if they refuse these options, you may need to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit in court. This is why it’s important to have an attorney on your side who knows how to negotiate effectively with healthcare professionals or pursue a legal case on your behalf in court.
There’s no set dollar amount when it comes to medical negligence claims. Some might be worth a few thousand dollars. Others might be worth significantly more. The bottom line is you should be financially compensated for all your expenses related to your medical malpractice claim. What many people might not realize is just how many expenses can and should be covered by their settlement or verdict.
Don’t be surprised if the at-fault party’s insurance company or another individual (or healthcare company) makes a settlement offer to resolve your medical malpractice claim. While it might be tempting to accept such a financial offer, it’s important to understand that once you accept such an offer, you cannot ask for additional money in the future, even if your future injury-related expenses increase significantly more than expected. As a result, you could end up having to pay for some of your future medical bills and other expenses out of your own pocket. This is why you should carefully consider any settlement offer before agreeing to accept it. A lawyer can help you review such offers and decide what to do, including helping you negotiate a better settlement offer on your behalf.
You can and should be financially compensated for all past, present and future anticipated expenses related to your medical malpractice claim. Such expenses can cover a wide range, including:
- Emergency medical care
- Surgical procedures
- Follow-up doctor’s appointments
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy
- In-home medical care
- Replacement include while you’re recovering from your injury or illness
- Lost future income if you or a loved one cannot return to work
- Pain and suffering in certain circumstances
Sometimes, the best way to obtain the money you rightfully deserve is to take legal action against the at-fault medical professional or institution. However, building a strong, successful legal case can be very complicated. Even knowing whether or not you have a medical malpractice claim might not be clear. An experienced attorney can review the details of your case and help you decide whether you should file a medical malpractice lawsuit or seek compensation another way.
Each state has its own deadlines for filing a lawsuit or taking legal action when it comes to medical malpractice claims. These deadlines are known as the statute of limitations. In Ohio, for example, most injured patients only have one (1) year from the date of their injury to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, according to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) § 2305.113(B).
However, you might have more time depending on the circumstances of your case. For example, Ohio’s Statute of Repose gives injury victims up to four (4) years in certain circumstances, according to O.R.C. § 2305.113©. There are other circumstances that can result in the statute of limitations being paused or extended, but only a lawyer can tell you which deadlines apply in your case. This is why it’s important to talk with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
The stakes are high in many medical malpractice cases. You only have one opportunity to obtain all the money you rightfully deserve for your injury-related expenses. And the medical professionals, hospitals, insurance companies and attorneys representing them will do everything they can to reduce or deny your claim. This is why it’s critical that you have an attorney on your side, advocating for your legal rights.
When you have a dedicated medical malpractice lawyer working for you, you can make sure your injury claim receives the attention you rightfully deserve. Instead of medical professionals and their attorneys calling the shots, you can set the agenda and decide what happens next. You can make sure your voice is heard loud and clear.
Ask more questions about medical malpractice. Contact our Ohio law firm
Learn more about your legal rights. Contact The Lancione Law Firm and schedule your free case evaluation with Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer John A. Lancione. He can answer your questions and explain your available options. That way, you can make informed decisions about important legal matters. To make an appointment, you can reach us online or simply call (440) 331-6100 or (877) 515-4369.