Medical Malpractice FAQs

January 5, 2019

Medical malpractice affects hundreds of thousands of patients and families every year.  If that sounds like a lot, that’s because it is.  Despite all of the advances in medical science and technology, a few key factors continue to cause significant risks to patients.

With so many instances of medical malpractice, medical lawsuits remain a significant portion of Ohio civil lawsuits.  As one of Ohio’s leading medical injury law firms, Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA represents numerous clients and families injured by medical or surgical malpractice.

Medical malpractice clients typically ask a similar set of questions regarding medical malpractice claims.  For that reason, the following article offers a high-level overview of medical malpractice claims under Ohio law.  But remember: because every case is different, any suspicion of medical malpractice should be brought to the attention of a qualified attorney.

If you suspect you or a family member were injured by medical malpractice, call or email Lowe Scott Fisher’s lawyers for a free consultation regarding your claims.  Otherwise, read on below to learn about the basics of Ohio medical malpractice law.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

In Ohio, medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to provide medical care consistent with local applicable standards, and that failure results in personal injury or wrongful death to a patient.

Note that medical error and medical malpractice are different.  Medical errors occur very frequently, but do not rise to the legal level of medical malpractice if no personal injury or wrongful death results.  Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA investigates many instances of medical error, but will not represent clients unless there is good cause to believe that malpractice has occurred.

How Does Medical Malpractice Happen?

Medical malpractice can occur in a number of ways.  Remember, if a medical professional treats a patient with substandard care and injury occurs, this is medical malpractice.  There are many opportunities during patient interactions for substandard care to occur.

At the diagnosis stage, for example, a medical professional’s failure to practice according to medical standards may result in missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, emergency room mistakes, or failure to recognize signs of stroke or cardiovascular events.

Similarly, at the treatment stage, medication errors, monitoring errors, surgical errors, radiology or anesthesia errors, and even administrative errors all routinely reach the level of medical malpractice.

Understanding “how” medical malpractice occurs boils down to understanding how many opportunities for error exist during the course of diagnosis and treatment.  At any point, a medical professional’s error has the potential to unnecessarily harm the patient.

Why Does Medical Malpractice Happen?

The reasons why medical malpractice occurs can vary greatly, but a few common reasons tend to be the most likely.  In today’s medical system, hospitals typically operate more like a business than an institution dedicated to public welfare.  This has led to increasingly patient-unfriendly policies that can and do put patients at risk.

Some of the most common underlying causes of medical malpractice today include:

  • Understaffing
  • Exhausted Professionals and Employees
  • Lack of Communication or Administrative Synergy
  • General Carelessness

In short, many of the underlying causes of medical malpractice begin at an institutional level.  Hospitals that demand overlong shifts, unreasonable professional-to-patient ratios, and stringent or byzantine administrative controls share much of the blame for modern malpractice.

Who Is Responsible for Medical Malpractice?

Often, it is impossible to know who is responsible for an incident of medical malpractice without significant investigation.  In our modern healthcare system, patients frequently consult with or receive treatment from multiple doctors, nurses, specialists, and staff.  Determining exactly where and when malpractice occurred can take time and resources.

Under Ohio law, medical malpractice lawyers have avenues for pursing all responsible parties, including hospitals or institutions.  Though individual professionals may be to blame, hospital and institutional policies that cause malpractice to occur can also expose those greedy or negligent hospitals to civil liability in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

What Can I Do About Medical Malpractice?

Fortunately, Ohio medical malpractice claims remain viable under Ohio law.  Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA continues to represent Ohioans suffering injury or wrongful death at the hands of medical professionals.  Remember, experienced medical malpractice attorneys like those at Lowe Scott Fisher offer free consultation and contingency arrangements for your medical malpractice claim.  This means there is no cost to you investigate your claim.

If you think medical malpractice may have occurred, you can call Lowe Scott Fisher now for a 100% free consultation.

How Long Can I Sue for Medical Malpractice?

Ohio law regulates medical malpractice claims with several complicated time limitations.  For the majority of cases, it would suffice to say that patients have one year from the time they became (or reasonably should have become) aware of the medical malpractice to file a lawsuit.

Ohio law provides additional limitations, restrictions, and guidance for timing in both straightforward and latent injury cases.  However, given the level of factual specificity required to make an accurate determination, questions related to the time for filing a lawsuit in your particular case should be discussed with an attorney.

Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA: Ohio’s Leading Medical Malpractice Lawyers

If you or our loved one suffered injury or wrongful death as the result of medical treatment, we are here to help.  Call or email Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA’s experienced medical malpractice attorneys now to find out how we can fight for you.

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