Doctors are well-trained and highly educated. They’re looking out for our health and safety. But even they can make mistakes. And when it comes to your health, a mistake by a doctor or a medical facility can be extremely costly.
In some cases, those mistakes may be the result of medical malpractice and you may have a claim for compensation. Although no amount of compensation can undo your injury, a medical malpractice settlement or award of damages can help ease the burden of big medical bills and living expenses while you recover.
The experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorneys of Plevin & Gallucci work diligently to achieve the best possible result for you and your family and hold the medical community accountable for errors that are a result of negligence. Contact a medical malpractice attorney at our offices in Cleveland, Columbus, or Waverly to receive a free consultation about your case today.
What is Medical Malpractice in Ohio?
Medical malpractice refers to situations where you were injured or became sick because your doctor or other health care provider failed to uphold their duty to protect and care for you.
If that happens, you may claim compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses related to your injury. A medical malpractice case has four main elements; the most important one is whether your doctor was negligent.
In some cases, mistakes are just that — unavoidable errors. But in other cases, mistakes are the result of “negligence.” That means that your doctor or other care provider failed to take reasonable measures to ensure your safety. And that’s a key element of medical malpractice.
What counts as “reasonable measures?” Some of that is obvious — making sure that there aren’t any surgical tools left in your body, for example. But other measures are less obvious.
To determine whether your care provider took reasonable measures to protect you, the court will look at the “standard of care” for your kind of case — the way a care provider should handle that kind of issue. That usually means having expert witnesses (doctors in the same field) come in to testify about the way doctors and other care providers are supposed to treat cases like yours. Failing to meet that standard of care is medical negligence.
The Other Elements of Medical Malpractice in Ohio
In addition to proving that your doctor or care provider was negligent, you’ll need to show that:
- There was a doctor/patient relationship. Essentially, that means the doctor agreed to take on your care. In legal terms, that means the doctor has a “duty” to you. This is almost always the case — if you had an appointment scheduled, that’s enough to prove this element.
- You were injured. If there’s no injury, you can’t claim any compensation even if your doctor was negligent.
- Your doctor’s negligence caused your injury. In other words, the injury and the negligence have to be directly related. Say you had surgery and ended up with nerve damage that was not caused by negligence. Now imagine that your doctor negligently failed to set up a heart rate monitor during that surgery, but it didn’t hurt you. Your injury and the negligence aren’t related, so there’s no medical malpractice claim.
What to Do if You’re the Victim of Medical Malpractice
If you believe that negligence by a doctor, hospital, or other medical facility or care provider has injured you or made you sick, then there are several steps you should take to protect your potential compensation claim:
- First, make sure you keep complete records of all of your treatment. That includes all the information about the original reason you sought treatment and all of the treatment and care you needed for the injury or illness.
- Consider getting a second opinion right away — you want another doctor to take a look at you while the injury or illness is still new. Again, keep complete records of everything.
- Follow the instructions of your care team carefully. A care provider may be able to get out of paying you compensation by arguing that you caused your own injuries because you didn’t follow their medical advice.
- Keep records of all of the expenses associated with your illness, including any time you missed from work, childcare expenses, and other costs.
- Finally, take all of that evidence to an experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorney like those at Plevin & Gallucci so that your legal team can start your case in motion. You have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit, so you should act quickly.
Beware Medical Malpractice Settlement Offers
When you win a medical malpractice lawsuit, the doctor doesn’t pay you out of their own pocket — that money comes from medical malpractice insurance. This means that in addition to the doctor fighting your claim to protect their reputation (and sometimes their job), the insurance company is going to be fighting to pay you as little as possible.
Insurance companies have whole teams of lawyers dedicated to doing nothing but making sure victims get as little compensation as possible. In addition, Ohio medical malpractice cases can be extremely complicated and technical. You’re going to need the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney to navigate the legal and technical aspects of your case to get the best possible outcome.
At the very least, you should never accept a settlement without consulting an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer. Once you accept the settlement, you lose the right to try to get more compensation. Without legal experience, you may not be able to judge whether the settlement is fair and you may end up getting a lot less than you could have with the help of a lawyer.
Contact Our Experienced Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorneys
At Plevin & Gallucci, our experienced medical malpractice attorneys have represented injured victims throughout the state of Ohio in cases such as:
- Delayed/failure to diagnose, including cancer, infections, or heart disease;
- Surgical errors;
- Birth injuries to the baby or the mother;
- Medication errors by a physician, hospital, or pharmacy;
- Nursing home/long-term care facility injuries resulting from neglect or unqualified care providers.
Before joining Plevin & Gallucci to represent injured victims, members of our medical malpractice team have spent years representing physicians, hospitals, and insurance companies. This unique experience and perspective enables us to anticipate how doctors and insurance companies will fight your case. We have used this insight to fight for medical malpractice victims all around Ohio from our offices in Cleveland, Columbus, and Waverly.
Protecting your loved ones is our number one goal. In addition to getting our clients and their families a just result, our Ohio medical malpractice attorneys strive to make a difference and prevent future wrongful conduct. When families are left searching for answers and doctors and hospitals are silent, we ask the tough questions and uncover the truth so those who cause harm are held accountable for their actions.
Plevin & Gallucci will never back down from fighting for your rights. Our Ohio medical malpractice attorneys have the legal knowledge, experience, and resources to provide comprehensive legal advice in medical malpractice cases and achieve the greatest results. Let us stand up for you against nurses, doctors, or hospitals that have injured you. Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation.
In the meantime, get informed with the most recent medical malpractice and nursing home abuse news affecting our area at our blog:
- Medical Malpractice in Ohio: What Damages Can I Recover?
- Ohio Medical Malpractice vs. Doctor Discipline: What’s the Difference?
- Nursing Home Abuse: What are Ohio’s Statistics?
- Adult Protective Services: How to Get Help in Ohio