Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Negligence

1. What are some of the most common forms of medical malpractice? Some of the most often mentioned medical errors in research reports on the topic include: failure to obtain consent, errors related to diagnosis (misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose and delay in diagnosis), medication errors (including prescription, pharmaceutical and administration of medication errors), anesthesia errors (including errors in administering anesthesia and failure to respond to patients' distress in surgery), surgical errors, emergency room errors and birth errors.

2. What is the "standard of care" in a malpractice case? The standard of care is the level of care that physicians and other health care providers must follow. In Ohio, it is defined as what a reasonable, careful physician or other health care provider would do, or refrain from doing, under the same or similar circumstances. In most cases, the standard of care must be proven with expert testimony.

3. What types of medical professionals' work is included in the concept of "medical malpractice?" Any medical care provider can commit malpractice, including general practice physicians, specialists such as optometrists, orthopedists and oncologists; specialists who assist in treatment plans set in motion by other doctors — such as anesthesiologists and pharmacists; radiologists and diagnostic laboratory personnel; allied health care providers such as nurses and therapists; and many others.

4. Why do many personal injury law firms shy away from medical malpractice cases? Medical malpractice cases are notoriously complicated to prove, expensive to work up and document, and difficult to win because of constraints established by legislatures. When choosing a law firm to handle a medical malpractice case, it is important to ask about the attorneys' experience and track record.

5. How is a medical malpractice claim verified and developed? A detailed investigation will look at what happened, what the outcome was, what the patient's losses were, what other health care providers in similar situations typically do, and what specialty experts say about how the case was handled by the health care professionals.

6. What factors go into a decision to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit or not? An experienced lawyer can help determine whether an injury claim is justifiable and whether costs to develop the case, including expenses and legal fees, will be reasonable and still allow the client to recover damages after all expenses have been paid.

7. "Was the undesirable outcome in my medical treatment (or my family member's death after treatment) due to natural causes or was it evidence of malpractice?" An investigation will most likely need to be done to make this determination. Get an experienced attorney's opinion. Request a preliminary case analysis by calling Abramson & O'Connell, LLC, in Columbus, Ohio, at 614-461-3101 or by email through this website.