A hospital should be a place of healing and hope. You entrust your health to a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist, and you expect to get better after being in their care.
But if your experience with a medical professional has only led to more serious injury, you may want to consider a medical malpractice claim. This could be your opportunity to recover the substantial expenses you may have incurred and to start getting your life back on track.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other medical professional makes a mistake that causes you or a loved one serious harm or even death. If you or a loved one has suffered a life-altering injury due to medical malpractice, you need a competent medical malpractice law firm to investigate your case and fight for your rights.
Call the Fitch Law Firm today at (855) LAW-OHIO for a free consultation.
Don’t be a silent victim
You may be reluctant to even consider making a malpractice claim. There are questions that may be making you reluctant: Is it really a valid medical malpractice case? Will it be costly to make the claim? Do I stand a chance of winning?
Such questions are indeed important things to consider. However, the most important thing for you is to do is at least get professional legal answers pertaining to your question. Consulting a malpractice lawyer is your best first step.
It is estimated that only less than 10 percent of all medical malpractice claims are pursued. Many victims of medical negligence and malpractice never bring a claim, and they never exercise the right to be compensated for their injuries.
When the Fitch Law Firm pursues your medical malpractice claim, there are two reasons. First, we want to help you get the compensation you need for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Second, and just as important, we will hold the negligent medical professional accountable for his or her actions, thus helping you achieve justice as well as hopefully preventing other people from suffering from similar mistakes.
You do not have to be anxious about complicated legal procedures and paperwork, or even about having to talk to insurance companies. We at the Fitch Law Firm can handle all of this for you, working hard to achieve the best result we can. You don’t have to be worried about legal fees… because you only pay at the end if and when we win your case.
Remember, getting professional answers about your specific case is the only way to know you are not a silent victim of medical malpractice. The Fitch Law Firm is here to help you determine whether you have a medical malpractice case. If you do, we are ready to go to bat for you, using our proven experience and skills to help you get the full and fair compensation you are entitled to.
Call (855) LAW-OHIO today for your free consultation.
Types And Examples of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can come in many shapes and sizes. Common types of medical malpractice include:
- Diagnosis errors. A missed, delayed, or inaccurate diagnosis could allow a health condition to develop into something more serious. For example, one in every 71 cases of cancer is misdiagnosed, so patients miss the window of time when treatment would have been most effective. Other ailments commonly misdiagnosed include heart attacks, strokes, and pulmonary problems.
- Emergency room errors. In the high-stress, fast-paced environment of the ER, all sorts of medical mistakes can happen, such as administering the wrong medication, overlooking the patient’s medical history, and failing to address serious signs of distress.
- Surgical errors. You may have heard of cases where a sponge or a surgical tool has been left inside the body of a patient – this actually happens. Other examples of surgery errors include performing the wrong surgical procedure, injuring a nerve, operating in unsanitary conditions, and the like.
- Anesthesia errors. Anesthesia is only one part of a medical procedure, but there are plenty of ways it could go wrong. The incorrect anesthesia or anesthetic dosage could be administered, the anesthesia delivery could be delayed, the patient’s health history could react negatively with the anesthesia, and so on. The effects could be as devastating as stroke, coma, or death.
- Birth injuries. Birthing a child continues to be a highly delicate process today. It leaves room for some medical faults, from failing detect fetal distress to improper handling during delivery, and more. These can result in unfortunate conditions for the infant, such as brain damage, neurological disorders, and disabilities. The mother can also sustain injuries from these birthing errors.
- Hospital neglect. A hospital or clinic itself may be held responsible for certain negligent actions. These can involve either the corporate body or the employees of the hospital. Examples of these include inadequate staffing, inexperienced employees, and failing to ensure hospital equipment are functioning properly.
- Medical device errors. These may involve just about any medical tool such as defibrillators, implants, contraceptive devices, and stents. When a medical professional fails to sterilize, monitor, or properly fit the device, it may cause infections and other injuries, and may be considered negligence.
- Medication/pharmaceutical errors. There are many ways a patient could be harmed through medicines and drugs. A doctor could prescribe the wrong medication, a pharmacist could mislabel the drug, a nurse could administer an incorrect dosage, and more.
Proving medical malpractice
Not every bad medical result happens because of medical malpractice. Healthcare providers occasionally make mistakes, and patients occasionally get worse after medical care. However, for it to be a malpractice case, it has to have these elements:
- A doctor-patient relationship. The injured person must be a patient of the doctor or medical professional, and not just someone who, for example, followed advice on the internet.
- Medical care that fell below the standard. There is a “standard of care” that all medical professionals are expected to satisfy. For a case to be valid, a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other medical professional should have fell below this standard.
- Negligence caused the harm. It should be the medical negligence that caused harm on the patient. A claim cannot be brought on if, for example, a patient with an infected wound sustained the infection because of his/her own doing.
- Quantifiable harm. The harm on the patient must be quantifiable in terms of legal damages.
Proving these elements is not an easy mission. It takes a skilled and experienced lawyer, plus a resourceful legal team, to establish these for you.
We at the Fitch Law Firm are ready to assist you. Our team will get your medical records and review them to help find out exactly what happened in your case.
If medical malpractice or negligence caused serious injury, we will help you file your claim, build your case, and represent you throughout its course. This entails a number of crucial tasks such as:
- Pinpointing the cause of your injury
- Analyzing how the law best applies to your case
- Enlisting experts to strongly support your claim
- Gathering and strategically presenting evidence
- Assertively contending with defense lawyers
The Fitch Law Firm can do all these and more for you to get you the compensation you need and deserve.
Medical Malpractice Statistics – Ohio And The US
Unfortunately, almost 440,000 Americans die every year as the result of avoidable medical mistakes. In fact, medical mistakes are the third leading cause of death for Americans, behind only heart disease and cancer.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, between 2005 and 2009, the most common incidents leading to malpractice claims nationwide were surgery errors (among in-patients) and diagnosis errors (among out-patients). The average compensation won by each in-patient was $363,000, and by each out-patient, $290,000.
With respect to Ohio, medical malpractice claims are common. The Ohio Department of Insurance released a report revealing that there were a total of 3,019 medical malpractice claims in the state in 2013.
Similar to the national field, the top injuries that led to these state claims were treatment-related, diagnosis-related, and surgery-related. Other malpractice cases in that year included medication errors, blood-related injuries (such as giving the wrong blood type or contaminated blood), obstetrics cases, equipment-related injuries, and anesthesia-related injuries. There were also cases of breach of confidentiality, failure to follow policy, and the like.
However, many of the claims ended disappointingly for the patients. A large majority of the claims resulted in no payments to their claimants, meaning that those patients did not receive compensation. Only 24 percent – or a mere 708 claims – resulted in indemnity payments (claimant compensation). These payments totaled $266,688,492, which means that on average, each paid claim in 2013 won $376,679.
These numbers are a reminder that for a medical malpractice claim to be successful, it requires the building of a strong case and the representation of an experienced lawyer. In addition, you want a lawyer who communicates with you on a regular basis. You can rely on the Fitch Law Firm for to provide you with this kind of legal service.
What You May Be Entitled To
The serious injury that you or your loved one may have sustained because of medical negligence has likely cost you much. The additional hospital bills are only one of the financial expenses you may have had to face; you may also have missed work, needed therapy, and/or suffered emotionally.
This is why in your malpractice claim, you may be entitled to various monetary payments called damages. Here are some of what you may be paid for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Rehabilitation or therapy
- Long-term care
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost enjoyment of life
In the devastating event that your loved one has died due to medical negligence, there are more damages you may be able to claim. Obtaining monetary compensation will never replace your loved one, but it can help you rebuild your life after your loss.
There is no hard-and-fast rule as to exactly how much you may receive in a medical malpractice case. This depends on several factors including the severity of the injury, the circumstances that led to it, and more. To give you an example, the Fitch Law Firm has obtained as much as $2.65 million in one malpractice case. The case revolved around a birth injury where the asthmatic mother was given improper medical care, resulting in her respiratory arrest and a serious neurological injury on the infant.
To discuss your case evaluation call us at (855) LAW-OHIO today.
Why You Need An Attorney
Many patients ask: Can I file a medical malpractice claim without a lawyer? The answer is yes, but this is strongly discouraged. The complexity of the case and the capabilities of the defense can make it impractical for anyone to proceed without a legal professional.
Firstly, a medical malpractice case is often intricate as it involves two complex fields: medicine and law. It takes several proficient minds to investigate a medical scenario and then lay it out in legal terms. This, plus the circuitous nature of legal system, is a challenge even for the best legal teams.
Moreover, a malpractice case is often against professionals who are well-resourced: hospitals and doctors with the means to defend themselves from claims. They have a malpractice liability insurance policy, which almost always includes representation by experienced defense lawyers. Without your own attorney, you could be facing these defense lawyers by yourself.
But you do not have to fight alone. The Fitch Law Firm is serious about protecting your rights and fighting for what you deserve. You can rely on us to work hard for you every step of the way, and without the high lawyer fees to add to your worries.
Crucial Things To Remember In Your Ohio Malpractice Claim
If you are considering filing a medical malpractice claim in Ohio, keep in mind the following:
- Do not delay. There is a rule called the “statute of limitations” which sets the time limit for a claim. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for a malpractice claim is one year. This means you have one year to file your claim, starting from the date when you discovered or should have reasonably discovered your injury. After this period of time, you will no longer be able to bring up your case.
- You do not necessarily have to go to trial. Many malpractice claims are resolved before they go to court. Some are settled, some are dropped. Whether or not your case proceeds to trial, you should have a lawyer on your side to represent you against the defense.
- Expert knowledge is necessary. The field of medicine is highly complex, so in proving medical malpractice, expert medical knowledge is essential. Your attorney should be able to bring on medical experts to support your claim, and you will want to be as forthcoming as possible when discussing your injury with them.
- Choose the right attorney. A medical malpractice case is one of the most complicated legal matters – not every lawyer is able to handle it. To avoid wasting your time, effort, and money, choose a lawyer who has training, knowledge, and most of all, successful experience in handling malpractice claims. You’ll also want your attorney to be compassionate to you as a client, as this is likely a stressful time in your life.
Choose The Fitch Law Firm
- 30+ years of experience
- Successful in medical malpractice claims
- Sincere, compassionate and responsive in serving you
- You pay no fee unless we prevail in your case
Our background is one of success. Our legal professionals have decades of combined experience, with our head lawyer Attorney John Fitch serving for over 30 years. Through those decades, our numerous clients have obtained substantial recoveries and favorable outcomes from trials. Because of this, the legal community as well as the citizens of Ohio have high regard for the firm.
This legal excellence is paired with our personal commitment to each client. This means we fight for each case as if it were our own. We also accommodate the client’s needs: If you can’t come to us, we will travel to you. If you need additional doctors or translators, we’ll make an effort to provide those as well. Most of all, we will treat you with compassion, giving you clear and constant communication and helping you feel comfortable working with us.
All these come at no cost to you until your case is won. We’ll charge based on how much you receive. Your consultation is free
If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, trust the Fitch Law Firm to help you. Talk to us about your case. Call 855-LAW-OHIO today.