Medical malpractice occurs when patients suffer harm as a result of the negligence, errors, or incompetence of their doctor or another caregiver.
Examples of medical malpractice may include:
- Missed diagnosis
- Medication errors
- Wrong-site surgery
- Birth injuries
- Negligence from dentists, optometrists, or chiropractors
- And a variety of other mistakes
Unfortunately, medical malpractice is a regular occurrence. If you were hurt by an act of medical negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages in a medical malpractice claim.
How Medical Malpractice Occurs
When doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, and others involved in patient care take negligent actions, their patients may be injured. To understand what medical malpractice is, it is helpful to examine the many ways that it can occur:
Misdiagnoses occur when a doctor incorrectly diagnoses your illness. Multiple illnesses can have the same symptoms. This can lead to an incorrect diagnosis in place of the correct diagnosis based on the same set of symptoms. Testing errors, patient mix-ups, or a failure to perform standard screenings can all contribute to a misdiagnosis.
Signs that you may have been misdiagnosed include:
- No change in your condition
- Deterioration of your condition
- Limited testing
- A second opinion that conflicts with your doctor’s diagnosis
A delayed diagnosis can occur if your doctor takes too long to assess your condition. Such delays can lead to a deterioration of your condition. In some cases, your illness may even become untreatable.
Diagnostic and Treatment Errors
Mistakes made during diagnostic testing, surgery, when reading test results, or when administering medicines or other forms of care can lead to patient harm. It is not uncommon for doctors to administer an incorrect dosage of a medicine to a patient or for surgeons to leave behind surgical equipment in a patient.
Errors of these types can occur anywhere and at any time during the patient treatment process, right from when a patient is checked in to a care facility to the time the patient is discharged.
Patients can be injured by the misuse of medical tools or the use of the wrong tool for the task at hand. Poor product quality, mislabeling of equipment or medicines, or infected equipment can lead to patient harm and a medical malpractice suit.
These are not the only scenarios that may qualify as medical malpractice. Any time a doctor’s negligence harms a patient, a medical malpractice claim may be warranted.
Seeking Compensation for Medical Malpractice Damages
You can suffer a wide range of injuries and damages as a result of medical malpractice. Depending on the details of your injuries and their impact on your life, the following damages may be recoverable in a medical malpractice case:
- All current and future medical bills related to your medical malpractice injuries
- Lost income for the time that your recovery forced you to miss work
- An inability to earn as much as you did before
- Pain, suffering, and emotional trauma
- And other unforeseen damages your attorney may ask you about
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
In medical malpractice cases, you typically have to obtain testimony from a medical professional that the care you received fell below a reasonable medical standard and that another doctor with similar training would have likely prevented your injuries.
The general steps for filing a medical malpractice claim may include:
- Investigating how and why you were injured
- Getting a second opinion regarding the treatment you received
- Gathering your medical and treatment history
- Obtaining medical expert testimony in your defense
- Quantifying your damages
- Filing a medical malpractice insurance claim and/or lawsuit against the responsible party
When you work with a medical malpractice lawyer, they may be able to manage all of these tasks on your behalf.
The Deadline on Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Ohio
Per the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §2305.113, there is a general one-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice lawsuits in Ohio. The clock starts running when you discover your injuries. However, this statute imposes an ultimate deadline on medical malpractice of four years from when the malpractice occurred.
There are some circumstances that may alter these general deadlines. If you do not file your lawsuit by the deadline that applies to your case, it may be dismissed.
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The Fitch Law Firm LLC May Be Able to Help You
If you were injured by an act of medical malpractice in Columbus, OH, the Fitch Law Firm LLC may be able to help you. As a full-service law firm, we can handle all of the legal work in your case while you focus on your recovery.
For a free consultation on your case with a member of our team, call the Fitch Law Firm LLC today at (614) 545-3930. If you qualify, we may be able to represent you on a contingency-fee-basis with no up-front payments required.