According to a recent report from the American Institute of Medicine, medical mistakes kill as many as 98,000 people every year and up to 7,000 patients die from errors in prescribing medicine.
This far exceeds the annual number of people killed as a result of traffic accidents (43,450), breast cancer (42,300), or AIDS (16,400).
Under Ohio law, you often have only 1 year from the date of negligence to file a claim. If the victim of medical malpractice is a minor, then additional time is allowed.
Even if a medical mistake is not fatal, it can cause severe, permanent damage, such as brain injury, paralysis, amputation, disability, or disfigurement. Medical malpractice is about far more than dollars or statistics. The errors take a terrible toll on the lives of innocent victims.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor fails to act with a reasonable standard of care. When someone who is not a doctor makes a mistake, he or she is often said to have acted negligently. Malpractice is simply negligence applied to healthcare professionals. Tragically, a doctor's mistake can have severe – or even deadly – consequences for a trusting patient.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Some forms of medical malpractice are unmistakable, like performing surgery on the wrong body part or the wrong patient, or administering the wrong medication.
Other types of medical malpractice may not be obvious. For example, if an individual was not warned about the serious risk of a particular treatment or if treatment unexpectedly causes a horrible injury, malpractice may have occurred.
In general, an individual may have a medical malpractice claim when a doctor or other medical professional failed to provide proper treatment and the incorrect treatment caused the patient to suffer a new injury. The law requires evidence of new injury, because it would be unreasonable to hold the healthcare professional responsible for the original medical problem.
Some examples of medical malpractice include:
- Failure to diagnose a medical condition
- Misdiagnosis of a medical condition
- Failure to treat a patient's medical condition properly
- Failure to administer anesthesia safely
- Failure to manage a pregnancy or deliver a baby in a safe manner
- Failure of a nurse or other staff member to keep a treating physician informed of a patient's condition
- Failure to administer medications properly
- Failure to protect a patient from a fall or other injury on hospital property
The Rights of Ohio Medical Malpractice Victims
Sadly, many Americans die each year from medical mistakes. One of the best ways to help correct this crisis in medicine is to hold the negligent hospitals and physicians accountable for their mistakes.
In Ohio, a patient has the right to file a lawsuit against any physician or hospital, which may have committed malpractice. However, the filing requirements for a malpractice lawsuit are lengthy and complicated.
The laws governing malpractice suits may be the most complex of all Ohio personal injury laws. Failure to meet the Ohio legal requirements for an Ohio medical malpractice claim means that the victim loses all rights to file a lawsuit against the medical professional or hospital which negligently caused severe injury – or even death.
If you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice, talk with a dedicated Ohio medical malpractice lawyer.