Thousands of patients visit Cleveland’s hospitals each year to heal injuries and seek treatment. However, a procedure or diagnosis can occasionally go wrong, and some incidents may rise to the level of medical malpractice. An experienced medical malpractice attorney might be able to help a Cleveland victim understand the definition of malpractice and whether the incident is grounds for a claim.
To determine if malpractice occurred, Cleveland attorneys ask if the medical provider acted in the same way that another professional would have acted in the same situation. In layman’s terms, did the doctor or other healthcare provider do their job?
The first thing a lawyer must determine is the standards medical providers need to be following under the same circumstances. They will look to medical literature and guidelines for answers. If a doctor, nurse, or any type of medical provider is confronted with this situation, how would they act?
The attorney wants to show there was a breach of duty, causation between the breach and the injury, and that the victim sustained damages.
The most common form of malpractice is failure to diagnose a certain condition, such as a heart attack or cancer. Other common medical mistakes include giving the wrong medication, giving medication that someone is allergic to, or failing to properly monitor the patient’s oxygen level during a surgical procedure.
A common surgical error is cutting or clipping an artery or body part that was not supposed to be involved in the procedure. Surgeons may fail to catch complications quickly enough, despite the patient developing symptoms. Anesthesia errors are also common.
A mistake or an error does not usually mean medical malpractice and has nothing to do with the decision that is made by the medical provider. Medical malpractice is when a provider makes a choice, either knowingly or unknowingly, not to act as another doctor or medical provider would under the same circumstances.
It is nearly impossible for someone to successfully pursue a medical malpractice case without the assistance of an attorney. Victims should seek an attorney who focuses a large portion of their case load in the medical malpractice arena rather than a general practitioner.
Medical malpractice attorneys have to follow many rules that do not apply in other cases. For example, they have to obtain what is called an affidavit of merit. This is an affidavit signed by another doctor attesting that the acts of the medical provider in this case were negligent, and that the negligence caused damages to the patient.
Therefore, it is vitally important that the claimant hire a lawyer who focuses on medical malpractice. If they do not, critical steps may be missed and the case could be dismissed without a jury even hearing the merits.
Not every mistake or error rises to the level of malpractice. A knowledgeable Cleveland attorney at Tittle & Perlmuter could explain the legal definition of medical malpractice and determine if it applies to your case. Contact us today to see if you have a case.