Nearly all medical malpractice claims are complicated. So the shortest answer to this question is that you need a Cleveland medical malpractice attorney with experience. Medical negligence lawsuits are not the type of claims you can handle on your own.
These lawsuits involve medical experts such as nurses and doctors and medical institutions like hospitals. The types of medical practitioners subject to medical negligence include general areas of medicine such as anesthesia errors, surgical mistakes, deaths from failing to monitor the patient carefully, and more. Often, particularly in larger teaching hospitals, patients may be treated by less experienced residents and interns.
What’s medical malpractice?
For any instance to amount to medical malpractice, the process of medical treatment must fall below a reasonable standard of care. This substandard medical treatment must also result in harm. That means if your doctor makes a mistake and you are not harmed, there is no malpractice.
In a medical negligence case, a reasonable standard of care is the level and type of professional care that a prudent, ordinary, medical professional with the same level of training and experience would offer under the same circumstances. So, the critical question is, “Could a similarly-trained and experienced healthcare expert has treated you the same under similar circumstances?” If the response is ‘no’ and you were harmed because of the substandard treatment, you may have a valid medical negligence claim.
Well, making these allegations is one thing, and proving them is another.
Establishing the standard of care
Often, medical malpractice lawsuits require testimony from an expert witness on behalf of the plaintiff. The expert (nurse or doctor) should be experienced and trained in the same medical field as the healthcare expert who treated you. This expert must establish an acceptable standard of care. He or she should testify as to how the medical treatment offered to you fell below this standard of care and offer a precise explanation of how you were harmed.
Affidavit of merit
According to the Ohio State law, when filing a medical negligence claim, you should simultaneously file an affidavit signed by a professional, under oath. This is a statement from a medical professional vouching for the validity of your claim. It must have a statement indicating that the ‘affiant’ – the individual whose opinion is written in the affidavit;
- Has reviewed the relevant medical records concerning the allegations contained in the lawsuit
- Understands the acceptable standard of care
- Strongly believes that the applicable standard of care was breached by the defendant’s actions
- And the defendant’s breach of the standard of care caused your injuries.
Hire an experienced lawyer
The last and worst thing you can do is to hire a dermatologist to perform a kidney transplant. While a dermatologist is a qualified medical expert, they are not qualified to offer the service you require. Similarly, if you have a medical malpractice or negligence case, it’s time to speak to a trained attorney who specializes in such cases.