Trusting a medical professional to care for you is something everyone does. When we’re hurt or sick, we go to the doctor and expect them to provide us with a diagnosis and treatment plan to follow so we can get better. If a physician acts carelessly or makes a mistake while they’re caring for you, their mistake could have possibly life-threatening consequences. Patients can suffer from severe injuries if the professional providing medical care exhibits negligence. The negligent health care provider could be a doctor, nurse, hospital, surgeon, or other provider who was in charge of administering medical care. If you or a loved one has been harmed because a medical professional failed to provide proper care and made a mistake, you have legal options. Thomas Law Offices has a practiced Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyer who can stand up for you.
An injury from a physician can cause a lot of turmoil in your life. While you’re trying to treat the new injuries and the original reason why you sought treatment, it may seem like a lot to add a legal claim to your life. A medical malpractice claim could be the way you hold the people who acted negligently accountable for their actions and get the compensation you need so you can keep up with the expenses of your recovery.
Our law firm has helped many victims of medical malpractice get the justice they deserve. While these cases can become complex, we’re prepared to work diligently and advocate for our client’s best interests. Let’s take a look at the advantages of having a medical malpractice attorney at your side.
How Can a Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawyer Benefit You?
When Thomas Law Offices is representing you, we’ll use our expertise to find out how you were harmed, who was responsible, and the damages and losses you can recover. Our skilled Cincinnati medical malpractice attorney will seek compensation to cover your economic and noneconomic damages.
Economic damages will include financial losses. One of the biggest losses you may have incurred could be your medical expenses. If your injuries were severe and required extensive care, you’ll have bills for past care and you’ll likely need to continue care into the future. Staying in the hospital, prescription drugs, medical equipment, and therapy are possible expenses you’d have to cover. As a result, your medical bills could still be ongoing, and you may not know how you’re going to pay them. You shouldn’t have to worry about how you’re going to afford the care you need for injuries that weren’t your fault. When your Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyer is determining your compensation amount, we’ll assess your medical bills and the costs of your care to find what you’re eligible to recover.
Another main component of your economic damages is your lost wages. You may have already missed work for the original injury that brought you to the doctor in the first place. After you sustained further injury, you may have missed many days of work. For some people, they can run out of sick time and may be losing wages. Our medical malpractice lawyer will calculate the amount of wages you’ve missed and seek recovery for those lost days of pay.
In some cases, your injury may prevent you from returning to your job. If you’re no longer able to do your job because of your injury, you may be able to recover diminished earning capacity. We’ll prove how your injuries will keep you from performing your previous job’s duties and you deserve to recover the losses you’ve incurred because you can no longer do that job.
Noneconomic damages may not be as straightforward but are just as important. While your economic damages can be calculated to the amount of money you’ve lost or the total bills you’ll owe, noneconomic damages refer to the other consequences of wrongful injury. These injuries may not have cost money, but they still take a toll on your life. For example, your injury could have caused significant pain and suffering. You’ve had to experience painful injuries or will have to go through difficult procedures as part of your treatment plan for injuries that weren’t your fault. That’s why our medical malpractice lawyer will seek pain and suffering damages.
You can also seek compensation for disfigurement if that occurred. Accidents that cause this are usually traumatic and will have long-lasting effects on the person.
If your injuries prevent you from providing support and comfort to your spouse, your noneconomic damages may include loss of consortium. You and your partner may have co-run a house, which includes physical labor, emotional labor, and keeping up with the expenses. If you’re also co-parenting, the responsibilities are greatly increased. When a serious injury prevents you from doing these tasks or diminishes how much you can do, your compensation can cover that.
When the gravity of the injury sets in, you may also suffer from mental anguish. You may be in pain thinking about how this accident wouldn’t have happened if the other party had acted responsibly, but because of their negligence, your life is changed forever. Your injury may prevent you from doing a hobby or activity you once enjoyed. You may also have to relearn how to do everyday tasks and will have to adjust to this new way of life. All this change at once is a lot to fall on someone’s shoulders, but our medical malpractice attorney is here to alleviate that burden in any way we can. We cannot undo the injury, but we can seek maximum compensation for you.
It’s important to note that in Ohio, there is a cap on noneconomic damages. According to the Ohio Revised Code 2323.43, noneconomic damages shouldn’t exceed $250,000 or an amount that is more than three times the economic losses. There is a maximum of $350,000 for each plaintiff or a maximum of $500,000 for each occurrence.
In addition to your economic and noneconomic damages, we’ll also look into if you’re eligible to recover for another type of damage.
There is another form of damages called punitive damages. To recover punitive damages, the negligent party needs to have exhibited gross negligence or acted in an extremely reckless way that caused injury to the patient.
Common Medical Malpractice Cases We Handle
Our Cincinnati medical malpractice attorney is ready to represent those who were wrongfully injured. There are many ways medical malpractice can occur, and it may happen more often than you’d think. In a study conducted by Johns Hopkins patient safety experts, they found that more than 250,000 people in the U.S. die due to medical malpractice. This puts medical errors above respiratory disease, which was the third leading cause of death in the U.S. at 150,000 people each year. Unfortunately, the CDC doesn’t note medical errors on death certificates, so national statistics don’t have an accurate system to find the prevalence of medical malpractice.
Our lawyers are well-versed in the various ways medical malpractice can occur and we know the toll it can take on you and your family. If any of the following happened to you or a loved one, reach out to our office in Cincinnati today.
- Birth Injury. A birth injury can occur while the mother is pregnant or during the birthing process. During a pregnancy, the mother’s healthcare provider needs to monitor her vitals as well as the baby’s. If they administer medication that causes an allergic reaction, they could harm the mother or the baby. The delivery team also needs to watch the vital signs to make sure the mother and baby are healthy and can go through with the procedure. There may be signs that indicate an emergency c-section would be required. Doctors need to make this call in a timely fashion so they can safely deliver the baby. If the baby gets stuck during the birthing process, they may suffer from lack of oxygen, which could cause permanent brain damage and will affect the child for the rest of their life. Physical injuries to their head and shoulders are also possible. If the doctor is negligent when handling birthing tools, cuts or fractures could occur.
- Defective Medical Devices. Medical devices may monitor your vitals or be used during a procedure if you’re in the hospital. If these devices are defective, they could give your healthcare providers inaccurate information. A defective device used during a procedure could malfunction in a way that causes infection. There are also the defective medical devices that are implanted in a patient that are supposed to help them, like a hip replacement. If something is wrong with the device, it could break down or fall out of place. Unfortunately, to fix a defective implant, another surgery is often required.
- Misdiagnosis. When a doctor listens to your symptoms, they’ll likely keep asking questions and narrow down the possibilities until they arrive at a diagnosis. However, if they think it’s something else, the treatment you receive will not be correct. The original issue will go untreated and it could allow it to worsen.
- Failure to Diagnose. Doctors may also fail to diagnose you, which could have life-threatening consequences. For example, if you’re presenting symptoms of a health issue that needs immediate treatment and the doctors don’t recognize it and provide treatment, you could suffer a critical health event like a heart attack or stroke. These issues may cause permanent damage or even result in a fatality.
- Emergency Room Errors. Emergency rooms can be full of people with mild to major injuries. While they are usually treated in order, those who need immediate treatment should be seen and given the care they need so their live isn’t put in danger. If those working in the emergency room don’t recognize this, they could fail to prevent a serious health problem.
- Pharmaceutical Errors. When you go to the pharmacy, you expect to receive the correct medication and the right dosage. If the pharmacist is negligent, they could give you the wrong medication or dosage. Taking this medication could cause an allergic reaction, overdose, or not treat the original health issue.
- Nursing Errors. Medication errors can also occur in hospitals. A nurse could administer the wrong medication or incorrect dosage, which could put the patient in danger. They could also misread a note about what they’re supposed to give a patient. If the writing isn’t legible, they may guess the medication or the dosage, which could lead to major health complications.
- Surgical Errors. During a surgery, the surgical team needs to monitor the patient and do the procedure correctly. If the surgeon acts negligently, they could sever or cut an internal organ and cause injury. There have been some instances of wrong-site surgery, where the procedure isn’t done on the correct site. Someone may be having a procedure on their right arm, only to find the surgery was done on their left. Patients could undergo the wrong procedure altogether. Surgical tools and sponges may be left inside patients, that will need to be removed later. When a surgical error happens, the patient will likely need a corrective surgery. The time spent healing from the wrong surgery, the corrective procedure, and recovering from the original problem can require a lot of time and care. That’s why our Cincinnati medical malpractice attorney will fight for you to receive compensation for cost of care and lost wages.
- Anesthesia Errors. Before undergoing a procedure, you may be given anesthesia. If the anesthesiologist makes a mistake, you could suffer complications during or after the surgery. When a patient is given too little, they may wake up during the procedure. This can be extremely traumatic, and the patient may experience the pain of the procedure. The team will have to act quickly so the patient doesn’t panic and hurt themselves. If the patient was given too much anesthesia, they may have issues waking up and could have suffered brain damage.
- Lack of Informed Consent. Before a surgical procedure, your medical care provider is supposed to go over the risks of the surgery and how it can benefit them. When you have this information, you can make a fully informed decision on whether or not to go through with the procedure. If you weren’t given this information and suffered one of the surgery’s risks, you may be dealing with permanent health problems. If the doctor had acted responsibly and given you the information, you may have decided to not have the surgery and wouldn’t have the existing injuries.
You may not recognize what happened to you on the list above, but you should still reach out to Thomas Law Offices. We understand that each client’s case is unique and deserves to be treated as such. We’ll be able to determine if you have a valid claim.
How Do Medical Errors Occur?
After identifying what went wrong, then our attorneys will work on finding why it happened. This can give us more insight into who is liable for the medical negligence you suffered. The following reasons may have contributed to your injuries:
- Administrative Errors. Hospitals need to have updated systems so they can have current information on their patients. If there are issues, the patient’s information could be incorrect. When they don’t have the correct information, the patient could be put at risk of receiving treatment that causes harm.
- Lack of Protocol. Hospitals need to have safety procedures and protocols in place to protect staff and patients. For example, keeping the hospital clean and sanitized to prevent infection will protect those who are immunocompromised. If a hospital is negligent with its upkeep, they could put patients at risk of developing illnesses. Protocols are also in place to make sure procedures go smoothly and as planned. This means the patient gets the correct procedure and the medical equipment is all accounted for, so nothing is left behind in the patient. A hospital without these protocols could put patients at risk of suffering a surgical error.
- Understaffing. A hospital that doesn’t have enough staff will likely have overworked healthcare providers who are responsible for more people than they can realistically attend to. Short-staffed hospitals may also demand more time from their staff, which could mean those taking care of you are fatigued. When someone is exhausted, their mind isn’t thinking clearly, and they are more likely to make a mistake. Fatigue can cause someone to miss signs of something, forget to do something, make an incorrect notation, or not retain information when communicating with other healthcare providers.
- Faulty Equipment. Defective equipment can put a patient’s life in danger, especially if they’re depending on it to help with regulating breathing or monitoring vital signs. If it stops working, healthcare providers won’t have the accurate information they need so they can provide their best care.
- Inexperience. If a medical professional is new to the field, they may not have much experience with certain procedures. When a hospital doesn’t take time to properly train and prepare their staff, an inexperienced person could attempt to do something they’re not ready for and end up harming the patient.
Thomas Law Offices has years of experience in analyzing medical records and other accounts to find out what led to medical malpractice. As we continue to gather the facts, we’ll also use them to determine who was responsible for your injuries. While you may automatically think it was the doctor, there’s a chance there could be other negligent parties involved in your case.
Determining Fault in an Ohio Medical Malpractice Case
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider acts in a negligent manner and harms the patient. You will have to have evidence of a few items to make your case valid. Our medical malpractice attorney will work diligently to put together a strong case that shows the following:
- Establish the healthcare provider owed a duty of care.
- The healthcare provider failed to meet the duty of care.
- The patient sustained injuries from this mistake.
- The patient suffered injuries and other losses because of the healthcare provider’s negligence.
When a patient seeks medical treatment and the doctor agrees to treat them, this creates a doctor-patient relationship and therefore they owe their patient a duty of care. The duty of care refers to how most medical professionals would act given they have a similar education and work in a similar field. Negligence typically occurs when the doctor doesn’t meet the duty of care.
When showing the healthcare provider didn’t meet the duty of care, we will consult with an expert witness to provide their testimonial. Having a medical expert provide what they would have done in your situation and how they would have acted differently will support the claim that your healthcare provider deviated from the standard of care and acted negligently.
Then, we’ll show records of your injuries to show how you were harmed as a result of the medical mistake. Your total losses, economic and noneconomic, will demonstrate the consequences of receiving substandard care from the negligent healthcare professional.
Our Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyer will hold the liable party accountable for their actions. It’s possible for an individual, institution, or a company to be at fault for your injuries. Let’s look at the possible liable parties.
- Individual. A negligent doctor, nurse, surgeon, or other singular healthcare professional could have made a mistake due to fatigue, carelessness, or lack of experience.
- Hospital. If the facility lacked procedures and rules for their staff to follow, their oversight could be the negligence that caused your injuries.
- Medical Device Manufacturer. You may have not encountered the liable party face to face. If a medical device manufacturer made a faulty device and sent it out to hospitals, they could be held liable for not ensuring the product’s safety.
What Should You Do After a Medical Error in Ohio?
When you suspect you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, it’s important for you to act quickly and to take steps to make sure you’re not putting your claim in jeopardy. Let’s go over what you should do after a medical error occurs.
Contact a Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Your first step should be contacting a trustworthy medical malpractice lawyer. They are going to act in your best interests from the start and will be able to go over what happened with you. If you do have a valid case, they can advise you on how to proceed. This is the safest way to protect your rights and give yourself the best chance of receiving fair compensation for your injuries. Thomas Law Offices is ready to evaluate your claim and provide you with the information you need so you can decide on how to move forward.
Don’t Contact the Hospital
If you contact the hospital to either report what happened or to discuss further action, this could put your case in jeopardy. Any information you provide could be used against you. There’s also the matter of the statute of limitations and notifying the correct parties. Your Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyer will know the time limits you need to meet for your claim to be valid. We’ll also provide the parties involved with proper notice, gather expert witnesses to help your claim, and begin compiling the evidence necessary to support your claim. All the paperwork will be filed on time and you won’t have to worry about your case being tossed out because of technical reasons.
Keep Away from Social Media
One of the best ways you can protect yourself and your claim is to stay away from social media. Many people have multiple social media platforms and it’s common to give updates about your life. However, any information you post here can be used to reduce your claim. If you post about the injuries, complain about the doctor or the hospital, these posts could arise again in court. While you may feel the need to vent about your frustrations, refrain from doing this online where others can see.
To take further action, you may want to change your settings so your accounts are private. You’ll have control over what strangers see on your feed as well as who is following you. But this doesn’t mean you should set your account to private and then post about what happened to you—this is an extra precaution to protect yourself and your claim.
Your Cincinnati medical malpractice attorney will be able to help you take the necessary steps to make sure you’re doing what you need to do for your claim and to avoid any action that could harm it later.
Seek Legal Options with Thomas Law Offices
Medical malpractice can cause severe injuries—sometimes these injuries have permanent consequences. Getting the care you need shouldn’t put you under so much financial stress that you have to worry about keeping the lights on and providing for those who depend on you. When you’re suffering from preventable injuries, you can hold the party liable for their actions and get fair compensation so you can cover the costs of the injury.
When you have the compensation you deserve, you can put your energy into healing and working through your treatment. You won’t have the constant stress of balancing bills and affording your care. When your financial future is secure, you can heal physically, emotionally, and financially. Thomas Law Offices is ready to help you get on the path to reach that point.
Our medical malpractice attorney understands how jarring it can be to find the people who were supposed to take care of you made your injuries worse or caused new ones. While these accidents often happen unintentionally, there is no excuse for medical errors. Medical professionals are supposed to provide each patient with treatment that meets the standard of care and doesn’t cause them further harm.
While you may be weighing your options about taking legal action, filing a claim with a Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyer on your side will give you the strongest chance of receiving maximum compensation for your injuries and will grant you peace of mind.
You’ll also be sending a clear message to the negligent doctor or hospital that caused your injuries. This could possibly mean changes would occur to make sure the accident that happened to you doesn’t happen to anyone else.
Thomas Law Offices believes in fighting for those who were injured because of someone else’s negligence. Our medical malpractice attorneys have experience, resources, and a passion for getting people the justice they deserve. We know how to clearly present a case in court and will help you with the entire process. We’ll tell you what to expect in a courtroom and tips for how to best help your case. You’ll walk into the courtroom feeling prepared and ready.
The first step is contacting our office today for a free case evaluation. From there, we can go over your options and find the best way forward for you. Then, we can start fighting for you to recover compensation.