Every caregiver and caregiving institution has the obligation to meet an acceptable level of medical care when treating patients. These standards of care exist to ensure that caregivers are taking the necessary steps to prevent their patients from being harmed during treatment.
When treatment plans fail to meet these standards, it is considered medical malpractice.
Sadly, medical mistakes are more common than most people think. A recent study conducted by physicians at Johns Hopkins University estimates that medical errors may account for more than 250,000 deaths each year – more than accidents, strokes, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases.
On This Page:
- How do I know if I have a case?
- What types of errors constitute medical malpractice?
- Who is liable for medical malpractice?
- Damages and long-term costs for victims
- Informed consent in medical malpractice cases
- Wrongful death resulting from medical negligence
- Holding medical professionals accountable
Have a potential case? Call (440) 252-4399 for a FREE consultation. Our Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys at The Becker Law Firm are relentless in their pursuit of justice, and proudly serve victims across Ohio and beyond.
How Do I Know If I Have a Case?
The easiest way to know if you have a case is to contact the Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys at The Becker Law Firm and arrange for a free initial consultation. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have been a victim of medical malpractice, please give us a call today.
Our attorneys will evaluate your case free of charge, as we believe there should be no financial obligation to learn if you have a potential claim for damages. Best of all, we take cases on a contingency basis, which means we will charge you nothing unless we win your case.
What Types of Errors Constitute Medical Malpractice?
There are many ways in which medical care can go wrong, which includes:
- Post-operative mistakes
- Medication mistakes
- Failure to diagnose stroke
- Failure to diagnose heart disease
- Failure to diagnose cancer
- Emergency room errors
- Hospital malpractice
- Laboratory mistakes
- Nursing errors
Patients who are harmed because of the medical care they received, and whose injuries could (and should) have been prevented, are considered to be victims of medical malpractice.
Who Is Liable for Medical Malpractice?
Although medical mistakes are the result of actions taken (or not taken) by caregivers, these caregivers do not operate in a vacuum. Many caregivers are part of much larger institutions that are responsible for ensuring that their staff meets and exceeds accepted levels of care.
The ways in which these institutions are managed are such that extensive training and oversight are required in order to prevent medical malpractice. Examples of three institutional settings where medical malpractice may occur include hospitals, nursing homes, and emergency rooms.
The different ways in which patients may be harmed are as numerous as the ways in which medical care can go wrong. Some of the most severe and irreparable injuries that can result from medical malpractice include wrongful death, brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.
Damages & Long-Term Costs for Victims
At The Becker Law Firm, we are not afraid to stand up to powerful medical institutions on behalf of our clients. Medical professionals, hospitals, and their insurance providers aggressively defend against lawsuits, employing armies of attorneys and experts to protect themselves against the costs of these suits. They will often claim they were not at fault by any means necessary.
You will need your own team of experts to ensure the interests of your family aren’t just brushed aside. At The Becker Law Firm, we help clients seek full and fair compensation for:
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering damages
- Medical bills
- Loss of household services
- Funeral expenses
- Quality-of-life losses
Our medical malpractice lawyers in Cleveland will work to assess the full extent of damages and seek compensation that best addresses your current and future needs. The lifetime costs of an injury can be overwhelming, and the institutions that caused them must be held fully responsible.
Informed Consent & Medical Malpractice
When medical professionals oversee a patient's care, they are required to obtain “informed consent” from the patient before moving forward with treatment. This means they must disclose information about the treatment or procedure to the patient, which may include:
- The nature of the condition
- The nature of the proposed treatment
- The probability of success of the proposed treatment
- The material risk to the patient if the treatment is unsuccessful
- Alternative treatments
In Ohio, informed consent is a separate cause of action. In a medical malpractice case, plaintiffs can sue in cases in which the medical professional did not obtain informed consent. Arguably, informed consent should apply to a doctor’s experience with certain medical procedures.
Medical professionals may defend themselves against accusations of malpractice by a number of means, including claiming the risks of the treatment were too commonly known to warrant disclosure or that it was not possible to obtain consent because the patient was unconscious.
However, doctors, nurses, and other medical providers still have a duty of reasonable care to inform patients of the risks of a given procedure so that they can make informed decisions about their health. Failure to obtain informed consent can be a form of medical malpractice.
If you are pursuing a medical malpractice case, it is important to hire an attorney who understands informed consent and how it applies to these cases. When you contact The Becker Law Firm, we can answer any questions about informed consent or other legal issues you face in regard to your claim.
Wrongful Death from Malpractice
Wrongful death occurs when someone dies due to the negligence of another person, service, or institution. In the case of medical malpractice, a wrongful death occurs when caregivers and/or caregiving institutions fail to meet acceptable standards of medical care.
Wrongful death lawsuits are about seeking full justice. They are the means through which we are able to hold doctors, nurses, and hospitals accountable for negligence. They are about recognizing loss and preventing similar tragedies from happening to other families.
The Becker Law Firm is equipped to get to the root of medical negligence. We understand the causes and types of injuries that lead to wrongful death, and we have resources and access to experts to help us direct the investigation and trace the negligence to its source.