A medical error can lead to life-long injury, pain, and financial burden. When these highly preventable errors occur, it is due to the carelessness or negligence of a medical professional.
If you have suffered an injury due to medical malpractice or negligence, we strongly recommend speaking with a knowledgeable Akron medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. The trusted legal team at Slater & Zurz provides compassionate and dedicated legal representation to injured victims. We have been helping fellow Ohioans get the compensation they deserve for over 40 years and work diligently to help our clients move past the mental, physical, and financial challenges they face.
Medical Malpractice Cases We Handle
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical facility, doctor, or other healthcare professional injures a patient through a negligent act or omission. Our skilled legal team has helped victims in a wide variety of medical malpractice cases, such as:
- Birth injuries
- Emergency room errors
- Prescription errors
- Patient neglect
- Gynecological malpractice
- Pediatric malpractice
- Hospital negligence
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Surgical errors
- Radiation malpractice
- Failure to obtain patient information
- Cancer malpractice
- Plastic surgery malpractice
- Anesthesia errors
- Delayed diagnosis
- Failure to provide treatment
- Treatment delays
- Wrongful death
Determining if You Have a Valid Medical Malpractice Claim
Not all adverse medical outcomes are considered medical malpractice. Even when a medical professional exercises the highest level of skill and care, there are times when things can still go wrong. When determining if you may have a medical malpractice case, you must consider five key elements. These required elements are as follows:
- There was a doctor-patient relationship, established by either an agreement or received treatment.
- There was an established, agreed upon standard of care, meaning there was an obligation of the health care professional to provide a standard of care accepted by their medical community.
- The medical professional breached the accepted standard of care.
- The breach of care was a direct cause of your injuries.
- You incurred losses as a result of your injuries.
During your free consultation, one of our experienced Akron medical malpractice attorneys will review the details of your experience to determine if you have a valid medical malpractice claim and, if so, what steps to take to pursue fair and just compensation for your losses.
Medical Negligence vs. Medical Malpractice
Medical errors can often warrant a claim for medical negligence or malpractice. While the two terms are related, there are some key differences an injured patient should be aware of.
Medical negligence occurs when a health care professional causes harm to a patient unknowingly and unintentionally. This may be through ignorance or a misunderstanding. Medication errors are a common type of medical negligence claim. Other examples include:
- Mistakenly leaving a foreign body in the patient during surgery
- Failing to understand or recognize a patient’s symptoms
- Puncturing a lung during a procedure
- Giving the wrong dose of anesthesia
In these cases and others, the medical professional did not intentionally cut corners or knowingly put a patient in harm’s way. They did, however, fail to recognize certain situations or factors that resulted in their patient’s injuries or unknowingly acted or failed to act in a way that resulted in harm or injury.
In a medical malpractice claim, the medical professional was aware of the potential consequences of acting or not acting and proceeded anyway. Examples of medical malpractice include:
- Failing to properly clean surgical tools before a procedure
- Not obtaining or reviewing a patient’s medical history
- Failing to check for drug interactions or review a patient’s drug allergies prior to prescribing medication
- Performing unnecessary surgery
The intent is the key difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence. In medical negligence cases, the health care professional unknowingly puts their patient at risk of injury. In medical malpractice cases, the health care provider knew the risks and acted or failed to act anyway.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in Ohio
If a doctor or other medical professional injured you or a loved one, you must act quickly and seek legal assistance from a reputable medical malpractice attorney in Akron right away. In Ohio, the statute of limitations, or time limit for filing a lawsuit, is one year after discovering the injury.
Patients are often unaware of their injuries until well after the incident occurred. For injuries that are not immediately apparent, there is a four-year deadline, which begins on the incident that caused the injury. An example of the delayed recognition of injuries includes childbirth injuries that present themselves later on in the child’s development or an injury or progressed disease caused by a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis by the patient’s doctor.
It is always best to consult with a medical malpractice attorney immediately after you learn of your loved one’s injuries. The earlier you take legal action, the better your chances of receiving the compensation – and justice – you deserve.
Damages in an Ohio Medical Malpractice Case
There are generally two types of compensation an injured victim may be entitled to in a medical malpractice case – compensatory and punitive.
Compensatory damages are intended to provide a monetary amount necessary to compensate them for their losses. Compensatory damages are divided into two categories – economic and noneconomic.
Economic compensatory damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Costs for medical treatment
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Medication and prescription drugs
- Assistive care, such as life support equipment
- Nursing home or long-term care facility expenses
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity
- Funeral expenses
- Home and vehicle modifications
Noneconomic compensatory damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
Punitive damages are also sometimes seen in medical malpractice and other types of personal injury cases. This form of compensation does not aim to reimburse the victim for their losses. Instead, it is intended to punish the responsible party for their actions or inaction. Courts also award punitive damages to deter the responsible party from future acts of negligence or malpractice, helping to prevent future injuries.
Many people mistakenly believe that only medical doctors can be pursued for medical malpractice. However, anyone who is employed to provide health care services can be held liable. This includes:
- Certified nursing assistants
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Urgent care centers
- Private practices
Speak with a Qualified Akron Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
At Slater & Zurz, our legal team consists of attorneys dedicated to fighting for the rights of injury victims and their families. We take all of our cases on a contingency basis, allowing everyone to obtain legal representation without paying any up-front fees. When we successfully recover on your behalf, we receive a portion of the total award. We also offer free, confidential consultations with no obligation. If you or your loved one cannot make it into our office, we will gladly make arrangements to travel to your home or hospital.
With more than 100 years of combined experience, our attorneys have the skills and resources to:
- Work with our established team of medical experts to determine and prove the nature and extent of your injuries
- Accurately assess your past and future damages
- Communicate and negotiate effectively with the responsible party’s insurance company and lawyers
- Aggressively represent you in court if an acceptable resolution cannot be met through pre-trial negotiations
Know that our dedicated legal team will be there every step of the way to guide you through the medical malpractice claims process and fight aggressively to protect your rights and best interests. Get started today by calling our Akron medical malpractice lawyers at 888.534.4850