Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice.
Do I Help Others by Bringing a Medical Negligence Claim?
You most certainly do, and in more ways than one. First, you empower other victims, or family members of victims, who may otherwise be unsure as to whether it is right to bring a claim.
Second, you send a message to the negligent doctors and hospitals that society will not allow mistakes that result in injury or death to go unpunished. This encourages medical providers to work with the utmost care and caution when treating their patients.
How do I Choose the Right Attorney?
Choosing the right attorney is a critical element in bringing a medical malpractice claim. Unlike the attorneys at Slater & Zurz LLP, many lawyers and law firms are not equipped to deal with large-scale cases such as medical malpractice. They simply do not have the time, experts, and resources to present the best possible case on your behalf. Many attorneys and law firms also lack the reputation of Slater & Zurz LLP. We have handled tens of thousands of injury and malpractice claims and the insurance companies and defense firms know who we are and know that we will fight to obtain the best possible settlement for our clients each and every time.
Aside from zealous representation in the courtroom, we also provide the care, comfort, and counseling that you and your family need to understand the legal process during this difficult time in your life. We can promise that at the end of the day, you will be proud to have been represented by Slater & Zurz LLP.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
Generally, in the State of Ohio, you have one (1) year from the date of the alleged malpractice to file your claim. However, even if one year has passed since the date of your potential malpractice, we may still be able to bring your claim and we encourage you to contact us immediately.
What if I Can’t Afford an Attorney?
When pursuing medical malpractices claims, the attorneys at Slater & Zurz, work on a contingency basis. As our client, you are not required to make any up-front payments, also known as retainers, nor will you be required to pay us an hourly rate. Our compensation is a percentage of the gross settlement or judgment we obtain on your behalf. If you do not recover a settlement, you owe us nothing.
Can I Sue the Doctor and the Hospital?
The short answer is: maybe. Ohio recognizes the doctrine of vicarious liability, which in the medical malpractice setting means that a hospital or clinic can be held responsible for the negligent actions of its employees. Thus, a determination must be made as to whether the negligent doctor was an employee or an independent contractor. If the doctor is found to be an independent contractor, the hospital or clinic may still be liable if it can be proven that the facility was negligent by failing to evaluate the competency of its physicians.
How are Medical Malpractice Claims Evaluated?
Unfortunately, we can never undue an injury or bring back a loved one that has passed away as a result of medical negligence. However, we can fight for you to obtain monetary compensation for the medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by the malpractice.
Once a lawsuit is filed the case is given a schedule of litigation dates, ending with a jury trial. However, the goal at Slater & Zurz LLP is not only to obtain the best possible settlement for you but also to do it as efficiently as possible. Throughout your case, we will constantly negotiate with the defense counsel and even go to mediation to attempt to reach a settlement that you are proud of. Our experienced attorneys will guide you through the process and advise you as to what your best settlement may be.
If we are unable to settle your case, we will present it to the jury and fight to get you a favorable judgment in court.
How do You Prove a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Under Ohio law, medical malpractice claims must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. This is the lowest evidentiary standard and is defined as “presenting just enough evidence to make it more likely than not that the fact the claimant seeks to prove is true.” Simply speaking, this means that whichever side can produce more credible evidence to the jury should win.
In order to prove our cases, the attorneys at Slater & Zurz LLP leave no stone unturned. Aside from thoroughly reviewing the medical records ourselves, we also retain the services of medical doctors and registered nurses to serve as expert witnesses. At trial, we present a comprehensive case to the jury, complete with exhibits, visual aids, and expert testimony.
Is it Morally Wrong to Bring a Claim?
Of course not! In fact, by bringing a claim you are simply exercising your legal rights – something many individuals fail to do on a regular basis. The Ohio legislature recognizes that mistakes can be made in the medical setting, resulting in injury or death. This can be physically, mentally, emotionally, and economically taxing on the victim and his or her family. In recognition of this reality, the legislature allows victims and their families to exercise their rights by filing a medical malpractice claim against the negligent parties for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.