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Personal Injury Cases Are Different Than Medical Malpractice Cases

Just as the driver of a vehicle can be held responsible for not using reasonable care on the road, a hospital or doctor can be held responsible for not using reasonable care while treating a patient. This is known as Medical Malpractice.

You may know that you have the right to sue a doctor or hospital if they commit what is known as medical malpractice. You may not understand, however, precisely what that means. This article will help to explain what medical malpractice is and how medical malpractice cases are different from other personal injury cases.

Personal Injury Cases Versus Medical Malpractice Cases

It’s safe to say that everyone is careless at one time or another. If you are injured because of another person’s carelessness, you have the right to sue the person who is responsible for your injury to obtain compensation. If you are injured in a slip-and-fall or a traffic accident, for example, you would talk with an attorney who handles this type of “negligence” or “personal injury” case.

Medical malpractice is different. Although such cases also involve an injury caused by carelessness, the person responsible for your injury in a medical malpractice case is usually a doctor or a hospital. Medical malpractice is nothing more than carelessness by a doctor or hospital.

Attorneys who handle routine “negligence” cases do not necessarily handle medical malpractice cases. Because they deal with medical professionals, special laws and special legal procedures are involved in medical malpractice cases. You need to be sure that any attorney you contact with a medical malpractice case is familiar with those laws and procedures. You also need to make sure that the attorney is experienced in handling medical malpractice cases.

Distinguishing Personal Injury From Medical Malpractice

At times, you may not know what type of case you have. Is it a routine “personal injury” case – or is it one that involves medical malpractice? It isn’t always easy to tell. Consider the following actual case:

A person goes to a dentist for treatment. She follows the dental assistant into the treatment room and sits in the chair where the dentist will examine her.

The dental technician wants to take x-rays in preparation for the dentist’s examination but has difficulty lowering the x-ray machine. It is only with great effort that the technician can bring the machine down, but the force of her effort causes her to hit the patient with the machine and injure her.

You may think that this is medical malpractice. After all, the injured person was seated in a dental chair in a dentist’s office while waiting to be treated. She was injured by the dental assistant who was preparing her for dental treatment and was using dental equipment while preparing to take x-rays.

On the other hand, medical skills were not involved in this accident. Any employee of the dental practice – with or without any professional training or credentials – could have been asked to pull the machine down if such a person had been available. Medical knowledge or skill was not involved.

Our attorneys will know whether this is a malpractice case or a negligence case. They will be fully able to discuss your case with you, advise you of your legal rights, and explain what is involved if you wish to file a lawsuit.

The Malpractice Case 

An essential part of understanding your medical malpractice case involves understanding how filing a medical malpractice case may help you. Unlike certain negligence cases, where only a car or property is damaged, a medical malpractice case always involves physical injury. Consequently, your attorney will be looking to obtain the following relief for you:

This list is not all-inclusive, but it should give you some idea of the factors that enter into the amount of money you may potentially recover in your action. You need, therefore, to have an extensive conversation with your attorney as to the potential value of your case.

At the same time, you need to understand how a medical malpractice case proceeds. Most medical malpractice cases require a great deal of input from medical experts. This means two things:

You must understand that you do not pay the costs of the experts, or the other expenses involved in bringing this matter before the court. Instead, your attorney will pay all these costs while the case is ongoing. If the attorney fails to recover money for you, you will not be responsible for paying any of the costs. However, if the attorney does succeed in obtaining money for you, you will reimburse the attorney (out of the money you receive) for the costs paid in connection with your case. This also means that you need to select an attorney who can finance the cost of your case, win or lose.

Medical malpractice cases also differ from personal injury cases in other ways, like complexity. Medical malpractice cases are very complex and often turn on small medical nuances. Your attorney will need to understand both the medicine of the case and the legal implications of the case. Medical malpractice cases have different timelines and deadlines for filing and require expert witnesses.

Medical malpractice cases are complicated. You need a skilled professional who “knows the ropes” to guide you through the process and maximize your chances of obtaining a positive and fair outcome for you. Call us, and we will discuss your case with you at no cost.

Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorneys

The Eisen Law Firm’s experienced malpractice lawyers help victims in Ohio recover compensation and justice. We will carefully review your circumstances, help you understand your legal options, and work tirelessly on your behalf to see that you get the best resolution to your medical malpractice matter. To learn more about how The Eisen Law Firm can assist you, call (216) 687-0900 or contact us online today.