Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States and are costing Americans nearly $1 trillion per year in additional medical costs, productivity losses, and shortened life spans. Medical malpractice also causes severe emotional trauma on the injured patient and their family due to the severity of the injuries and breach of trust.
Medical malpractice is the area of law that provides legal recourse and compensation or individuals injured by preventable medical errors. Joe Lyon is a highly rated and compassionate Cincinnati medical malpractice lawyer who represents individuals and families in medical malpractice cases throughout Ohio and Kentucky to obtain compensation for the economic and human damages caused by preventable medical errors.
Attorney Joe Lyon Answers Common Medical Malpractice Questions
“A part of my law practice includes representing individuals and family members that have been victims of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice cases can be some of the hardest, most emotional cases for family members, because they go to the heart of the physician-patient relationship. Often times in these cases, the results of the medical care are incredibly catastrophic and damaging.Fortunately, we do have a wonderful system in this country, with our civil justice system, that allows families to question the medical care and to understand what happened, with respect to either themselves or a family member. What I hear more often than not, when I’m called about a medical malpractice case, is that no one is providing the answers to the family in terms of what happened. Oftentimes, the doctors and nurses are incredibly attentive during the course of the case, once they recognize that a mistake may have been made, the lines of communication end and the family is left with no means of understanding why such a tragic consequence occurred.
What I try to communicate to all of my clients from the beginning is that, while I can’t guarantee a particular result in the case, I can guarantee that we’ll get you more answers than you had when you walked through my door.
The process for understanding what happened in a particular medical malpractice case involves several steps. First we have to get all the medical records in the case. That is the beginning of understanding the story. It’s not the end, and as you would suspect, not all the facts or circumstances that are surrounding the care are in the medical records, oftentimes the medical record is written with the physicians point of view in mind. It’s also important to interview any family members or friends who were also involved with the care that may be able to shed some light on the case.
Medical malpractice cases are unique in that you are not allowed to pursue that case in an Ohio court without initially getting an expert physician to sign what’s called an Affidavit of Merit against the physician that’s suspected of committing the medical malpractice. It’s an absolute prerequisite to moving forward in the case. Without the Affidavit of Merit the case will likely be dismissed. So, part of the investigative process is that my law firm, typically it’s a responsibility that I take myself, is to identify the most qualified and best expert to review the medical records in the case from a prospective point of view, and to give us that initial opinion on the standard of care. Once that opinion is obtained, and assuming that the doctors says that malpractice was committed, we can then move forward and file the case.”
It takes courage to challenge a health care provider, and The Lyon Firm is can help you find the answers to the many questions that have gone unanswered. Together we can make a difference in your life and the lives of others by making medicine safer. For a no cost consultation, call Joe Lyon at (800) 513-2403.
Medical Malpractice: Failure to Diagnose Bowel Obstruction: Wrongful Death: (Cincinnati, Ohio). Confidential settlement arising from the death of a 58 year old mother of two and loving spouse of 35 years. The emergency room physician failed to recognize the common symptoms associated with bowel obstruction and prescribed a contraindicated medicine of GoLytley. The patient died at home the day of discharge after taking the medication.
Medical malpractice attorneys prosecute many different types of medical mistakes. Examples of the most common medical errors include:
The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 made it a requirement that conditions be identified that (a) are costly and occur at high rate, (b) are assigned as cases to the Diagnosis-Related Group, and (c) could have ultimately been prevented with appropriate care. These hospital-acquired conditions occur as negligence on the part of hospital staff and often result in a multitude of medical malpractice lawsuits. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have recognized 11 hospital-acquired conditions that meet the three requirements for identification:
Many hospitals and physicians are taking proactive approaches to resolve viable medical malpractice claims by approaching patients who do not have legal counsel. The “family meeting” presentation will include deterring patients from seeking legal counsel. This is a very concerning development in the course of medical liability and risk management.
We strongly advise patients not to engage in “family meeting” settlement negotiations without an experienced Cincinnati medical malpractice attorney. The hospitals and physicians have lawyers who are specialized in medical malpractice claims advising them on how to approach the case, and it is only fair that the patient is afforded the same benefit of qualified counsel. The “family meeting” practice of settling hospital negligence cases without an attorney does not benefit the patient in most cases, but almost always benefits the negligent hospital.
Do not be deterred by a hospital representative implying that the case will be compromised if you seek counsel. While attorney fees will need to be paid, those costs should not be a deterrent. The Lyon Firm adopts a lower contingency fee structure and offers hourly rates for cases that can be resolved without litigation.
If the parties wish to resolve the matter, having qualified counsel on both sides is beneficial to the process. The goal should be a settlement where both parties are satisfied, not a case where the hospital pays substantially less than the fair value of the claim. There are numerous issues that need to be considered before settling a medical malpractice case, and you should know what the fair value of the claim is before accepting a settlement. The hospital knows the fair value having been involved in other cases. You as the patient should work with counsel who has successfully worked on other cases and can advise on the appropriate risk of future litigation and settlement value.
If a hospital is approaching you or a family member, about a settlement without a lawyer, please call (800) 513. 2403 for a free consultation.
A recently published study titled, A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care, estimated that 210,000 hospital patients die each year from medical mistakes that could have been prevented. This places medical malpractice as the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. Further, the Office of The Inspector General estimated 180,000 deaths per year due to medical mistakes. And a Study from Journal of Patient Safety estimated that the number of preventable deaths is between 210,000 and 440,000.
Incredibly, the Wrong Site Surgery Project Study found that national incidence of wrong site surgeries, which includes wrong patient, wrong procedure, wrong site and wrong side surgeries, may be as high as 40 per week.
These studies corroborate the 1999, Institute of Medicine (IOM), investigative report that concluded that as many as 98,000 people die a year due to medical malpractice and medical errors, where The IOM referred to medical malpractice as an “epidemic”. The IOM defined “Medical Errors” as “the failure of a planned action to be completed as intended or the use of the wrong plan to achieve the aim.”
No. Medical malpractice lawsuits improve the quality of healthcare by holding physicians and hospitals responsible when they fall below the medical standard of care. Moreover, medical malpractice lawsuits provide an avenue of financial relief for those whose lives have been damaged through no fault of their own. If there is no compensation paid by wrongful actors, the cost of the injury is passed to the taxpayer.
By enforcing the standard of care through a lawsuit, the medical system is improved for future patients, as the wrongful actors often adopt safer procedures to prevent future medical errors and patient injuries. Without medical malpractice laws, medical mistakes would go without consequence, patients would be uncompensated for the preventable injuries, and medical providers would have less incentive to improve the medical system to prevent future injuries.
Despite the reports discussed above, frivolous claims brought by medical malpractice attorneys and runaway juries have been blamed as causing a medical crisis. There is no medical malpractice crisis. It was created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and large insurance companies to pollute the American jury pool and change the law in a manner that is favorable to them and adverse to the average American. And sadly, it has worked. Many states, including Ohio, ignored the objective findings of the IOM and implemented tort reform designed to limit the work Cincinnati medical malpractice attorneys can pursue and prosecute on behalf of patients. Currently, 9/10 juries side with the physician over the patient at trial. As a result, insurance companies are bolder than ever and refuse at times to settle even the most meritorious of cases knowing that the chances of the patient finding a fair and impartial jury is extremely low, especially in more conservative parties of the country such as Hamilton County, Ohio.
Joe Lyon is a highly rated and experienced Cincinnati Medical Malpractice Lawyer who has represented numerous individuals in serious Malpractice lawsuits. For a free, no cost consultation, please call 800.513.2403.