Although an injured patient may feel uncomfortable with the idea of filing a lawsuit against his or her doctor, a medical malpractice claim is the only way to pursue compensation for time lost from work, treatment, rehabilitation, and other expenses.
Unfortunately, even with all the technological advances made in medicine, doctors and their staff still make mistakes. According to Diederich Healthcare’s analysis of National Practitioner Data Bank’s statistics, medical malpractice payouts amounted to $60-80 million in Ohio in 2012.
Reasons to File a Medical Malpractice Claim
The two primary purposes for filing a lawsuit are 1) to pursue compensation for an injury, disfigurement, or disability arising from a doctor’s mistake or negligence; and 2) to hold that professional accountable in order to prevent him or her from harming other patients.
The long-term costs and consequences of a medical mistake can be astounding. For example, the lifetime cost for one individual who suffered a severe brain injury as a result of inhibited oxygen flow during birth or surgery can reach $4 million.
According to the aforementioned review, wrongful death accounts for 31 percent of medical malpractice claims, followed by catastrophic injury at 19 percent, major permanent injury at 18 percent, paralysis or a brain injury requiring lifelong care at 12 percent, minor permanent injury at 8 percent, major temporary injury at 7 percent, minor temporary injury at 3 percent, and pain and suffering at 1 percent.
The most common claims related to misdiagnosis, surgical errors, treatment, birth injuries, medication mistakes, failure to monitor a patient, and anesthesia errors.
Recovering Money for the Patient
A settlement can be used to ease various burdens, including:
- long-term medical care;
- past and current medical bills;
- lost income if you are no longer able to work;
- lost future earnings if your family’s earning power has been diminished;
- pain and suffering; and
- other incidental expenses.
Looking again at traumatic brain injuries as an example, rehabilitation costs $111,000 per patient. Medical expenses average $455,000. Programs to help TBI survivors return to work average more than $10,000.
Contact Attorney Christopher Mellino for Help with Your Claim
Attorney Chris Mellino welcomes you to contact our Cleveland office with any questions you may have. You may also visit our medical malpractice page to learn what cases we accept, or download Chris’ free, easy-to-read guide to filing a claim in Ohio.