Medical Negligence FAQs
Answered by Our Columbus Medical Negligence Attorneys
Medical professionals are entrusted with the well-being of their patients, and they have a duty to see that no undue harm befalls those under their care. When the negligent actions of a doctor, nurse, or other medical worker cause an injury, they can be held liable for the resulting damages.
If you or a loved one has experienced an injury due to medical negligence, it can be difficult to know what steps you should take, who should be held accountable, or where to turn for help. At Rourke & Blumenthal, we know that each situation will be unique, and if your questions are not covered in this FAQ, do not hesitate to contact our Columbus attorneys and tell us about your claim.
What Constitutes a Medical Negligence Claim?
Like other personal injury claims, medical negligence cases are based on proving negligence. Victims will need to show that their injuries occurred as a direct result of the negligent actions of a medical provider. In order for a claim to be successful, a legitimate medical relationship must exist between the accused and the patient, and the negligent action must lead to specific damages. Examples of medical negligence can include incorrect prescriptions for medication or a failure to inform a doctor of a critical change in a patient’s condition.
Who Can Be Held Liable for My Injuries?
Generally, any medical professional, including doctors, nurses, and hospital staff, can be liable for injuries caused by their negligent actions. The parties responsible for injuries in a negligence claim will depend on the nature of your treatment and who you received medical care from. In certain cases, the hospital itself can be liable. For example, if a hospital loses medical records or does not perform due diligence in their training or hiring, it may be accountable for injuries.
What If My Doctor Did Not Explain the Risk Involved with a Treatment?
A doctor must educate patients as to the nature of a recommended treatment. This lays the foundation for informed consent. All procedures contain an element of risk, and a patient must be informed about the potential benefits and consequences of a treatment in order to make an informed decision. For example, if a medication leads to a heart attack, and the doctor did not explain that this was a potential side effect, they may be liable for damages.
If I Signed a Consent Form, Can I still Claim Damages?
Yes. Simply because a signed consent form exists and may be valid, doctors and hospital staff are not excused from acting negligently. Although it may be more difficult to claim monetary compensation in these cases, if the doctor performed additional actions that were not previously outlined, you may still have a medical negligence case.
What Damages Can I Recover?
There are two types of damages a victim can seek to recover in a medical negligence case: Economic and non-economic. Economic damages generally include compensation for measurable financial expenses including hospitalization bills, future medical treatment, lost income from missed work, and reduced earning capacity. Non-economic damages are harder to quantify and include restitution for damages such as pain and suffering, decreased quality of life, and depression. While the state of Ohio places certain caps on non-economic damages, there may not be a limit to possible awards for economic damages.
How Long Is the Medical Negligence Claims Process?
Despite this being among the questions most frequently asked, there is no one answer. Medical negligence claims can be tremendously complex, and every case will have unique circumstances. While settlements out of court can be relatively quick, when litigation becomes necessary and claims go to court, the process can be longer. With so much on the line, it often makes sense to spare no expense in a patient’s case, and each factor can contribute to the overall length of the claims process.
What Can I Do to Support My Claim?
Gather evidence. It cannot be overstated that every piece of data you collect has the potential to help your case. From the earliest available moment, keep detailed records of your injuries and interactions with medical staff and insurance companies. Take pictures and videos of injuries, and keep copies of your medical bills. Certain injuries may not present symptoms for days or weeks after a doctor’s visit, and it is important to keep accurate records of all changes in your situation. If you are unsure of which steps might be important, a knowledgeable medical negligence attorney in Columbus can consult with you to maximize the chances of a successful outcome.
What Should I Do If I Am Unsure If I Have a Claim?
If you suspect that you or a loved one has been the victim of medical practice, our firm can help you to determine if you have a claim. Our Columbus medical negligence attorneys possess more than 150 years of combined experience and have recovered more than $300 million in compensation for our past clients. At Rourke & Blumenthal, we are highly knowledgeable of the regulations and laws associated with medical negligence cases, and we can fight to help you claim every penny that you deserve.
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Wonderful firm! We have worked with other attorneys in the past and Mike and Tim blew us away. If you have a brain injury in the State of Ohio, you NEED attorneys who are experienced in TBI cases, not just motor vehicle accidents or other personal injury matters. It makes a huge difference having an attorney who understands the medical, emotional, and financial issues a family suffers after a TBI. They are professional, compassionate, and great communicators. I would recommend this office to anyone.- Suzanne
Attorney Jon Stoudt is the best lawyer I've ever worked with. He did everything he could to help me. From the start, Jon was very responsive and always explained everything in terms I could easily understand. Jon's staff was also kind and responsive. I highly recommend Jon and would use him again in the future. Several months after being done with my case, another lawyer, handling a different part of the case, commented on how well Jon handled my civil suit.- Jillian
From the very beginning and to the very end of a long process, Mr. Rourke and his team were extremely compassionate, knowledgeable and friendly. I found them to be honest and easy to communicate with, day or night, weekday or weekend. Mr. Rourke was always professional but at the same time made you feel important and took as much time that was needed to explain the many steps in this process. Everyone of his team were very respectful and caring of everyone in my family involved in our case. I will have an admiration for Mr. Rourke and his team for the remainder of my life.- Kelly
Jonathan Stoudt gave us excellent counsel during our time with him.- Cathy
Mr Timothy Mahler represented me after a personal injury auto accident. He was professional, knowledgeable, empathetic and experienced. I always felt that he had my best interests as the top priority. I was relieved from the intricate and time-consuming tasks related to the accident, free to focus on healing and recovery. He managed the complicated insurance and settlement to the best outcome. His team always treated me with respect. I would highly recommend Mr Mahler and his team. Thank you.- Cathy B.
I suffered physical injuries and a concussion from an auto accident in December of 2020. The team, from receptionist to attorneys, were nothing less than stellar, professional, kind, and hard working. The accident and aftermath were extremely stressful; but the Rourkes, Michael Senior and Michael Junior, helped me navigate the process while I focused on healing. For me, recovery from the accident was the most important part of the process. While I worked on recovering, Rourke and Blumenthal worked on negotiating a fantastic settlement for me. I will forever be grateful for their help!- Maggie S.
Attys. Mike Rourke, Sr. and Mike Rourke, Jr., helped us understand and settle all the legalities after my husband was hit be a car while riding his bicycle. Their extensive knowledge with injury cases, and their professionalism were ever-present, along with their empathy and understanding of what people experience after injuries that change lives. These attorneys always do what they promise, and in a timely and concise manner.. We would recommend Rourke & Blumenthal for anyone who needs legal services related to an accident or injury.- Stefanie M.
Our family is so grateful to have Rob Miller represent my daughter’s personal injury case. He is extremely knowledgeable about Ohio Law and was very patient with my numerous questions. Rob was always genuinely concerned about my daughter’s recovery and well being first. He is professional, knowledgeable, understanding, patient and we are so pleased with the outcome of the settlement. I would highly recommend Rob Miller to anyone looking for a top personal injury attorney.- Kathy