Can I File a Medical Malpractice Claim Against My Primary Care Physician in Cleveland? March 26, 2012.

A medical malpractice case usually begins when a patient feels that he or she did not receive the care he or she should have been given. In some cases, a doctor’s mistake may be so obvious that a layperson can clearly understand that a wrong has been committed. In other situations, the patient may just have a suspicion that something is not right. Then, after some time and research, he or she realizes the doctor’s action has made – or is making – him or her ill.

A physician’s error may cause a number of emotions, including shock, anger, and betrayal, particularly if that mistake leads to long-term, permanent injury or death.

Common Examples of Medical Malpractice

When considering whether you have a case, you have to ask yourself some key questions. The first is whether your doctor made an error. Some examples include:

  • misdiagnosis, or diagnosing a disease too late;
  • prescription error;
  • wrong site surgery (operating on the wrong body part, wrong patient, or the wrong side of the patient’s body);
  • childbirth injuries, e.g. performing C-section too late, failing to monitor mother and/or baby, etc.; and
  • failure to do proper care and follow up after surgery (leading to infection or other complications).

If you question your doctor’s judgment or actions, get a second opinion. You may also want to consult a medical malpractice lawyer, who can determine whether you have grounds to file a claim.

Note that, even if your doctor made a mistake or acted irresponsibly, you don’t have a viable case unless harm was done. That harm needs to be significant enough to cause serious pain, suffering, loss of mobility, income and/or independence. This can be shown with medical reports and financial records.

The only question left to ask is whether your doctor’s actions (or inaction) caused that harm. To proceed with a lawsuit, there has to be a reasonable likelihood that your doctor’s mistake caused you or your loved one’s illness or injury.

This is a lot to think about, especially when your head is still reeling from the physical and emotional challenges of being sick or injured due to malpractice. That’s why it’s best to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. He or she may not know immediately whether you have a case, but after reviewing your medical records and talking with you, he or she will be able to advise you.

One more thing to remember: There is a limit on the amount of time you have to file an injury claim in Ohio. Generally, this means that you have one year from the time you learn that you’ve been harmed to file your suit. This may seem like a long time, but it will pass quickly. For more information about medical malpractice claims, download or request attorney Chris Mellino’s free guide.

A doctor’s mistake can change your life forever. If you have questions about an injury, a potential claim, or Ohio’s statute of limitations, attorney Chris Mellino welcomes you to contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation.