That’s averaging about four wrong-patient surgeries a year, just for Colorado, which has less than half the population of Ohio as of 2012. Don’t think this can’t happen to you.
Patient mix-ups might be the result of:
- Miscommunication among the medical and/or surgical team;
- Switching patients’ medical records; or
- Failure to follow proper surgical protocols, and more.
If you’re going in for surgery, verify your name and the procedure with the surgical team and bring an advocate on your behalf. Fortunately, there are legal options for those who fall victim to recover damages.
Legal Options for Patients Who Underwent a Wrong Surgery
In Cleveland, Ohio, medical malpractice – if it causes any sort of harm – can warrant a lawsuit. As many patients have built a relationship with their treating physicians, it may feel awkward to file a lawsuit against him or her. In this case, there are different types of legal dispute resolutions with which you should be familiar.
- Mediation – A trained mediator will attempt to facilitate a settlement between the plaintiff (the patient) and the defendant (the doctor). The mediator does not issue any final decisions, but rather tries to help the parties come to an agreement themselves.
- Arbitration – An arbitrator – or co-arbitrators selected by each party – will hear both sides of the case and then issue a final decision, which may or may not be binding depending on the arbitration agreement. Some patient-doctor or patient-hospital contractors require malpractice cases be settled via binding arbitration.
- Litigation – This is a courtroom hearing with which most are familiar. The parties may first go through mediation or non-binding arbitration before ending up in the courtroom. A judge or jury will listen to both sides of the case and issue a decision regarding liability and the amount of damages the plaintiff may recover.
What is required to file a medical malpractice lawsuit?
The following are required in order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit:
- Testimony of an expert is required to claim that medical negligence has occurred on part of the said doctor or medical practitioner.
- Consultation with an attorney is beneficial before filing a lawsuit. A good attorney can help you decide whether any claim you are making warrants filing a lawsuit. The complexity in medical malpractice is reserved for very severe damages only and usually minor injuries are not grounds to file a medical lawsuit. You also must have suffered damages in order to file a claim.
Ryan, LLP can help patients in Cleveland file a claim. Call today at 877-864-9495 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.
About the author of this article: Thomas Ryan