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Questions from the Average Joe: Medical Malpractice III

October 9, 2020

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Q: I had back surgery a few months ago to correct an ongoing issue, but if anything, my pain has increased. Do I have a case if the surgery failed?

Injured person in hospital bed

A: As with any medical procedure, surgery carries a long list of potential risks and complications. These can include infections, unforeseen complications during surgery, and failure of the surgery to correct the issue at all. Every surgery, however, is unique and complex. Some surgeries that fail for one patient may be completely successful for another, without any clear indication why. Surgeons are, however, capable of mistakes, and a mistake during surgery can have dire consequence.

If you recently underwent a surgery and think something went wrong, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can evaluate your situation for a potential lawsuit. Though not every surgery is successful and not every unsuccessful surgery is a reason for a lawsuit, if you or a loved one underwent surgery that did not go correctly, you may have options to hold the surgeon liable. A conversation with an experienced malpractice attorney can help you determine if a lawsuit is the right next step.

Q: My son has special needs, making every day a challenge. On top of the added stress of caring for a special needs child, his ongoing care is expensive. Though he is 5 now, I’ve always worried that mistakes were made when he was born which led to his condition. Can I file a lawsuit to help pay for his care?

A: Injuries that happen at birth can have far-reaching effects for the rest of a child’s life. Routine deliveries could have any of a number of things go wrong which could jeopardize your child’s ability to live a normal, happy life. Though not all developmental delays or future diagnoses can be blamed on something that happened at birth, many future developments a child experiences can be linked to trauma they experienced at birth. If your child experienced developmental delays or was diagnosed with a mental health condition, and something went wrong during your delivery, there is a possibility that a lawsuit may be in order. Thankfully, in Ohio, the statute of limitations for injuries to a minor does not expire until their 19th birthday.

As a result, if you and your child experienced a traumatic birth experience, you have time to see how your child develops before deciding to pursue a lawsuit. That said, it is never too early to contact an attorney if something went wrong. If you believe your child may have long-term developmental delays as a result of a birth injury, an experienced birth injury attorney can make sure your case is pursued with the care and attention to detail these cases require. Birth injury litigation is complex and difficult. An experienced birth injury lawyer can help you navigate the complications of your situation and make sure you get the best possible result for you and your child.

Q:  I had surgery in 2017 that went wrong and I am still dealing with recovering. I have had additional surgeries and underwent months of physical therapy. Do I still have time to bring a medical malpractice claim?

A: in Ohio, the medical malpractice statute of limitations is only one year. That year, however, can be measured in multiple ways depending on your situation. In addition to the one year statute, there is a three year window in which you can discover an injury caused by medical malpractice and then have a year from that discovery to bring your claim. Additionally, the statute of limitation will not run if you are still “under the care” of the doctor that committed the malpractice.  If you haven’t seen the doctor since the surgery and you knew something went wrong immediately, it is likely that the statute of limitations is up.  If, however, you discovered it later or have seen the doctor since, there is still a chance that a claim could be brought. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can evaluate all the details of your claim and determine if a lawsuit may still be possible for your injury.

Get to Know

Headshot of Zachary Belcher, Intake Attorney at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy

Zachary Belcher joined Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy and ensures that every individual who contacts the firm receives outstanding service and support throughout the intake process.

Zack graduated from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2015 and has handled more than 500 injury cases for clients injured in automobile accidents. He understands the stressful and life-altering situations clients face before seeking a personal injury attorney

Contact Our Cleveland Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Healthcare providers occasionally make mistakes. Proving that those mistakes were due to negligence—or failure to act with reasonable care—can be difficult. The Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can help you determine who was at fault for your injury. We have years of experience as trial attorneys, and we will stand up to the hospital and doctors who injured you. Call us today at (216) 230 – 6352 or complete a free initial consultation form.

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