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What Is Medical Malpractice ?

You and the Law in Ohio

By Murray D. Bilfield,
Attorney at Law

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Individuals who seek medical treatment expect to receive competent medical advice and care. More often than not, that is exactly what happens. However, in some cases, medical treatment does not succeed, or worse, causes significant harm to the patient. When medical care falls below acceptable “medical standards”, medical malpractice, also called medical negligence, has occurred.

Some examples of medical malpractice are:

  • Misdiagnosis of, or failure to diagnose, a disease or medical condition;
  • Failure to provide appropriate treatment for a medical condition;
  • Unreasonable delay in treating a diagnosed medical condition.

Medical malpractice can occur in a doctor’s office, a medical clinic, a hospital emergency room or while receiving hospital based treatment such as surgery, anesthesia, radiology such as x-ray, CT scan, MRI or cancer radiation, nursing care or even an unattended fall by a patient in a hospital. Substandard nursing care such as a failure to monitor an elderly patient in a hospital bed who falls out of bed is also considered medical negligence under Ohio law.

Please keep in mind that all claims for medical malpractice have a specific time limitation. The time limitation varies from state to state. A medical malpractice case against an Ohio doctor or employees of an Ohio hospital may have a time limitation as short as one year from the last date of treatment. If you, or a member of your family, believe that you have a claim for medical malpractice, please consult an attorney immediately to determine the time limitation for your claim.

Please note that this column contains general legal information and is not intended to provide solutions to specific cases. Every case is different and requires individual review by an attorney of your own choosing, licensed in your state.

Editor’s Note: Murray D. Bilfield is the managing partner of the Cleveland, Ohio law firm of Bilfield & Associates, LLC. Co., L.P.A. Specific questions may be directed to him at 1-800-ABOGADO.

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