Ohio Damage Caps Reducing the Number of Medical Malpractice Claims at the Expense of Injured Victims

Monetary limits, called damage caps, have been placed on medical malpractice claims preventing injured victims from receiving the compensation they need and deserve.

Medical malpractice laws have been in place for hundreds of years to protect injured victims from negligent healthcare professionals. Those injured as the result of medical malpractice suffer life-long consequences, so why shouldn’t negligent doctors be held responsible for their actions? In recent years, more and more victims of medical mistakes are not receiving fair compensation or any compensation at all.

There has been a noticeable decline in medical malpractice claims in the last few decades. Since the mid 1990’s, medical malpractice claims have dropped by 57%. The obvious conclusion is that claims have decreased because healthcare has improved, but the hard truth is that claims have decreased because lawmakers are doing everything they can to make these claims useless to those who need them the most.

31 states, including Ohio, limit the amount of money juries can award victims of medical negligence. These limits specifically apply to non-economic damages.

Non-economic damages compensate victims for the intangible losses one experiences, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Inconvenience
  • Changes in lifestyle
  • Physical impairment
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium
  • Quality of life
  • Inability to enjoy things as they once had

Non-economic damages provide compensation for the irreplaceable and are often more important to the victims of medical malpractice than strictly monetary losses.

However, because they represent ideas that are so precious to our society, juries were awarding victims high monetary values for non-economic damages, and doctors, and the powerful groups who represent them, rallied to limit these awards.

With these damage caps in place, fewer and fewer people are filing medical malpractice claims because they aren’t able to get the compensation they need. This is essentially shielding doctors from liability. If something isn’t done to change the law, doctors will continue to be protected while vulnerable patients are not.

If you or someone you love was the victim of medical malpractice, you have to call me at 1 (877) 944-4373.

I have the knowledge and resources to fight for you, and get you the compensation you need despite the obstacles that have been placed in your way. As your Medical Malpractice lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

Delay, Deny & Diminish: 3 Ways Insurance Companies Stop You From Getting the Compensation You Deserve

The insurance industry wants you to believe they have your best interests at heart. With advertisements making promises such as: “in good hands” and “like a good neighbor” or “on your side,” why wouldn’t you have faith in them?  However, the reality is that insurance companies are businesses, and as we all know, businesses are all about profit.

An insurance claims adjuster has one job, and that is to save their company money. Insurance companies train their agents with this goal in mind.

Three tactics insurance companies use in car accident claims to accomplish their money-making goals:

Delay

Insurance companies will attempt to delay your claim in hopes that you will eventually give up. Delay also affects the value of the evidence that remains after the passage of time. Witnesses will forget what they saw, medical records may become confused, receipts will go missing, injuries will subside, and your case won’t be nearly as strong as it would have been without the delay.

Deny

Insurance companies will also try to deny fault at the initiation of a claim. It is up to the injured party to prove the defendant’s negligence. The hope is that the initial denial of the claim will deter people from following through with their lawsuit. By getting plaintiffs to doubt the strength of their claim, insurance companies prevent many victims from pursuing a claim at all.

Diminish

Insurance companies will do everything they can to decrease the value of a claim. They will find and point to every flaw of a case, in an attempt to limit recovery, even when recovery is warranted.

It is because of these tactics that it is important to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to defend you after your car accident. While insurance claims adjusters are trained to save their company money, attorneys are trained to protect the injured victim.

If you or someone you love was injured in an accident, you need to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373. We can meet at any time or place that is convenient for you to discuss your case. I have the experience and resources to fight for your rights against insurance companies.

 As your personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

What is Attorney-Client Privilege and how does it help your personal injury lawsuit?

Attorney-client privilege – we’ve all heard this term before. It has been the premise of movies; Jokes are developed around it and some would say criminals rely on, and lawyers hide behind it.

But, do you know what attorney-client privilege really is and/or what it means?

Attorney-client privilege is a legal concept that protects certain communications between a client and his or her attorney, and keeps those communications confidential.

The idea behind attorney-client privilege is that in order for someone to receive adequate representation from their attorney, they need to be able to trust that attorney. Building trust between two individuals requires a level of familiarity you can only get when you feel completely comfortable with someone.

However, attorney-client privilege isn’t automatic. Communications between an attorney and his or her client aren’t confidential unless:

  1. The person is an actual client of the attorney or the person was attempting to become a client when he or she disclosed information.
  2. Attorney is a member, in good standing, of his or her state’s bar.
  3. Only the attorney and the client are present during the conversation.
  4. Communication has to do with a legal issue.
  5. Attorney must be acting in a legal capacity.

Even if all of those factors exist, there are still some exceptions to the attorney-client privilege:

  1. The client may waive his or her right to attorney-client privilege, as it was created to protect the client, thus it belongs to the client.
  2. If the conversation could have been or was overheard in a public place.
  3. If the information discussed was in contemplation of an upcoming crime.

To advise a client properly, an attorney must have a complete knowledge of the facts, including any “bad” or “damaging” facts. Only then can he or she fully defend against the other side. Therefore, attorney-client privilege is a very important part of the legal system.

If you or someone you love suffered a personal injury and must retain an attorney, you need to be remember that your lawyer is on your side. Be honest with him, so he can give you the best advice possible. Call me for a FREE consultation anytime at 1 (877) 944-4373.

As your personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Work Accidents: Falling is the Leading Cause of Death

According to the United States Department of Labor Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), “Falls are the leading cause of worker fatalities.” In fact, 100,000 or more workers are hurt and approximately 200 are killed each year from falls. Because of this shocking statistic, OSHA has developed specific safety standards for the construction industry in an attempt to prevent these types of accidents.

The danger of falling is a constant concern for men and women working on construction sites. While a number of safety precautions are taken, many of them are not specific to fall prevention.

OSHA requires fall safety precautions on job sites where the danger of falling is especially apparent:

  • Walking and working surfaces
  • Hoisting areas
  • Unprotected edges and sides
  • Runways
  • Ramps
  • Roofing

Contractors will try to avoid the enforcement of OSHA fall protection precautions because of the added time and expense. Therefore, workers have to learn to protect themselves by engaging in individual safety precautions.

While some injuries are minor, falls can result in severe internal injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and permanent paralysis or even death.

Suffering from these types of injuries changes the course of your life and the lives of your family members forever. If you or someone you love suffered a serious fall at work, you have to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373. I will help you navigate Ohio’s complicated workers’ compensation system, make sure you understand your rights, and get you the financial assistance you need after a serious work injury.

As your Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?

As a personal injury lawyer, I receive calls from potential clients every day.  I have found that one of the biggest concerns for filing a lawsuit is the possibility of having to go to trial. While it is true that trial is always a possibility, the reality is that 95% of all personal injury cases will settle before trial – you may wonder why?

The truth is that a good attorney doesn’t have to go to trial to determine how a case is going to resolve

Before filing a lawsuit, I spend months and months hashing out all of the facts of the case; interviewing witnesses, consulting experts, and developing every scenario I can think of so that when I present the case to the other side, they have no choice but to respond with a generous offer for my clients. In other words, I make them pay.

Trial is time-consuming and emotionally draining

My clients come to me because they’ve suffered a terrible tragedy, and the last thing they need to do is rehash that tragedy in front of a room full of strangers.

Another consequence of the tragedy they’ve suffered is decreased cash flow due to medical bills, lost wages, or the death of the family’s primary provider.  My clients don’t have the means to support themselves through the years it may take to complete the litigation process.

Trial is an essential part of every personal injury case, even if it never happens. Preparing for trial should be a factor in every decision that is made during the early stages of a lawsuit.  If this is done, you will have a much stronger case when it’s time to negotiate with the other side. That is why you need an attorney who not only has trial experience, but is willing to go to trial.

If you or someone you love was injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, don’t let the possibility of trial prevent you getting the compensation you need and deserve.

Call me at 1 (877) 944-4373, and we can discuss your case. I will help you understand the legal process. As your personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

What is a Never Event?

The term “never event,” was coined in 2001 and is used to describe particularly shocking medical mistakes

These mistakes, just as they are described, should NEVER happen. They are mistakes that are so reckless and dangerous that even the smallest likelihood of their possibility is unacceptable. It is estimated that “never events” occur as many as 4,000 times per year.

Health care professionals have an obligation to patients with a certain standard of care.  Deviating from this standard of care is considered negligence. ‘Never events” are so far outside of the standard of acceptable care that health care professionals understand the need to eliminate them entirely.

“Never events” fall into at least one of the following categories:

1. Surgical Events

  • Wrong-site surgery
  • Surgery performed on the wrong patient
  • Wrong surgery performed
  • Objects left inside patient after surgery

2. Product or Device Events

  • The use of contaminated drugs or devices
  • Misuse of a device on a patient

3. Patient Protection Events

  • Discharge of a patient to an unauthorized person
  • Patient disappearance
  • Patient self-harm, including suicide and attempted suicide while under care

4. Care Management Events

  • Medication errors
  • Unsafe administration of blood
  • Death of mother in low-risk pregnancy
  • Death of the newborn in a low-risk pregnancy
  • Use of wrong sperm or egg in artificial insemination
  • Patient falls while under care
  • Serious bed sores in patient while under care
  • Irreparable loss of biological specimen
  • Failure to follow-up or communicate test results of any kind

 5. Environmental Events

  • Electric shocks while under care
  • Malfunction or contamination of oxygen lines
  • Burn injuries while under care
  • Injury from use of restraints or derails while under care

6. Radiologic Events

  • Metallic objects in the MRI area

7. Criminal Events 

  • Impersonation of a physician or healthcare professional
  • Kidnapping of a patient
  • Sexual abuse of a patient
  • Physical assault

It is important to note that these “never events” are not automatically considered medical malpractice just because they are so reprehensible.

In order to pursue a claim for malpractice, the patient has to suffer some injury or damages as the result of a “never event.” In recent years, it has been found that 59% of those who were the victim of a “never event” suffered temporary injury, while 33% suffered permanent injury, and tragically, 7% of those who experienced a “never event” died.

A better understanding of “never events” will help you to recognize red flags, so you can protect yourself and those you love from becoming a victim. However, if you or someone you know suffered a “never event” as the result of someone else’s mistake, you have to call me now at 1 (877) 944-4373.

I will meet with you at a time a place that is convenient for you to discuss your injury. I will help you understand your rights. As your Medical Malpractice lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

Medical Mistakes to Blame for Infant Brain Injury

Brain injury is one of the leading causes of death and disability in infants, and unfortunately, medical errors are often be to blame.

The two most common causes of infant brain injury occur during pregnancy and birth:

  • Oxygen Deprivation – Caused by long labor, failure to order necessary c-section, umbilical cord problems, mother’s blood pressure, difficult birth, constricted airways, placenta issues.
  • Improper Delivery Methods – Improper placement and use of birthing tools such as forceps and vacuums; as well as protracted delivery, excessive twisting of the baby by the physician, and delivery performed too quickly.

Unfortunately, infant brain injury may not be immediately apparent. In fact, symptoms may not show up for years following the injury.

However, some symptoms of infant brain injury may appear right away and include:

  • Seizures
  • Eyes will not focus
  • Stiff neck
  • Abnormally large forehead
  • Distorted facial features
  • Excessive crying
  • Excessively fussiness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Feeding problems

Symptoms of infant brain injury that will develop later may take different forms, including:

1.  Cognitive – Difficulty with attention, memory, impulse control, and communication.

2.  Physical – Difficulty sleeping, tremors, extreme fatigue,  paralysis, missing developmental milestones such as crawling, walking, sitting up, and eating alone.

3.  Perceptual – Changes in vision, hearing, and spacial disorientation.

The prognosis for infants who suffered a brain injury depends on the severity of the original brain damage. Some infants will be able to recovery fully, while other will have a lifetime of problems; including learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, and epilepsy. All of which may require years of occupational and physical therapy.

An infant brain injury can change the course of your life and the life of your baby forever. You shouldn’t have to face it alone. Call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373, and I will meet with you to discuss your situation.  Schedule a FREE consultation to discuss your injury and whether it could have been prevented.

As your Ohio birth injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For more than 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Low APGAR Score Caused by Medical Malpractice

Since 1952, delivery room doctors have been performing the APGAR test on newborn babies. The APGAR test, which is an acronym for appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, and respiration, is used to evaluate the health of infants.

The doctor evaluates infants with each of the five criteria on a scale of 0-2, and then adds the scores together to produce the total APGAR number. A total score of 1 – 3 is considered low, while 4 – 6 is considered normal, and a score of 7 is above average.

The Apgar score is simply a quick means of seeing if a baby requires immediate medical care, but it should not be used to make long-term predictions about the overall health of the infant. 

The Apgar score is given twice: once one minute after birth, and again five minutes after birth. If the infant exhibits a low score, the test will continue to be repeated. A baby who consistently scores low after 10 – 30 minutes is at greater risk of suffering long-term neurological damage.

The following conditions are known to cause a low APGAR score:

  • Amniotic fluid embolism
  • Placental abruption
  • Untreated maternal infections
  • Uterine rupture
  • Head trauma during delivery
  • Cardio respiratory collapse in mother
  • Excessive vaginal bleeding
  • Macrosomia

A low APGAR score is a red flag. You should begin asking a lot of questions about your baby’s care, including whether the low APGAR score was caused by a medical mistake.

You deserve to know if your baby’s injury could have been prevented. I know this can be an intimidating process, but remember, you don’t have to go through it alone. Call me at 1 (877) 944-4373. I will help you get the answers you deserve about your baby’s care. As your Ohio birth injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For more than 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

Contingency Fee Structure in Personal Injury Lawsuits

As a personal injury lawyer, I receive calls every day from people who have suffered terrible tragedies. They need my help right away, and very often, they can’t afford to pay me anything.

Attempting to ease their financial concerns, I tell them I take every case on a contingency basis, and immediately, they ask, “What does that mean?” This happens to be one of my most frequently asked questions and I thought it was an important topic to explain.

A contingency fee is a payment to an attorney for legal services that depends, or is contingent upon some recovery or award in the case. If a case is successful, payment is a percentage of the amount recovered. If the case is not successful, the lawyer gets nothing.

It is true there are many pros and cons to this type of fee structure. Sometimes cases settle quickly, and your lawyer may collect a large sum of money for not doing as much work as you may expect.

However, sometimes your lawyer spends hours upon hours working on your case only to end up unsuccessful at the end, receiving no payment whatsoever, as well as being out the cost of pursuing the action.

So, why should you accept your attorney’s contingency fee structure? Does it benefit you? The answer is yes, and here’s why:

  • You can be confident your attorney is working hard to settle your case for as much as he possibility can because his payment is contingent on that settlement.
  • For an attorney to risk the time he puts into your case, you know he truly believes in your case.
  • You won’t have to worry about hourly billing,
  • You don’t have to come up with any money upfront, including the costs associated with pursuing a case.
  • You don’t have to wonder if your attorney is over-billing you for the work you do.
  • You have the resources of your lawyer on your side.

Personal injury lawsuits can be very time-consuming and expensive to pursue. However, under a contingency fee structure that won’t matter to you because your lawyer will shoulder all of the financial burden, no matter what.

If you are considering working with an attorney on a contingency basis, the following topics should be discussed:

  • Make your lawyer explain the fee determination – who gets what and when
  • The percentage the attorney will get at  the time of settlement
  • Types of expenses that will be deducted from your settlement
  • The percentage the attorney will get in the event of a trial

If you or someone you love was injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, I can meet with you at any time or place that is convenient for you. Call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373 for a free, no-risk consultation, and I will help you understand your rights.

As your personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

Texting Accidents: New Jersey Court Extends Liability to the Sender of the Text

Ever since text messaging became a mainstay in today’s society, texting and driving has been a hot topic of conversation. We’ve all heard stories about people sued for causing accidents while texting and driving, but who else should be held accountable for the accident?

A question most haven’t considered is whether the sender of a text message, that directly causes an accident, should be held liable for sending the message.

A New Jersey court recently ruled that “a person sending text messages has a duty not to text someone who is driving, if the texter knows, or has special reason to know, the recipient will view the text while driving.”

These facts came before the court as the result of a 2009 accident involving a teenager who was texting her friend. While texting, the young woman crashed into a couple on a motorcycle, resulting in serious injury to the couple. Subsequently, the couple not only sued the driver, but also the friend who was texting the driver. The couple presented evidence that the driver and her friend texted each other 62 times each leading up to the accident.

Liability of the third party texter comes down to whether the third party knowingly distracted the driver thus causing the accident.

For example, if the driver texts someone letting he or she know they are driving, then the court considers that person to be on notice, and therefore, potentially liable for the damage.

In creating this new form of liability, the court hopes to put a stop to all texting and driving, as it has become increasingly dangerous in recent years. In fact, statistics show that each year more than 1.3 million accidents involve the use of a cell phone.

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident as the result of someone texting and driving, you need to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373.

I will do everything in my power to fight for you and get you the compensation you deserve. As your Cleveland Ohio accident lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.