Medical Malpractice FAQs

Q: What is medical malpractice?

A: Medical malpractice is an instance of medical negligence or incompetence on the part of a doctor, nurse or other health care professional. To determine whether malpractice occurred, a court examines all the relevant evidence and decides whether a patient's treatment was below the standard of care met by other Ohio medical professionals with similar training and experience.

Q: Does an ineffective surgery constitute malpractice?

A: It depends. Unsatisfactory results are not the same as medical malpractice. Most good Ohio physicians explain the risks and various potential outcomes of surgery. Sometimes the results aren't as good as the patient and doctor had hoped for, but if the physician didn't deviate from the standard of care and didn't break Ohio's informed consent law, then the disappointing outcome isn't classified as medical malpractice.

Q: What is informed consent?

A: Informed consent is a patient's knowing choice about a medical treatment or procedure, made after a physician or other health care provider discloses whatever information a reasonably prudent provider in the Ohio medical community would give to a patient regarding the risks involved in the proposed treatment or procedure. To learn more, visit our page on understanding informed consent [FUTURE LINK].

Q: Is a physician immune from liability if the patient signs a consent form?

A: No. A consent form does not excuse a doctor from liability for harming a patient through an act of negligence.

Q: What types of evidence are crucial in medical malpractice lawsuits?

A: The success of a malpractice lawsuit often rests upon the testimony of expert witnesses, usually other doctors. The testifying physicians describe how they've formed their opinions based upon the available medical evidence. A big part of a medical malpractice attorney's job is preparing expert witnesses for trial.