Medical Malpractice Lawyer Dayton, OH

stethoscope and gavel over words that say "malpractice"Medical Malpractice Lawyer Dayton, OH

A medical malpractice lawyer in Dayton, OH from Cowan & Hingleman knows that if you were treated for an injury or illness, then you reasonably anticipate healing. But for some patients, this isn’t always the case. Unfortunately, doctors and medical staff are still people and may commit a serious accident that leads to patient harm or death. If you suspect that you or someone you love was the victim of medical malpractice at the hands of a doctor, nurse, medical facility, or other related parties, then contact our law office now for further advice. 

Examples of reasons why a patient and/or their family may pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit are listed below:

Mistakes During Surgery

Many issues can arise during a procedure or surgery. All it takes is a tool to not be sterilized, a doctor who is too tired to notice a crucial detail, or another oversight to be committed for a patient to suffer greatly. The wrong surgery or a procedure that went awry necessitates speaking with a lawyer to find out if you have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.  This is why in order to avoid this, it takes more than just having knowledge in the medical field.  Instead, aspects pertaining to the individual’s medical history, history of smoking or heart problems and more, should also be looked at as well.  For example; let’s say that someone with heart problems needed open-heart surgery.  This type of surgery would be even riskier to the individual, than if the same operation was done, to someone who did not have a major history of heart problems.  These are some of the factors that need to be assessed in a setting, to avoid medical malpractice.  Moreover, another strong example of medical malpractice would involve those who suffer from anesthetic awareness.  This is when a patient is paralyzed during surgery, but they can still feel pain, due to the anesthetics not being strong enough, for the full effects to take place. This is not only an example of medical malpractice, but it is also a strong example, as to why when using anesthetic, the applied amount should be assessed, in relation to factors, such as the severity of the surgery, how long the surgery will last, and more. 

Neglect from Low Staffing

Many hospitals are currently understaffed. This is a growing problem that is impacting every area of the world. But, it is worth noting that this doesn’t mean a patient should suffer the consequences of understaffing. It is the responsibility of the hospital to hire qualified staff, and enough of them, so that their patients don’t go neglected.  Sometimes if there is low staffing, neglect can happen, because the small amount of staff can get overworked, and when this happens, they may end up misreading stuff, they may fail to address things in as an efficient manner as they should, and more. 

Lack of Informed Consent

You may have signed a form prior to a procedure or surgery stating that you are aware of the risks involved and are choosing to move forward with it. It is the duty of the doctor to clearly and thoroughly explain what will happen during the surgery. Your doctor should ensure that you fully understand the risks, and then provide answers to any inquiries you have. If the surgery is underway, and the doctor failed to speak with you properly, it is considered a lack of informed consent.

New Symptoms Develop

Determining whether new symptoms were caused because of medical malpractice can be difficult, but not impossible. Each new symptom after a treatment or procedure should be noted and brought up with the treating doctor. Depending on the situation, your lawyer may advise getting another doctor to correct and continue your care, as a way to prevent further mistakes from the prior physician.

Initial Steps to Take Following Medical Malpractice 

There are some crucial steps you should take following negligent and or mistreatment from your health care provider.

  • Switch medical providers immediately: Not only can this prevent any future negligence from your doctor, but it can help you avoid consequences if your doctor finds out you’re thinking of filing a medical malpractice claim. They may try to alter your medical records such as minimizing certain elements. 
  • Obtain a copy of your medical records: Doing so can help you expedite the process and prevent any future tampering or alterations. 
  • Record as much information as you can: Along with your medical records, record any vital information pertaining to your case. You can keep a journal handy that can help you recall any procedures, information given to you by your doctor/other staff, and your current condition. 
  • Continue seeking medical attention: Although you might be traumatized following the incident, understand that medical malpractice cases are very rare. Additionally, you should never neglect any medical treatments. For peace of mind, try to get a referral from a trusted source. Also, while you shouldn’t openly talk about the case with your new doctor, you can record any information given to you by your medical provider that may help your case. 
  • Consult with an experienced attorney: Lastly, having an attorney by your side is recommended. You will want to do so sooner than later as the statute of limitations in Ohio for malpractice is a year. 

Dayton, OH Medical Malpractice Infographic

Initial Steps to Take Following Medical Malpractice

Stages in a Medical Malpractice Case 

After meeting with an experienced attorney, medical malpractice cases follow five stages:


During this stage, your lawyer will pour over all the available evidence and obtain more if necessary. The information they will investigate the most includes hospital, doctor, and nurses’ records. They will also contact one or more medical experts to review the documents as well, looking for any negligence or foul-play. After the expert writes a letter in support of the case, the lawyer will file a case and a tribunal will be held. 


A tribunal will consist of an attorney, a judge, and a physician. All parties will listen to the arguments presented and determine if there’s enough of a reasonable cause for the case to proceed further. 


During this stage, both parties representing the defendant and plaintiff will have the opportunity to obtain any relevant information from each other. This may include medical records, testimonies, and other documents. The injured party may also be questioned by the doctor’s attorney under oath while the doctor themselves will be questioned by the plaintiff’s attorney. 


Due to the time and money associated with a trial, both parties generally prefer to settle out of court. Additionally, a trial can have unexpected outcomes. However, if the settlement isn’t reasonable for the injured party then the case will proceed to court. 


If the case reaches court then both parties will argue their case and present their evidence. If the jury sides in favor of the plaintiff then the plaintiff will receive a court award, i.e. money for damages. Moreover, questions asked during the trial, will pertain to when the malpractice happened, the surgery that the trauma was based around and more, factors such as these help to refine the case, since not only is not every case black and white, but everyone deals with the trauma of anesthetic awareness in different ways. 

Even if you aren’t sure whether medical malpractice has happened to you or a loved one, it’s worth speaking with a lawyer. Contact a medical malpractice lawyer in Dayton, Ohio from Cowan & Hilgeman today to learn more. 

Good Reasons to Hire a Medical Malpractice Case

Medical malpractice is a very complex type of personal injury case. That is why it is not a good idea to handle your medical malpractice claim on your own. Here are a few benefits of hiring a medical malpractice lawyer in Dayton, OH to take your case.

  • Medical malpractice cases are complicated. As mentioned above, medical malpractice cases involve many complexities. For one thing, it is more difficult to prove negligence in a medical malpractice case. You must establish that the standard of care the medical professional took was not appropriate and it caused you harm. 
  • A medical malpractice lawyer knows what constitutes malpractice. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer will know about the four elements of a successful medical malpractice case. He or she will prove that a doctor/patient relationship existed, you received substandard care, the substandard care caused you harm and you suffered damage.
  • Accelerate the process. If you have suffered an injury due to a medical professional’s negligence, you want to focus on your recovery and get on with your life as soon as possible. If you work with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer, you can do that. He or she realizes that your time is important to you and will work hard to get your case resolved as quickly as possible.
  • Handle the paperwork. Like any other legal matter, medical malpractice involves a lot of paperwork. These documents may contain complex legal jargon that you do not understand. This can be incredibly stressful, especially when you are trying to recover from an injury. This is another good reason to hire a skilled medical malpractice lawyer. He or she will handle the paperwork and make sure that it is submitted on time.
  • Have resources. A reputable medical malpractice lawyer will also have valuable resources that can strengthen your case. For instance, your lawyer may know medical experts who can back up your claim.
  • Argue your case in court. Medical malpractice cases are more likely to go to trial than other personal injury cases. That is why it pays to have a skilled medical malpractice lawyer on your side. He or she will know how to successfully present your case in front of a judge or jury, increasing your chances of receiving fair compensation.

When to Contact a Medical Malpractice 

Unfortunately, medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in America. If you or a family member has endured injury or death from medical malpractice that could mean you have been living your life without closure. Hiring a medical malpractice lawyer in Dayton, OH can help you achieve that closure. They will be able to discover what happened and provide you and your family with the closure it rightly deserves. Before consulting with a lawyer here are some considerations:

  • Some lawsuits do not result in any payment towards the patient or family. Having a strong case is crucial to result in payment.
  • Do not interrogate the doctors and staff. Do not accuse anyone of malpractice before speaking to a lawyer.
  • Always keep every piece of documentation. This will greatly improve and solidify your case.

There are many instances in which you should seek out a medical malpractice lawyer such as:

  • Mistreatment that leads to death. If you are aware that doctors are mistreating a patient, call a medical malpractice lawyer in Dayton, OH immediately. This mistreatment could include many instances like providing the wrong medicine, neglecting the patient, or making a mistake during surgery.
  • Lack of communication. If for any reason the staff stops communicating openly with you there could be a reason why they are doing so. It could be because of patient-doctor confidentiality. However, if a person consented for their information to be shared with you there is no reason for the staff to not communicate openly with you.
  • Surgery complications. Surgical mistakes can be common and if you suspect that one occurred then contact a lawyer immediately. 
  • Neglect is caused by low staffing. In nursing homes, low staffing could become a significant factor as to why a patient hasn’t received the care they deserve. If there are indications that you or your loved one has been neglected due to low staffing, you should contact a lawyer. 
  • Misdiagnosis. A misdiagnosis can result in debilitating and harmful effects. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis can occur 10 to 20 times more often than drug errors. If you believe you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed then seek help from a lawyer.

What Are Signs Medical Malpractice Has Happened To Me?

There are many signs that medical malpractice may have happened to you or a family member, such as an incorrect diagnosis, not being diagnosed at all, not being informed about treatment, being given the wrong medication, surgical error, incorrect treatment, birth injury, medical product defect, delayed diagnosis, care neglect, improper use of anesthesia, dentistry mistake, failing to prevent an infection, and so much more. If you need to know if your situation constitutes medical malpractice, then we urge you to contact a lawyer now.

Why Is The Doctor Or Medical Facility Not Being Cooperative?

For most people, they want to put their trust and faith into doctors who treat them. After all, that’s a normal hope as medical professionals are supposed to provide a certain level of care. When they deter from this expectation, patients may suffer greatly. And sadly, a doctor or medical facility may go to great lengths to avoid paying that victim fairly for how much they have endured due to the mistake. If you find that your doctor or the hospital you were being treated at has suddenly fallen silent or become uncooperative, then that’s suspicious. If that is the case for you, we urge you to call us.

How Will I Know How Much My Case Is Worth?

We wish there was one answer for this, but that just isn’t the case. Each medical malpractice incident will vary from another’s since the people involved and the influencing factors are all different. How one person suffered compared to another, even if the medical error was the same, will be unique. It is advised that victims of medical malpractice recruit a legal team to do a case evaluation and calculate a potential monetary award for their situation specifically. 

Who Can Serve As Witnesses For My Case?

For a medical malpractice, there are a few key witnesses that can help your case. Firstly, was there anyone present with you when the mistake happened, perhaps a loved one, your spouse, or a close friend? Do you have someone in your life who has seen the way you were affected by the medical mistake? Witnesses can be people who know you or aren’t personally close to you at all. For instance, your lawyer may suggest having a medical professional/expert serve as witness to discuss how they would have provided you proper care and not committed the same mistake as your treating doctor.

Who May Be Liable For Medical Malpractice?

A common misconception about cases for medical malpractice is that responsibility falls onto doctors only. Virtually any type of licensed medical professional can commit a serious error or oversight that they are then held liable for. Examples of medical professionals who are not doctors but may still be included in a medical malpractice claim include nurses, hospital staff, assistants, dentists, anesthesiologists, surgeons, and more. It is possible that more than just one of these medical professionals may have contributed to what happened. Your lawyer can investigate further and find out all the parties that you should list in your lawsuit.

What Scenarios Does Medical Malpractice Happen Most?

Medical malpractice can happen in many scenarios, all of which a medical professional has committed a mistake or used improper judgment. Scenarios where medical malpractice happen include but are not limited to surgical errors, emergency room negligence, birth injuries, gynecological malpractice, medical errors, failure to diagnose cancer, brain injuries, failing to obtain necessary patient information, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, and more. If you are not sure whether what happened to you constitutes medical malpractice, we can assess the situation and provide further guidance.

How Many Damages Am I Eligible To Receive?

A victim of medical malpractice may be entitled to different types of damages, such as compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages may entail current and future medical costs, expenses for medical equipment, lost wages, extreme emotional duress, loss of enjoyment for life, loss of consortium, loss of future earning potential, home care expenses, and more. Punitive damages are awarded in more rare cases but it does happen, and may be used if the medical professional had acted with particularly reckless or intentional harmful behavior. Such damages are awarded as a way to punish the professional for their negligence, and may be inflicted by the court if they feel it is necessary.

Is There a Statute of Limitations For Medical Malpractice?

There is a statute of limitations for every type of personal injury case and will vary depending on where you live. For this reason, many victims meet with the lawyer to learn more about what the laws are for their state and how this impacts their case. Your lawyer can be transparent about what the laws say and how this can change your case for the better or worse. Either way, your lawyer should be working hard to get your claim going quickly and with a strong foundation so that you did not miss the statute of limitations for medical malpractice. It will also be important that you act right away, because the longer that you wait, the less time you have to build a case.

As I mentioned earlier, you will need a strong case to prove that there was neglect. A lawyer will understand the details and specifics that are needed to build a strong case for you and your family during this difficult time. You don’t want to hesitate any longer if you have experienced any of the above situations. Reach out to a lawyer today.

Call Cowan & Hilgeman to schedule an appointment with a medical malpractice lawyer in Dayton, Ohio. 

Dayton Medical Malpractice Lawyer Statistics

According to information released by the National Library of Medicine, death due to medical errors is the third leading cause of death behind cancer and heart disease; most medical errors can be broken down into categories of misdiagnosis, faulty processes, and communication errors. These errors can obviously lead to injury and in serious cases, death. It can be difficult to come to terms with any idea that you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, but oftentimes the best course of action is to seek out professional help from a medical malpractice lawyer. They understand medical malpractice laws. If given the opportunity to listen to your specific situation they could be able to navigate the best course of action for you and your family whether you are dealing with injuries or the loss of a loved one.

Dayton Medical Malpractice Laws

If you have experienced medical malpractice, contact a Dayton, OH medical malpractice lawyer today at Cowan & Hilgeman to learn what your legal rights are. Medical malpractice laws in Ohio like in many other states in the United States, aim to strike a balance between protecting patients’ rights and ensuring healthcare providers can continue to offer their services without fear of excessive litigation.

Statute Of Limitations

In Ohio, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is typically one year from the date of the alleged malpractice or one year from the date the patient discovers or reasonably should have discovered the injury. However, there’s a maximum limit of four years from the date of the alleged malpractice, even if the injury wasn’t immediately apparent. This means that plaintiffs have a limited timeframe to file their claims, emphasizing the importance of prompt action.

Damage Cap

Ohio has enacted legislation that places a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. In 2021, the cap was $250,000 or three times the economic damages, whichever is greater, up to a maximum of $350,000 per plaintiff and a total cap of $500,000 for multiple plaintiffs. This cap is designed to limit the amount of compensation patients can receive for non-tangible losses, such as pain and suffering.

Expert Witness Requirement

Ohio law requires plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases to provide a sworn affidavit from a qualified medical expert. This affidavit must state that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the defendant’s healthcare provider deviated from the accepted standard of care and that this deviation caused the plaintiff’s injuries. This requirement helps ensure that cases with merit move forward, discouraging frivolous lawsuits.

Joint And Several Liability

Ohio employs a system of “modified joint and several liability” in medical malpractice cases. This means that if multiple parties are found liable for a patient’s injuries, each defendant is responsible for their percentage of fault. However, in cases where a defendant is found more than 50% at fault, they may be held jointly and severally liable for the full amount of the damages. This rule aims to ensure that plaintiffs receive full compensation, even if one party is unable to pay.

Pre-Suit Screening

Before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit with a Dayton medical malpractice lawyer in Ohio, plaintiffs must generally submit their case to a pre-suit screening panel. This panel consists of three healthcare professionals who review the case and provide a non-binding opinion on whether malpractice occurred. While their opinion is not determinative, it can influence the parties’ decisions regarding settlement or litigation.

Affidavit Of Merit

Alongside the expert witness affidavit, Ohio requires plaintiffs to submit an “affidavit of merit” signed by the attorney. This affidavit confirms that the attorney has consulted with a qualified medical expert who believes there is a legitimate basis for the lawsuit. This additional requirement is intended to further deter frivolous claims.

Apology Laws

 Ohio has an “apology law” that prevents certain statements of apology or sympathy made by healthcare providers from being used as evidence against them in a medical malpractice case. This law encourages open communication between healthcare providers and patients without fear of legal consequences.

No-Fault Insurance

Ohio does not operate under a no-fault system for medical malpractice cases. Plaintiffs must prove that the healthcare provider’s negligence directly caused their injuries.

Insurance Requirements

Healthcare providers in Ohio are generally required to maintain liability insurance coverage to ensure that there are financial resources available to compensate patients in the event of malpractice.

Medical malpractice laws can change over time through legislative updates or court decisions. Therefore, individuals involved in or considering medical malpractice cases in Ohio should consult with a legal professional such as a Dayton medical malpractice lawyer today at Cowan & Hilgeman who is well-versed in the most current laws and regulations.

Cowan & Hilgeman Dayton Medical Malpractice Lawyer

12 W Monument Ave STE 100, Dayton, OH 45402

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