Doctor error may have caused stroke malpractice or negligence

How Often Does Medical Malpractice Occur?


Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States.  Between 200,000 and 400,000 patients die as a result of medical errors each year.  Approximately 10 to 20 times that figure are seriously harmed but do not die from medical errors.  Less than 2% of all doctors have been responsible for half of all medical malpractice claims over the past 25 years.

How Many People Die Each Year from Stroke?

Around 700,000 people die from stroke each year in the United States. Stroke ranges from the third to fifth most common cause of death each year.

Do Strokes Only Happen to Old People?

No. Children and young people of all ages frequently suffer strokes. This can happen during while the child is in utero, during the birthing process, or in the months or years after birth.

In additional to children suffering from strokes, strokes among younger people—particularly millennials—is on the rise. For more information about pediatric stroke, click here.

Can Stroke Cause Cerebral Palsy?

Yes. Stroke is the most common cause of cerebral palsy.

How much does the average stroke cost?

According to the American Heart Association, the average cost resulting from an ischemic stroke is estimated at $140,000 per patient. This is an average for all strokes including those that cause no lasting deficits. Some strokes, including those that occur at birth, can costs millions of dollars.

For more information about life after stroke, click here.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that direct and indirect costs related to stroke in the US alone are more than $70 billion.

Are There Different Types of Stroke?

Yes. Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of stroke. The most common kind of stroke is called an ischemic stroke. An ischemic stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked. Ischemic strokes are sometimes called “dry strokes.”

The other kind of stroke is called hemorrhagic stroke. These types of stroke happen when happen a blood vessel bursts and causes bleeding in the brain.

Stroke malpractice can occur with ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.

What are the Different Claims for Stroke?

The most common lawsuits from stroke are for:

  • Missed diagnosis of stroke
  • Delayed diagnosis of stroke
  • Failure to treat stroke
  • Failure to transfer the patient to an appropriate hospital to treat stroke
  • Wrongful death from stroke

What Compensation is Available for Stroke?

The amount of compensation depends on the severity of the injuries. However, lawsuits for stroke usually seek:

  • Repayment of passed medical bills
  • Payment for future medical costs
  • Lost past and future wages
  • Modifications to the home to accommodate for walkers, wheelchairs, and other needs
  • Home care and monitoring
  • Rehabilitation to recover from stroke
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering

Who Can Be Sued for Stroke?

You can sue any hospital or medical professional who acted unreasonably. This can include a primary care doctor who should have sent a patient to a specialist, an emergency room doctor who prematurely discharged a patient, or a neurologist or other specialist who did not properly evaluate or treat a patient.

Should I Have a Stroke Lawyer Investigate My Case?

If you are asking that question, the answer is probably yes. Strokes are complicated and so is the treatment for stroke. While you may have a gut feeling that something wasn’t right, you won’t know whether you have a case until you have it investigated. If you do have your case evaluated, you should consult a lawyer who dedicates his practice to stroke.

What is a “Good” Stroke Malpractice Case?

A “good” medical malpractice case related to stroke is one where there is evidence that a hospital or doctor acted unreasonably and the injury was preventable with good medical care.

What is the Legal Definition of Medical Malpractice?

The key to a medical malpractice claim is that the doctor or other healthcare provider breached the standard of care.  This means that the medical professional did something that was unreasonable under the circumstances.  Put another way, the medical profession did something that other doctors would not have done or did not do something that other doctors would have done.  In order for there to be a medical malpractice claim, the medical professional’s unreasonable act must have caused an injury.

Is There A Difference Between Malpractice and Negligence?

No.  If a non-professional acts unreasonably it is called negligence.  When a professional like a doctor is negligent, it is called malpractice.  In essence, they are the same thing.

Does A Bad Outcome Automatically Mean That There Has Been Malpractice?

No.  There are certain risks that are inherent to medical procedures.  Under some conditions, a physician can be reasonable in his medical care and the patient can go on to experience a bad outcome. There are occasions where strokes are not preventable even with good medical care.

 Is there a Time Limit for Filing A Lawsuit For Stroke Malpractice?

Yes. Every state has a limitation on the time period when you can bring a medical malpractice claim.  For example, in Ohio a patient has one year to bring a medical malpractice claim.  In Minnesota, on the other hand, you may have four years to bring a claim.

However, there are numerous exceptions including ones based on when an injury may have been discovered or when a patient last treated with a physician.  To determine the exact time limitation for a specific case, it is important to speak with a stroke malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

How Often Do Medical Errors Occur?

1 out of every 3 patients will experience a medical error during their hospital stay.

When Can Medical Negligence Happen?

Medical negligence can happen at any stage of the medical care.  Medical malpractice can occur before during the diagnosis, during treatment or surgery, or after an illness is treated or a procedure is performed.

 Are Some Types of Stroke Malpractice More Common Than Others?

Yes.  Although stroke malpractice can occur in almost any way imaginable, the most common kinds of medical malpractice for stroke occur when there is a diagnostic error (meaning some stroke was misdiagnosed or there was a delay in diagnosing the stroke).

Who Pays for A Stroke Medical Malpractice Case?

The best medical malpractice lawyers usually take cases on a contingency fee agreement.  The fee is commonly 40% in the industry.  The lawyer or law firm agrees to advance all expenses in the case.  The expenses usually consist of medical record retrieval fees, hiring experts to evaluate the medical records and testify, and costs of travel, lodging, and depositions.  These fees commonly exceed $100,000 on any given case.

How Can A Patient or A Lawyer Say That A Doctor Committed Malpractice?

Lawyers consult with medical experts who review the medical records of the patient and sometimes meet with the patient in person to determine whether the doctor acted appropriately.  These medical experts usually practice in the same field or a similar field as the doctor.

Will the Defendant Also Have Experts?

Yes. Both sides in a medical malpractice case will hire medical experts to determine whether the care was appropriate.  These experts commonly disagree on material issues about the case.

Who Decides If A Doctor Committed Malpractice for Stroke?

Ultimately, a jury or a judge decides whether a doctor committed malpractice and whether the malpractice caused an injury to the patient.  If there is a bench trial, then the judge makes the decision (from the bench).  If there is a jury trial, then the jury makes the decision after completing deliberations.  The judge or jury will hear testimony from the patient (if alive and capable of testifying), the defendant doctor, various witnesses who know something about the case, and expert witnesses.

Can A Patient Be Negligent?

Yes.  Under certain circumstances a patient may be considered negligent if he or she failed to follow a doctor’s recommendations when a reasonable patient would have.  In order to be considered negligent, the patient’s own actions must have caused the injury.

What If A Patient And A Doctor Are Both Negligent?

The final outcome depends on the state where the lawsuit is brought.

  • Contributory Fault

In a true contributory fault state, if the patient is negligent at all, the patient cannot recover.

  • True Comparative Fault

In a true comparative fault state, if both the patient and doctor are negligent, then the percentage of the patient’s negligence is subtracted by the total result. For example, if the jury awards $100,000 and the patient is 90% at fault, the patient is entitled to $10,000.

  • Modified Comparative Fault 50%

In a modified comparative fault 50% state, the patient’s degree of fault is reduced from the total verdict, but it cannot exceed 50%.  For example, if the verdict is $100,000 and the patient is 50% at fault, then the patient receives $50,000.  However, if the patient was considered to be more at fault (i.e., 51%), then the patient cannot recover.

  • Modified Comparative Fault 51%

In a modified comparative fault 51% percent state, the patient must be less than the defendant’s fault in order to be successful.  Thus, the defendant must be at least 51% at fault.  For example, if a jury awards $100,000 and the patient is 49% at fault, then the plaintiff receives $51,000.  If, however, both the patient and the doctor are 50% at fault, the patient gets nothing.

Who Has The Burden of Proof At Trial?

The injured patient must prove that the defendant doctor did something wrong, caused an injury to the patient, and caused physical, emotional, or financial harm.

If the doctor claims that the patient did something wrong, such as did not follow post-operative instructions or did not take medications as prescribed, the doctor has burden of proving that.

What is the Burden of Proof in a Medical Malpractice Trial Related to Stroke?

The burden of proof is called a preponderance of the evidence.  This means that something is ever so slightly more likely to be true than false.

How Long Does a Stroke Medical Malpractice Trial Last?

A medical malpractice trial can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks depending on how complex the case is, how significant the injuries are, and how many witnesses are needed to testify.

How Long Will My Stroke Malpractice Claim Take?

Stroke malpractice cases can take months to years depending on the complexity of the case.  Although the lawyers are involved in the case on a daily basis, the patients are only specifically required to be directly involved on a few occasions, which include meetings with the lawyer and law firm staff, depositions, and court hearings.  A good lawyer and law firm, however, will keep the client continually notified on the progress of the file.

Can Stroke Medical Malpractice Cases Be Appealed?

Yes.  Following a medical malpractice trial, either party can appeal.  The appeal has to be based on an error committed by the judge and not simply about the result. If the parties appeal, then the limited issue being appealed is decided by an appellate court (which is usually a panel of judges who were not present for the case).

What Happens After a Trial for Stroke Medical Malpractice?

Either party can choose to appeal a result of not.  If the injured patient was successful at trial, then the defendant can (1) pay the amount of the verdict, (2) agree to settle the case for less than the amount of the verdict, or (3) file an appeal.

How Often Do Stroke Medical Malpractice Cases Settle Without A Trial?

The statistics show that between 20-25% of medical malpractice cases settle without a trial.  Less than 5% of cases go to trial.  The remaining cases are resolved—usually through a dismissal—without any payment being made.

What Can Patients Do to Lessen the Likelihood That They Will Experience Medical Malpractice?

Patients should be proactive about their healthcare, which includes learning about their medical conditions and researching how those conditions are best treated.  It is also helpful do document any symptoms as well as anything that happened before or after those symptoms emerged.  Patients should ask healthcare providers questions they feel are important, including bringing a written list of questions to the doctor.

It is also helpful—but sometimes not practical—to bring a family member or close friend with you to doctor’s visits.

Despite all efforts to be proactive, however, there are instances when medical malpractice are unavoidable for the patient, including errors that occur during surgery, in diagnostic failures, and medication errors.

Do Medical Malpractice Cases Increase the Cost of Healthcare?

No.  Medical malpractice cases do not increase the cost of healthcare in any meaningful way.  Only about .3 percent of healthcare spending in America is spent on medical malpractice, while the yearly cost of treating medical errors that could have been prevented is around $29 billion.  Medical malpractice premiums and payouts cost less than ½ of 1% when it comes to overall healthcare costs.

Do Legitimate Malpractice Cases for Stroke Go Unexplored?

Legitimate malpractice cases go unexplored for multiple reasons.  Patients may choose not to pursue a medical malpractice case because they do not know where to turn for help, they do not that there is a strict limitation period to pursue a claim, they fear that the doctor or healthcare system will learn of the claim and refuse to treat them, they believe that it will result in an increase of medical costs to them, or they do not believe that they have the financial ability to pursue a case.

What Should I Do If I Believe I Have Been the Victim of Medical Malpractice Related to Stroke?

If you believe that you or a family member has been injured because of a medical error, the best thing to do is contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.  It is impossible to know whether you have a case until the medical records have been reviewed and experts have been consulted.  There are often delays in retrieving medical records and the more time that the passes, the more difficult it may be to successfully prove your case.

How do I Hire You to be My Stroke Malpractice Lawyer?

If you would like us to begin investigating your case, there are a number of ways to begin. You can always call us at 216-777-8856. You can also enter your information into the contact information form at the bottom of the screen. You can also enter your information into the chat box that appears on the screen. If you prefer to text, you can click the text us box from your mobile device.

As you can imagine, lawyers who concentrate on stroke are in high demand. We are contacted by potential clients, other attorneys, and even doctors from across the country asking us to help with their cases. We would love to take every case, but we simply cannot.

We can only take those medical malpractice cases that have strong merit. These are cases where a doctor or hospital error clearly caused a stroke or made the stroke much worse.

Once we have investigated your case, we will candidly tell you the results of our investigation and why we may or may not be the best lawyer for your stroke medical malpractice case.

If for whatever reason we do not take your case, and we think there is some merit to the case, we’ll try and help you find the best stroke medical malpractice lawyer for your case.

If you would like more information about us, you can always us visit us at Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers.

Michael Hill

Michael Hill

Trial Lawyer at Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers
Michael Hill is an accomplished trial lawyer focusing on representing individuals who have suffered life changing injuries due to stroke. While Michael resides in Cleveland, Ohio, he handles stroke medical malpractice cases throughout the United States.

Michael Hill has recorded several seven figure verdicts and settlements.Michael is a regular speaker for lawyers concerning litigation and trial practice.Michael is a member of The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 under 40, Top 10 Nursing Homes Lawyers, Top 25 Medical Malpractice Lawyers, Super Lawyers: Rising Star, and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Michael Hill is a founder of Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers.
Michael Hill