What is an Affidavit of Merit?
Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorney explains the importance of an Affidavit of Merit in hospital negligence lawsuits
The process in medical malpractice cases involve several steps. Each filed medical Medical Negligence case requires that an expert medical witness produce an “affidavit of merit.” This statement must establish that the doctor reviewed the records, is familiar with the way things should be handled in such medical environments, and finally, is in agreement with the plaintiff that the defendant is at fault.
Malpractice cases are unique in that victims and attorneys cannot pursue a case in an Ohio court without initially getting an expert physician to sign an Affidavit of Merit against the physician that’s suspected of committing medical malpractice. It’s a prerequisite to moving forward in the case. Without the Affidavit of Merit the case will likely be dismissed. Part of the investigative process is to identify the most qualified expert to review the medical records to provide that initial opinion on the standard of care. Once that opinion is obtained, and assuming the expert concludes that malpractice was committed, the case can move forward.
The next steps may be to locate all the medical records in the case. But not all the facts or circumstances that are surrounding the care are in the medical records. Oftentimes, the medical record is written with the physician’s point of view in mind. It is also important to interview nurses or any family members or friends who were also involved with the care that may be able to shed some light on the case.
It takes courage to challenge a health care provider following instances of hospital negligence, and The Lyon Firm can help you find the answers to the many questions that have gone unanswered. Together we can make a difference in your life and the lives of others by making medicine safer in Ohio. For a no-cost consultation, call Joe Lyon at (800) 513-2403.