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Medical Malpractice: Why would a coroner decline jurisdiction?What does a reasonable settlement look?

Solon, OH |

My spouse died while under medical care. The medical record & the doctors' deposition indicate that they did not follow standard of care, which immediately resulted in my loved one's death. Our medical expert opines the same. The coroner declined jurisdiction without specifying a reason. Why would the coroner do this? The defendant (i.e. the hospital that employs the doctors) has approached me for settlement, but refuses to meet my request to correct the non-demographic data on the death certificate (i.e. the series of events that directly caused death, underlying disease that contributed to but did not directly cause death, & social history). Would error correction & monetary recovery in exchange for & my confidentiality (= plea bargain ) be a reasonable settlement? Why/why not?

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Attorney answers 4


Either you have an attorney, which I suspect is the case given that you have an expert, or you do not. If you do, your attorney is in the best position to evaluate the case if they are an experienced medical malpractice attorney (e.g., BLUE LINK BELOW). If you do not trust your attorney, you should discuss your concerns and, if the attorney cannot regain your trust, perhaps consider finding a new attorney.

If you do not have an attorney, you will not get a fair settlement, in my experience, period. There is a saying about representing oneself that is especially true when dealing with a wrongful death case where a hospital no doubt has sophisticated counsel. Call someone.

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Best bet is to let your lawyer pursue financial compensation, and not play games with the death certificate.


I am so sorry for your loss. Whether a medical examiner will perform an autopsy or is required to do so depends on the law in the state. Generally there is discretion involved especially if your loved one was under the care of another provider when he passed. This provider is often willing to sign the death certificate so no autopsy is performed and the family must pay for a private examination. In addition, the changes you want which I understand are probably not going to occur.


By your statement that the hospital has approached you for settlement, I take it that you are not represented by an attorney. That would be good news/bad news. The could news is that they feel that you have a viable claim and would like to minimize their potential exposure. However, the bad news is, that if they want to make a quick settlement with you unrepresented by an attorney, they are probably only willing to pay you a fraction of what the case is worth. Accordingly, you do not want to jeopardize the value of this claim by having any further discussions with them about it. You should immediately consult with a local experienced medical malpractice attorney who would be happy to pursue this case on your behalf and maximize the amount of compensation received.