Medical malpractice cases are often complex, expensive, and contentious. For both those who have suffered an injury and the medical professionals accused of injuring them, the stakes can be enormous. Though these cases can be technical and require medical experts, Ohio does not grant you much time to file a lawsuit. In most situations, the statute of limitations expires one year after the injury occurs.
If you believe a medical professional’s negligence has harmed you, schedule a free consultation to see how a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer at Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you today. Our attorneys work on contingency, which means you owe us nothing until we recover an award on your behalf.
These can be difficult cases, but at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, we never back down from a fight. Call our offices today at (800) 641-8998 to learn more about how we can help you.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Ohio Revised Code §2305.113 provides an overview of medical malpractice terminology. A medical malpractice claim can result in injury from:
- A medical professional’s diagnosis, care, or treatment
- A nursing home or care facility’s diagnosis, care, or treatment
- A caregiver’s diagnosis, care, or treatment
- Skilled nursing care or personal care services in a home
- The services of a residential care facility
Medical claims may be brought against:
- Residential facilities or their employees
- Licensed practical nurses
- Registered nurses
- Advanced practice registered nurses
- Physical therapists
- Physician assistants
- Emergency medical technicians
Claims may also be brought against dentists, optometrists, and chiropractors, as well as their employees.
In Ohio, you have to show that the medical professional did something that a person in the medical field with the same standard of care would not have done. You can also show that they failed to do something someone else would have. You also have to show that their actions (or inaction) caused your injuries and losses.
Medical malpractice can include:
- Misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose an illness.
- Misreading a laboratory test result or failing to order proper tests.
- Surgical error or performing an unnecessary surgery.
- Prematurely discharging a patient or conducting inadequate follow-up care.
- Infections caused by not sterilizing an instrument before surgery or leaving an instrument inside the body.
- Medication or prescription errors.
- Injuries suffered during the birth process.
For a free legal consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer serving Cleveland, call (800) 641-8998
Statute of Limitations
In Ohio, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits is just one year, according to ORC §2305.113. Since these cases can take time to evaluate and prepare, it is a good idea to consult with a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible after discovering the injury.
There is a workaround to the statute of limitations: At any point during the one-year period, you can send by certified mail a notice to the medical professional stating that you are considering a lawsuit. The law gives you six months from when you sent that letter to file your complaint, which means the limit can be extended to one-and-a-half years if you deliver the notice on day 364.
Sometimes, the injury resulting from medical negligence may not be immediately apparent, such as in the case of a misdiagnosis. In these situations, you usually have a maximum of four years to file a claim. If your injury stems from a foreign object being left in your body, you have one year from the date you discovered it or from the time you could have reasonably been expected to discover it.
One thing to remember: Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure 10(D)2 requires that every medical malpractice claim be accompanied by an affidavit of merit from a medical expert who has reviewed your medical records and determined that the physician did not adhere to a standard of care. Under some circumstances, you can file a motion to delay filing the affidavit by up to 90 days.
Cleveland Medical Malpractice Lawyer Near Me (800) 641-8998
As detailed in Ohio Revised Code §2323.43, Ohio does not limit the amount of economic damages a person can recoup in medical malpractice cases. These economic damages—which refer to tangible losses such as past and future medical expenses, past and future lost work, and any other expenditures aside from attorneys’ fees associated with your case—are determined by the judge or jury.
Ohio caps noneconomic damages—mental anguish, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, companionship, care, assistance, attention, protection, and so on—at the greater of $250,000 or three times the amount of economic damages. In cases where the victim has suffered a “permanent and substantial physical deformity” or a “permanent physical functional injury,” that limit rises to $500,000. If they’ve suffered both, it increases to $1 million.
Ohio Revised Code § 2315.21 does allow the victim to seek punitive damages—capped at the lesser of two times the combined amount of economic and noneconomic damages or 10% of the employer or individual’s net worth up to $350,000—though winning that award requires proof of malice or egregious fraud.
Wrongful death lawsuits do not have any limits on compensatory damages, per Ohio Revised Code §2125.01.
How We Can Help
Even if it is clear that you suffered an injury as a result of a medical act or omission, a medical professional (or their insurance company) may still argue that the professional acted within a reasonable standard of care. The law does not require medical professionals to be perfect.
At Ben Crump Law, PLLC, our Cleveland medical malpractice lawyers do not shy away from tough cases, and you do not have to pay us anything until we recover damages on your behalf. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical negligence or recklessness, contact our office today at (800) 641-8998 to schedule your free consultation.