Medical malpractice lawsuits are highly complex, so the short answer is that you need to start by finding an attorney that has experience. These are not cases you can figure out on your own.
Medical malpractice lawsuits involve medical professionals, including doctors and nurses, or medical institutions, including hospitals. Types of medical professionals subject to medical malpractice include general areas of medicine, including injuries to infants during labor and delivery, anesthesia errors, medication errors, surgical mistakes, and deaths from failing to monitor patients. Most often, especially in larger teaching hospitals, patients are treated by inexperienced interns and residents who don’t involve the attending physicians when issues arise.
Medical malpractice involves injuries and deaths that are caused from a breach of the standard of care that doctors, nurses, or institutions should have adhered to.
Proving that a medical professional or institution fell short of the standard of care they had a duty to uphold requires systematic proof gathering and thoughtful case preparation. Expert testimony is required to prove that a doctor or nurse deviated from the Standard of Care. Dealing with expert witnesses, conducting thorough depositions, and obtaining and analyzing medical records and documents will all be critical in these cases. You need an experienced medical malpractice attorney to help navigate through one of these complex lawsuits.
Types of Damages Available in Ohio Med-Mal Lawsuits
Ohio places caps on certain types of damages you can seek if you are injured by medical malpractice. First, you should understand what types of damages are available.
Compensatory damages have no cap under Ohio law. Compensatory damages cover economic losses. Types of losses covered include past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and lost earning capacity.
Ohio law places caps on non-economic damages. Non-economic damages include emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. These type of damages are more difficult to quantify, which is part of the reason why the law places caps on recovery for these. A single victim can receive a capped amount of $250,000 or three times economic damages, but in any event no greater than $350,000. In a case with multiple victims, noneconomic damages are capped at $500,000.
Permanent or catastrophic injuries, including serious bodily injury or death, allow for $500,000 per plaintiff or $1 million in a case with multiple victims.
Ohio Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Ohio places a time limit on how long you have to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit, which means that once the time limit passes, you will have lost your opportunity to go to court for compensation. This is called the statute of limitations.
You have one year from the time you discover the injury or should have reasonably discovered the injury to file a lawsuit. So if you think there is a problem with the medical care provided, call an attorney right away. Don’t wait to see if the injury gets better. Read more on time limits for filing medical malpractice suits in Ohio.
The timing for wrongful death lawsuits differs. If it involves medical negligence, you still only have one year from the event to bring a survival action for the pain and suffering of the decedent. A two-year statute of limitations applies to a claim for wrongful death. Bottom line, don’t wait if you have questions about the care provided .
At the Robenalt Law Firm, Mr. Robenalt, who was trained as a defense lawyer in a large firm that represented hospitals and doctors, before he started helping individuals and families, is involved in every aspect of the investigation and preparation of Medical Negligence cases.
If you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice, even if it involves a claim against the Cleveland Clinic Foundation or University Hospitals of Cleveland, contact our Ohio personal injury law firm today at (216) 223-7535 or fill out our online form for a free, confidential consultation. Attorney Tom Robenalt is an experienced, caring advocate who is here to help victims of medical malpractice obtain the compensation they deserve. We know medical malpractice cases are stressful, so rest easier knowing that you don’t pay a fee unless we win.