Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider, like a doctor, nurse, or hospital, injures a patient during the course of treatment. Injured patients or family members may wonder whether they can sue a doctor or hospital for medical malpractice, and how likely they are to succeed.
Every medical provider owes a duty of care to their patient. The level of care to be provided is often expressed as the standard of care. Professional malpractice occurs when a doctor or other medical provider breaches, or falls below the standard of care. When lawyers use the word negligence it means a provider fell below the standard of care.
The standard of care is the generally accepted practices and procedures that a medical professional in a similar circumstance would follow for a patient in a similar condition. The standard of care will vary depending on a number of factors, including the patient’s age and general health.
The terms medical negligence and medical malpractice can be used interchangeably, and mean that the medical provider made a professional error or mistake.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for Medical Malpractice in Ohio?
Just like all other claims in Ohio, a medical malpractice claim is subject to a statute of limitations. This is the time limit within which you must file a lawsuit, if you choose to do so. If you do not file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations, you will be prohibited from bringing your claim.
Ohio applies a one year statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. While this time limit may sound straight-forward, a number of complicating questions can arise. For example – when did the medical malpractice occur? When did you discover that you were a victim of medical negligence? Is your claim subject to the one-year statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim, or do you have a different type of claim that might be subject to a different statute of limitations? The only way to know truly know the statute of limitations that applies to your claim is to consult with a skilled and experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorney.
At Robenalt Law, my team of Ohio medical malpractice attorneys is here to answer your questions. During your free initial consultation, we’ll listen to what happened, and tell you whether you might have a case. When it comes to possible medical malpractice, it’s always better to contact a lawyer sooner rather than later.
Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Against a Hospital or Other Healthcare Provider?
Nurses, medical technicians, and other support staff are usually employed by the hospital. If one of these individuals committed a medical mistake, you may have a claim against their employer, which in this case is the hospital.
What Can I Recover in a Lawsuit for Medical Malpractice?
A person who is injured as a result of medical malpractice may be able to recover damages. This is the compensation an injured person seeks in a medical malpractice claim. In Ohio, different types of damages may be available.
- Compensatory damages are intended to compensate a person for actual out of pocket costs associated with the malpractice. These may include medical bills, lost wages for time missed from work, the value of vacation and other days that were used because of the malpractice, and any out of pocket expenses such as paying for prescription medications, alternations to a home, transportation costs, etc.
- Non-economic damages compensate a malpractice victim for intangible things that were caused by the malpractice, such as pain and suffering.
- In some cases, you may be eligible for punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to punish the physician or other medical provider for the mistake if it was caused by reckless behavior.
Because no two cases are identical, it’s difficult to say how much money a person might recover in a lawsuit for medical malpractice. That’s why it’s important that you speak with an experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorney as quickly as possible.
Think You Were the Victim of Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice cases are notoriously complex. They are often subject to a short one-year statute of limitations. To be successful, you must understand the law that applies to your situation, overcome a number of obstacles before you can even file the case, understand the medical issues that apply to your case, and will often need to hire an expert medical witness.
If you think you might have a case for medical malpractice in Ohio, it’s important that you speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as quickly as possible.
Tom Robenalt started his litigation career representing doctors and hospitals at a large firm in Cleveland. For the past 20 years, he has used that experience to help victims and the families of those injured by negligent health care providers.