If you suspect that you were a victim of medical malpractice, you must act quickly to protect your rights. Start by contacting an experienced medical malpractice attorney to begin investigating a potential case.
Ohio’s One Year Statute of Limitations for Med Mal Claims
The statute of limitations is a critical aspect of any personal injury case, and medical malpractice claims are no exception. The statute of limitations is a law that sets the amount of time you have in which to file a lawsuit in court. The statute of limitations will vary from state to state, and will even be different within the same state based on the type of claim you are filing.
Medical negligence claims are some of the most complex and vigorously contested lawsuits that can be filed. Even if you are not sure if you have a case, we at Robenalt Law would much rather that you reach out to us early and learn that you do not have a case, than to learn that you have a case you cannot pursue because you contacted us too late.
In Ohio, the statute of limitations for a med mal claim is one year from the date the negligence occurred. This is the shortest statute of limitations in Ohio, and one of the shortest statute of limitations in the country. Claims that involve injuries to minor children do not expire until the child’s 19th birthday.
Ohio courts have determined that the one-year time period begins on the date you discovered or reasonably should have discovered the injury, or when your relationship with the medical provider ends, whichever is later.
However, there are exceptions to this rule, and determining when the statute of limitations begins and ends is not always clear. In addition, the one-year time period can be extended by sending a formal notice to the potential defendants, or if the victim was under 18 years of age at the time the negligence occurred.
The statute of limitations can also be longer than one year if you could not have reasonably discovered the injury, or in cases in which a surgical instrument or other foreign object was left in your body during a medical procedure.
Ohio’s Affidavit of Merit Requirement
In addition to an already short statute of limitations, there are other considerations to bringing a claim for medical malpractice. Chief among these are the complexity of med mal cases and the requirement that a victim of medical malpractice include an Affidavit of Merit with the Complaint.
Ohio law requires that the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case include an Affidavit of Merit with the Complaint. The Affidavit of Merit must be completed by a physician who practices in the same specialty as the defendant. That physician must state, under oath and to a reasonable degree of medical probability and certainty, that:
- They have reviewed all the medical records reasonably available to them
- That they are familiar with the applicable standard of care, and
- In their professional opinion, the defendant breached the standard of care, resulting in injury to the plaintiff
To have the best chance of successfully bringing a med mal claim, you need to contact an attorney early enough so he can request and obtain your medical records and have them reviewed by an expert with enough time to file the Complaint.
Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice
Tragically, many cases of medical negligence result in the death of the patient. When the victim dies because of someone else’s negligence, the family of the deceased can file a claim for wrongful death.
Unlike claims for medical malpractice, which are generally subject to a one-year statute of limitations, claims for wrongful death are subject to a two-year statute of limitations.
However, even though claims for medical malpractice and wrongful death often overlap, there are different elements to each claim and different remedies available.
To preserve your rights, it is best to file a claim for medical negligence and wrongful death within the shorter one-year statute of limitations that applies to the medical malpractice claim.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney As Soon as Possible
Medical negligence claims are some of the most complex and vigorously contested lawsuits that can be filed. These cases are made even more difficult by the short one-year statute of limitations and other ‘tort reform’ measures that were intended to reduce so-called lawsuit abuse.
If you or someone you love was a victim of medical malpractice, you will need to identify the potential defendants, contact an attorney, request and obtain the relevant medical records, and have them reviewed by an expert, all before you can even file your Complaint.
Because of the incredible complexity of investigating, filing, and successfully litigating a claim for medical malpractice, you should not attempt to bring a case for medical malpractice alone. The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Robenalt Law stand ready to assist you in seeking justice.
Robenalt Law Fights for Victims of Medical Malpractice
Robenalt Law handles medical malpractice claims on a contingency fee, which means you won’t pay us unless we recover money for you. During your initial consultation, we will discuss your case and whether you have a viable claim. Then we will request your medical records and begin our investigation.
Based on decades of experience, we have found that it is best if you reach out to us earlier rather than later. The earlier you contact an attorney, the more time we have to evaluate your case, identify an appropriate expert, and prepare your case.
Even if you are not sure if you have a case, we would much rather that you reach out to us early and learn that you do not have a case, than to learn that you have a case you cannot pursue because you contacted us too late.
When you work with Robenalt Law, we will:
- Analyze the circumstance to determine when the statute of limitations expires
- Ensure that all filing deadlines are met
- Work with appropriate experts to meet Ohio’s Affidavit of Merit requirement
- Hire an expert to review your records and determine that the defendant did not meet the standard of care
- Fight for your right to full and fair compensation
We invite you to learn more about how we help victims of medical malpractice and their families, to read testimonials from other people we’ve helped. Our lawyers are available to meet with you to answer your questions. Contact us or call (216) 223-7535 to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how Robenalt Law can help.
Tom Robenalt started his litigation career representing doctors and hospitals at a large firm in Cleveland. For the past 25 years, he has used that experience to help victims and the families of those injured by negligent health care providers.