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What Does Ohio Consider Medical Malpractice?

Medical Malpractice

If you are thinking of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Ohio, it is important first to understand what the state considers medical malpractice to be, what you can be compensated for, and what you can expect when seeking damages in a medical malpractice case.

Here, we will detail Ohio’s definition of medical malpractice, go over some of the state’s key medical malpractice legislation, and explain how a medical malpractice lawyer can help you pursue financial compensation for your injuries.

Should you want to learn more about Ohio medical malpractice or are ready to take action against those responsible for your injuries, Slater & Zurz is here to help. As a leading medical malpractice law firm, we can not only answer any questions you might have about medical malpractice but offer our knowledge, resources, and dedication to assist in your pursuit of justice. Contact our Ohio medical malpractice lawyers at (888) 534-4850 to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.

What is Medical Malpractice?

According to the state of Ohio, medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other health care professional or provider injures a patient after failing to meet the adequate standard of care. According to a recent Johns Hopkins study, medical error is now the third leading cause of death in the United States, with a large percentage of these deaths attributed to medical negligence or malpractice.

Ohio medical malpractice laws make it possible for harmed or injured patients to recover compensation for the losses that resulted from the negligent actions of the health care professional or provider.

Examples of Ohio Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice cases can arise from a wide range of circumstances. Some of the more commonly seen forms of medical malpractice include but are not limited to the following:

  • Surgical errors
  • Procedural errors
  • Unnecessary surgery or procedure
  • Prescribing or administering the wrong medication
  • Prescribing or administering the incorrect dosage of medication
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Misdiagnosis of conditions, such as cancer
  • Failure to treat or delayed treatment
  • Failure to prevent or treat an infection
  • Incorrect treatment of a medical condition
  • Anesthesia errors
  • The development of bedsores
  • Birth injuries
  • The use of defective medical equipment
  • The improper use of medical equipment

Who Can Be Liable for Medical Malpractice?

Ohio medical malpractice claims seek to secure compensation from a wide range of liable parties, including:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses and certified nursing assistants (CNAs)
  • Hospitals
  • Urgent care facilities
  • Emergency medical technicians (EMTs)
  • Surgeons
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Pharmacists
  • Pharmacies
  • Drug manufacturers
  • Manufacturers of defective medical devices or equipment

The Deadline for Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

The time limit to bring a medical malpractice claim is called the statute of limitations.  Under Ohio Revised Code 2305.113, a person generally has one year from the negligent act of a doctor to bring a claim. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the one-year statute begins to run from the date of the negligent act, the date that the person knew or reasonably should have known of the negligent act, or the termination of the doctor/patient relationship. 

There are some limited exceptions to the general one-year rule.  For example, there are medical malpractice claims involving minors as well as those involving a person’s death. Medical malpractice that results in the death of a person must be filed within two years of the date of death.   

Finally, there is an Ohio statute that generally states that no medical malpractice claim may be brought more than four years after the negligent act, regardless of the date the person discovered the negligent act. But, there are also some limited exceptions to this rule, including if you can prove you could not have discovered the negligence sooner or if the claim involves the discovery of a foreign object left in your body by a health care provider. 

Again, these exceptions are very limited and complicated, so we encourage you to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Ohio to see whether you can still take legal action and pursue compensation for your losses.

Seeking Damages in an Ohio Medical Malpractice Case

Although all medical malpractice cases aim to compensate injured victims for their losses, it is important to remember that no two medical malpractice cases are the same. This means that the type and amount of financial compensation you might receive will largely depend on the circumstances of your case.

However, damages often awarded in Ohio medical malpractice claims fall under two categories: economic and non-economic.

Economic damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Costs for future medical care
  • Rehabilitation, including physical therapy
  • Prescriptions
  • Lost earnings
  • Lost or diminished earning capacity
  • Home and vehicle modifications
  • Costs for residential or long-term care

Noneconomic damages:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional trauma
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Wrongful death damages

In rare cases, Ohio courts will award punitive damages to the plaintiff when the defendant’s actions were especially egregious, intentional, or harmful. This type of award is not given to compensate the victim. It does, however, aim to punish the defendant or person or entity responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries and subsequent losses. Punitive damages are also awarded for setting an example and deterring the defendant and others from acting similarly.

An Ohio Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help

Medical malpractice is widely known as one of the more complicated and highly contested types of personal injury cases. For this reason, it is highly recommended to seek legal representation from an attorney with extensive experience handling cases involving this area of personal injury law.

An Ohio medical malpractice lawyer can drastically increase your chances of a successful outcome by assisting with the following:

  • Protecting your rights and ensuring nothing is said or done could affect your chances of a full and fair settlement.
  • Ensuring you receive proper and adequate medical care.
  • Performing a detailed investigation into what happened and who was responsible for your injuries.
  • Handling all communication with the insurance company or opposing attorneys on your behalf.
  • Working with medical, psychological, and financial experts to show the full extent of your injuries and damages.
  • Negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf.
  • Taking the matter to trial if an acceptable settlement is not reached outside of court.

Contact Ohio’s Leading Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today

We all understand that people make mistakes. But if you were seriously injured by a negligent doctor, nurse, or other medical professionals, you might be entitled to financial compensation. The medical malpractice lawyers at Slater & Zurz know first-hand the potential complexities of these cases and can help you avoid the many pitfalls that can arise.

When experience matters, turn to our top personal injury lawyers. Should you choose us to work with our firm, we will handle your case on a contingency fee basis. This means that we will only be paid if and when we win your case, allowing you to seek compensation for your injuries at no financial risk.

To learn more about filing a medical malpractice claim in Ohio or to begin the legal process, contact us online or call (888) 534-4850 today. We have offices across Ohio to better serve our client’s needs, including convenient locations in Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo.