Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorneys Guide You Through the Complex Laws and Procedures Associated with Medical Malpractice Claims
A medical malpractice suit is different than any other type of lawsuit
All lawsuits and legal claims are unique, especially because every client requires an individualized solution based upon the facts surrounding their situation. However, some legal processes are longer and more complex than others. Medical malpractice cases are examples of such long, complex legal processes. Some requirements in filing a medical malpractice claim are similar to requirements in other claims. But there are also additional requirements unique to medical malpractice claims which must be followed with absolute precision in order for a claim to move forward. You don’t want experienced attorneys on your side in a medical malpractice case. You absolutely need highly-experienced advocates with particularized knowledge of the medical malpractice field. The Ohio medical malpractice attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm offer the knowledge and skill you need. If you even suspect that you may have a medical malpractice claim, we can help you take the necessary steps to protect your rights and – if you have a case — to achieve a positive outcome.
How long do I have to file a medical malpractice claim?
In Ohio, the statute of limitations – or the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after your injury – is one year. However, the law provides for exceptions in case you do not immediately discover that you have sustained an injury. This is a common occurrence in the context of surgery or a misdiagnosis, where the impact of the malpractice may not be immediately apparent. There are several other exceptions, too, which may allow you to sue more than one year after the act of negligence.
But in the case of a wrongful death due to medical malpractice, the family of the victim has two years to file a claim for its losses – with no exceptions. Critically, medical malpractice claims are unique in that filed complaints must be accompanied by an Affidavit of Merit from a medical professional. This Affidavit from a medical professional indicating that malpractice occurred forms the legal basis for a medical malpractice complaint to move forward through the court system.
How do you prove a medical malpractice claim?
You may have heard that a plaintiff always has the burden of proof in a lawsuit. This is also true in a medical malpractice claim, but everything is influenced by the idea that a medical professional is the defendant. First, a plaintiff must prove that he or she is owed a duty to reasonable treatment by a medical professional or group of medical professionals such as a hospital or professional corporation. This may seem odd, but the facility you are treated at may have complex contractual arrangements with the various health care providers within its walls, which can make it difficult to figure who exactly must be sued.
Second, plaintiffs must establish that negligence has occurred – or that the professional standard of care was breached in some way. This step requires a medical professional to testify that a person was treated negligently – which is why an Affidavit of Merit is required at the onset of the case. If the case goes to trial, the plaintiff’s expert will testify, and any experts hired by the defense will testify, too. No matter how bad the negligence, you should not be surprised if the defense finds an expert (or several experts) to testify that there was no negligence. Even in cases where a surgeon operates on the wrong part of the body or leaves an instrument behind, the defense can and will find an expert to say no one did anything wrong!
Third, plaintiffs must prove causation. This means proving that the injury was the due to the malpractice. This proof is based upon a preponderance standard. This means that an expert must testify that the injury was, “more likely than not” the result of the medical professional’s negligence.
Fourth and finally, plaintiffs must prove damages. In other words, they must find a way to show the jury how severe their losses are, whether economic or non-economic. As discussed in the caps on noneconomic damages section, there are both economic and noneconomic damages which a person can sustain; noneconomic damage amounts are capped in Ohio.
When in doubt, call an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately
The above description only offers a broad overview of the many complex procedural elements associated with legal claims arising from medical malpractice. The truth is that every medical malpractice victim is different, as are the circumstances surrounding their potential claim. Our Ohio medical malpractice attorneys understand the procedural details of medical malpractice based upon their years of experience in this area of the law. Unfortunately, waiting too long to file a claim can rob you of the justice you deserve. If you suspect that you or a loved one has suffered death or injury as a result of medical negligence, call an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible in order to understand your rights and recourse.
Our medical malpractice attorneys help injured victims in Cleveland and throughout Ohio
The attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm serve medical malpractice victims in Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, Lorain, Akron, and throughout Ohio. We offer free initial consultations, so contact us today by phone at 216-687-0900 or online.