Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Malpractice in Ohio
If you feel that you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, you may be wondering what steps you should take next. The guide below answers some of the most common questions our new medical malpractice clients have.
How do I select a medical malpractice attorney?
There is no shortage of medical malpractice attorneys in the state of Ohio. It is important to choose an attorney that you are comfortable working with for several months or longer. Your medical malpractice attorney learns some of the most personal details of your life, so it is important that you feel comfortable discussing with this person your health and the effect your injuries have had on your life.
Medical malpractice claims are quite complex. You need a medical malpractice attorney with considerable experience in these claims. You need someone who understands both the legal and medical fields and can explain these complex situations to you (and potentially to a jury).
At The Eisen Law Firm, we have successfully handled medical malpractice claims for decades. Our Ohio medical malpractice attorneys are experienced in achieving excellent results both litigating high-profile cases, and negotiating favorable settlements behind the scenes. The Eisen Law Firm is solely devoted to medical malpractice claims.
How long do I have to file a medical malpractice claim in Ohio?
In general, the deadline to file a medical malpractice claim in Ohio is one year. The one-year deadline begins when the injury was discovered or on the last day the negligent medical professional treated the claimant, whichever is later. If the injured person is a minor, the one-year period begins to run on the child’s 18th birthday. If a loved one dies due to a medical professional’s negligence, there is a two-year deadline to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, although those are the general “rules,” there are exceptions and other “wrinkles” that can make it difficult to determine the deadline in any given case. It is important to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who knows how these deadlines work. To ensure your legal rights remain protected, it is best to consult with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
How much is my claim worth?
Medical malpractice cases differ in value depending on a number of factors—most importantly, the nature of the injuries the claimant has suffered. Your medical malpractice attorney carefully studies your medical records, medical bills, and other types of evidence to determine the value of your claim.
It is important to note that Ohio has capped the amount of certain types of damages in medical malpractice claims. The caps can be confusing. For non-economic damages (things like loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering), there are two “tiers.” In “lower tier” cases, the maximum amount of money recoverable is $250,000 or three times the victim’s economic loss, up to a maximum of $350,000. (Yes, that means that people who have higher incomes can actually get more money for their pain and suffering than people who make less money. It’s as though the Ohio legislature thinks that rich people’s pain hurts more than poor people’s pain. This is blatant discrimination against homemakers, retirees, and low-wage workers, but that is the law in Ohio.)
Cases that involve catastrophic injuries (as restrictively defined in Ohio law) are considered “upper tier” cases. In such cases, the maximum available damages for non-economic loss is $500,000 (or a million dollars if more than one person was injured). It can be very difficult to prove that a given case is an upper tier case. There are no similar “upper tier” limits for people hurt in car accidents. If you are hit from behind by a car driven by a doctor, there is no upper limit for catastrophic injuries. But if that same doctor carelessly injures you at a hospital, the limit applies. (Yes, this is blatant discrimination against victims of medical negligence, but it is the law in Ohio.)
Economic losses can be awarded, too. There is no cap on such damages. Economic losses include things like past lost wages, future lost wages, and past and future medical bills and related expenses. Home modifications and nursing and attendant are also examples of things that fall into the category of economic loss.
Your medical malpractice attorney should know the ins and outs of the damage cap rules and how they apply to your case.
What if my child was injured by a medical professional?
If your child was under 18 years of age at the time medical malpractice occurred, the deadline to file a lawsuit is no later than the child’s 19th birthday.
What are some examples of medical malpractice?
A medical malpractice claim may be appropriate if a medical professional has deviated from the applicable standard of care and harmed a patient. Examples of medical malpractice claims include:
- Delayed diagnoses
- Birth injuries
- Leaving foreign objects inside a patient after a surgery
- Providing treatment without the patient’s informed consent
- Administering the wrong medication
- The failure to use sterilized medical tools
- The failure to properly respond to a patient in distress
Medical malpractice claims vary and may be filed against a number of individuals, including physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals.
If you were injured by a medical professional, contact our experienced Ohio medical malpractice lawyers today
At The Eisen Law Firm, our Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys take your claim seriously and aggressively advocate on your behalf. Our attorneys are proud to work closely with you throughout the duration of your claim to ensure you understand the legal process and secure the justice and compensation you deserve after an injury due to negligence. To schedule your free consultation with our firm, call 216-687-0900 or contact us online.