Linnen Co., L.P.A. is experienced in protecting the rights of persons and families in Akron, Summit County and throughout Ohio who have been the victims of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice claims usually are only brought when serious injury or death has been caused by the negligence of a medical provider. Generally an experienced medical malpractice attorney is needed to fulfill the complex legal requirements of a successful Ohio medical malpractice case.
To establish a claim for medical malpractice in Ohio, you will need to demonstrate that the conduct of the doctor or other medical provider fell below the acceptable standard of care. The standard of care requires the provider of medical services to do those things which a reasonably careful medical provider in that field would do — and to refrain from doing those things which a reasonably careful medical provider would not do.
A medical expert in the particular field is required to establish the applicable standard of care and whether the medical treatment fell below that standard. Under Ohio law, an affidavit from an expert witness is required to be filed at the time that the medical malpractice lawsuit is commenced in court.
In addition to determining whether the medical provider “breached” the standard of care, you will be required to demonstrate that the medical provider’s failure to adhere to the standard of care caused the injury. Establishing causation will again require expert medical testimony that the injuries were caused by the medical provider’s carelessness. It is important to note, however, that simply because a medical provider’s treatment did not cure your ailment or fulfill your expectations, it does not mean that your medical provider was negligent.
Finally, you must demonstrate that you suffered economic and/or non-economic losses associated with the medical provider’s negligence. Economic damages include lost wages and medical bills. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering or the loss of companionship of a spouse or child.
There is no limit to the amount of economic damages that you can receive. Generally this means that all of your medical bills and lost wages will be recoverable if successful at trial. However, Ohio limits the amount of non-economic damages that you can receive. You can receive no more than $250,000 or three times your economic damages unless your injury is permanent and substantially limits your ability to care for yourself. If your injury is permanent and substantially limits your ability to care for yourself, the limit for non-economic damages increases to $500,000.
A claim for medical malpractice must be filed in court within one year of the resulting injury. The one year time limit starts to run when you discover, or when a reasonable person should have discovered, the resulting injury. If you notify your medical provider within the one year time period that you are contemplating filing a medical negligence claim against them, the limitation period can be extended by 180 days. However, a medical provider’s conduct that is more than 4 years old is not actionable.
Unfortunately, some injuries from medical malpractice may result in wrongful death. A two year statute of limitations governs wrongful death claims from medical malpractice.
A loss of chance claim involves proving your loved one lost a less than even chance of surviving from their pre-existing condition or disease as a result of the medical provider’s negligence. Even though survival from that pre-existing condition or disease was not probable, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of any remaining chance of survival proximately caused by the medical provider’s negligence.
Medical malpractice is a very complicated area of law. We are here to help. You may contact us by email, by completing our confidential Do I Have a Case? form, or by calling us directly at (330) 258-8000.