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All You Need to Know About Medical Malpractice Laws in Ohio

When it comes to complexity, medical malpractice cases beat most personal injury cases. Sadly, this is one reason that deters a majority of victims from seeking legal counsel.

What they don’t understand is that it is important to hold negligent medical practitioners responsible for their actions. This is only possible through a medical malpractice claim.

A Forbes Advisor report states that Ohio ranks ninth on the list of the top 10 states that spend the most on medical malpractice cases. Another study reports almost 1,347 medical malpractice cases in Ohio in 2022.

Numbers like this underline the importance of understanding Ohio medical malpractice law. This is exactly what this article strives to achieve.

Instead of providing a comprehensive guide to Ohio’s medical malpractice laws, we have listed some key laws that Ohioans must know about.

Knowledge about the laws allows people to understand their rights and have better preparations when disaster strikes.

What Is Medical Malpractice In Ohio Actually? 

Before we begin with the medical malpractice laws in Ohio, it is best to know what kinds of actions come under medical malpractice in this state.

Medical malpractice is any action on behalf of the healthcare worker that can significantly harm the patient. This may be intentional or unintentional, and laws are there to protect the service user. 

The failure of the healthcare worker to take appropriate actions for the patient’s benefit is another definition of medical malpractice. 

There may be different types of neglect that can call for legal action. These may be:

Failing to diagnose the condition:

This is a no-brainer, as a delay in diagnosis can cause significant harm to the patient. When the healthcare professional fails to diagnose properly, they can risk the patient’s health. Delaying the diagnosis can give the patient and their family a feasible claim for medical malpractice.

Failing to warn the patient at the appropriate time:

This is another form of medical malpractice, as it is the duty of the professional to inform the patient and the family members or guardians of the risks. It might include anything from a treatment to a procedure. 

This is necessary because it gives the patient a say over the procedure. If they see it fit, they can refuse the treatment. If the doctor does not do what is necessary and the patient faces severe injuries, the former is responsible for medical malpractice. 

Improper treatment:

The medical professional or doctor in Ohio may incompetently administer the treatment, which makes for a medical malpractice case. 

A few other of the actions that qualify as medical malpractice are as follows: 

  1. Amputating the wrong limb
  2. Secondly, removing the wrong organ 
  3. Medical instruments left inside the patient’s body
  4. failing to obtain the correct blood type before organ transfer
  5. Misadministration of anesthesia, which deteriorates the health of the patient. 

The five other malpractices are less frequent; however, these have grave consequences as well. This makes it easier for the patient to file for a medical malpractice case. 

Ohio Medical Malpractice Laws

The laws mentioned below play a crucial role in filing a medical malpractice case and the compensation you can expect. Some of these laws may also interfere with your ability to file a claim.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is a set of rules that assigns a specific time limit for victims to file a case. Once this time limit has passed, the victim cannot seek compensation or file a lawsuit against the liable party. It is also important to know that certain exceptions exist for statute limitations.

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases, according to Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.113, is one year. The courts say that this time period begins when 

  • The victim discovers the injury
  • The victim should have discovered the injury
  • The doctor-patient relationship ended

That said, Section 2305.113 also says that victims have four years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Below are a few exceptions to Ohio’s statute of limitations:

  • The victim doesn’t find out about the condition at the end of the fourth year. In such cases, they have one year from the date of discovery to file a lawsuit.
  • If an object was inside the victim’s body after a medical procedure, they can file a lawsuit within a year of discovery. The four-year limit doesn’t apply in this situation.
  • The victim can get a six-month extension on the one-year deadline if they inform the defendants that they are being sued.

Affidavit of Merit Requirement

Ohio Rule of Civil Procedure 10(D)(2) requires an affidavit of merit from an expert witness for those filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Medical malpractice complaints that don’t carry the Affidavit of Merit run the risk of being dismissed. The law requires that the expert witness declare the following things:

  • They are aware of the standard of care with regard to the plaintiff’s treatment.
  • They have analyzed the victim’s medical records.
  • They firmly believe that the victim did not receive the expected standard of care.
  • That the victim’s health condition occurred due to the breach of the expected standard of care.

Damage Cap

Like personal injury cases, medical malpractice cases involve economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are tangible and easy to calculate, while non-economic damages are intangible and vary from person to person.

Ohio Revised Code Section 2323.43 puts a cap on non-economic damages. According to it, non-economic damage is limited to $250,000, or up to three times the economic damages awarded.

When considering the multiplier, the amount shouldn’t exceed $350,000 per plaintiff. This multiplier amount can go up to $500,000 if there is more than one plaintiff involved.

Immunity from Medical Malpractice Cases

This involves the concept of sovereign immunity, which prevents certain government agencies from facing lawsuits. Recent updates say that this immunity is no longer in use for state bodies like hospitals and clinics.

Wrapping Up

These are just some of the laws related to medical malpractice in Ohio. Keep the statute of limitations in mind, as you may lose the right to file a medical malpractice claim.

Also, don’t forget to hire a medical malpractice lawyer in Ohio to make sure the process goes smoothly.

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Ankita Tripathy

Ankita Tripathy loves to write about food and the Hallyu Wave in particular. During her free time, she enjoys looking at the sky or reading books while sipping a cup of hot coffee. Her favourite niches are food, music, lifestyle, travel, and Korean Pop music and drama.

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