Patients in Toledo, Ohio, expect fair health care treatment that will solve their medical issues without making them worse. According to studies, medical malpractice causes the most cases of preventable death in the United States. Patients may be able to collect damages for injuries caused by malpractice or families on behalf of patients, but they have limited time.
Ohio’s time limit for medical malpractice claims
Patients have one year to file medical malpractice claims after the date of the discovered injury or the end of the provider relationship. Statutes of limitations exist to prevent defendants from being subject to indefinite claims and to promote resolving disputes quickly. If a patient makes a claim after this time, their case could get dismissed, but there are exceptions.
The discovery rule is important in medical malpractice cases because it determines when the patient knew about the injury. A claimant may extend the time to 180 days by sending the defendant a formal notice of intent to file a claim. The statute of repose extends the limit to four years if the injury could not have been reasonably discovered within three years.
An affidavit of merit is needed
Not every negative health care outcome counts as medical malpractice. To have a case, the health care provider must have:
- Owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- Neglected to follow a standard of care that another provider would have reasonably followed
- Breached that duty and caused injury
Ohio requires claimants to file one affidavit of merit, or a signed statement by expert health care providers in the same field. Many states require this to lower the cost of claims to health care providers by requiring patients to provide proof of injury. In the affidavit, the expert states that they are knowledgeable about the expected standard and that the defendant fell below it.
The law doesn’t expect perfection, but doctors should provide a reasonable standard of care. Patients may be able to collect two types of damages, which include economic and noneconomic damages, if their medical malpractice claim is valid.