Ohio malpractice laws establish the medical malpractice rules for the state. These laws basically explain the entire process and how a claim should be pursued for medical malpractice in Cleveland. These guidelines include what would constitute a Cleveland medical malpractice claim, the time limits on pursuing such claims, and the caps or maximum award amount a patient can get from an Ohio health care provider. If you are considering filing a Cleveland medical malpractice claim, you should consult with an experienced attorney at the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in Cleveland, Ohio?
The laws in Ohio define medical malpractice as when a medical professional or medical institution cause injury to a patient during the treatment process. This could be caused by a doctor, nurse, hospital, surgery center, or clinic. In order for the injury to classify as medical malpractice, the actions of the doctor must be indicative of a violation or breach of the standard care. The standard of care consists of policies and procedures medical professionals within that general area would use when treating a patient for the same condition. There are a number of factors that can impact the standard of care, including the general health of the patient and the patient’s age.
In most instances, Cleveland medical malpractice claims are resolved or settled before going to court. Some of these cases are dropped while many others are settled. If your case goes before a judge, your Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer will have to show that the injuries resulted from the doctor’s breach of care. Proving this can be challenging because it involves the medical knowledge presented accurately by experts. Medical experts will most likely have to testify on behalf of your claim.
Statute of Limitations: Cleveland, OH
The Ohio medical malpractice laws include a statute of limitations, which is a set time limit in which a medical malpractice claim can be brought against a medical provider. This statute is designed to give the injured party a window in which a claim can be pursued for damages. Once this specific timeframe has passed, it is too late file a lawsuit and damages can no longer be pursued. The law allows the patient one year from the time the patient discovers the injury or from when the injury should have been discovered. The patient only has four years from the date of the procedure or action that led to the injuries to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
That means if your injury isn’t discovered until five years after the doctor’s actions caused it, you won’t be able to pursue legal action. However, these Ohio laws could change so you should consult with a Cleveland medical malpractice attorney regardless of the timeframe. A lawyer can be consulted with at any time for an evaluation of your case to see a claim can still be pursued for your damages.
Cleveland Medical Malpractice Damage Limits
Damages, also referred to as compensation, are sought as part of the medical malpractice claim. There are several kinds of damages that might apply to a Cleveland medical malpractice claim. State law places limits, or caps, on some of these damages. Here are some of the damages you might pursue in a medical malpractice lawsuit:
- Compensatory damages are designed to cover the actual costs associated with the incident in question. Compensable damages include medical expenses and lost wages for the days of work missed because of the injury. Compensatory damages are not limited in Ohio.
- Non-economic losses enable a patient to recover damages for pain and suffering. The cap for such claims is set at $250,000 or no more than three times the compensatory damages, whichever is a higher amount. The overall cap is $350,000, which means regardless of the compensatory damages received the patient cannot get more than $350,000 for pain and suffering. If the patient has substantial injuries, such as a deformity or suffers the loss of the limb, that cap increases to $500,000.
- Punitive damages can be considered as a way to punish the medical provider for behaving recklessly. This covers actions such as malice or fraud coming into play when the injury was caused. Punitive damages have a cap that is two times the compensatory damages.
Pursuing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Cleveland
In order to pursue a medical malpractice in Cleveland, you will need to consult with an experienced Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer. The lawyer can evaluate your case and determine if your claim should be pursued. Medical malpractice claims are complicated and require the dedication of an experienced legal professional who can thoroughly investigate the situation and determine if medical malpractice resulted in the injuries in question. If you suspect medical malpractice was involved at all, consult with an attorney as soon as possible before the statute of limitations has passed.
Some people fail to seek legal help because they are afraid it will be too costly, but that is not necessarily the case. Choose a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer who will work on the contingency basis, so if you don’t win your case the lawyer is not paid. When using the contingency system, your lawyer gets a percentage of your settlement after the case has been won or agreed to. That percentage is agreed to when you retain your lawyer’s legal services. So, your lawyer’s pay is based on how well he or she does representing your case and settling your claim.
Schedule a Consultation with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you think you have suffered because of medical malpractice in Cleveland, you should schedule a free case evaluation with a Cleveland medical malpractice attorney at the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers today. Our team has more than 190 years of combined experience representing clients in courts throughout Ohio. We aggressively pursue medical malpractice and have a strong reputation based on our success with these legal matters. We put our clients first, and you will be treated with care and compassion throughout the entire claims process. Contact us today for a thorough look at your case.