Medical Malpractice in Ohio: Do I have a case?
Medical malpractice is, in its most basic sense, an opportunity to hold a medical practitioner accountable when they make a mistake that causes injury to a patient. Whether the result of negligence or recklessness, the mistake leaves the patient and the patient’s family dealing with years, sometimes a lifetime, of repercussions. The victim of the mistake may need additional medical procedures and may never completely heal. This can result in additional medical bills and lost income. In the worst cases, the victim may have suffered fatal injuries they were unable to overcome.
It is unfair to ask the patient to bear the financial burden that results from a medical professional’s error. As a result, lawmakers passed laws that allow patients to hold their providers financially accountable for the accident. If successful, the patient can receive funds to help cover the financial impact of the injury.
Those who find themselves injured after seeking medical care may wonder if they have a medical malpractice case. Although the answer depends on the details of the case and applicable law, the following basic information can help patients to better understand if they should pursue a medical malpractice claim.
Step 1: Details of the case
In most cases, medical malpractice cases rely on the law of negligence. To establish negligence, the victim must generally provide evidence to show the following:
- Duty. The first step is to show the doctor had a duty to care for the patient. Any situation where the victim was a patient of the doctor generally satisfies this element.
- Breach. Next, the victim will need to show that the doctor failed to meet, or breached, this duty. This may require expert testimony of other medical professionals. These medical professionals would explain what accepted standard of care and how the physician or other medical professional failed to meet this standard.
- Causation. The patient would then need to provide evidence to show the beach of the duty caused the injury.
- Damage. Finally, the victim will need to show that they suffered an injury.
This process is true for most medical malpractice claims.
Step 2: Applicable law
In addition to the elements noted above, the victim will need to move forward within the bounds of the law. For medical malpractice claims, the laws are generally state specific. One example is the presence of a deadline. Generally, victims of medical malpractice have a certain amount of time they can pursue a med mal claim. In Ohio, the statute of limitation to file a medical malpractice suit is short. There are exceptions to this rule, but it is wise for victims to reach out and discuss their options with a legal professional as soon as they are able.