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Medical error is a leading cause of death in Ohio and in the U.S., but only a tiny percentage of malpractice victims seek compensation for their injuries.
Understanding Medical Malpractice
A poor or even fatal medical outcome does not always constitute medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional or facility causes harm to a patient by failing to live up to the standard of care.
However, a poor or unexpected outcome can be an indication that malpractice may have occurred. Doctors and other healthcare professionals are rarely forthcoming about their mistakes and may even claim that an injury caused by malpractice was a normal risk or unavoidable.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice includes taking the wrong action and failure to take the appropriate medical action. Medical malpractice includes:
- Failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition such as cancer or meningitis
- Failure to diagnosis, misdiagnosis, or delayed diagnosis of a medical event such heart attack or stroke
- Medication error
- Surgical mistake
- Anesthesia error
- Emergency room malpractice, including patient dumping
- Inappropriate treatment for the condition or patient’s medical history
- Continuing an ineffective treatment
- Failure to recommend appropriate tests or treatment
- Birth injury
- Dental malpractice
- Psychiatric malpractice
- Cosmetic surgery malpractice
- Unsanitary conditions leading to nosocomial infection
Responsible Parties in Medical Malpractice
Any type of healthcare professional can be held responsible for medical malpractice, including nurses, chiropractors, and dentists. Health care facilities can also be held responsible for medical malpractice. In Ohio, responsible parties in a medical malpractice lawsuit can include:
- Physical therapists
- Emergency medical technicians (EMTs)
- Nursing homes
- Residential facilities
Caps on Medical Malpractice Damages in Ohio
Ohio does not limit the amount of compensation a medical malpractice victim can receive for economic damages such as medical expenses and lost income, but does have caps on noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Noneconomic damages can be no more than $250,000 or three times the amount of the compensatory damages up to $350,000, or up to $500,000 in cases of substantial injury.
Time Limits for Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Ohio
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice, in Ohio, is one year from the date that the injury was discovered or should have been discovered.
Another time limit is the statute of repose, which is four years from the date of the incident which caused the injury.
There are certain circumstances which can extend the amount of time you have to file your medical malpractice lawsuit. After reviewing the facts in your case, a Cleveland medical malpractice attorney can determine how much time you have to file.