It can be hard to prove medical malpractice, but a medical malpractice lawyer can help you navigate this difficult legal area. Ohio has specific regulations concerning what constitutes medical malpractice and how long you have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Know the Definition of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice refers to a diagnosis, care, or treatment by a medical professional that does not meet the accepted standard of care and results in an injury to the patient. Malpractice can include failure to correctly diagnose the patient, improper treatment, or failure to warn the patient of known risks. Medical professionals who can commit malpractice include not just doctors but also dentists, chiropractors, podiatrists, optometrists, nurses, and other health care workers.
If you believe you have been subject to medical malpractice, consider hiring a medical malpractice lawyer. A lawyer can help you determine whether you have a valid case for a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit.
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A Lawyer Can Help You with Your Medical Malpractice Claim or Lawsuit
It is hard to prove medical malpractice, but a lawyer can help. Your lawyer might be able to demonstrate that your medical provider was negligent, that this negligence caused your injuries, and that you suffered damages as a result. Your lawyer may serve as your legal advocate and help you build your case for medical malpractice.
Some of the things a lawyer may be able to do to help you build your case include:
- Collect evidence supporting your case
- Establish a timeline of events, including doctor’s appointments, hospital stays, or other treatments
- Collect evidence to establish the value of your damages
A lawyer may also assist you with filing an affidavit of merit, a required component of your claim as mandated by the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §2323.451. In an affidavit of merit, a medical professional declares under oath that they are familiar with the standard of care that relates to your treatment and have reviewed your medical records. Based on this review, they believe that the standard of care was not met, and this lack of care caused your injuries.
Without an affidavit of merit, your medical malpractice claim can be dismissed.
A lawyer may also handle all interactions with the medical provider’s insurance company. You are never obligated to speak with the insurance company and should not feel pressured to accept a settlement. Your lawyer can:
- Handle all communication with the medical provider’s insurance company
- Negotiate a settlement on your behalf
- Submit documents and evidence
Your lawyer can also help you file a lawsuit against your medical provider if they cannot come to an agreeable settlement with the insurance company.
Your Lawyer Can Help You Determine the Value of Your Damages
The ORC §2323.55 defines the two types of damages as economic and non-economic, which you might be able to recover when pursuing compensation.
Economic damages include tangible expenses, such as costs for medical treatment, rehabilitation services, and medical equipment. These damages also include current lost wages and future lost wages if you cannot continue to work in your current profession.
Noneconomic damages do not have an assigned monetary value and might include intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, mental anguish, and loss of companionship.
A lawyer can help you place a value on the damages you suffered and help you file a claim or lawsuit against your medical provider to recover your damages.
You Must Comply with the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Cases
You have a finite amount of time to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Ohio. According to the ORC §2305.113, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit in Ohio is generally one year from the date of treatment. However, there are a few exceptions to the one-year term. Consult with a lawyer to discuss whether these exceptions may apply.