While most medical professionals are careful and competent, accidents can and do still occur. Tragically, these mistakes can have serious and even deadly consequences for patients who may be permanently disabled, or lose their lives as a result of the error. Fortunately, Ohio residents who are injured as a result of a doctor’s negligence can collect compensation from the at-fault party by filing a medical malpractice claim. To learn more about the process of filing a claim, you should speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can advise you.
Certain treatment methods and surgeries are notoriously risky, which means that if a patient suffered complications as a result of treatment, he or she is not automatically granted the right to file a medical malpractice claim. Instead, these claims can only be filed when a medical professional violates certain standards that are generally accepted by other medical professionals who perform similar treatments in the same area. This means that if a doctor’s practices or procedures stray too far from the generally accepted standard of care, he or she can be held liable for any resulting injuries.
Although there are a number of circumstances that justify the filing of a medical malpractice claim, the most common involve:
Victims who suffer injuries as a result of these types of avoidable mistakes may be able to collect compensation to cover their medical expenses, lost income, and emotional distress. In cases where a medical professional exhibited a reckless disregard for a patient’s health or was involved in fraud, the court may even award punitive damages. However, in order to collect these damages, an injured party must file a medical malpractice case within one year of the date that the injury was discovered or when the doctor/patient relationship for the condition ends, whichever comes later. Regardless of the circumstances, all medical malpractice cases must be filed within four years. The only exception to this rule is in cases where an injured party discovers a foreign object left in his or her body. In these situations, a plaintiff has one year from the date of discovery to file a claim, even if that technically puts him or her outside of the statute of limitations.
Although Ohio does not limit the amount of compensatory damages that an injured party can collect, it does cap the amount of non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, that a plaintiff can be awarded. Currently, medical malpractice plaintiffs cannot receive non-economic damages in an amount greater than $250,000 or three times the amount of the plaintiff’s economic damages, with an overall maximum of $350,000 per plaintiff. However, the amount is increased to $500,000 per plaintiff when there are multiple injured parties. However, if an injury is deemed catastrophic, a plaintiff may be able to collect as much as $1,000,000 for non-economic damages. To qualify as catastrophic, an injury must be permanent or result in a substantial deformity, the loss of a limb, the loss of an organ system, or an injury that is so severe and permanent that self-care is impossible.
If you suffered an injury as a result of a medical professional’s negligence, please contact Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC at 419-241-5500 to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney about your case.
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