THREE QUICK FACTS ABOUT MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASES

We regularly receive calls from potential clients who are unhappy with medical care they have received from a doctor, dentist, hospital or nursing home.  These are always difficult cases and the space of a blog post is insufficient to even scratch the surface of the complexity of dealing with them.  But here are three quick facts to consider in filing a claim in the State of Ohio.

ONE.  In Ohio, claims for medical malpractice are generally governed by a one year statute of limitations.  This means that legal action may be required within one year of the date of malpractice, the date of discovery of the malpractice or the last date of treatment with the provider who committed the malpractice.  This short statute of limitations requires parties to get moving on malpractice cases as soon as practical!

TWO.  An Affidavit of Merit is required to support the filing of a medical malpractice suit.  Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 10 (D) (2), requires a qualified medical expert to sign an affidavit indicating that he or she has reviewed all relevant medical records, is familiar with the applicable standard of care, and believes that malpractice has occurred which caused injury to the plaintiff.  This requirement is just the beginning of the malpractice lawsuit but is a necessary step.  Unlike other civil lawsuits in which lawyers may file based upon their clients’ statements, medical malpractice cases require an expert opinion to support the actual filing of  suit. This is true for medical, dental, optometric or chiropractic claims.

THREE.  The odds may be against the medical malpractice plaintiff.  Statistics show that only 20% to 36% of medical claims that are tried to a jury result in a verdict for the plaintiff. Many reasons account for this phenomenon.  At Cubbon and Associates we screen potential cases very thoroughly so if we take a case, we hope to be able to make a meaningful recovery.  As a practical matter, in addition to needing to prove negligence, a plaintiff needs to be able to prove substantial damages because the costs of getting qualified experts to testify can be extraordinary.  If the likely recovery doesn’t warrant the expense of bringing a claim, it is unwise to pursue it.

If you think you may have a malpractice case, contact us.  We’re happy to discuss your case with you.


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