Generally speaking, Ohio law requires a lawsuit alleging medical malpractice to be filed with the court within one year from the date of the negligence. However, there are several exceptions to this rule.
First, the statute of limitations (time to file a lawsuit) does not begin to run until the injured party discovers or should have discovered the negligence. Under this discovery rule, injured parties have one year from the date they discover or should have discovered the alleged malpractice to file a lawsuit. In ordinary terms, this means that a party claiming medical malpractice must file a lawsuit within one year from the date he or she suspects there was medical malpractice.
Secondly, the statute of limitations for a minor (anyone under the age of 18) operates differently than the ordinary statute of limitations. If a minor is the aggrieved party in a medical malpractice action, their claim must be filed within one year after the minor turns 18. The same discovery rule stated above applies to minors once they turn 18.
Finally, there may be ways to extend the one year statute of limitations. The Ohio medical malpractice statute of limitations law allows a plaintiff to extend the one year statute of limitations by 180 days (about six months) if they serve notice to the potential defendants of their intent to file a lawsuit alleging medical malpractice. However, the letter notifying the potential defendants must be received by the defendant prior to the expiration of the one year statute of limitations.
If you believe that you or a loved one may have a claim for medical malpractice, please contact us to discuss it further. One of our attorneys will be more than willing to explain the statute of limitations in greater detail. Remember, the explanation above is merely a statement of facts and there is no substitute for discussing the facts of your case with an attorney. Please call us for a free consultation regarding your claim and get an attorney's opinion regarding your statute of limitations questions.
DISCLAIMER: This post is not intended nor should it be construed as legal advice. If you have questions about the status of your statute of limitations, please contact our firm.