Medical Malpractice: Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
Medical malpractice claims can be complex to understand and tricky to prove. A failed procedure or poor outcome does not necessarily mean that you have a viable medical malpractice claim. So, what is medical malpractice, and how do these claims work?
Below, we answer frequently asked questions to help you gain a better understanding of medical malpractice claims. However, these answers will probably not resolve all your questions. For more information and to discuss your case with a skilled team of trial lawyers, contact Leeseberg & Valentine. Call our Columbus office at 614-221-2223 to schedule a free initial case consultation.
We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our past clients and are ready to advocate for you in your time of need.
What qualifies as medical malpractice?
To file a medical malpractice claim, your case must have the following elements:
- Your medical provider owed you a duty of care (you must be their patient)
- Your medical provider deviated from the accepted standard of care*
- Your medical provider’s action (or lack of action) harmed you
- You suffered economic or noneconomic damages from your injury
*The standard of care is generally the decision or action you would expect a reasonable, competent medical professional to take in any given situation.
How do I file a medical malpractice claim?
Before you can file a medical malpractice claim, Ohio requires that you first file an “affidavit of merit.” For this affidavit, a medical expert, such as a physician, will evaluate your medical records and your medical provider’s actions. The expert must verify that your medical provider’s actions deviated from the proper standard of care and that you were harmed as a result of those actions.
A medical malpractice attorney can help you secure the affidavit of merit and file your medical malpractice claim.
How long do I have to file a medical malpractice claim in Ohio?
Typically, Ohio residents have one year to file a medical malpractice claim. Your countdown starts from whichever is the later of the following dates:
- When the negligent medical care is provided
- When you discovered the injury was related to negligent medical care
- The last date that the negligent medical professional provided you treatment.
There are exceptions to this rule, and you may extend the one-year statute of limitations by notifying the negligent medical provider that you are considering filing a medical malpractice claim against them. This gives you an extra 180 days to file your claim. However, the letter of intent must be delivered to the negligent medical provider before the end of the original one-year statute of limitations.
How do you prove medical malpractice?
Proving medical malpractice can be difficult. You must prove that your medical provider acted unreasonably and that their actions significantly harmed you. Expert testimony is required for your medical malpractice case.
At Leeseberg & Valentine, we have full-time nurses on staff and access to a global network of medical specialists that we can consult with regarding your case.
Do most medical malpractice cases go to trial?
No. Statistically, most medical malpractice cases are resolved prior to trial. At Leeseberg & Valentine, we will evaluate all settlement offers and help you determine whether settling your case or proceeding to trial is in your best interest, based on the facts of your case.
How much will I be compensated for my medical malpractice claim?
It is impossible to estimate your potential compensation without thoroughly evaluating your case. Multiple economic and noneconomic factors are considered, including:
- The severity of your injuries
- Medical costs you incurred
- Lost wages due to time off work
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Emotional distress
How much does it cost to hire a medical malpractice attorney?
Medical malpractice cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not owe any attorney’s fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf. If your claim is successful, you will pay us a percentage of your awarded compensation. We can explain our fee structure more thoroughly during your initial case consultation.