When you think about filing a lawsuit against someone for their negligence that caused you harm, you probably envision taking your time, being careful, and getting all the evidence you can before you make your claim known. While this can certainly be a good strategy, it is important not to let too much time pass due to Ohio State’s statute of limitation on personal injury cases, especially when they pertain to medical malpractice suits. If you wait too long, your case could be over before it even begins.
What is a Statute of Limitation Anyway?
You can think of a statute of limitation on lawsuits like the deadline for turning in homework. Once the bell rings, the teacher will no longer accept your work, no matter how much effort you put into it and how accurate all your answers might be. Once the statute of limitations ends, any lawsuit you bring against the offender essentially has no merit, and they can move for it to be thrown out the instant it is brought to the court.
Ohio Medical Malpractice Time Limits
For most medical malpractice cases in Ohio, the statute of limitations is 4 years after the point of injury. For example, if you were hurt in June 2012 by a doctor’s negligence, you would have until June of 2016 to file a lawsuit against them or their practice. But medical malpractice cases are not always straightforward because the harm caused is not always apparent. Sometimes the wrong surgery or medication won’t have an effect on the patient for years down the line. What happens then?
Thankfully, legislators are not strangers to this unfortunate scenario, and have adopted what is known as the “discovery rule.” If someone realizes a malady is related to a medical malpractice event outside the normal 4 year statute of limitations, the discovery rule permits them to still file a lawsuit for 1 year after that date of discovery or realization. For example, if you were told to take heart medication 5 years ago but were told just a month ago that they were causing your liver failure, you would still have conceivably 11 months to take action.
As mentioned before, you should not bank on using every last moment of your statute of limitations before taking action. The truth is that you can file a lawsuit as soon as you know someone else has caused you harm, and leave the investigations and complicated work to our Columbus medical malpractice attorneys at Rourke and Blumenthal. When it comes time to take your matter to the conference room to negotiate a settlement or the courtroom to fight for one, you can rely on our 75+ years of collective legal and trial experience to be ready for anything the opposition throws at us.
Call 614.321.3212 today to request your free case evaluation for more information.