As is the case with other types of lawsuits, a Toledo resident has only a certain amount of time during which she must file a medical malpractice claim.
To give an overview of these rules, the basic idea is that a victim of medical malpractice has one year to file a lawsuit. There are several exceptions that extend this deadline. For instance, a person can obtain a 180 day extension on the one-year deadline by sending an appropriate legal notice to the medical professional that he intends to file suit.
Also, victims of medical malpractice who are legal minors or who are legally incompetent to file their own lawsuits may have additional time, often years, to take action. Moreover, even for adults who are legally competent, Ohio recognizes what is commonly referred to as the discovery rule.
The discovery rule recognizes that a layperson may not recognize right away that she is a victim of medical malpractice. It sometimes can take months or years to confirm that a person has been hurt by a doctor’s mistake.
As a result, it wouldn’t be fair to apply the one-year deadline in these circumstances, as a person could forfeit the right to file suit before he even knew he had that right.
Under Ohio law, a victim generally speaking must file suit within 4 years after the medical malpractice happens. That being said, a person who first discovers that she is the victim of malpractice even more than 3 years after the fact will have 1 year from that time to file suit.
While hopefully is a helpful overview, specific questions about these deadlines should be directed to an attorney. The bottom line, though, may well be that someone who thinks he has a medical malpractice case should explore that option as soon as possible.