Like other cases bound by the statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Ohio, birth injury cases must be filed within one year of the injury. However, there could be exceptions that may apply.
With the limited time in which to file a case, it can be very helpful to seek legal advice with a Cleveland, Ohio medical malpractice lawyer. An attorney can also ensure that the legal process is handled appropriately to avoid preventable delays or detriments to the case that may prevent recovery of damages.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in Ohio
One possible exception to the requirement that the claim be filed within one year of the injury is when a written notice is sent to the medical provider before the time period has expired.
From the time the notice is sent, the claimant then has 180 days to file the lawsuit. So essentially, the requirement is that notice be given within a year, and then the lawsuit filed within 180 days after that.
Another potential exception to the statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Ohio is if the injury wasn’t immediately discovered. The long-term consequences of a birth injury may not always be evident right away.
So if it’s not discovered until later that a doctor’s negligent actions were the cause of injury, the claimant has up to four years to file a claim. However, once the injury has been discovered, the claim must be filed within one year.
If you’re unsure of any of these exceptions or do not know when the clock started ticking, talk to a Cleveland, Ohio medical malpractice lawyer for further guidance pertaining to your specific case.
Elements in a Birth Injury Claim
In addition to filing within the statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Ohio, there are certain elements that make filing a birth injury claim viable. One of the first is that the doctor owed a reasonable standard of care to the patient.
With birth injury cases, negligence may involve the OB-GYN but there could be others, such as midwives or nurses, who are also responsible for injuries. Whoever is responsible for the baby’s care during labor and delivery could potentially be a party named in a lawsuit if that professional acted outside of a reasonable standard of care.
What constitutes as reasonable standard of care is generally based upon what another medical professional, in the same set of circumstances would do. Factors that may contribute to this are judgment, skill, care and knowledge. An example would be an OB-GYN who incorrectly uses forceps and causes injury to the baby. Or there is a failure to monitor the baby when there are clear signs of distress.
Additionally, plaintiffs must prove that because of medical negligence, it caused serious or fatal injuries. A birth injury claim must show that damages—financial, emotional and/or physical—were suffered.
At the law firm of Mellino Robenalt LLC, our Cleveland, Ohio medical malpractice lawyers can provide legal guidance for malpractice cases involving birth injuries. We may be able to help determine if a case is legitimate, the types of compensation that may be sought and the legal options that could be available. And, of course, an attorney can ensure that a case is filed within the statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Ohio. Call us: 440-333-3800.