When it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits in Ohio, there are several factors that can complicate the timeline imposed by state law for filing. Sometimes, the cause of an injury or the actual malpractice occurs without symptoms of the injury becoming apparent until later — in some cases, several years later.
Ohio state law imposes a statute of limitations, or a time limit, on the amount of time permitted for filing a lawsuit before it is no longer permitted by law. However, there are several details that play into the statute of limitations, and each potential case must be examined on its own merits.
Ohio medical malpractice statute of limitations
Broadly speaking, Ohio state law allows one year as the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. According to law, this includes an action upon a “medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic claim” and the law states specifically that the action must start within one year “after the cause of action accrued.” There are different factors that can determine when the cause of action accrued, so it is best to speak with a medical malpractice attorney to find out which factor applies in your particular case. Additionally, not all health care mistakes qualify as medical malpractice.
Statute of repose
Now, on addition to the one-year statute of limitations, there is another overarching time restriction placed on medical malpractice claims in the state. This is Ohio’s statute of repose. Under this law, medical malpractice cases in the state generally must be filed within four years of the underlying incident.
So, although the general statute of limitations is one year, various factors can play a role on when a medical malpractice claim needs to be filed by. Once again, an important step to take can be to consult as soon as possible with a medical malpractice attorney to find out the particulars about your individual case and how to move forward.