The Buckeye State is known for many things. One thing that Ohio is famous for, at least in medical malpractice law circles, is the short length of time you have to sue a hospital, doctor or other healthcare provider for malpractice.
Here in Ohio, the statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims is just one year. This means you have one year to file suit, or at least notify the defendant that you are considering a lawsuit within one year of the incident that injured you. However, there is an important exception to this rule that can extend the deadline for taking legal action to four years.
Many times, medical malpractice is not immediately obvious. You might not realize your illness or injury was caused by a medical professional’s negligence for months or even years afterward. The law recognizes this. It states that as long as four years from the date of the malpractice occurred to the date of filing suit can pass, as long as the injury could not reasonably have been discovered within three years.
Proving that you filed in time
The legal burden is on the plaintiff to prove by clear and convincing evidence that they could not have discovered the harm, using reasonable diligence, within three years. This can be a complicated process. The defendant and their medical malpractice insurance provider will likely try to claim that the injury was reasonably discoverable sooner than three years later.
Procedural matters like the statute of limitations can derail a malpractice claim before it can begin, no matter how much the evidence is in the plaintiff’s favor. If you are concerned that you are running out of time to file your claim, consult a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.