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Two ways to avoid or limit medical, hospital malpractice liability

For both physicians and hospitals sued by patients, minimizing liability in medical malpractice and hospital malpractice claims is an important task, and one which requires knowledge of the law, keen negotiation skills, and the ability to effectively use the legal process.

Each malpractice case is different, so the strategy for minimizing the effects of a lawsuit is different in each case, but there are two particular areas physicians and hospitals should pay attention to when seeking to limit liability. One of these is the statute of limitations, which is the deadline by which a malpractice suit must be filed. 

Under Ohio law, medical and hospital malpractice claims must be filed within one year of the discovery of the injury, or within one year of when the patient should have reasonably discovered the injury, and no more than four years after the underlying action or omission. Determining the correct deadline for filing a claim is not always straightforward, and it can be a point of dispute in litigation. In some cases, the determination of the statute of limitations deadline can work in favor of the hospital or physician.

Another important area where liability can be limited in medical and hospital malpractice claims is with respect to damages. First of all, Ohio law does not put limitations on economic damages, which include wages, salaries, lost compensation, medical expenses, rehabilitation services, treatment, products, accommodations, and any other expenses incurred as a result of the injury or death. There is a limit, however, on noneconomic damages in medical and hospital malpractice cases.

In our next post, we’ll look at this issue, as well as limiting malpractice damages in general, and the role an experienced malpractice defense attorney can play in these cases.

Sources:

Ohio Revised Code, Section 2305.113

Ohio Revised Code, Section 2323.43

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