In order to seek recovery through a medical malpractice civil lawsuit, the plaintiff must commence the action within specified time periods as outlined under Ohio law. These time frames for filing are called statutes of limitations, and any actions filed beyond those deadlines will in most cases be time-barred, allowing no action for recovery.
Generally, medical malpractice suits must be filed within one year of the date of the injury caused by the negligent act or omission. This general rule is applicable in claims involving chiropractic, medical, dental and optometric care. There are certain exceptions to the general statutory deadline, however. A person who provides notice to the medical provider of an intent to file suit within the one-year time frame will then have 180 days from the date of notice to file the complaint.
Sometimes, people are not aware of the injury caused by medical malpractice for some time. A person who discovers an injury within three years of the malpractice will have a year from the date of the discovery to file. The plaintiff must not reasonably have been able to know or discover the injury prior to the discovery date. People who discover a foreign object left behind in their bodies have one year to file upon its discovery unless they should have reasonably known of its existence. Those who are seeking an exemption from the statutorily imposed limitations on filing must be able to prove by clear and convincing evidence the grounds that form the basis for late filing.
Injuries caused by medical malpractice may not be immediately known. Upon discovery, however, it is important to file a lawsuit as soon as possible in order to meet the statutory deadlines, or recovery may be forever barred.
Source: LAWriter, "2305.113 Medical malpractice actions," accessed on Jan. 9, 2015