Questions From the Average Joe: Medical Malpractice ll

by NPHM | June 17th, 2020

Q: How much time do I have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit?

Image of a new patient registration formA: In Ohio, there is generally a one-year statute of limitations on a medical malpractice lawsuit, but many factors can change exactly how long you have to bring your case. These include issues with when you discovered the injury, your age when you were injured, and the nature of the injury itself. The only way to know for sure is to speak with a personal injury attorney about the facts of your case. Even if you think it might be too late, a qualified personal injury attorney can discuss the specifics of your case with you so you can know for sure.

Q: I went to the doctor last year with an unrelenting stomach pain. My doctor didn’t perform any tests but diagnosed me with acid reflux and gave me a prescription. The pain never went away, and I continued to suffer. I finally got a second opinion and learned I have cancer. Can I sue my first doctor for the misdiagnosis?

A: A misdiagnosis is an avoidable medical mistake that can often lead to a viable medical malpractice lawsuit. Such a lawsuit though, is heavily fact dependent. As a general rule, the viability of a medical malpractice lawsuit hinges on the extent of the injury. Here, the “injury” is the difference in time between your initial visit with your doctor and your eventual diagnosis, and the progression of the cancer during that time. If it can be determined and proven that a year’s difference in diagnosis would lead to a significantly better outcome for you, then you may have a strong case.

There are, however, multiple factors that can have an impact on whether it makes sense for you to pursue a lawsuit. These include the entirety of your medical history, your likelihood of recovery, the reasonableness of the original diagnosis, and the stage of your cancer at the time it was diagnosed.

An experienced medical malpractice attorney can review all of these with you and help you determine if a lawsuit is right for you. Even if you’re not sure whether you want to pursue a lawsuit, since the statute of limitations is only one year in Ohio, a conversation with an attorney soon after your diagnosis can help you make that decision before it’s too late.

Q: My doctor prescribed me a medication and I had a bad reaction. Can I sue the doctor or the drug manufacturer?

A: There is certainly a possibility that you may have a case, but it depends on the details of your situation. As a rule, you cannot sue for known side-effects from drugs, but reality is not often so clear-cut. If you have an allergic reaction to a drug your doctor should have known you were allergic to, you may have a medical malpractice case. If the side-effects you experienced are not listed side-effects, you may have a product liability case against the manufacturer. For example, in recent years several well-known, broadly used medications have been linked to certain types of cancer. Additionally, if your reaction was due to a drug interaction your pharmacist should have caught, you may have a case against the pharmacy. If you have been injured by a medication your doctor prescribed, your best option is to contact an experienced attorney who can evaluate all the potential claims you may have.

Headshot of Zachary Belcher, Intake Attorney at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthyGet to Know

Zachary Belcher joined Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy and ensures that every individual who contacts the firm receives outstanding service and support throughout the intake process.

Zack graduated from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2015 and has handled more than 500 injury cases for clients injured in automobile accidents. He understands the stressful and life-altering situations clients face before seeking a personal injury attorney. 

Contact Our Cleveland Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Healthcare providers occasionally make mistakes. Proving that those mistakes were due to negligence—or failure to act with reasonable care—can be difficult. The Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy ca help you determine who was at fault for your injury. We have years of experience as trial attorneys, and we will stand up to the hospital and doctors who injured you. Call us today at (216) 230 – 6352 or complete a free initial consultation form.