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Questions from the Average Joe: Personal Injury ll

May 28, 2020

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Q: My mother died following a surgery 18 months ago. I’ve always wondered about what happened, but isn’t the medical malpractice statute one year?

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A: Few things in life are more stressful than the passing of a loved one. Atop the heartache of the tragedy itself, so many things need to be planned and addressed in a very short window. Often, the last thing on your mind is filing a lawsuit. Thankfully, although the medical malpractice statute is only one year in Ohio, a claim for any death caused by another’s negligence has a two-year statute of limitations in Ohio.

If your mother’s death was caused by something that went wrong in surgery, you may still have a viable wrongful death claim for her passing. In a wrongful death claim, however, causation is key. An autopsy report and an official cause of death on a death certificate are important pieces of evidence that will either make or break most wrongful death claims. If you’re unsure of whether you have a case related to the passing of a loved one, an experienced attorney can help you go over the facts and determine if a lawsuit makes sense in your situation.

Q: I was hit by a police officer while he was chasing a speeding vehicle. He had his lights on, but it was like he didn’t even see me. I was badly injured in the accident. Though I don’t have insurance, it was clearly the officer’s fault. It feels like a slam dunk case, but every attorney I’ve talked to has turned me down. Why?

A: Sometimes, efforts to keep our communities safe come with unintended consequences unlucky individuals have to bear on their own. This, unfortunately, is one of those instances. Ohio grants broad immunity to police officers while they are actively engaged in pursuit of suspects. At least in theory, the Ohio legislative body does not want a crime to be carried out that could have been avoided if the officer hadn’t been worried about being sued for a car accident. Sometimes, this means the worst happens and an officer causes an accident while responding to a call. That said, it is not a blanket immunity for all accidents police officers may cause.

If you were hurt in an accident caused by an officer's negligent driving when he was not responding to a call, you may have a case. The lines are not always clear, but an experienced attorney can help you walk through the situation and the options to determine if your accident might justify a lawsuit.

Q: Is there a difference between medical negligence and medical malpractice?

A: Though “malpractice” might sound like a higher degree of negligence, under Ohio law it’s simply the word used for negligent acts committed by licensed professionals. There is not a separate claim for medical negligence apart from medical malpractice. Even so, medical malpractice claims are often highly complex and technically intricate. If you think you might have a medical malpractice claim, it is always best to seek the advice of an experienced attorney who knows how to navigate their multi-faceted and often confusing complexities.

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 at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can 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.

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