Grief touches everyone, and the tragedy of losing a loved one is only amplified when the loss could have been prevented.
Sadly, preventable deaths occur more often than you might think, and sometimes, in a medical setting.
But what can be done in a preventable death in a medical setting? Can an individual sue a doctor or, if the fault seems more large-scale, a hospital, for medical malpractice?
That’s where Cooper Elliott comes in. Our team of experienced Ohio wrongful death attorneys have decades of experience, and we’re here to help you find the answers and fight to hold wrongdoers accountable.
What is considered a wrongful death in Ohio?
By way of background, wrongful death is defined by Ohio law as a death caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of another party. And a wrongful death caused by medical malpractice is only one type of wrongful death.
Other types include:
- Vehicle accidents
- Hazing rituals
- E-scooter and e-bike wrecks
- Amusement park ride malfunctions
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Nursing home negligence
- Product liability accidents
Fatalities and individuals in these cases can be considered wrongdoers. And if a victim could have survived an accident, and would have been entitled to a personal injury claim, then that would be considered a wrongful death under Ohio law.
Suing a hospital for medical malpractice in Ohio
As mentioned above, medical malpractice that causes someone’s death can be considered a wrongful death, meaning you may be able to hold a hospital or medical provider responsible.
Medical malpractice cases can be difficult to prove because there are many people, supplies, and systems that make up healthcare. But our medical malpractice lawyers dig deep to understand the root of what went wrong, and how that wrongdoing caused the wrongful death.
Some examples of medical malpractice include:
What is the standard of care in a medical malpractice case?
As a starting point, it’s important to understand the term, “standard of care.”
All medical professionals must adhere to a “standard of care,” or the administration of care at the same “standard” as would be provided by other reasonable professionals in the same profession.
To win a medical malpractice lawsuit, including one that resulted in a wrongful death, you are required to first prove that the doctor, nurse, or other medical professional deviated from the “standard of care.” Further, you must prove that the deviation from the standard of care caused the harm or death.
In a case against a hospital, you must prove that the hospital itself was responsible for the individual’s wrongful death. For example, you may need to prove:
- The person died at the hospital because of a hospital employee’s negligence
- The hospital was negligent in providing training, resources, and/or equipment to the medical professional who violated the standard of care
- The hospital was negligent in hiring, supervising, or credentialing the medical professional
What else is required in a medical malpractice case?
In the state of Ohio, a plaintiff must include a document called an affidavit of merit with their medical malpractice complaint.
An affidavit of merit is a sworn statement by a medical expert. In the statement, the medical expert must attest that they:
- Reviewed the applicable medical records available to him or her;
- Are familiar with the applicable standard of care; and
- Believe that the defendants named in complaint breached the standard of care, which caused the injury or death to the plaintiff.
What is the statute of limitations for a wrongful death suit in Ohio?
Medical malpractice cases in Ohio, including those for a wrongful death, have a short statute of limitations–one year. It’s crucial, therefore, to contact a team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys like those at Cooper Elliott as soon as possible after you lose someone in a medical setting.
A wrongful death medical malpractice suit ma\y be brought by a “personal representative” of the deceased’s estate, who may or may not be a family member of the deceased.
Contact Cooper Elliott Wrongful Death Attorneys in Ohio
A wrongful death is a type of unimaginable loss for any family, and no one – including hospitals – are absolved of accountability. If medical malpractice led to your loved one’s wrongful death in Ohio, our Cooper Elliott medical malpractice attorneys are here to help you achieve justice for your loved one. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.