If you have suffered an injury and are considering a lawsuit, one important factor to consider is the statute of limitations. If you do not file your lawsuit within the time frame specified by the law, you are barred from making any claim whatsoever, no matter how bad your injury or egregious the negligence responsible for your injury.
In Ohio, there are several different statutes that apply:
- Personal injury 2 years for cases involving bodily injury
- Product liability 2 years
- Medical malpractice 1 year
- Other professional malpractice 1 year
The time period for all these limitations begins when the “cause of action accrues.” For many cases, this is when the injury occurs. In other cases, such as those related to chemical exposure, dangerous “ethical” drugs, or defective medical devices, the statute of limitations begins when you are informed by a “competent medical authority” that you have an injury or when you “by the exercise of reasonable diligence” you should have known you had an injury. Since this second date is obviously subject to the judgment of the courts, it is always important to begin talking to a lawyer as soon as you learn about your injury.
For medical malpractice, you are barred from any actions four years after the incident, but this can be extended slightly. If you learn of your injury more than three years after the incident but less than four years after the incident, you can file within one year of the discovery date. You can also extend the filing date by 180 days as long as you provide written notice of an intent to file within the year.
There is never a good reason to wait in filing your personal injury claim. If you have been hurt, act today to protect your rights. Please contact Robert W. Kerpsack, CO, LPA today for a free initial consultation.