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If you have lost a loved one from a Toledo medical malpractice wrongful death accident, consult an experienced Toledo wrongful death attorney to represent you. Medical malpractice in Ohio that results in death gives rise to two distinct causes of action:
(1) A “survival action” medical malpractice claim for the victim’s personal pain and suffering prior to death, and
(2) A “wrongful death” claim for the loss suffered by the victim’s spouse and next of kin after the victim’s death.
As discussed above, a medical malpractice claim is subject to a one-year statute of limitations (with the possibility of an 180-day extension if an 180-day letter is properly served). However, a wrongful death action is subject to a two-year statute of limitations, and this is true even if the wrongful death comes about as the result of medical malpractice. So, it is possible that a wrongful death action may still be available even if the underlying medical malpractice action is time-barred.
In addition, the Ohio Supreme Court has adopted a “discovery rule” that can extend the two-year wrongful death statute of limitations. Under the discovery rule, the two-year period in which to file a lawsuit starts when the plaintiff discovers, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have discovered, that a wrongful death has occurred. The start of the limitations period is delayed until triggered by a “cognizable event” that alerts the plaintiff of the potential for a wrongful death claim. The discovery rule was adopted to prevent the unfairness that would occur if the statute of limitations were rigidly followed. Such unfairness would exist in a wrongful death action where the victim’s survivors are not immediately aware that a wrongful death has occurred.
In a wrongful death claim, the surviving children and other next of kin may recover compensation for (1) loss of support from the reasonably expected earning capacity of the decedent; (2) loss of services of the decedent; (3) loss of the society of the decedent, including loss of companionship, consortium, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training, and education; (4) loss of prospective inheritance; and (5) mental anguish.
A knowledgeable Ohio medical malpractice attorney will be able to assign a value to each of these components and maximize the monetary award in a given case. If you and your family have lost a loved one in a Toledo medical malpractice wrongful death accident, it is crucial to seek the representation of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC