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Navigating Loss: Wrongful Death vs. Medical Malpractice in Ohio

According to the Just Great Lawyers 2022 Medical Malpractice Statistics, between 15,000 and 18,000 medical malpractice suits are filed annually in the United States. If your loved one has passed away while in the hands of a medical professional, it’s important to understand the difference between wrongful death vs medical malpractice in Ohio. This knowledge will equip you to work through your case more effectively, especially with the help of a medical malpractice or wrongful death lawyer.

Wrongful Death vs. Medical Malpractice in Ohio

Defining the Terms

Wrongful Death

In the state of Ohio, wrongful death is a broad term and applies to any situation in which someone’s actions cause someone else’s death. It can be either intentional or negligent.

A wrongful death claim can be filed by a spouse, child, or estate representative of the deceased. In order to prove wrongful death has taken place, negligence and causation must be able to be identified. A successful claim will be able to recover lost income, loss of companionship, medical expenses, and more.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is much more specific. For a situation to be classified as medical malpractice, a healthcare provider must have performed some error that resulted in patient harm, or death.

Healthcare providers are expected to meet a standard of level of care. It’s when those providers fail to meet that standard that malpractice takes place. In Ohio, a malpractice claim must meet these criteria: failure to meet standard care, negligence, and significant damage.

If the malpractice resulted in death, then this situation would be a type of wrongful death. A successful claim will be able to recover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Comparing and Contrasting Wrongful Death vs Medical Malpractice

All medical malpractice situations that result in death fall under wrongful death, but not all wrongful death cases are medical malpractice cases. Understanding the details that set these two claims apart is crucial to getting fair compensation. Working with a wrongful death lawyer is the best way to cover all the details and secure that compensation. Here are some of those differences.

Focus: While wrongful death focuses on the family’s loss, medical malpractice focuses on the patient’s injury. If that injury resulted in death, then that would constitute a wrongful death.

Elements: Different elements need to be proven in each type of claim. For example, in a medical malpractice situation, a lawyer will need to show that the standard of expected care in Ohio was not met.

Damages: Recoverable damages differ between the two claims. Since medical malpractice is more focused on the patient’s injury and death, then compensation would cover things like medical bills. On the other hand, wrongful death would be concerned with compensating the loss of a family member. Regardless of the type of claim, a lawyer will work to ensure all aspects of the situation are covered

Statute of Limitations: The timeframe to file each type of claim may vary. In Ohio, a wrongful death claim must be filed within two years, while a medical malpractice claim must be filed within one year. It’s best to consult with an Ohio personal injury lawyer no matter how much time has passed.

Seeking Legal Guidance

Whether you wish to file a wrongful death or medical malpractice claim, it is essential to seek legal counsel from an experienced Ohio medical malpractice or wrongful death lawyer. A lawyer will be able to help you decide which type of claim to file. They’ll also be your guide from start to finish, working hard to see your claim through to compensation. With a compassionate team on your side, you can focus on healing, and leave the rest to them.

When a loved one passes while in the care of another, navigating that loss can be a challenge, and knowing what type of claim to file is important. With millions recovered for our clients, Tittle & Perlmuter knows how to proceed with your case. We keep each and every one of our clients updated throughout the entire process and make sure they understand the details of each step.

Schedule a free strategy session to get the next steps in your claim by calling (216) 222-2222, or filling out the form below.