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State law outlines the procedure for filing an Ohio cerebral palsy lawsuit, while both state and federal laws apply in cases of discrimination. To give your child a better start in life, consider the benefits of filing a lawsuit on their behalf.
Before you take action, be sure you understand the process a little better, what it takes to get through each step, and how to have the best chance of a positive outcome. One of the first things you should do is hire the right Ohio cerebral palsy lawyer to provide advice and guidance and to help you make the right choices along the way.
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What Kinds of Lawsuits You Can File in Ohio for Cerebral Palsy
A lawsuit may not be the first thing on your mind after getting a cerebral palsy diagnosis for your baby. Yet, there are several reasons that legal action may be a good idea.
- If medical negligence harmed your child, you might need to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to get justice, hold those responsible accountable, and to recover damages to help pay for medical expenses.
- If your child is experiencing discrimination, you can file a charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission or with a federal agency. You may also choose to file a civil lawsuit. Any of these actions can help resolve the situation, give your child access and opportunities, restore adequate services for your child, or recover damages.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Ohio
Medical malpractice is a situation in which a medical practitioner has failed to provide an adequate standard of care for a patient, resulting in significant harm to that patient. If you suspect your doctor or someone else made a negligent mistake in your care or your child’s care that contributed to cerebral palsy, you may have a case. The process of filing depends on state laws.
Statute of Limitations
One of the most critical Ohio laws of which you need to be aware of is the statute of limitations, which puts a time limit on when you can file this kind of lawsuit. Ohio law gives you just one year from the time the negligent medical incident occurred or from when you discovered it.  If you notify the defendant officially, that deadline may be extended by six months.
A primary reason for filing this kind of lawsuit is to recover the damages owed to your child for the harm caused. Discuss damages with your lawyer and what you can expect, but know that Ohio law puts a cap on non-economic damages. For economic losses, make sure your lawyer has all relevant information and documents, like medical bills, to estimate what you are owed.
Affidavit of Merit
Ohio law requires that you file an affidavit of merit to start a medical malpractice lawsuit. You must get a qualified medical expert to review your case and sign this statement to indicate your case has merit and is not frivolous.  The Ohio requirements that make an expert qualified are strict, but your lawyer will have the connections to be able to find someone.
The affidavit of merit allows your lawyer to officially notify defendants in your case and begin the actual lawsuit. Both sides will have time to investigate, collect evidence, and conduct depositions, for your lawyer to prove your case, and for the other side to defend those you are accusing.
At this time, both parties are also likely to begin negotiations for a settlement. You can approve or deny any offer in this process.
Most malpractice lawsuits end in the settlement phase, as most defendants find it less expensive and less risky to settle. Trials can be costly and lengthy if they lose. If you go to trial, your lawyer will argue your case for the jury. You may or may not need to testify.
The jury will decide if negligence contributed to your child’s cerebral palsy and, if so, what damages are owed.
Filing a Cerebral Palsy Discrimination Charge in Ohio
Discrimination based on disability is illegal under Ohio law in employment, housing, public accommodation, credit, and higher education. Federal laws protect your child and ensure adequate services in school and education before college.
To take legal action against discrimination in any area other than education, you can file a charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission in person, by mail, or online.  Your filing process then continues through specific steps:
- An investigator is assigned to your case and notifies the respondent of the charge.
- Both sides may agree to mediate, and if so, you will get guidance in trying to come to a mutually agreeable resolution to the situation.
- If you or the respondent decline mediation, or it fails, the respondent has to submit a position statement. An investigation follows.
- If the investigator finds there is no probable cause for discrimination, the case is closed. If there is probable cause, the Commission will pursue the matter further.
Another option you have is to start private legal action. Your lawyer can help you file a lawsuit against those responsible in an attempt to get a better resolution or to recover damages. For issues in education, your lawyer will help you file a complaint and go through the process with the U.S. Department of Education.
Before you begin any lawsuit filing process in Ohio, be sure you have the best lawyer to guide you. Rely only on someone with experience in these areas, a lawyer or law firm who specializes in disability cases, medical malpractice, and discrimination.
You need the expertise of a trustworthy Ohio cerebral palsy lawyer to make sure you get through the filing process smoothly and have the best chance of winning for your child.
- Medical liability/Malpractice statutes of limitation. (2014, March 20). Legislative News, Studies and Analysis | National Conference of State Legislatures.
Retrieved from: https://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/medical-liability-malpractice-statutes-of-limitation.aspx
- Medical liability/Malpractice merit affidavits and expert witnesses. (2014, June 24). Legislative News, Studies and Analysis | National Conference of State Legislatures.
Retrieved from: https://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/medical-liability-malpractice-merit-affidavits-and-expert-witnesses.aspx
- Ohio civil rights commission. Filing a charge, charge filing procedure. (n.d.). Ohio Civil Rights Commission.
Retrieved from: https://crc.ohio.gov/FilingaCharge/ChargeFilingProcedure.aspx