No matter how certain you are that what happened in your doctor’s office or hospital is malpractice, you have to get something known as an affidavit of merit to file a claim in Ohio. Let’s talk a little bit about what this is — and the pros and cons surrounding it.
What’s an affidavit of merit?
It’s a statement from another medical expert (in the same specialty as the one you may need to sue) attesting to the negligence involved in your case. A little more than half of the states in this country require some type of similar statement for a medical malpractice claim to move forward.
In Ohio, the affidavit must:
- Show that the expert has reviewed all of the medical records that surround the allegations of malpractice
- Show that the expert knows the standard of care that should have been applied in your case
- State that the expert believes that the other medical professional failed to live up to that standard of care
- State that the other medical professional’s failure to uphold that required standard of care is the cause of your injuries
In addition, you may need multiple affidavits — one for each defendant you name in the case. Naturally, that means having more than one expert on your side.
What’s the purpose of an affidavit of merit?
In theory, the point behind these affidavits is that they keep invalid and unwinnable cases from clogging up the courts. In practice, however, an affidavit of merit often reduces the ability of someone to have their case heard. The expense of having multiple experts weigh in on a case before it’s even filed is often prohibitive. It may not be financially feasible to file a claim unless serious injuries are involved.
If you think you may have been a victim of medical malpractice, find out more about what it takes to file a claim today.