New Ohio Legislation Seeks to Protect Negligent Docs

January 15, 2015 | Crandall & Pera Law
New Ohio Legislation Seeks to Protect Negligent Docs

Medical malpractice and medical negligence cases are complicated and difficult cases to bring forward. Numerous laws already exist which shield and benefit the defendant physicians and hospitals to the detriment of injured patients. Various legal opinions make bringing forward a malpractice case very expensive and difficult to prove at trial.

Because of the complicated nature of medical malpractice and medical negligence claims, it is important that the laws surrounding these issues remain as clear and impartial as possible, and that procedure is rigorously followed. A proposed new Ohio bill would muddy these waters by allowing doctors who speak privately with patients or families after a mistake to acknowledge responsibility or even admit to an error without that conversation being used against them in court. The bill is an expansion of the current “I’m Sorry” law, which already shields doctors’ apologies.

This legislation resembles an almost identical bill pending in Congress. Six states have similar laws in effect; the stated intention is to reduce unnecessary litigation by giving affected parties the answers they seek without having to go to court. However, there are concerns that the legislation is unethical and could even lead to perjury, as doctors who admitted mistakes in private conversations wouldn’t have to confirm such conversations under oath. Every other profession is required to disclose admission of mistakes to a jury or court.

Support of the proposed bill is understandably controversial. While the high cost of malpractice insurance is allegedly a contributing factor to high doctors’ fees, it is regarded as a necessary evil. Medical malpractice and medical negligence can have devastating impacts, and a mistake can have repercussions that last for a lifetime. Legislation like this adds an unnecessary safe guard to the physicians and hospitals, in an area of law that is already complicated and tilted in their favor.

Let Crandall & Pera Law help you with your medical malpractice claims

In Ohio, there is a relatively short statute of limitations for filing lawsuits for medical malpractice cases. The same is true of Kentucky. If you believe you have a case, it is imperative to seek expert counsel as soon as possible to best protect your rights. Contact Crandall & Pera Law for a free consultation at one of our Ohio or Kentucky law offices.