Each state has its own set of statute of limitations that determine the timeframe that you have to file a lawsuit. For civil lawsuits, non-criminal cases, you must follow the statute of limitations that applies to your case or it will likely be dismissed and you will lose the right to pursue compensation from the at-fault party.
At O’Connor, Acciani & Levy, our team is well-versed in Ohio’s statute of limitations for civil lawsuits. We will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to review your claim and help you understand which statute of limitations may apply to your situation.
Our award-winning team of wrongful death attorneys has more than 200 years of combined legal experience representing victims of negligence in personal injury, product liability, medical malpractice and wrongful death cases. We have the skills and determination you need to obtain the compensation you deserve after being injured in an accident. All of our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only have to pay us if we help you recover compensation for your claim.
Wrongful Death Statute Of Limitations
A wrongful death occurs when a person dies because of another’s actions, or when the at-fault party’s actions would have entitled the decedent to have filed a personal injury claim if he or she had survived.
In Ohio, there is a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. This means a lawsuit must be filed in court or settled within two years of the decedent’s death by a personal representative of the decedent for the benefit of his or her surviving spouse, children and parents, according to ORC § 2125.02.
However, there are some exceptions that could delay or suspend the statute of limitations for a wrongful death case in Ohio.
For example, the discovery rule may be used to extend the time limit you have to bring a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party. In this situation, the statute of limitations would not begin until it is known that the decedent’s death was caused directly by the at-fault party’s negligence or intentional actions.
Wrongful Death Claims Involving A Defective Product
This also includes wrongful death cases where the decedent’s death was caused by using or being exposed to a defective product. The two-year statute of limitations will not begin until it is known the death was caused by a defective product.
However, wrongful death claims involving a defective product must be brought within 10 years of when the defective product was first sold.
If you believe your loved one’s death was caused by another’s negligence or recklessness, consider contacting a wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to discuss your claim. He or she will understand which statute of limitations applies to your claim and will work to hold the at-fault party liable for your loved one’s death.
Ohio’s statute of limitations for product liability claims requires you to file a lawsuit within two years after you or your loved one was injured by a defective product.
This two-year deadline begins on the date your injury occurred. However, Ohio product liability law prohibits any claims from being brought against a seller or manufacturer no later than 10 years after the defective product was sold to the first buyer or lessee, according to ORS § 2305.10(2)(C)(1).
This means regardless of when you or your loved one was injured by a defective product, you cannot bring a claim if it has been more than 10 years since the product was first sold.
In many cases, bringing a product liability claim against a negligent manufacturer or seller is a difficult process that requires extensive knowledge of Ohio’s product liability and personal injury laws. For this reason, it may be in your best interest to consult with an experienced product liability attorney to review your claim.
Any legal action against a medical, dental, optometric or chiropractic care provider must be brought within one year of suffering an injury due to medical negligence, according to ORS § 2305.113.
If you provide a written notice of your medical malpractice claim to the at-fault health care provider within the one-year deadline, your case may be filed against the at-fault party within 180 days after you provide the notice.
Typically, Ohio law also includes a four-year statute of repose for bringing a medical malpractice case against a negligent health care provider. This means that regardless of when you became aware of your injury, you must bring your case within four years of receiving substandard medical treatment or your claim will be dismissed and you cannot pursue compensation on from the at-fault party.
However, there are certain exceptions that may alter the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Ohio.
This includes cases where the victim did not know through reasonable care and diligence that he or she suffered an injury because of a health care provider’s negligence. If you can prove using clear and convincing evidence that you could not have discovered your injury within three years after receiving substandard medical treatment, but within the four-year deadline, you can bring a claim no later than one year after discovering your injury.
Additionally, the time limit you have to file a medical malpractice claim may be different if your claim involves a foreign object left inside your body. Regardless of the statute of repose, you will have one year to bring a medical malpractice claim after discovering the foreign object, or one year from the date you should have reasonably known of the foreign object’s presence, which ever date is sooner.
At O’Connor, Acciani & Levy, our medical malpractice attorneys understand how to effectively bring these types of claims against health care providers to hold them liable for medical negligence. We will review your claim during a free, no obligation consultation to help you understand how long you have to file a claim and whether you may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Claims Against The Government In Ohio
If you are considering bringing a claim against the state of Ohio, you have two years from the date of an accident caused by an officer or employee of the state that caused your injury or loved one’s death, according to ORS § 2743.16.
Additionally, ORS § 27440.04 extends the two-year statute of limitations for any claim involving and injury or death brought against a “political subdivision” in Ohio. A political subdivision includes a municipal corporation, township, county, school district and other bodies that have corporate and political responsibility for government activities throughout the state at a local level.
Tolling The Statute Of Limitations
Typically, the statute of limitations sets a strict deadline that all victims of negligence must follow to bring a valid claim against the party liable for their injury or loved one’s death.
However, under ORS § 2305.16, Ohio’s statute of limitations may be suspended, or “tolled,” until a later date. When this occurs, it means the applicable statute of limitations will be stopped and begin again on a later date decided by a court.
In Ohio, the statute of limitations may be tolled for cases involving:
Minors Under The Age Of 18
In cases where the victim who was injured as a result of the at-fault party’s negligence, the statute of limitations can be tolled until the victim reaches the age of 18.
However, the deadline that applies to the minor’s claim will begin running again on the date he or she turns 18 years old.
Victims Declared Mentally Unsound
If a court finds the victim of a personal injury, medical malpractice or wrongful death case is mentally unsound, the statute of limitations may be tolled. This includes cases where the victim is determined to be mentally incompetent and incapable of managing his or her own affairs.
When this occurs, the statute of limitations will begin again once a court determines the victim is once again of a sound mind. However, if the victim is institutionalized or hospitalized because he or she has been diagnosed with a mental illness, the statute of limitations may be tolled throughout the duration he or she is committed.
Schedule A Free Consultation With Our Attorneys
At O’Connor, Acciani & Levy, we are ready to help you with your case to help you meet the statute of limitations that applies to your claim.
Our team of skilled attorneys are well-versed in Ohio’s laws and is committed to helping our clients pursue the justice and compensation they deserve.
If you believe you may be entitled to compensation after an accident, contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We provide all of our services on a contingency fee basis, which means we will represent your claim for no upfront fees or cost. Our attorneys only get paid if you receive compensation for your claim.