Cleveland Medical Malpractice Attorney Discusses Negligence and Liability June 12, 2012.

When you are filing a psychiatric malpractice claim, you have to understand the various types of negligence involved. Ohio’s medical malpractice law, formally known as S.B. 281, states 3 different types of negligence and liability that may be involved in any claim: contributory or comparative negligence, joint and several liability, and vicarious liability. The law also discusses contribution, which explores the role of the doctor in the malpractice claim.

Contributory or Comparative Negligence

Ohio law uses comparative negligence, where compensation is recovered based on the proportion of the claimant’s fault. What this means is that a doctor is found to be negligent based on how much their actions affected the outcome. This affects the extent to which they are held accountable.

Joint and Several Liability

This rule explains that if there are multiple defendants in a malpractice case, their share of the damages is proportional to their percentage of fault. For example, if you have a doctor and a drug company at fault in your psychiatric malpractice claim and they are equally found at 50% fault, they are responsible for 50% of the damages.

Vicarious Liability

This section discusses fault through vicarious actions or existence. For example, if a doctor is at fault, the hospital where he works can also be found liable under certain circumstances.


Under contribution codes, anyone who has paid more than his share of the liability can recover damages from others who are jointly or severally liable. For example, if you sue a doctor and they are only 50% liable, they can recover the other 50% in damages from other liable parties, as determined by the law.