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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Learn How to File a Lawsuit for: Personal Injury in Ohio

Personal injuries come in many different forms, including slips, dog bites, car accidents, etc. However, the common denominator is that there is negligence displayed by a party that leaves another injured and affected in one or more ways.

That injured party can then file a lawsuit or insurance claim to get compensation for whatever has been suffered. The information below tells you all the important details about how personal injury cases work in Ohio.

What Kinds of Damages Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Aim to Address?

What Kinds of Damages Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Aim to Address?

Typically, personal injury claims will tend to encompass two different classes of damages, which are economic and non-economic.

The former deals with dollar-value type effects of the injury on the victim. In other words, some things will have set costs that the affected party will try to recover. An example is the medical treatment that may have been needed in the form of surgery, medication, and physical therapy.

All these will have recorded charges from whichever medical institution is applicable. The figures can then be used by Ohio personal injury lawyers to reclaim such amounts. There are even situations where the legal process accounts for and awards funds based on medical expenses that are expected to come.

Non-economic damages are the other effects that cannot necessarily be measured, as they don't have a set cost. An example would be the pain that the victim suffers. It may not have a price tag, but it is still an effect of the accident. Therefore, the attorney will attribute a value to it. They can also provide assistance with how to file a lawsuit for construction accident in Ohio.

Note that apart from the two standard types of compensation, there may also be punitive damages in some cases. While these are awarded in the same manner as the other two, they are less of a mandate for the sake of the plaintiff's gain. Instead, they are meant to punish defendants who have intentionally done harm or were grossly negligent.

Is There a Deadline to File a Personal Injury Claim?

This timeline comes from the statute of limitations. In any given state, there is a time limit allotted for the initiation of personal injury cases. Ohio sets this timeline at two years from the date of the injury.

Therefore, any injured person who is a victim of one of the covered incidents has two years to get an Ohio personal injury lawsuit filed. Be that as it may, for the best results, it is advised that the process be started as early as possible, as this contributes to an overall stronger case.

Evidence tends to be disturbed and harder to collect as time passes. Additionally, defense lawyers will try to downplay injuries associated with delayed filings. The argument used is that the injury could not have been that serious if the person waited so long to claim.

To avoid these and other potential issues, such as losing access to the possibility of getting fair compensation, take the initiative to speak to a lawyer early to get the filing done. They can also help with how to file a lawsuit for slip and fall in Ohio.

A Comprehensive Look at the Ohio Personal Injury Case Process

Investigation Phase

The legal process that culminates in Ohio personal injury cases doesn't begin when the settlement negotiations start. Instead, the right decisions need to be made in the immediate aftermath of the accident.

Here, the victim, if possible, is advised to start gathering evidence from the scene, such as photos or the contact details of any witnesses who may have been present.

Depending on the type of incident that happens, police may be called to the scene. If not, a report is made to the appropriate precinct, which will try to determine the sequence of events.

Medical Attention

After leaving the accident scene, one of the most important steps is to get checked out by a medical professional. This is going to provide documentation for the claim on what kind of treatment was needed and the associated costs.

More important than documenting medical bills though, is the health of the victim. Many accidents cause internal injuries that are not seen or felt until it is too late. It is best to take the time to find out what is wrong, if anything.

Discussion with an Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer

When the insurance company of the liable party is made aware of what happened, it will likely come forward with a settlement, which may sound attractive. However, it will usually be a gross undervaluing of the case, as the intention is to give something upfront, while preventing the victim from making a claim later.

Avoid discussing anything with the firm's representatives. Decline to comment without a lawyer present. On that note, the next pressing step is to have a free initial consultation with the best personal injury lawyer in Toledo.

This will lay out the case's perceived strength, what is expected of the victim, and what will be done to tilt the scales when the claim is filed.

Attorney Investigation

Once the case is validated, a comprehensive investigation will be carried out at no cost to the victim. Personal injury lawyers tend to use a contingency fee system, which means no payment is required unless the case is won. The amount would be calculated as a percentage of the settlement.

Thanks to a combination of legal knowledge and a network of professionals in various fields, it becomes very straightforward to put a strong argument together.

Demand Letter

With proper evidence gathered and the value of the claim better understood, the filing process can begin. Depending on the injuries the victim sustained, it may be helpful to allow some time to pass for injuries to heal or for maximum medical improvement (MMI) to happen. MMI speaks to the point at which further recovery is not likely.

A demand letter will be sent to the insurance company representing the negligent party, which will include what took place, who is liable, what kinds of damages were suffered, and what amount of compensation is being sought.

Settlement Negotiations

An insurance company will very likely not respond favorably to that initial request for compensation. Apart from denying the claim, a counteroffer will often be made, which is a lot less than what the attorney was seeking. This is where negotiations start.

The bargaining power that the lawyer has will depend on the body of information that has been collected. That data will indicate the level of negligence displayed at the onset of the incident and the consequences to the victim.

Personal Injury Trial

While many settlements are reached through the negotiation process, this is not always the case. The inability to agree is the catalyst for personal injury lawsuits. Therefore, the plan is for the retained legal professional to initiate the process of filing one.

With that said, it then becomes time to get the trial preparations underway. Another case-building effort happens here, which starts with the discovery process. It requires both sides to share information. This is often used as an opportunity to gather more evidence, and to understand where there may be some level of weakness in the defendant's arguments.

Depositions may become involved, and these refer to lawyers speaking to different relevant persons, such as the police, witnesses, doctors, etc. Interrogatories may also be sent out, which are written question lists for others to answer.

Depending on the situation, Ohio courts may advise both parties to try mediation, which is the last chance to avoid a trial. This process will see a mediator discuss the case with both sides to try to help them reach common ground on a settlement offer.

The trial then requires each side to present its case. Note that the insurance company may reach out at any time to try to settle. Plaintiffs tend to experience this most when it appears that the jury will rule in the victim's favor, though this is not always how things unfold.

Assuming that there is no such attempt to reach an agreement, the jury will decide on the outcome. The verdict will confirm fault, and it will also indicate if any compensation is to be awarded, alongside what the expected amount is.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Ohio Today!

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Ohio Today!

When someone's negligence causes someone else to suffer losses because of an accident, justice needs to be served. Why should you be in agony when you did nothing wrong? Don't allow that to happen!

You know how important it is to have an Ohio personal injury lawyer on your side, based on what was said above, right? Don't you want one who is prepared to go to war for you if that is what's required?

At Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys, we embody the compassion and tact necessary to get our clients through what is undoubtedly a tough time. Simultaneously, we are also ruthless in our approach to ensuring that those who showed no care and injured you pay what is deserved.

Knowing all the tricks insurance companies use is why we succeed and have already recovered over $1 billion for over 70,000 satisfied clients.

Schedule your free consultation today with a master Ohio personal injury attorney!


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