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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Legal Deadlines Revealed: Understanding Personal Injury Statute of Limitations - Ohio

When someone falls victim to another's negligence in Ohio, they have the right to seek compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. However, the Ohio personal injury statute of limitations is a critical element to remember in such circumstances.


This legal framework defines a precise window within which accident victims can file their personal injury claims. Letting this period lapse could potentially eradicate their chances of recovering compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.


Given the gravity of these legal consequences, promptly contacting an Ohio personal injury lawyer after an accident is of utmost importance. They can advise on situations like paying medical bills after your personal injury in Ohio.


Moreover, in this article, victims will learn everything they should know about the statute of limitations, including the timelines, exceptions, and more.


The Personal Injury Statute of Limitations - Ohio

The Personal Injury Statute of Limitations - Ohio


In the realm of personal injury law, Ohio's statute of limitations serves as a pivotal factor. It establishes a timeframe of two years during which an injured party can file a personal injury claim against the party at fault.


This countdown usually starts either on the day the injury occurred or when it could reasonably have been discovered.


However, determining the starting point of this countdown is not always simple. The statute of limitations considers cases where the injury isn't immediately apparent, allowing the countdown to begin from the day the injury was diagnosed.


Furthermore, this two-year window is not only confined to personal injury claims arising from incidents such as car accidents, slip & fall accidents, or dog bites but also applies to a wrongful death claim.


Moreover, it is important to note that there are specific exceptions under Ohio law that might influence the commencement of this time frame, marking the importance of understanding the nuances of the Ohio personal injury statute.


Timely Filing of Personal Injury Claims in Ohio: Know the Deadlines


When it comes to filing a personal injury claim under Ohio law, timing is critical. A finite two-year window exists from the date of injury for individuals to bring forth a claim.


Delaying the claim beyond this period may forfeit the chance to obtain compensation, regardless of the circumstances surrounding incidents such as car accidents, dog bites, or slip-and-fall accidents.


The two-year period is relevant not only to personal injury claims but also to wrongful death claims. In these instances, the time starts ticking from the date of death.


If a claim is filed after this period, it is likely to be dismissed in court unless a particular exception applies.


Flexibility for Undiscovered Injuries: Diagnosis or Discovery Matters


However, the Ohio personal injury statute is flexible and considers cases where an injury is not immediately noticeable.


Hence, if an injury arises from exposure to harmful substances or faulty medical devices, the two-year countdown begins from the day the injury was diagnosed or reasonably discovered.


Exceptions for Minors, Incapacitated Individuals, and Medical Malpractice


There are also provisions for claimants who were minors or legally incapacitated at the time of injury. In such cases, they are given two years from their 18th birthday or the removal of their disability status to file a claim.


Ohio law is a little stricter in medical malpractice, allowing only one year from the discovery of injury to file a claim, with a four-year limit from the date of the malpractice.


Product and Premises Liability Exceptions


When it comes to product liability and premises liability, the personal injury statute of limitations follows a similar two-year rule, with a 10-year cut-off from the acquisition of the product or completion of the property improvement.


However, if the defect is discovered within two years of this ten-year limit, a claim can still be filed within two years from the date of discovery.


Understanding these time constraints associated with the Ohio statute of limitations is crucial to ensuring a successful legal pursuit and maintaining the opportunity to recover deserved compensation.


Exceptions to the Ohio Personal Injury Statute of Limitations


While the two-year timeline seems rigid, there are scenarios within the Ohio statute of limitations that can pause or "toll" this time frame, extending the period within which a lawsuit can be filed.


Discovery of Injury


Sometimes, the repercussions of an accident are not immediately apparent. Victims might discover their injuries after several weeks, months, or even years later.


This phenomenon gives rise to the 'discovery rule.' The rule effectively suspends the two-year statute of limitations until the injury is discovered or reasonably should have been.


In Ohio personal injury claims, individuals who suffer injury often require thorough assessment from a competent medical authority, ensuring every detail of their case is meticulously evaluated.


Legal Disabilities


A legal disability is a condition that hinders an individual's ability to defend their own legal rights. Age and mental illness are recognized legal disabilities in Ohio.


If an individual is under 18 years of age or deemed "of unsound mind," the statute of limitations doesn't commence until the legal disability is removed.


Absent or Concealed Defendants


The Ohio statute also accounts for instances where the defendant is either absent from the state or deliberately concealed within it. In such situations, the two-year clock ticking is halted until the defendant is back in the state or their concealment ends.


Defendants in Prison


If the party responsible for the injury is serving time in prison, the Ohio statute of limitations temporarily stops the countdown. Moreover, the limitation period resumes once the defendant is released from prison.


In essence, these exceptions reflect the flexible and adaptable nature of the statute of limitations. They help ensure fairness, balancing the need for timely legal action against the reality of unpredictable and complex personal injury lawsuits.


The Crucial Role of an Attorney in Personal Injury Lawsuits

The Crucial Role of an Attorney in Personal Injury Lawsuits


Dealing with a personal injury lawsuit in Ohio can be difficult. It requires an understanding of the Ohio negligence statute, the Ohio personal injury claims process, and the intricate details of the statute of limitations.


In the face of injury and trauma, deciphering legal nuances can be overwhelming. Therefore, an Ohio personal injury attorney can make a significant difference.


With expert knowledge of the Ohio statute and a commitment to recover compensation, personal injury lawyers guide those who have suffered injury through the legal processes, aiming to obtain the best possible outcome.


Final Thoughts


In the legal complexities surrounding a personal injury claim, understanding the nuances of the Ohio negligence statute, the statute of limitations, and the processes for pursuing wrongful death claims is crucial.


Navigating these procedures can seem impossible, especially when grappling with bodily injury and personal loss. However, reaching out to expert legal professionals such as Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can be invaluable in such circumstances. They can help answer questions such as, "What is the average personal injury settlement in Ohio?"


With a reputation for fighting fiercely to protect its clients' rights and obtaining compensation for their injuries, the professionals provide a beacon of hope amidst the challenges of an Ohio personal injury claim.

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