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When to Hire an Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer

Offered by Kisling, Nestico & Redick

If you were injured due to negligence, it's important to know your legal options

Accidents happen every day in Ohio, but when victims are forced to navigate the aftermath of an injury involving negligence, it's essential to understand when to contact a personal injury attorney.

Working with a personal injury lawyer can make the compensation recovery process much smoother. It allows victims to focus on their health instead of putting all their energy into fighting with insurance companies.

For most people, hiring a personal injury lawyer isn't something they ever thought they would need to do. But when faced with injuries and the need to seek compensation from those responsible, finding the right attorney becomes a priority.

What qualifies as a personal injury?

Knowing when to hire a personal injury attorney starts with understanding what qualifies as a personal injury. Typically, personal injury cases stem from incidents where an individual is harmed due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another. Here are some common types of personal injury claims, each of which involves specific circumstances and considerations:

  • Auto accidents: Personal injury claims arising from car accidents often involve determining fault and assessing the extent of injuries sustained by the parties involved. These cases can range from collisions resulting in significant injuries to fatal crashes that result in a wrongful death.
  • Premises liability: Property owners and managers can be held responsible for injuries that occur on their premises due to hazardous conditions. Claims involving slip and fall accidents or inadequate security are among the most common types of premises liability cases that require the help of a personal injury lawyer.
  • Dog bites: Victims of dog attacks may pursue compensation for medical expenses and emotional distress caused by the incident. Determining liability for a dog bite in Ohio can be a complex process due to the state's "one bite rule," but a personal injury attorney can help the dog bite victim navigate the process. 
  • Product liability: Injuries resulting from defective products or dangerous drugs may lead to product liability claims. These cases involve manufacturers, distributors, and sellers who may be held liable for harm caused by their products.
  • Work injuries: Workers injured on construction sites or other workplaces may be eligible to file personal injury lawsuits against negligent employers or third parties. Depending on the circumstances of the injury, some workers may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit in addition to filing for Ohio workers' compensation benefits.
  • Medical malpractice: Medical negligence claims can arise from errors made by negligent healthcare professionals, such as misdiagnoses, surgical mistakes, or medication errors. These cases can be highly contested and often require expert medical testimony.
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): Concussions and other forms of brain injuries can result from various accidents, such as falls or auto accidents. Proving the extent of brain damage and its impact on the victim's life, both now and in the future, is a critical aspect of these claims.
  • Spinal cord injuries (SCIs): Cases involving spinal cord injuries often entail substantial medical expenses and long-term care needs. Personal injury attorneys help victims seek compensation for their ongoing treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Permanent disability: Injuries that result in permanent disability, such as loss of limb function or mobility, may necessitate a personal injury claim to cover ongoing medical expenses, rehabilitation, and compensation for the significant impact on the victim's quality of life.
  • Wrongful death: When someone dies due to the negligence or intentional actions of another party, surviving family members may file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for their loss.

Understanding the specific nature of your personal injury case is crucial when deciding whether to hire a personal injury attorney. Experienced lawyers can provide guidance, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent your interests in court if necessary.

When should you call a personal injury lawyer?

Situations and scenarios that may necessitate the assistance of a personal injury lawyer include:

  • You're not sure if you have a case: If you're uncertain about the viability of your personal injury claim, an attorney can assess the circumstances, gather evidence, and provide guidance on whether pursuing legal action is warranted.
  • You don't know how much your case is worth: Personal injury lawyers have experience in assessing the full extent of a victim's damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future costs associated with the injury. They can work to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve under Ohio law.
  • You've received a settlement offer, but it seems low: Insurance companies may offer low settlement amounts to minimize their payouts. A personal injury lawyer can evaluate the offer to determine if it adequately covers your losses and negotiate for a fair settlement.
  • The at-fault party denies fault: When the party responsible for your injuries denies their liability or tries to shift the blame, a personal injury attorney can help establish fault and protect your rights.
  • Your claim was denied: If the insurance company denied your initial injury claim, an attorney can help you appeal the decision and navigate the legal process to secure the compensation you deserve.
  • Evidence collection and investigation: Attorneys have the resources and knowledge to conduct thorough investigations, gather evidence, and interview witnesses to strengthen your case. This is crucial for building a compelling argument for maximum compensation.

Having a personal injury lawyer by your side can be invaluable in these situations, as they can provide legal advice, leverage their negotiation skills, and protect your rights and interests during the claims process.

How much does a personal injury attorney cost?

Hiring a personal injury lawyer typically comes with a cost structure known as a contingency fee arrangement. Under this arrangement, individuals seeking legal representation for their personal injury claims do not have to pay upfront fees or hourly rates.

Instead, the attorney's fees are contingent upon the successful outcome of the case. During the initial consultation, which is typically provided free of charge, the attorney evaluates the merits of the case and, if accepted, enters into a contingency fee agreement with the client.

In this agreement, the attorney's fees are typically set as a percentage of the final settlement or court-awarded compensation. Clients only pay these fees if their case is successful, ensuring that individuals can access legal representation without immediate financial burdens.

How long do I have to pursue legal action in Ohio?

In Ohio, the timeframe within which you can pursue legal action for a personal injury case is subject to a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is essentially a legal deadline that dictates how long you have to file a lawsuit after the injury occurs. The specific time limit can vary depending on the type of personal injury claim you wish to pursue, but Ohio typically has a statute of limitations of two years. This means you generally have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.

In short, time is of the essence when it comes to initiating legal action in Ohio for a personal injury case. It's crucial to act promptly and consult with a personal injury attorney if you believe you have a valid claim. Waiting too long to take action can result in the forfeiture of your right to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. Remember that each type of personal injury claim may have nuances and exceptions, so seeking legal advice early in the process can help ensure you meet the necessary deadlines and effectively protect your rights. 

Contact an Ohio personal injury attorney in your area today

If you've been injured due to someone else's negligence or wrongdoing in Ohio, taking immediate action to protect your rights and seek compensation for your losses is essential. Contacting a verified Ohio personal injury lawyer can be the crucial first step toward securing the justice and financial compensation you deserve. An experienced attorney can evaluate the specifics of your case, provide legal guidance, and advocate for your rights throughout the legal process.

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