Ohio Lawyers Answering Personal Injury FAQ’s
Q: If I am injured, how long do I have to bring a claim?
A: In Ohio, the amount of time you have to bring a claim varies depending on how the injury occurred. Generally, there is a two-year period within which you must file a lawsuit for negligence claims involving auto accidents or slip-and-falls. Some time limits begin to run on the day the injury occurred while other time limits begin on the date the injury is discovered.
As with all legal matters, you should contact an attorney as soon as reasonably possible following an injury so that your case can be properly assessed in order to determine what course of action needs to be taken to protect your rights.
Q: What happens if I wait too long to bring my personal injury claim?
A: If a lawsuit is not filed within the time period required you will lose your right to compensation.
Q: How do I know if I have a claim?
A: To have a claim, you must first have suffered an injury. (It is not always necessary to suffer a physical injury to bring a claim.) Next, you must determine whether your injury was caused by someone else’s actions.
Q: If I am injured in an accident, what should I do first?
A: Your health should be your most important concern. Therefore, if you are injured, get medical attention right away. Do not take action that will unnecessarily jeopardize your health and well being, but make sure that you have treated and documented your injuries with medical providers.
Once your condition is stable, you should contact an attorney to discuss your claim.
Q: As part of my personal injury case, what losses am I entitled to claim?
A: Under Ohio law there are a number of elements that make up a claim for damages associated with personal injury. Some elements like medical bills and lost wages are called economic losses. Other elements like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life are called non-economic damages. If you suffer permanent injury or need future medical treatment, you may be entitled to additional compensation.
Consult with an attorney in order to determine which elements apply to your case.
Q: Who will pay my medical bills or lost wages?
A: Usually, the at-fault party or their insurance company will pay the damages. There may be circumstances, however, under which you can recover from your insurance company without any change to your policy premiums.
Q: If the at-fault driver had no insurance, can I still be compensated for my injuries?
A: Ohio requires that all drivers comply with the financial responsibility laws of the state. Nonetheless, many people still carry no insurance coverage or only the State minimum of $12,500 per person. If you have uninsured-motorist coverage on your own policy, you may be able to pursue a claim under your own policy. If you are qualified for Medicare benefits, Medicare will pay your qualified medical expenses, then seek reimbursement from the at-fault party through subrogation.
Uninsured motorist claims should not result in an increase in your premiums, or a cancellation of your coverage. As always, consult with an attorney experienced in insurance litigation so that your situation can be precisely assessed.