Accidents happen. Sometimes, accidents result in injuries, which can result in a significant financial burden for the victim. When this happens, the victim can file a personal injury claim to seek monetary compensation from the negligent party’s insurance provider to cover his or her expenses.
Many different types of accidents can be cited in personal injury claims. If you have been injured because of another party’s negligence or reckless behavior, consider working with an experienced personal injury lawyer to pursue a personal injury claim.
Accidents That Can Cause Injuries
Any time an injury results from an individual’s negligence, the victim can file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for his or her damages. Examples of personal injury claim types include the following:
- Car accidents;
- Other types of motor vehicle accident, such as a motorcycle or truck accident;
- Dog bites;
- Slips and falls;
- Medical malpractice;
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents;
- Boating accidents; and
- Accidents that could have been prevented if a property owner took care to remove a hazard from his or her property, such as a victim being crushed by a sign or facade that was not properly affixed to a building.
Examples of Injuries Sustained in Accidents
The injuries sustained in an accident can be fairly minor, such as a sprain, or significant, such as a traumatic brain injury. Multiple factors determine the severity of a victim’s injury, such as the victim’s overall fitness level, whether the victim was wearing any type of protective gear, the speed at which the accident occurred, and the weight of the object involved in the accident. Examples of the injuries that victims can suffer as the result of an accident include:
- Broken bones;
- Sprains and strains;
- Muscle, organ, and tissue damage;
- Lacerations; and
- Traumatic brain injuries.
Sometimes, an injury sustained in an accident can have lifelong repercussions, such as paralysis or another permanent disability. In some cases, an accident can result in the victim’s death, either immediately or within a few days or weeks of the accident. In cases where the victim dies, his or her family may seek compensation for their damages through a wrongful death claim.
Sometimes, injuries are not immediately apparent. Even if you do not feel like you have suffered an injury, it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as you can after your accident. An early diagnosis can make your recovery much quicker and easier for you.
Who is Liable for your Damages?
When another party is responsible for the accident that caused your injury, he or she is considered to be negligent. In a personal injury claim, the negligent party is liable for the victim’s damages, which means that it is the negligent party’s responsibility to compensate the victim.
But what if you were also partially responsible for your accident? For example, you might have been in a car accident with a driver who was text messaging, but you yourself failed to yield to him or her. In Ohio, you can receive compensation for your damages as long as you are deemed to be 50 percent or less at fault for your accident. This is known as comparative negligence. But if you are deemed to be partially at fault for your accident, your compensation amount is reduced according to the percentage of fault you hold. For example, if you are deemed to be 20 percent at fault for your accident, the total amount of money you can recover is reduced by 20 percent.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
A personal injury claim requires the victim to demonstrate the following:
- One party owed a duty of care to the other. This simply means that the party had the responsibility to prevent injury to others, such as the responsibility of a motorist to drive at or below the speed limit;
- The party breached this duty. For example, a speeding driver is breaching his or her duty to obey the posted speed limit;
- Because of this breach, an accident occurred that directly caused the victim to suffer specific damages. The victim must be able to demonstrate that his or her injury was caused by the accident, which was in turn caused by the negligent party; and
- The victim’s specific monetary damages were the result of this accident. The victim must be able to prove that his or her damages are worth the monetary amount he or she is seeking.
Developing a solid, coherent personal injury claim can be difficult. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer can make it much easier for you and give your claim a better chance of being successful. Your lawyer will work with you to obtain all the necessary pieces of evidence to prove the elements listed above, such as your medical record, testimonies from witnesses to the accident and expert witnesses, and your photographs of the accident. He or she can also negotiate with the other party’s insurance provider on your behalf and if necessary, the court to help you secure a fair settlement for your damages.
Through a personal injury claim, you can seek monetary compensation for the following damages:
- Your medical bills;
- Your lost wages; and
- Pain and suffering expenses. These are the intangible expenses associated with an injury, such as the need for a mobility aid or the need to hire in-home domestic help while you are recovering.
In Ohio, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of the accident.
Work with an Experienced Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in any type of accident caused by another party’s negligence, you could be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more about your rights as a victim and how you can file and pursue such a claim, speak with a member of our team of experienced Toledo lawyers at Groth & Associates. Set up your initial consultation with a member of our firm today, during which we can answer any questions you have and guide you toward the next steps for your claim.