TOLEDO PERSONAL INJURY FAQ’S
What are the Most Common Types of Personal Injuries?
The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that accidental, unintentional injuries are an unfortunately common occurrence, and are listed as the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Over 30 million people visit hospital emergency rooms each year on account of personal injuries, and common types of personal injuries include the following:
- Head and Brain Injuries: According to the CDC, head and brain injuries are one of the most common and potentially debilitating types of personal injury. Occurring as the result of a bump, blow, or jolt to head, even a minor head injury can be severe and even life threatening.
- Back and Neck Injuries: Another common type of personal injury, back and neck injuries can result in debilitating pain, long term disabilities, and the need for surgery as well as physical therapy in order to recover.Bone Fractures: Broken bones take a variety of forms, encompassing everything from hairline fracture to complete breaks. They may require the use of a cast, as well as repeated surgeries to repair the damage.
- Muscle Strains, Sprains, and Tears: Soft tissue injuries are another common and potentially disabling type of personal injury, often requiring lengthy recuperation times, while preventing you from engaging in your usual activities.
- Cuts and Lacerations: While a cut may seem minor, it can open the door for dangerous infections that could impact your overall health, while more serious lacerations could impair movement and result in the complete loss of use in a limb or body part.
Even minor accidents can result in serious injuries that have the potential to impact your overall health and quality of life. Anytime you are injured, it is important to get medical care immediately, as even major injuries can have symptoms that take days or even weeks to appear.
PERSONAL INJURY FAQ’S
You should also realize that failure to treat an injury can cost you money. The law requires that victims mitigate their damages. So if you fail to obtain treatment, or you fail to follow your doctor’s advice, you might not receive full compensation for your injuries.
While personal injuries are often referred to as accidents, they are often the result of another person’s reckless or negligent conduct. Common causes of personal injuries include:
- Being struck by or against an object, such as unsecured shelving or loose fixtures;
- Cuts and lacerations caused by sharp objects and surfaces;
- Accidental poisonings, caused by unsanitary conditions or improperly stored food; and
- Dog bites and attacks due to reckless dog owners.
Other common causes of personal injuries include pedestrian and bicycling accidents, injuries caused by defective products, and injuries that occur as the result of nursing home abuse or neglect and medical mistakes and negligence.
Your choice of attorney is vital to bringing a successful claim for compensation. For this reason, Groth & Associates offers a free consultation to every client, which helps them get to know us a little better.
At the consultation, you can explain the details of your case—what happened, when, and how you were injured. We can then give you a preliminary estimate of whether we think you have a valid case. If we need more information, we will identify what additional evidence we need to properly analyze your case.
The consultation is also an ideal time for you to ask question. You are free to ask about anything that you want, though it is probably best not to ask a question if you can get an answer here on the website (such as what law school we attended). Many of our clients want to know:
- Our fee schedule, including how we bill and how much we charge.
- Who will work on the case if we are hired.
- Our communication style. How long it takes us to respond to messages and who will call our client back.
- How many cases we have handled that are similar to this one.
After meeting with us, you are absolutely free to meet with other Toledo lawyers for a consultation, or you can go ahead and formalize an attorney-client relationship with us. It is best to get started as soon as possible, though you definitely want to hire a lawyer you feel completely comfortable with.
Simply put, there really is no “average.” Each client’s case is very different, so it is hard to say that you will receive the same amount of compensation as another client of ours. When you meet with us for a free consultation, we can review your case to get a general sense of how much money you are looking at.
Among the factors we consider are:
- The amount of your economic losses, like medical bills and lost wages
- The severity of your injuries
- How your injuries have impacted your life, including your relationship with family
We also need to consider whether your own negligence possibly contributed to your injuries. For example, imagine that you were T-boned in an intersection by another motorist who ran a red light. However, evidence also suggests that the light was red when you entered the intersection as well.
In this situation, both you and the other driver were negligent, and your negligence contributed to your injuries. If a jury finds that your injuries are worth $60,000 but that you were 50% responsible, then you can only receive half of that amount, or $30,000. For this reason, we closely question people about their accidents in the moments before a collision.
Yes. As a practical matter, you can probably only receive in compensation an amount up to the defendant’s insurance policy. If you were injured in a car accident, for example, then you will probably be unable to receive more than the maximum amount of the policy.
Of course, some defendants have deeper pockets, so more money might be available. If a business is responsible for injuring you, for example, then they might have a very large insurance policy.
Nevertheless, Ohio has set certain caps on the amount of compensation personal injury victims can receive. These are called “damage caps,” and you can find the relevant law at O.R.C. 2315.18. In sum, the following rules apply:
- There is no limit to the amount of compensation you can receive for economic losses like lost wages or medical care.
- Your non-economic losses for things like pain and suffering are limited to the greater of $250,000 or an amount that is 300% your economic loss. For example, if your economic losses total $50,000, then you can only receive a maximum of $250,000 in non-economic damages. However, if your economic losses were $100,000, then you can receive a maximum of $300,000 in non-economic damages. There is a ceiling of $350,000 for these damages.
- There is an exception to the limitation for pain and suffering and other noneconomic loss for damages that compensate for permanent deformity or disability.
Compensation is difficult to analyze in the abstract, so be sure to meet with an experienced personal injury attorney in Toledo as soon as possible.
Most of our clients are injured because someone else was careless. For example, a driver failed to check his rearview mirror before backing out of a parking spot or a business owner failed to properly clean up spilled liquids in a grocery store aisle, leading to a fall.
However, some people are injured intentionally. Think of a baseball bat to the head, or someone deliberately ramming another motorist. Because this conduct is more reprehensible than simple carelessness, Ohio law allows victims to ask for damages.
Punitive damages have another goal: punishment. As such, they seek to deter him or her, as well as the public at large, from engaging in future reprehensible conduct.
However, although punitive damages are meant to punish, our clients still receive them. The money doesn’t go to the state, for example, but into our clients’ pockets.
Ohio has capped the maximum amount of punitive damages at two times our client’s compensatory damages (economic and non-economic losses discussed above). For example, if our client suffers $100,000 in compensatory damages, she can receive a maximum of $200,000 in punitive damages.
Also, the state sets a hard ceiling of $350,000. So if a client receives $200,000 in compensatory damages, the maximum she could receive in punitive damages is $350,000 (and not $400,000).
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER SUFFERING AN INJURY?
WHILE PERSONAL INJURIES ARE OFTEN REFERRED TO AS ACCIDENTS, THEY ARE OFTEN THE RESULT OF ANOTHER PERSON’S RECKLESS OR NEGLIGENT CONDUCT.
Far too many Toledo accident victims lose out on compensation simply because they make mistakes early on in the legal process. It is important that you and your family know what to do after a serious injury occurs. By taking the proper steps immediately after an accident occurs, you will be able to dramatically increase your odds of recovering the full and fair compensation that you deserve. After suffering a serious injury, all victims should do the following four things:
- Seek professional medical help: First, nothing is more important than your health. You need to get yourself checked out by a doctor after any major accident. Much of the time, you may not initially realize the full extent of your injuries. This is often a problem in cases involving head injuries or back injuries. It is always better to be safe rather than sorry. Additionally, seeking early medical attention will also help you pursue any future legal claim. You will need official medical records to help prove your damages.
- Report your injuries to the appropriate authority: All accidents should be reported. If you were injured in a Toledo car accident, the accident should be reported to the police as well as to the responsible insurance companies. If you were injured in a slip and fall accident, you should report it to the property owner or the management company. You need to establish an immediate record of your accident.
- Gather all of the evidence that you can: A successful personal injury claim always depends on the supporting evidence. Unfortunately, many forms of evidence begin to deteriorate immediately after an accident occurs. For example, if you fail to take extensive photographs of your injuries, you will quickly lose out on your opportunity to do so. Those injuries will begin to heal. This problems arises with many other issues as well; for example, witnesses can become difficult to locate after time passes.
- Contact an attorney: Finally, you should always consult with an experienced attorney soon after your accident. Your attorney will be able to comprehensively review the specific circumstances of your cases, and will be able to determine your best path towards recovery.
WORDS FROM OUR CLIENTS
Our experience with Attorney Stevin Groth was nothing short of life changing.ALFRED & JENNIFER
When we first contacted Mr. Groth, he gave us his cell phone number and we were able to directly contact him day or night. His knowledge of the Ohio judicial system was astounding. He handled all aspects of our case himself, never once handing off our case to jr. associates. Stevin had positive relationships with all the judges, district attorneys and court personal that we came in contact with. Stevin’s persuasive arguments on our son’s behalf cleared him of all charges. Because of Stevin’s abilities, our son is able to move forward with his life without the stigma of a criminal record. We could not recommend Stevin Groth more highly.
Dan is an amazing attorney. He had my divorce finalized in a short period of time. A lot quicker than I thought it was going to be and for that I’m thankful! Dan knew exactly what he was talking about. Any questions I had Dan, and his assistant, Michelle was glad to answer. The outcome of my divorce was exactly what I was hoping for.LAURIE
Thank You Dan for your services!
Allison Lawrence is the best lawyer I have hired.she was attentive when I presented my case to her & knew exactly how to handle it.very professional person when it comes to her job,also a humanitarian.Allison has given me great advice in a free consultation,as well as stood by side in court with chargers pending,of course she got the charges dismissed!!Great attorney,very dependable.in need of a lawyer,I highly recommend Allison Lawrence.RONNIE
I WAS CONTACTED BY AN INSURANCE COMPANY, SHOULD I SPEAK TO THEM?
If you have been seriously injured in Ohio, it is a best practice to consult with an attorney before dealing with insurance company. Ultimately, when speaking to an insurance company representative, you should be cautious and should share as little information as possible. You need to remember that the insurance company is not on your side. You do not owe them long conversations about your accident. Further, you are entitled to take your time and get your thoughts together before giving any sort of a statement about your accident. If you have been seriously injured, please remember the following five tips for dealing with insurance companies:
- Consider all conversations to be official and formal; do not talk casually about your accident;
- If you are told something over the phone, be sure to get it in writing as well;
- Let your attorney handle all aspects of the settlement negotiations;
- Do not sign a release for your medical records without approval from your attorney; and
- Do not sign a settlement agreement without approval from your attorney.
WHO CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR A PERSONAL INJURY?
In Ohio, personal injury claims are generally governed by the legal concept of negligence. Black’s Law Dictionary defines negligence as doing something or failing to do something that a reasonable person either would or would not do under similar circumstances, and those who engage in this type of conduct can be held accountable either through an insurance company claim or through a personal injury lawsuit. If the negligence of another party led to your injuries, they can be held liable for your damages. The liable party may be an individual, a business, a manufacturer, a medical professional, or any other person or entity that contributed to your accident. Ultimately, negligent parties must always be held accountable for the damage that they have caused.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO BRING A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM IN OHIO?
In Ohio, you have two years to file a personal injury claim. This is a very strict time limit that you must take seriously. If you fail to take action, you could lose out on your legal rights. There can sometimes be a dispute over exactly when the two year time limit ‘clock’ begins to run. In the majority of injury cases, it starts running from the date of the accident itself. However, there is an exception for cases in which the injury could not have been noticed right away. In those cases, the clock starts running from the date that the victim either discovered or should have reasonably discovered their injuries. As an example, this might be an issue in a case where a medication caused serious internal injuries. The victim may not have been aware of their damages for a substantial amount of time. The best way to protect yourself is always by taking immediate action. As soon as you know something is wrong, get yourself to a doctor and contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
HOW CAN A TOLEDO PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY HELP YOU RECOVER COMPENSATION?
When dealing with insurance companies, it is important to understand that they will often attempt to either deny your claim, or to settle it quickly and for as little as possible, in order to save themselves money. Oftentimes, a settlement will be offered before you have had a chance to make a complete recovery, when the long term ramifications of your injury are still unknown. It is to your benefit to have an experienced personal injury attorney by your side, defending your rights and assuring your interests are protected. In the event a reasonable settlement cannot be reached with the insurance company, your interests may be better served by filing a personal injury. Under Section 2307.011 of the Ohio Revised Code, you may be entitled to the following types of compensation:
- Medical expenses and the cost for ongoing care;
- Lost wages and future losses in income and benefits;
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish caused by your injuries; and
- Compensation for intangible losses, such as loss of enjoyment in life and loss of companionship with family and friends.
Contact an Experienced Toledo Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have suffered a personal injury, contact Groth & Associates today. Our experienced Toledo personal injury attorneys can advise you on the best course of action so that you can get the compensation you deserve. Serving Toledo, Bowling Green, Fremont and the surrounding areas, we can help you; call or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.