If you have been hurt in an accident in Ohio, you probably have questions about how your case is going to proceed. Because every case is different, the only way to get accurate answers to your questions is to discuss your case in detail with an experienced personal injury attorney.
That said, there are certain factors that will determine the way your case proceeds and is ultimately resolved. Five of these are discussed below.
1. The Type of Incident that Resulted in Your Injuries
Personal injury cases can arise from any type of preventable accident, and the type of accident that caused your injuries will have a significant impact on the way your case proceeds. Some examples of accidents that often give rise to a personal injury claim include:
- Motor vehicle accidents;
- Truck and motorcycle accidents;
- Medical malpractice;
- Slip and falls;
- Incidents involving defective consumer products;
- Bicycle accidents;
- Pedestrian accidents.
These cases can vary widely in terms of the legal issues that are relevant. For example, in a car accident case, there are often questions about whether any of the drivers involved were in violation of traffic laws. In a medical malpractice case, it may be necessary for victims to obtain expert testimony establishing the relevant standard of care in a given medical scenario.
Because of these differences, it is important for people injured in preventable accidents to retain a lawyer who has experience representing people injured in incidents similar to the accident that caused their injury.
2. Whether Your Case is Contested
Personal injury cases can either be contested or uncontested. In an uncontested case, the defendant admits that he or she was at fault for an accident, meaning that the only issue that needs to be resolved between the parties is how much the defendant (or his or her insurance) will pay the victim.
In a contested case, on the other hand, the defendant does not concede liability, which means that the victim will need to establish that the defendant was negligent in order to recover compensation. In a contested case, there is often significantly more legal work involved and a chance that the case will need to go to trial.
3. The Extent and Severity of Your Injuries
The extent and severity of your injuries can have a significant impact on the amount that you are able to recover and also whether the case is contested, in some instances. Medical expenses make up the majority of damages sought in many personal injury cases, and defendants are more incentivized to contest liability when there is a significant amount of money at issue.
For example, while a business may be completely willing to settle a case involving a broken collarbone after a slip and fall for a few thousand dollars, it may be less likely to settle a case where a victim has sustained a serious traumatic brain injury and is seeking compensation for a lifetime of medical expenses.
4. Your Occupation
What you do for a living can also have a significant impact on the way that your personal injury case is resolved. Lost income is often sought in personal injury litigation, and victims are able to pursue compensation for future lost income in addition to income they have already lost. In cases where a person will never be able to return to work, it is often necessary to utilize experts who can provide statistically justifiable estimates about the amount of money a person in a given occupation would have earned if not for an accident, taking into account issues like career advancement, regular pay raises, and the estimated performance of retirement accounts.
5. Whether Your Claim is Against a Public Entity
Finally, if your legal claim is against a public entity such as a public school or a state agency, a special set of legal rules apply that will have a significant impact on your case. These kinds of claims are subject to a state law (Ohio Revised Code 2743.02) that governs the way that claims against public entities are handled. Important to note, the law imposes strict time limits on claims against public entities and also limits the amount of compensation that victims can recover, so people who believe they have viable claims against a public entity should retain an attorney as soon as they can.
Contact an Ohio Personal Injury Attorney to Learn More
These are just a few of the factors that can have an impact on your personal injury case. An experienced personal injury attorney like Plevin & Gallucci will be able to answer all your questions and help you win your case.