How to File a Personal Injury Claim in Cleveland
Statute of Limitations
First, know the deadline, or statute of limitations, for filing a personal injury claim in Cleveland. The State of Ohio gives an injured person two years from the date of receiving the injury to file a claim against the party responsible for the injury.
Ohio Laws on Shared Fault
Personal injury cases require that you prove:
- the other party had a responsibility to you to use reasonable care;
- the party was negligent, meaning he or she failed to use reasonable care; and
- the party’s breach of responsibility caused your harm.
In some cases, the other party may contend that you are at fault, or partially at fault, for the incident that caused your injuries. In the event that you do share liability, it can affect the amount of monetary compensation you recover from other at-fault parties.
In cases where both people are partially at fault for the event that caused the injury, Ohio follows a modified comparative negligence
rule. The amount of money you will be able to recoup will be lessened by the percentage you are at fault for the accident. Additionally, if you are responsible for more than 50 percent of the event that caused your injuries, you cannot collect any compensation.
Steps When Filing a Personal Injury Claim
1. Seek medical attention
as quickly as possible after the accident if you didn’t require on-scene care. This is important not only for your health, but also if you don’t seek treatment shortly after an accident, the insurer may argue that you were not severely hurt.
2. Write down everything that might be important
regarding the injury or accident; for example, where and when it occurred, names, addresses, and phone numbers of involved parties and witnesses. Additionally, write down the name and information of the other person’s insurance company and store it in a safe place.
3. Determine whether you have grounds to file a personal injury claim.
Generally, if you’ve been injured because of another person’s negligent actions, you have the right to file a personal injury claim. However, this is something a personal injury attorney will be able to determine for you once he or she looks over the facts of your case.
4. Contact the insurance companies
, both yours and that of the other driver. Even if you’re not filing a claim with your insurer, inform it of the accident. Also contact the other driver’s insurer, even if the other driver assures you that he or she will do so.
5. Inquire about the steps necessary to file your claim.
The insurance company may have its own procedures you must follow to file a liability claim. Follow all steps to avoid any hiccups with the filing process.
6. Gather and submit any evidence
of your injury and the other driver’s fault
including pictures of your injuries and the accident scene, relevant medical records, and any documents that indicate your injury resulted in you missing work.
7. Consider settlement offers.
In a settlement, both parties decide to settle the dispute for a given amount without going to a
trial. Before accepting an offer, consult your attorney.
8. File a lawsuit
if you cannot settle your personal injury claim. Your attorney can help you file the appropriate paperwork.
At Ryan, LLP, we handle many types of personal injury claims, from car accidents to medical malpractice. Learn more about your legal options and how we can help by scheduling a free case evaluation
About the author of this article: Thomas Ryan