Personal Injury and Car Accidents

I represent individuals involved in controversies alleging a wrong or damage to another's person, rights, reputation, or property resulting from events or activities, such as automobile accidents, defective products, infliction of emotional distress, intentional misconduct, negligence and medical malpractice.

In the area of torts and civil litigation, I handle automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, boating accidents, airplane accidents, wrongful death, tractor-trailer accidents, drunk driver accidents, traumatic brain injuries, slip & fall accidents, and dog bite cases.

Most civil lawsuits for monetary and compensatory damages require that the injured person (plaintiff) prove the wrongdoer's (defendant's) negligence by a preponderance of the evidence in order to establish liability. The wrongdoer's negligence is commonly established when the plaintiff can prove that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff and that the defendant breached that duty of care. In addition, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant's breach of that duty and the resulting injury or damages was foreseeable. Then the next issue that the plaintiff must prove is that the defendant's negligence proximately caused the plaintiff's damages. These are some of the common legal issues involved in most types of civil cases.

Subrogation Or Reimbursement Claims

Today, it is very difficult for people to represent themselves in automobile accidents or other injury accidents due to subrogation claims. A subrogation claim is a contractual claim made by the person who paid the medical bills of the injured person to be reimbursed. Common examples of subrogation claims with a right to reimbursement include: workers compensation, health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and automobile insurance medical payments. Whenever the injured person agrees to a settlement with the wrongdoer, there must be enough settlement money in order to repay the medical bills that were paid by the subrogated carrier. This usually results in disputes with the subrogated carrier and additional negotiations.

Photographs And Recording Evidence

One of the most important pieces of evidence in an automobile accident are photographs of the damaged car and the injured person. It is important to take these photographs soon after the accident. Photographs should be taken of the automobile that show the property damage, such as point of impact and severity of damage. Likewise, it is also important to take photographs of the injured person soon after the accident. It is important to photograph the person's injuries, such as fractures, swelling, bruises, cuts, scrapes and abrasions. It is important for the jury to see what the car and person looked like after the accident in order to understand the type of pain and suffering experienced by the injured person. If you do not own a camera, go to a grocery store or pharmacy and purchase a disposable camera for $10. A picture is worth a thousand words. You can bet that the insurance company will have an investigator looking into your accident; that is why you should retain an attorney to be your investigator.

If you are representing yourself and are directly communicating with the insurance company, you should be very careful in reading and understanding the documents that you are signing. Many times, in order for the insurance company to authorize a medical payment for the injured person's medical bills, the insurance company requires a medical release authorization which gives them permission to have access to your medical records whenever they want to look at your records. In addition, the insurance company many times will want to take a person's recorded statement over the telephone. You should seriously consider speaking with or hiring an attorney before you make such a statement. If you speak and communicate the facts poorly, you will be stuck with your own bad statement.

Contingency Fee Agreement

Attorneys that work in the area of personal injury typically do not charge an hourly fee, but instead charge a one-third (1/3) (or 33% percent) contingency fee on the settlement or verdict amount. If the attorney is not successful in obtaining a settlement or favorable verdict, then you do not owe the attorney any fees. The attorney doesn't get paid unless you get paid. (You may, however, be responsible for expenses.)

Under Ohio law, personal injury legal causes of action have a two (2) year statute of limitations. That means, that you must be fully settled and compensated within 2 years from the date of accident, or that a lawsuit was filed before the 2 year statute of limitations expired. If not, then you will lose your legal rights forever -- meaning you and/or your estate can no longer sue the negligent wrongdoer.

For twenty years, I have been helping injured persons and their families deal with the difficult issues involved in automobile accidents and other bodily injuries. Do not delay and wait until the last minute to hire an attorney. Consult with an attorney and get educated about your legal rights. More importantly, retaining an attorney soon after the accident helps the attorney to conduct a better investigation because the evidence (i.e., accident scene, witness statements) is still fresh and able to be recorded or preserved. In addition, the attorney can also help assist in coordinating medical insurance coverage and proper billing.