Who pays for my expert witnesses in an Ohio personal injury case?

expert witness

Dealing with a personal injury case can be exhausting. There are so many different items to check off on your to do list to prove your case. A million thoughts run through your head like:

Did I take enough pictures at the scene?
Or am I able to show that I wasn’t at fault?
When will I be able to go back to work?
And for some the most important question: How in the world am I going to pay for all this?

While we may not be able to stop your internal chatter (we can’t help but give it a shot) we can answer that big question. While the financial aspect may loom and seem all encompassing, the pivotal part of a personal injury case is to focus on healing.

Easier said than done you say? Fair enough. For those of you who still have questions, here’s the scoop:

The first term you need to know is contingency fee.

When hiring an attorney, most people assume that they will be stuck with high hourly fees to pay. Luckily, personal injury attorneys do not operate in this manner. Basically, this is a fee structure that works highly in your favor. It means that the attorney only gets paid if the result is an outcome that is favorable to you.

While that fee varies by attorney (typically 33%) what this means, across the board, is that your attorney will pay the fees up front (like investigation fees, setting up depositions, court costs, etc) and will be reimbursed if you win your case. Simply put, if you don’t win, you don’t pay.

Many successful personal injury cases rely on an expert witness to support your case. An expert witness is, as their title would suggest, experts in their field, often holding advanced degrees in their respective fields. At Cowan & Hilgeman Law, we know that the opinions of a reliable, highly-qualified expert witness can make or break a trial.

If we take your case on, you can rest assured that we will employ and pay for the best expert witness to support your case, with no out-of-pocket cost for you.

The best way to get all of your niggling questions answered is to set up a meeting with a personal injury attorney. We will be happy to let you give voice to your questions and settle your fears. Give us a call today and take the first step into regaining your peace of mind. Call (937) 222-2030 to schedule your FREE, no-obligation consultation with a personal injury attorney.

Is an Ohio personal injury lawsuit expensive?

One of the first questions many people have is: Is an Ohio personal injury lawsuit expensive? How much will this cost me? Can I afford it?

Dealing with a personal injury lawsuit is a tumultuous and potentially difficult time in one’s life. Not only are you dealing with all of the difficulties entailed in being injured and recovering, but you have the additional stress of potentially missing work, finding a lawyer to work with, and filing a suit.  One of the main worries those injured face is the cost of the lawsuit.

Many people do not understand that depending on your individual circumstances, the lawsuit can become costly very quickly. There are many factors that determine the price you will face when you file, but here are some rough guidelines to help you get a ballpark of the typical cost of an Ohio personal injury lawsuit.

To begin with, feel free to shop around for your attorney. Most will offer free consultations or case evaluations and can give you a better idea of a quote when you are actually in front of them giving the details of your claim.  Next, ask them about contingency fees. 

In layman’s terms, a contingency fee is the fee an attorney collects if, and only if, the client has money recovered for them (usually by a settlement or even a jury verdict) by the firm representing them.  This practice can help to let you focus on recovering rather than worrying over the cost of your suit. 

In the circumstance that the lawyer doesn’t recover any compensation, then the claimant may not pay for anything, except court filing fees or similar costs. Contingency fees are usually based on a percentage that equals about a third of the money recovered in the suit – which is only taken out after the money is awarded.  If your lawyer chooses to use contingency fees, you will sit down with them and write out the rate and terms in a contract.

Under Ohio law, these contracts must follow the guidelines set by the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct. The Court Statistics Project states that the average cost of an auto accident lawsuit averages $40,000 and that a simple slip and fall lawsuit can be up to $50,000.  In many cases, big insurance companies or individuals will attempt to drag out litigation in hopes that the victims will give up, or accept a smaller settlement that they may be entitled to. 

Beyond the costs of litigation, one must also be aware of the time frames involved in the type of suit you are filing for. In other words: how long do you have to file your suit. In Ohio, these are your guidelines for typical claims:

  • Personal Injury: Two years from the date of injury
  • Medical Malpractice: One year, the “clock” starts to run at the time the injury is discovered, or when the doctor/patient relationship for the treated condition ends.
  • Product Liability: Within  two years after “cause of action” accrues.
  • Wrongful Death: Two years from the time of the victim’s death or from the date it was discovered that negligence was involved in the death.

Since these time frames are relatively short,  if you plan on filing a personal injury suit it is  paramount that you begin your research as soon as possible. In most cases, victims will have better chances of filing a suit and settling it in a timely manner with a personal injury attorney on their side. 

At our firm we believe that everyone has a right to proper representation  with the clients best interest at heart.  We care about our neighbors in Ohio, and do everything in our power to make sure they are compensated fairly.  We strive to ensure our clients can focus on what matters most – getting back to feeling well- as opposed to staying up at night, worrying over their case. We hope that this information has helped answer any questions you might have about if an Ohio personal injury lawsuit is expensive. If you have any questions about your potential claim, call us today at (937) 222-2030 to schedule your free consultation.

Online Consultation: Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney From the Comfort & Safety of Your Own Home

online consultation

Collisions, slip & falls and other accidents haven’t stopped, so neither will we. It is more important than ever for Americans to understand that the law and justice is still on their side if they are injured due to someone else’s negligence, even during the Coronavirus lockdown. We can discuss your potential case and meet clients virtually via online consultation, sign documents securely via the internet, and continue providing Ohioans with access to justice from the comforts of their own home.

If you were injured in a crash, you will still need prompt and extensive medical care. You may also wish to pursue legal damages to cover the cost of treatment. The COVID-19 quarantine is also a very dangerous time for people in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and assisted living, as we have explained in a previous blog post. When care facilities are short-staffed, care of residents invariably suffers. We are here to help prevent that from happening.

Time is of the essence when collecting evidence to support your case, so you must not wait until restrictions have been lifted to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.

We simply do not know how much longer stay-at-home orders will last. Don’t let your chance to receive fair and just compensation for your injuries slip by because of this uncertainty. The personal injury attorneys at Cowan & Hilgeman are proud to offer free online consultations. Call our office at (937) 222-2030 to schedule your free online consultation today.

What is a Contingency Fee?

What is a contingency fee?

A client pays a contingency fee to a lawyer only if the attorney wins their case. Instead of paying your lawyer an upfront retainer, he or she takes a percentage of dollars recovered over the course of your case. His or her earnings are “contingent” upon the amount of compensation you receive.

In other words: If you don’t win, you don’t pay.

In a contingent fee arrangement, the lawyer agrees to accept a fixed percentage of the recovery, which is the amount finally paid to the client. If you win the case, the lawyer’s fee comes out of the money awarded to you. If you lose, neither you nor the lawyer will get any money, but you will not be required to pay your attorney for the work done on the case.

On the other hand, win or lose, you probably will have to pay court filing fees, the costs related to deposing witnesses, copy fees for medical records and similar charges. Your attorney may be able to cover these costs for you, if you are unable to pay for them yourself.

Before entering into a contingent fee agreement, your attorney should provide you with a disclosure statement and fee agreement which detail the specifics of the contingent fee, the manner in which other litigation costs will be handled and alternative fee arrangements which are available.

When a loved one dies, is forced to take time off work to heal or is made destitute by mounting medical bills, finding thousands of dollars to retain an attorney is often impossible. A contingency fee agreement may be the only practical means by which an individual or a family can afford to obtain the services of a competent lawyer. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to recover just and fair compensation for your injury or the wrongful death of your loved one, simply because you think you can not afford a good attorney.

At Cowan & Hilgeman Law, you are a name, not a number. We work with many kinds of clients from all economic backgrounds, on both retainer and contingency fees. We routinely accept – and WIN – cases that other law firms reject and have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. Call (937) 222-2030 today to schedule your FREE consultation with our personal injury attorneys.

How Much Time do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim in Ohio?

motorcycle accident claim

From the moment you are injured in a motorcycle accident, the clock starts running on how long you have to file a claim. In Ohio, the Statute of Limitations for a motorcycle accident claim is generally 2 years. If you fail to file suit within that time frame, the defendant (the person you’re trying to sue) will almost certainly file a “motion to dismiss”, and the Court will reject your case on statutory grounds.

Even if you are horribly injured by a person who was clearly in the wrong; after two years, they can no longer be held responsible through a motorcycle accident claim.

With a few exceptions:

  • In cases where the victim was under 18 years old or ‘of unsound mind’, the time limit in which they can file a motorcycle accident claim is lifted. The two year time limit starts again, however, once the injured party reaches 18 years old, or is deemed to be sane and responsible.
  • If the defendant “departs from the state” or absconds, or conceals” him or herself within the state of Ohio, the time limit in which to file a motorcycle accident claim does not start again until the person can be located. In other words, if the defendant skips town for a couple of years to avoid taking responsibility for their actions, you have 2 years from the date of their return in which to file a lawsuit.
  • If your Ohio motorcycle accident claim stems from injuries caused by a defective product, a special filing timeline may apply to your case, especially if consumer fraud or a product warranty is involved.

Motorcycle accidents are usually very serious. Due to the lack of protection around a motorcycle rider, accidents can be life-changing. If the victim was lucky enough to survive someone else’s mistake on the road, the injuries, pain, loss of livelihood, potential surgeries and rehabilitation can have ripple-effects throughout their entire life.

After a motorcycle accident, it is extremely important to get an experienced, aggressive attorney fighting in your corner. Auto Insurance companies will try to persuade you to settle for a much lower amount than your case is worth – 100% of the time. Their responsibility is to share holders, not to make sure that you receive the medical care and support you need.

At Cowan & Hilgeman, we have successfully handled countless motorcycle accident claims, including cases that other law firms have rejected. To schedule your FREE consultation with our Dayton Personal Injury Attorney, call (937) 222-2030.

What is the Maximum Amount of Compensation in Ohio if Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident?

Maximum amount of compensation available in Ohio

The maximum amount of compensation available after a motor vehicle accident varies considerably in Ohio, depending on the nature of the claim.

First, the court will calculate the Economic Damages caused by the accident. That will usually include medical bills, damage to property and vehicles, lost wages and rehabilitation costs. There is no set limit to the maximum amount of compensation awarded to the injured parties for Economic Damages.

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are capped by Ohio law. Non-economic damages are defined as “pain and suffering, loss of society, consortium, companionship, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, instruction, training, or education, disfigurement, mental anguish, and any other intangible loss.

Unlike medical bills or vehicle repair bills which have a fixed number that must be repaid, non-economic damages can be hard to monetarily value. So, Ohio statutes cap non-economic damages to $250,000 or three times your economic damages, which is subject to a maximum of $350,000 per person and $500,000 per accident.

This cap is removed, however, in Ohio Revised Code §2315.18(B)(3), for catastrophic cases where the injured party suffers from permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb, loss of a bodily organ system or permanent physical functional injury that permanently prevents the injured person from being able to independently care for themselves and perform life-sustaining activities. There is no limit to how much can be awarded in such cases.

No matter what kind of car accident you were in, or how badly you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is vital that you get an experienced and aggressive car accident attorneys, Cowan & Hilgeman on your side. We will work tirelessly to get you the maximum amount of compensation available for your specific economic and non-economic injuries. Call (937) 222-2030 today to schedule your FREE consultation.