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.
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.
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.
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 responsiblethrough 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.
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.
We all dread getting into an accident, but with so many uninsured drivers on the road, a bad situation can get so much worse if you get into an accident and the other driver did not have auto insurance. In 2015, it was estimated that 12.4% of all Ohio drivers were uninsured. Thanks to recent improvements in law enforcement detection and strict penalties, that number has fallen from an average of 16% in the early ’90’s.
Ohio does not require uninsured motorist coverage as part of the State minimum insurance coverage, so many people are left footing the bill for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages after getting into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
If you have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If you do have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage, your insurance company will pay your claims and then recover those costs from the at-fault driver. It is important to have experienced and aggressive representation during this negotiation, as with any settlement with an insurance company, to ensure that you are properly compensated for your injuries, property damage, lost wages, etc.
If you DO NOT have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage
If you do not have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage, however, things get more difficult to handle. The at-fault driver is still liable for any and all injuries caused by their negligence, regardless of their insurance status. The personal injury attorneys at Cowan & Hilgeman have successfully recovered compensation from uninsured and underinsured motorists countless times, and we will guide you through the process of filing a personal injury suit.
We will work tirelessly to get you reasonable compensation to cover: Medical bills Your pain and suffering Lost wages Disfigurement Consortium Property Damage
If you retain Cowan & Hilgeman as your legal representation, the uninsured driver will have to pay for an attorney to defend them in the lawsuit Cowan & Hilgeman will file on your behalf. If the at-fault driver does not defend themselves against our lawsuit, the court will grant a default judgement in our favor. The uninsured driver will probably lose their license, which they can work to re-earn after entering a payment plan or pay off the balance of their debt.
If the uninsured driver chooses not to work towards repaying the costs of repairing the other driver’s car, medical bills, etc., the judgement holder can ask the court to garnish the defendant’s wages or bank account until the judgement is paid. If the judgement is too large to reasonably be repaid via wage garnishment, the court can force the sale of the at-fault party’s personal assets.
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having been in a car accident and the other driver did not have auto insurance, do not hesitate to call the experienced and aggressive car accident attorneys at Cowan & Hilgeman Law. Call (937) 222-2030 to schedule your free consultation.