What Makes a Good Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer?

ohio personal injury lawyer

When you are injured in a car accident or at a place of business, it is important that you take action right away against the negligent party. This means finding a lawyer who will keep your best interests in mind, who will also get you the settlement you deserve. In order to ensure that you get everything you need out of your attorney, we have put together a list of things to look for in a great Ohio personal injury lawyer:

Find someone with plenty of experience

You need a lawyer who can prove that they have successfully handled and won cases like yours before. One of the best ways to ensure that your lawyer is someone who can be trusted is to find them through ‘word of mouth’. If you know someone who has gone through a similar situation as you are going through now, ask them who represented them and landed them the settlement that they deserved.

Find an Ohio personal injury lawyer who is passionate about helping people

If you hire a lawyer, you want to make sure it is someone who is passionate about getting you the outcome you desire. You want someone who understands what you have been through and who also have the drive to get you the results you deserve. If an attorney makes you feel as though you are just one of dozens of clients they are representing, move along.

Find someone who will stay in touch

Having a lawyer who is reliable is a must. If your representation hardly ever answers their phone or returns your calls, how will they ever render the settlement you know you are entitled to? Make sure your attorney is frequently available and eager to answer questions.

Ensure that each lawyer you consider is a specialist in personal injury.

Every Ohio personal injury lawyer was trained, at some point during their education, on the theory of personal injury law. This is very different from the practice of it, and extremely different from being able to win great results for their clients. At Cowan & Hilgeman Law, we exclusively practice personal injury law.

Find someone who is honest and respected in their field

Make sure you check reviews! We take enormous pride in the fact that we are one of Dayton’s top rated personal injury lawyers, across all review platforms. We’ve earned these ratings for a reason: because we care about our clients, and we get the results to prove it.

It can be incredibly difficult to find a great Ohio personal injury lawyer when there are simply so many to choose from. The good news is, you can speak with one of our personal injury attorneys for free, with no obligation, to see if we would be a good fit for your case. Call (937) 222-2030 today to schedule your consultation with one of Dayton’s top rated personal injury attorneys.

Why Cowan & Hilgeman Consistently Ranks Among the Top Law Firms in Dayton Ohio

At the offices of Cowan and Hilgeman we believe that our clients are more than just a case.

When you come to our firm we will treat you with the dignity and respect that every human being deserves.
We will help you to make sense of this difficult time in your life, treating each case individually with an approach catered to your needs. 
More than that, we will dedicate ourselves tirelessly on your behalf, providing the stalwart service our clients have come to expect since 1994. 

At this firm, we have high standards, which is why we are consistently rated as one of the top law firms in Dayton.

We are an A+ Better Business Bureau rated firm, have 5 star google and Avvo reviews, and have a list of accolades that we are extremely proud to have earned.

Yet the most satisfying achievement for us is the trust our clients have in us and the satisfaction they have with our representation. We are touched that so many individuals have entrusted their cases with us, and we just wanted to thank all who have sought out our help, and taken the time to share their experiences. We could list our strengths all day, but don’t take our word for it. Listen to what your neighbors have had to say about us:

If you have experienced an injury at no fault of your own, and are unsure what steps you need to take next, give us a call at 937-222-2030 for a free case evaluation today. We’re one of the top rated law firms in Dayton for so many reasons.

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.

I Got into a Bus Accident. Now What?

bus accident dayton

Since the local government owns RTA busses in Dayton, Ohio, special rules apply when they get into an accident. Governments in the United States have special protections against lawsuits called Sovereign Immunity. You can still file an injury claim or bus accident lawsuit against a government-owned bus line, if specific rules are followed. It helps to have an experienced bus accident attorney on your side.

Injury claims against the government are made under the rules of the Tort Claims Act for federal agencies. Many states and municipalities have adopted their own version of the Tort Claims Act to handle injury claims by private citizens.

Filing an injury claim under the Tort Claims Act is different from filing one against a private person or company. Claims against government agencies have special forms to complete and firm deadlines. If your forms are late or incorrect, you may lose your right to compensation.

You will have to file a “notice of claim.”

Use the exact claim form required by the agency responsible for the bus accident. Most claim forms must include:

  • Your name and address
  • A description of when, where and how the bus accident happened
  • A description of your damages, such as your medical costs, lost wages, broken glasses, etc.
  • A statement of your intent to seek compensation for injuries and property damage caused by the agency’s employee, for example, the bus driver.

Be sure to submit the notice on time, and to the right place. Keep a copy for your records.

Keep an Eye on the Statute of Limitations

In Ohio, you have two years from the date of the accident in which to file a claim. The clock starts running immediately, no matter how badly you were injured. If you miss the two year window, your claim will be thrown out. For more information on the Statute of Limitations in Ohio, please go to this article.

Bus Accidents and Common Carrier Laws

Any individual or business licensed to transport passengers for a fee is known as a common carrier. State and federal laws closely regulate most common carriers. The law holds carriers to a very high standard for the safety of their passengers, called a duty of care. Common Carriers must do everything reasonably within their power to avoid injuries to their passengers.

Common carriers’ duties of care include:

  • Making entryways and exits safe for passengers (good lighting, no obstructions, etc.)
  • Providing security where necessary to ensure the health and safety of passengers
  • Hiring qualified bus drivers
  • Maintaining bus engines, motors, and other machinery
  • Monitoring and correcting bus design flaws

When a bus company or agency violates their duty of care, they’ve become negligent, meaning they did something wrong or failed to do what they’re supposed to do to keep passengers safe.

Examples of negligence that cause bus accidents include:

  • Bus drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Bus drivers who aren’t qualified or properly trained
  • Drivers working without enough sleep
  • Poorly maintained buses and equipment
  • Improperly loaded or overloaded buses

Proving Bus Accident Negligence

To win your bus accident lawsuit, you have to prove the carrier’s negligence was the cause of your injuries. Because common carriers have a higher duty of care to passengers, you won’t need as much evidence to prove your case as you would in other injury claims. But you should still collect as much evidence as you can.

Evidence to support your case will include:

  • Photographs taken at the time of your injury and several days after
  • Witness statements
  • Incident or police reports
  • Weather reports
  • Your written recollections about the accident and your injuries

In addition to evidence of fault for the accident, you’ll need to collect evidence of your injuries, such as:

  • Your medical bills and records
  • Receipts for out-of-pocket expenses
  • Proof of your lost wages

Filing a personal injury claim is never easy or straightforward. When you’re going up against the Government – at any level, local, state or federal – it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. The personal injury attorneys at Cowan & Hilgeman Law have successfully fought countless personal injury suits – including plenty of claims that other law firms routinely reject. Call (937) 222-2030 to schedule your FREE consultation with an experienced Bus Accident attorney.

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.

Can I Fire my Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer?

Fire my lawyer?

At Cowan & Hilgeman, we routinely hear from people who have been treated poorly by other firms. We treat every potential client as someone who deserves care, attention, compassion and frequent communication. If your Ohio personal injury lawyer does not make you feel as though your case is important to them, or if they aren’t devoting enough time and resources to helping you – or worse, they are acting unethically – you are perfectly within your rights to fire them.

Before acting rashly, however, you should consider the following:

1 – Where your case stands with the court

If your case is currently pending with the Court, you may have to receive permission from the Court before you can fire your Ohio personal injury lawyer. If your case is NOT currently pending with the Court, you may terminate your relationship with your attorney at any time.

2 – Firing your attorney can be costly

You must still pay your attorney for the work they did up to the point of termination, even if you feel it was substandard. You will also have to retain another attorney, which can be expensive. At Cowan & Hilgeman, you will not pay a penny unless we win your case, so this is less of a concern if you work with us.

3 – Have you tried to talk to your attorney?

Sometimes, attorneys take on a few too many clients, which can leave some feeling less than well-cared for. Talk to your attorney about your concerns. If they care at all about their clients, they will apologize and try to fix their mistakes. If they brush off your concerns or try to persuade you that this is just how these things go, consider speaking to an attorney who will take you seriously. There is an ebb and flow to all cases – times when it feels as though nothing is happening. It is important to speak with your lawyer to determine whether your working relationship has truly deteriorated to the point where it cannot be saved.

4 – Terminate your relationship properly.

If you do decide to fire your lawyer, you should send him or her a certified letter stating plainly that you are terminating your relationship and that the attorney should cease working on your case. Request your files back or ask that they are sent to your new lawyer; you are entitled to the work product you and your lawyer have created up to the point your relationship is terminated. Be professional and courteous. You do not need to explain your reasons for firing your Ohio personal injury lawyer. Ask for an itemized bill listing all pending fees and expenses. If yours is a contingency case, your new attorney will pay your old attorney from any money that you ultimately recover.

The process of changing attorneys can be stressful, but ultimately important if you feel that your needs are not being adequately met. Before taking any action, you should always speak with an impartial attorney who will advise you on the best course of action. Call Cowan & Hilgeman at (937) 222-2030 for a free consultation.