What to do if you have a brain injury from an Ohio car accident

A car accident can change your life permanently. If you have suffered any type of brain injury from a car accident, you will need to adjust your daily activities to accommodate your new normal. But what can you expect to face after such an injury? Furthermore, if you weren’t at fault for the accident, how do you hold others accountable for it? How can you receive the compensation you deserve after such a traumatic event?

What is a brain injury?

According to brainline.org ¨Traumatic brain injury (TBI) refers to damage or destruction of brain tissue due to a blow to the head.¨

There are many types of traumatic brain injuries, however, for the purpose of this article we are going to focus on ¨closed¨ injuries. One of the most common issues after an accident is whiplash. The quick movement of the head back and forth causes the brain to make contact with the skull- and can cause severe damage. This contact can lead to broken blood vessels, bruising, and can stretch and break the nerves responsible for proper brain function. This is why many patients who suffer a brain injury from an Ohio car accident have damage to their frontal and temporal lobes.

memory Brain injury Ohio car accident

What happens after you have a brain injury from an Ohio car accident?

First and foremost, if you believe that you have suffered from a brain injury- get help! Call 911 if you are able, and have paramedics sent to you.

Many people assume you have to pass out to have a closed brain injury. This is NOT true!

Even a mild brain injury can impair your cognitive abilities, change your behavior, and impact your ability to enjoy life or work to earn a living. Regardless of the severity of your injury, you should see a doctor after a possible brain injury from an Ohio car accident.

Do you have any of the following symptoms?

  • severe or unrelenting headaches
  • changes in you behavior or mood
  • dizziness
  • misplaced time
  • disorientation
  • memory loss
  • slurred speech
  • weakness in limbs

If so, consult with a doctor as soon as possible.

So, what happens next?

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a brain injury, it will change your whole life. The physical and emotional toll may impact your friends, family, and work-life. Beyond these hurdles, your journey to recovery is often arduous and expensive. Fighting these types of personal injury claims can be long and complicated, but you don’t have to do this alone. Our compassionate team is here to help you receive the fair and full compensation that you deserve. Call us at (937) 222-2030 for a case evaluation today, and eliminate one type of headache caused by dealing with your brain injury.

What Should I do if I Suffered a Fracture in an Ohio Car Accident?

Fracture Ohio car accident

Being involved in a car accident can be a life-altering experience. Even a minor accident can result in a confusing chain of events, from the moment your vehicle makes impact, there are important steps you will need to take to make the whole incident as painless as possible. But what if you suffer from an injury, like a fracture in an Ohio car accident? What do you do next?

First things first – if you have an injury, get help! 

If you think that you have a fracture, you will need to have x rays at the hospital.  Call 911 and ask them to dispatch emergency personnel – paramedics and the police. 

You will need to file an accident report with local law enforcement anyway, so don’t hesitate to call.

Speaking of documentation, if you are feeling well enough to walk around, take photos of the scene before anything is moved, exchange insurance info with the other involved party, and see if  there are any witnesses who are willing to make a statement about what they saw. Try to gather as much evidence as you can, without overextending yourself. It can help you later. 

If you can go to the hospital immediately, go as soon as possible.

Leaving an injury untreated for any amount of time can lead to serious health complications later on. It can also make your legal case more difficult.

While you are in the ER, ask the doctor who sees you for copies of any reports they file, including the extent of your injuries, any referrals to see an orthopedic surgeon or physical therapy,  and orders for when you can return to work.  Having this information all together can help you to file a strong case if you choose to go that route.

So you’ve seen a doctor, determined you have a fracture, and are now at a loss about what to do.

Should you file a lawsuit? Take a settlement? File a claim on your own insurance? These are very important questions, and the answers will vary on a case by case basis; however, here are some general guidelines for the state of Ohio:

  • The statute of limitations in Ohio is two years, meaning you have two years from the date of the accident to file a suit or claim. If you go over that time period (with a few exceptions for minors or other circumstances) you will not be able to file at all.
  • Modified comparative fault laws exist in Ohio, meaning that you could be determined to bear a portion of responsibility for the accident- say if you were speeding, or not paying attention to the road and react too slowly when you notice the other driver coming towards you. This can modify  any damages awarded to you. If you are found to be 50% negligent or more, you may not receive any damages at all.
  • Being aware of what your insurance policy and the other person’s insurance type is important.  If they only have the bare minimum liability insurance required in Ohio ($25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, with $25,000 for property damage) your total losses may not be covered by the damages awarded by the insurance company.  You may be offered a settlement, but that may not be your only option.

In these cases, you may want to consult a personal injury attorney for guidance.  Facing an auto accident can be an extremely overwhelming experience, but you don’t have to face the claims procedure alone. A dedicated, experienced personal injury with focus exclusively on helping to receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t risk losing out on your case. Contact an Ohio Personal injury attorney you can trust today. Cowan & Hilgeman offers free phone or video consultations, with no obligation at all – call (937) 222-2030 today to schedule a chat with our experienced personal injury attorney who can tell you exactly what to do if you have suffered from a fracture in an Ohio car accident

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.

What to do if you get into an accident with a UPS truck

accident with a ups truck

Facing a car accident can cause extreme strife and hardship in one’s life. Even a small fender bender with a tiny hybrid can be traumatic, and cause extensive damages to your well-being and the care of your car. When the smallest vehicles can cause such issues, you might shudder at the thought of the potential issues with something larger – like a commercial UPS truck…

Sadly, these accidents are all too often the cause of long term damages, and can even be lethal. If you or a loved one live in Ohio and are involved in an accident with a UPS truck, there are things you need to know.

First, you could be the beneficiary of compensation if you are not at fault.

However, it must be mentioned that the last thing a company like UPS wants is to make a large payout. They will try to avoid this with a legal team, drawn-out court dates, and denying liability for the accident. Our firm despises this lack of culpability, and have dedicated ourselves to prevent this from occurring with our clients. If you find yourself in this situation, please know that there is help available to you.  There are specific steps you can take to help make your case. The following tips will help you if you have a car accident involving a UPS driver. 

First and foremost, stop for a moment and give yourself a once over.

Are you feeling disoriented, dizzy, or sick?  If you need medical attention,  call 911 immediately. Before you can do anything else, it is paramount that you take care of yourself. Don’t push aside even the smallest discomfort, as it is common to have injured your neck, back, or spine without noticing it at first. This may seem odd, but when your body is put into flight-or-fight response, it may be difficult to ascertain the true nature of your injuries. If you do not get medical attention at the immediate time of the accident, it is still important that you visit a doctor in the next 24 hours. Request hard copies of the doctor’s report for your claim, and tell your physician that you were involved in an auto accident with a UPS truck. 

Next, call the police.

Do not let the driver leave until they arrive. Have them come to the scene to file a traffic accident report. State the facts from your point of view, and do your best to remain calm and collected while doing so. You can ask the arriving officer to tell you who they cite to be at fault on the record. Also make a note of when you can expect it to be filed. Usually, this will happen in a few business days.

Like any other traffic incident, you should be sure to collect information from the UPS driver. Record their name/driver ID, the make and model of the vehicle, their insurance information (including any coverage provided by UPS) the license number, and also, whether they were actively working a shift or not.  Before vehicles are moved or you leave the scene, try to make a clear physical record of the incident. Some important details to document are:

  • Date/Time it occured
  • Your location
  •  Was it raining, foggy, sunny? Weather conditions could be a factor to negligence.
  •  Pictures of all vehicle damage
  • Other details that may explain why the accident happened (sthe driver ran a  red light, failed to use a turn signal, didn’t break, ect) 

Put all of the information together to make a clear record of what happened. The more thorough you are, the better off you will be. Keep an eye out for any potential witnesses. If someone saw the accident, you may ask them if they would be willing to make a statement. Get their phone number and email.

Once you feel like you’ve collected all the evidence you can, the next step is to contact your insurance company

Call the UPS representative as well. (contact UPS at 1-800-742-5877) Don’t be surprised if UPS tries to claim that they aren’t liable for their driver – they often hire independent contractors, and try to use this as a loophole in these cases.  Or if an employee was technically off duty (like a lunch break) or running a personal errand, the company can claim they were not at fault because it was outside the daily duties of the driver.

However, this does not mean that your claim is invalid – you just may need to take extra steps. No matter the circumstances of your accident with a UPS truck, or how UPS reacts, it can be tough to file a claim on your own. Don’t be afraid to reach out for extra resources.

Personal injury attorneys have dedicated their careers to protecting people like you. Having a trustworthy firm represent you after a truck accident could be one of the best decisions you make during these trying times, and gives you the best odds to receive the compensation you need. Why give yourself more strife? Call us for a free consultation today – (937) 222-2030

What to do when hit by a FedEx truck

hit by a fedex truck

Automotive accidents cause an array of difficulties in one’s life. If the incident is severe enough, at the very least it can easily frighten you, or dreadfully, cause an injury to you or damage to your vehicle.  As if that isn’t grim enough, imagine being hit by a FedEx truck. Due to the sheer size of the average FedEx truck, the odds are your car will not make it through that particular experience unscathed.

If you live in Ohio and are hit by a FedEx truck – or someone working for FedEx – you may be entitled to compensation. 

Even if you are clearly without fault in the incident, you should be aware that large companies such as this have a ready and waiting legal team whose only job is to keep lawsuits from going to court while still ensuring you don’t receive a fair payout.

We believe this practice to be inherently wrong, and do our best to prevent this from happening to our clients. If you do happen to suffer from this experience, please don’t despair. There are actions you can take to help make your case.

The following tips will help you if you are hit by a FedEx truck. 

Before anything else is attempted, take the time to do a wellness check.

If you need medical attention, do not hesitate to call 911. Your health and safety should be your top priority. . You don’t want to risk leaving things unattended, as you may have jarred your neck or back and may not feel it during the adrenaline rush and shock of the accident. If you don’t feel comfortable calling for medical care at the scene, you should still follow up with a doctor in the next 24 hours. Make a point to keep copies of the doctor’s report for future reference, and be clear to your physician that you were involved in an accident. 

Once this has been attended to, notify your local authorities. 

Have them come to the scene to file a traffic accident  report. Be clear and concise while telling your side of the story, and try to remove your feelings from your statement. Facts are more useful than feelings in these circumstances as it allows the officer to remain  as objective as possible. You can request that the officer tell you who they cite at fault in the official  report.

Beyond that, you follow up with them about the time frame in which they file their reports. Usually, this will occur in the next few business days after you are hit by a Fedex truck.

The next step is the same as you would follow in a any accident – collect  information from the Fedex driver. 

You should take down their name and driver number, the make and model of the vehicle, their insurance information (including if they have an extra policy provided by FedEx) the plate number, and even if they were working a shift at the time.  Then, while everything is still fresh, you should document the accident as much  detail as possible. The following items make a good checklist for the scene:

  • Date and time of the accident,
  • The street or intersection it occurred
  •  Weather conditions at the time
  •  Photos of any damage to either vehicle
  • Any other details  that might be helpful  for making a report (such as the driver running a red light, didn’t break, etc) 

 Make copies of all of this information. Another useful point to look out for is potential witnesses. If there were any witnesses to the incident, politely request if they would be willing to make a statement and ask for their contact information.

Once you have completed these tasks,  you need to report the accident to your insurance company, and also to FedEx. You should note that it can be difficult to file a claim against the company itself – more and more delivery companies are hiring employees as independent contractors, providing a legal loophole in liability cases.  However, there has been a push from the media and among legal circles in this regard after the major accident in Pennsylvania earlier this year that resulted in the death of five people.  No matter the circumstances of your accident, these existing policies may make it  difficult to pursue a claim on your own.

If you need guidance on how to receive the best possible outcome from the accident, you should contact a determined personal injury firm about the process. Having a firm represent you against FedEx can streamline the process of filing for a claim, and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Don’t make this more difficult on yourself than it already is.  Help is only a simple phone call away. Contact us today at (937) 222-2030 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys.

What to do if You Get Into an Accident With an Amazon Truck

accident with an amazon truck

Car accidents can be extremely disruptive. Getting into an accident with an Amazon truck can cause many more headaches than a regular car accident. Depending on the severity of the accident, they can easily frighten you, or worse, cause damage to you or your vehicle.  What’s even worse is when you are hit by a large commercial vehicle. More likely than not, your car won’t win in that head-to-head.

If you live in Ohio and you get into an accident with an Amazon truck, you may be entitled to compensation.

Yet this corporate giant has a ready and waiting team hoping to keep those costs down as much as possible – and doing their best to ensure you don’t receive a payout. If you do get into an accident with an Amazon truck, you should follow the steps here to help ensure you receive the best possible outcome from the accident:

First of all, make sure you are okay.

If you need medical attention, do not hesitate to call 911. Your health and safety is of the utmost importance. Don’t put this up to chance, as you may have jarred your neck or back and may not feel it during the initial shock of the accident. Even if you don’t seek medical attention at the scene, you should follow up with a doctor in the next 24 hours, and keep copies of the doctors report for future reference. 

Second, notify law enforcement, and have them come to the scene to file a report.

Be thorough in your recounting of the incident, but don’t let your feelings overwhelm you. Try to stick to the facts as much as possible, so the officer can remain as objective as possible. You can ask the officer who they cite at fault in their report – follow up with them at the scene to find out how long they have to file it. Usually, the report will be filed within seven business days.

The next step is the same as you would follow in a normal accident – exchange information with the Amazon driver. 

You should take down their name and driver number, the make and model of the vehicle, their insurance information (including if they have an extra policy provided by amazon) the plate number, and also if they were on or off duty at the time. Along with exchanging information, you should document the incident as much as possible: the date and time of the accident, the street or intersection, weather conditions at the time,  photos of any damage to either vehicle, and any other information pertinent to making a report (such as the driver running a red light). 

Keep copies of all of this information. If there were any witnesses to the incident, ask them if they would be willing to make a statement and ask for their contact information.

After all this has been done, you should report the accident to your insurance company, and also to Amazon. While Amazon has a policy of often hiring independent contractors for their drivers (making it difficult to make a claim against the company itself) it doesn’t hurt to be thorough. Depending on the circumstances of your accident with an Amazon truck, it may be difficult to make a claim on your own.

If you have any questions about filing a claim, or just need guidance on how to receive the best possible outcome from the incident, you should contact a dedicated personal injury firm about the process. Having a firm represent your interests can extremely reduce the headaches of filing for a claim, and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve from an accident with an Amazon truck.   Help is only a simple phone call away. Contact us today at (937) 222-2030 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.