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.

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

Truck accident

From the moment you are injured in a truck 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 truck 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 truck 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.

Truck accidents are usually very serious. Due to the massive size and weight of an average truck, 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 commercial trucking accident, it is extremely important to get an experienced, aggressive attorney fighting in your corner. Truck 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 truck 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.

Stay Safe This New Years’ Eve – ArriveSafe is offering FREE cab rides home!

Free taxi service Dayton

Starting at noon on December 31st and continuing to 6am on January 2nd, ArriveSafe will be offering FREE cab rides to all residents of Montgomery County, Ohio.

There is absolutely no excuse to drive while under the influence!

The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that 40% of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers — a 12% increase over the rest of the month of December. According to the NHTSA, 2,597 people lost their lives due to motor vehicle traffic crashes during December 2010. The NHTSA also found that an average of 36 fatalities occurred each day in the U.S. 2001 and 2005 as a result of crashes involving an alcohol impaired driver. That number increased to 45 per day during the 3-day Christmas period and jumped to 54 per day over New Year’s holiday period.

Call 937-449-9999 to get a free cab ride for up to a $50 fare.

Cowan & Hilgeman is not affiliated with ArriveSafe, but we feel strongly about protecting the lives and health of our neighbors. Free cab rides remove the economic barrier to safety. Stay safe this holiday season; Stay sober if you choose to drive.

If you are unfortunate enough to get into an accident with an impaired person, call us as soon as you are in a safe location – (937) 222-2030. There is no fee and no obligation.

What is an Ohio Statute of Limitations?

Ohio statute of limitations are laws passed by legislative bodies to set the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated.

When the period of time specified in a statute of limitations passes, a claim may no longer be filed. Or, if filed, may be thrown out of court.

For example, if you are involved in an auto accident caused by someone else, you have only 2 years to file suit in Ohio. If you fail to do so within that time frame, you lose your right to pursue a claim, which is why it is vital you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an injury or accident. Certain exceptions do exist, such as whether the claimant was a minor when the accident happened, but the two year limit for personal injury claims generally encompasses the vast majority of cases.

The Statutes of Limitations Relevant to Personal Injury Cases in Ohio.

SuitStatute of LimitationsCode
Wrongful death2 yearsORC 2125.02(D)
Bodily Injury or injury to personal property2 yearsORC 2305.10
Malpractice (Other than medical, dental, optometric, or chiropractic)1 yearORC 2305.11
Medical malpractice1 yearORC 2305.113
Assault and Battery1 year from initial date identity of the attacker is knownORC 2305.111
Actions Against the State2 years ORC 2743.16
Actions Against Political Subdivisions 2 years ORC 2744.04
Actions not otherwise provided for10 yearsORC 2305.14

When filing a personal injury claim, prompt action is of the utmost importance. Evidence that can support your side of the story can and is frequently lost, deleted or mishandled. Ohio statute of limitations are short and pass by quickly. Witnesses find their memories grow increasingly vague and may be harder to locate as more time passes.

Don’t risk losing your opportunity to reclaim just compensation for your injuries – contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Cowan & Hilgeman Law today at (937) 222 2030 to schedule your FREE consultation.

You won’t pay a dime unless we win your case.

Motorcycle Safety Tips

With the warm weather comes Motorcycles; People brushing off the winter and taking to the open road, feeling the sun and the wind in their hair.

The less fun side of this that no one likes to discuss, however, is that an average of 4,200 motorcyclists die per year in the United States. At Cowan & Hilgeman Law, we believe you should ALWAYS put your safety first to avoid becoming part of this statistic.

The personal injury lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. Our lawyers create plans of attack for each case specific to the client’s needs and expectations. The lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman handle claims involving personal injury, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, product liability and wrongful death. We routinely recover compensation on cases that other law firms reject.

Cowan & Hilgeman offers free personal injury case evaluations and only get paid an attorney fee if we win your personal injury case.

Call 937-222-2030 to get your free case evaluation.

What to Expect After Your Vehicle is in an Accident!

While the Ohio Personal Injury Lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman concentrate their practice on injuries resulting from personal injury, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, product liability and wrongful death throughout the state of Ohio, our personal injury lawyers are also knowledgeable in the area of motor vehicle property damage laws.

Repair the Vehicle or Total Loss?

The standards for determining whether your vehicle should be repaired or is a total loss may vary from insurance company to insurance company. Generally, your vehicle will be considered a total loss when it is less expensive to replace it then repair the vehicle. It has been reported that that 12% to 14% of all accidents result in a total loss. Insurance companies are responsible for paying the actual case value (ACV) or market value of the vehicle at the time of the accident. The criteria for determining whether or not a vehicle is a total loss is determined by Ohio Revised Code Section 4505.11 and Ohio Administrative Code Section 3901-1-54.

If your vehicle is considered a total loss, you will have the option to receive the actual cash value (ACV) or retain the vehicle with a salvage title. Salvage motor vehicles are regulated by Ohio Revised Code Sections 4738.01 and Ohio Revised Code Section 4505.11. If you choose to keep the vehicle and obtain a salvage title, you will not receive the full actual case value (ACV) of the vehicle.

If the vehicle must be repaired, read our previous post on Repairing Your Vehicle After an Accident! to learn what you can expect regarding repair and property damage estimates, choice of repair parts, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or aftermarket parts, and your choice of repair shop.

How Your Property Damage Settlement Is Determined!

Ohio Administrative Code Section 3901-1-54(H)(7) provides guidelines for insurance companies when determining how to calculate the actual cash value (ACV) of the damaged motor vehicle:

(a) The average cost of two or more comparable automobiles in the local market area if comparable automobiles are or were available to consumers within the last ninety days; or

(b) The average cost of two or more comparable automobiles in areas proximate to the local market area, including the closest in-state or out-of-state major metropolitan areas, that are or were available to consumers within the last ninety days if comparable automobiles are not available pursuant to paragraph (H)(7)(a) of this rule; or

(c) The average of two or more quotations obtained by the insurer from two or more licensed dealers located within the local market area if comparable automobiles are not available pursuant to paragraphs (H)(7)(a) and (H)(7)(b) of this rule; or

(d) The cost as determined from a generally recognized used motor vehicle industry source such as:

(i) An electronic database if the pertinent portions of the valuation documents generated by the database are provided by the insurer to the claimant upon request; or

(ii) A guidebook that is generally available to the general public if the insurer identifies the guidebook used as the basis for the cost to the claimant upon request, and to which appropriate adjustments for condition, mileage and major options are made and documented in the claim file.

Retaining Ownership with a Salvage Title.

Salvage motor vehicles are regulated by Ohio Revised Code Sections 4738.01 and Ohio Revised Code Section 4505.11. If you choose to keep the vehicle and obtain a salvage title, you will not receive the full actual case value (ACV) of the vehicle. In the event you elect to obtain a salvage title, you must properly document the title at your local Bureau of Motor Vehicle (BMV).

The personal injury layers at Cowan & Hilgeman have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. Our lawyers create plans of attack for each case specific to the client’s needs and expectations. The personal injury lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman will help maximize the value of your claim and fully explain the claim process throughout the entire case. We offer free case evaluations and only get paid an attorney fee if we win your case.