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Hamilton, OH Personal Injury Attorneys

Personal Injury Attorneys in Hamilton, Ohio

When accidents occur, a person can unexpectedly find his or her life changed in a matter of seconds. Injuries can lead to large medical bills and lost wages as well as lifelong physical suffering. Some people are killed in accidents, which leaves their surviving family members to pursue compensation. The Centers for Disease Control report that each year 214,000 people die from injuries incurred in accidents. Our Hamilton, OH personal injury attorneys have significant experience helping people who have been impacted by accidents obtain the compensation they need to help deal with many of these complications. Failure to create a strong legal strategy only makes a bad situation worse. At Kruger & Hodges, we appreciate how challenging living with the damage caused by an accident can be, and we will help you fight for the best possible outcome in your personal injury case.

Common Examples of Personal Injury Accidents

Personal injury refers to harm suffered that is often caused by the negligence of another person or entity. Some of the most common claims pursued by our Hamilton, OH personal injury attorneys include:

  • Airplane accidents. When accidents occur involving airplanes, the results are often devastating and affect many people.
  • Bicycle accidents. Bicycles provide riders with little physical protection when collisions occur. One of the common causes of bicycle accidents is that motor vehicle drivers fail to watch out for and safely share the road with cyclists.
  • Boat accidents. When boats, jet skis, or other vessels are involved, personal injury accidents are commonly caused by an operator’s recklessness. Boat operators have a duty to others on the water to ensure that everyone stays safe and free from injury.
  • Burns can be caused by a car accident, fire accident, or workplace accident, and the victims of burn accidents often endure severe physical injuries, large medical bills, lost wages, and lasting physical pain.
  • Car accidents. Passenger vehicle collisions represent a large portion of personal injury accidents. A large number of motor vehicle accidents occur when a driver’s attention is momentarily distracted from the road. Other common causes include improper signage, reckless driving, road defects, and vehicle defects.
  • Child injuries. Parents trust that hygiene products and toys made for children are safe for consumer use. Unfortunately, manufacturers and designers are known to make mistakes that can result in deadly injuries in those using their products.
  • Construction accidents. Often deadly, each year many workers are involved in accidents that occur at construction sites.
  • Dog bites. The owners of dogs, as well as other animals, have a duty to make sure that their pets do not harm others. This includes making sure that animals are appropriately trained and remain in a space where they will not be able to harm others. Unfortunately, dog and other animal owners do not always satisfy this duty.
  • Drowning accidents are commonly the result of defective safety gates and negligent lifeguards. If you are swimming in another person’s pool, the owners and operators of that pool have a duty to make sure that you stay as safe as possible.
  • Head injuries. The victims of brain and head injuries can experience complications that last the rest of their lives. Some of the most common complications include memory loss, difficulty seeing, and difficulty hearing.
  • Highway defects. Municipalities have a responsibility to make sure that roads are kept free from potential dangers for motor vehicle operators. Failure to properly maintain roads can lead to deadly car accidents.
  • Medical malpractice. We trust that medical professionals will perform their jobs effectively and appropriately. However, errors are known to occur among medical professionals that place the lives of their patients at risk.
  • Motorcycle accidents. Motorcycles are exhilarating to ride and a convenient way of getting from one place to another. Unlike other types of vehicles, motorcycles do not have the same degree of protection for riders. As a result, accidents involving motorcycles are often deadly. One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is motor vehicle drivers who fail to spot motorcyclists.
  • Nursing home abuse and neglect. When we place loved ones in nursing homes, we expect that they will receive appropriate care and the best possible medical treatment. Unfortunately, each year there are many cases of nursing home workers abusing nursing home residents, who are particularly vulnerable.
  • Premises liability accidents. When a visitor to another person’s property is injured, it is possible for the visitor to pursue a lawsuit provided the property owner has neglected his or her duty of care to keep visitors safe.
  • Spinal injuries. Similar in nature to brain injuries, spinal injuries can result in several substantial complications including backaches, difficulty walking, and sometimes even paralysis.
  • Train accidents. Things like brake failure, derailment, track switching malfunctions, and unprotected railroad crossings are some of the most common ways in which railroad accidents occur.
  • Truck accidents. Large commercial vehicles carry a substantial amount of heavy cargo, particularly when compared to passenger vehicles. To make sure that these trucks remain safe while on the road, trucking companies, truck manufacturers, and truck operators all have strict duties of care to uphold. When these duties are not met, the result is often deadly truck accidents.

Common Injuries Sustained

The following injuries are common results of accidents in Ohio:

  • If a person’s skin comes into contact with extremely hot fluids, chemicals, or surfaces, he or she will suffer burn injuries. The most serious burns necessitate surgery as well as skin grafting.
  • Disfiguring scars. Facial injuries can result from accidents if a person is struck by flying objects, for example. In the most serious cases, facial disfigurement requires surgery.
  • Some of the most common bones that accident victims fracture are arms, ribs, legs, ankles, and wrists. The severity of fractures ranges from simple breaks to more complex compound fractures.
  • Internal injuries. When an accident forces a person’s body into an object or a person’s body is struck by a flying object, it is common for internal organ damage to occur. These injuries often require emergency medical treatment.
  • Head injuries. Unfortunately, head injuries are one of the most serious injuries that a person can sustain in any accident. In the worst cases, these injuries are life-threatening.
  • Shards of glass and other flying debris commonly cause skin lacerations. In many cases, bruises result in addition to lacerations.
  • Limb loss. Arms and legs can sometimes be lost in serious accidents. When a victim loses a limb, his or her life is forever changed.
  • Mental disturbances. The painful and haunting memory of the incident can cause accident victims to experience negative life changes. This includes anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Neck injuries. Whiplash in the neck is a common injury that occurs during accidents, particularly motor vehicle collisions.
  • Shoulder injuries. These injuries occur from the force of the impact endured in an accident, particularly in car accidents.
  • Soft tissue injuries. Bruises, sprains, strains, and other damage to a person’s muscles is common in an accident. These injuries frequently result in painful and long-lasting complications.
  • Spinal cord injuries. The impact of substantial force on a person’s back can result in spinal cord injuries. Damage of this nature can cause partial or total paralysis. Both conditions can lead to many complications including difficulty with mobility, lost wages, and large medical bills.
  • Traumatic brain injuries. When a person’s brain or head receives a substantial blow, it is common for traumatic brain injuries to occur. Statistics reveal that approximately 50,000 people die each year from traumatic brain injuries and another 85,000 individuals experience long-term disability as a result of their head trauma.
  • Wrist injuries. Broken wrists are a particularly common occurrence in car and bicycle accidents. These injuries often require surgery.

The Personal Injury Process in Ohio

If you lost a loved one in an accident caused by someone’s negligence or recklessness, a skilled Hamilton, OH personal injury attorney can help you determine the best method to pursue compensation. This might include a wrongful death claim if a loved one was killed as a result of someone else’s actions. Compensation awarded by wrongful death lawsuits must be for the benefit of the deceased individual’s spouse, children, or parents. The elements involved in the process to obtain compensation in a personal injury lawsuit include:

  • Accident investigations. One of the first steps involved in a personal injury lawsuit is collecting evidence, which often includes medical records, photos, police reports, witness statements, and videos. This process helps to determine exactly how an accident occurred.
  • Personal injury lawsuits. If an accident claim cannot be settled out of court, lawyers can pursue a lawsuit on a person’s behalf and argue in court that a certain amount of compensation is deserved.
  • Arbitration/Mediation. Sometimes, a personal injury case is resolved through arbitration or mediation rather than a lawsuit.
  • Settlement Negotiations. This process is often challenging because it is often the case that the party responsible for an accident wants to pay less than what they actually owe.

Compensation in Personal Injury Cases

Most damages sought by Hamilton, OH personal injury attorneys are classified as “compensatory” because they are designed to compensate the injured plaintiff for the things that were lost in the accident. Some of the most common types of compensatory damages include:

  • Lost wages. Compensation in this category is designed to compensate a person for the impact an accident has on his or her salary and earning potential in the future.
  • Medical costs. This category includes compensation for the costs of medical care associated with the accident.
  • Pain and suffering. A person might be able to receive compensation for the pain and discomfort caused by the accident.
  • Property loss. Damages in this category include motor vehicles, clothing, or any other personal property that is destroyed during an accident.

Additionally, in cases in which the responsible party’s behavior is determined to have been particularly outrageous or reckless, the victim might also be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the responsible party for its wrongdoing and to deter others from participating in similar behavior, rather than making the victim whole again.

What Needs to be Proven to Recover Compensation?

Briefly, to recover compensation for an injury sustained during an accident, an accident victim and his or her personal injury attorney need to prove a few things. First, we must prove that you were injured by the negligence of another party. For example, if you were injured in a rear-end car accident, the negligence of the offending driver would be proven by showing that he or she clearly broke a traffic law. However, proving a party’s negligence can be difficult in some cases.

We must also prove that due to the at-fault party’s negligence, you were injured. Lastly, we must show how this injury has caused you damages, or losses. Each injury case is different, and issues can arise at any step in this process that can hurt or enhance a particular case. Keeping organized documentation is the best way to stay on top of any personal injury case, and your personal injury attorney will make sure to guide you in the right direction.

How Much is a Personal Injury Claim Worth?

There is no universal answer to how much a personal injury case is worth. Only after careful analysis of the numerous facts involved with your case will an experienced lawyer be able to estimate the potential dollar value of your personal injury claim. Some of the factors that can influence this figure include the severity of your injuries, insurance coverage, the financial impact, and whether the party that caused the accident took steps to protect your safety.

In many cases, an insurance company that represents the opposing party will make a settlement offer. If the victim does not accept the amount offered by the insurance company, the case will likely proceed to trial. To help navigate this process, it is critical to obtain the representation of a skilled accident lawyer. While there is no one specific amount to expect in compensation following an Ohio personal injury accident, it can help to understand some factors that commonly influence this number.

Average Amount of Compensation for Personal Injury Claims in Hamilton, Ohio

There is no “average” for the amount of compensation that a person can expect to receive after being injured in an accident. Each case is different. As a result, it is difficult to determine what a person will receive in compensation for even the most serious accidents. Some of the factors that influence the amount of compensation a person ultimately receives include the degree of economic losses suffered, the severity of injuries, and how injuries have impacted you and your loved ones.

Maximum Amount of Compensation Your Personal Injury Attorneys May Seek in Hamilton, Ohio

You can only receive in compensation an amount equivalent to the responsible party’s insurance policy. For example, if you were injured in a car accident, you will only be able to receive the maximum of the responsible party’s insurance policy. When a business causes a person’s injuries, the victim can often receive more in compensation because companies often have “deeper pockets.” Regardless, Ohio has established certain limitations on the amount of compensation personal injury victims can receive. It is helpful to remember the following rules:

  • There is no limit to what a person can receive in economic losses for things like lost wages or medical care.
  • Non-economic losses include things like pain and suffering, but are limited to what is more — $250,000 or an amount that is 300% of a person’s economic loss.
  • There is an exception to the limitation for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses for damages that compensate for either permanent deformity or disability.

To assess the full amount of damages that a person faces, it is often critical to retain the assistance of our experienced Hamilton, OH personal injury attorneys.

The Role of Punitive Damages in Ohio Personal Injury Cases

Many people our lawyers help are injured as the result of someone else’s negligence. This might include careless behavior, like failing to look both ways at an intersection or to clean up a spill in a grocery store. Some accidents occur, however, because people are intentionally injured. This category includes people who purposefully harm others. Because the conduct of this nature is viewed as more reprehensible than others, Ohio law allows victims to ask for punitive damages in these cases. Punitive damages are designed to punish the responsible party and deter them and others from performing similar harmful acts in the future.

While they are not common, Ohio still awards punitive damages. The amount of these damages is capped, however. If a client experiences $100,000 in compensatory damages, they can later receive a maximum of $200,000 in punitive damages.

What Needs to be Proven to Recover Compensation?

Briefly, to recover from an injury sustained during an accident, an accident victim and his or her personal injury attorneys in Hamilton, OH need to prove a few things. First, we must prove that you were injured by the negligence of another party. For example, if you were injured in a rear-end car accident, the negligence of the offending driver would be proven by showing that he or she clearly broke a traffic law. However, proving a party’s negligence can be difficult in some cases.

We must also prove that due to the at-fault party’s negligence, you were injured. Lastly, we must show how this injury has caused you damages, or losses. Each injury case is different, and issues can arise at any step in this process that can hurt or enhance a particular case. Keeping organized documentation is the best way to stay on top of any personal injury case, and your personal injury attorney will make sure to guide you in the right direction.

Take Pictures and Make Notes

Personal injury claims can take a really long time. As such, memories and evidence can be lost if not properly documented when they occur. We suggest to our clients that they take pictures of any evidence as soon as they can do so safely. Evidence can be pictures of the property damage to a vehicle, something that they tripped over, or pictures of the injuries sustained. Pictures help show how the accident happened as well as the severity of the resulting injuries. Telling insurance adjusters you were bruised and showing them photographic proof are two different things. Additionally, it is important to take down the names and contact information of any witnesses. A good witness can make the difference between getting the compensation you deserve and nothing at all.

The Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims in Ohio

The statute of limitation is the amount of time a person has to file a legal claim. In Ohio, there is a two-year limitation for most personal injury cases. This means that in many cases, your Hamilton, OH personal injury attorneys have two years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury claim. Waiting longer than two years will result in an accident victim losing the opportunity to pursue compensation in a court of law. For this reason, if you have been injured in any kind of accident, you should not hesitate to obtain the assistance of a skilled personal injury attorney.

Do Not Make a Statement to the Insurance Company Without Your Hamilton, OH Personal Injury Attorneys

Often the insurance company will ask the injured party to make a recorded statement. Injury victims often make these recorded statements because they feel that they have no choice. You do have a choice! If you have been injured and the insurance company is making you feel like you need to make a recorded statement, you should know that you are under no obligation to make any statements. As personal injury attorneys in Hamilton, Eaton and Middletown, we instruct our clients to not make statements to the insurance companies because we know that they are not wanting this statement to help you. They want this statement to help their bottom line. So please do not let the insurance company pressure you into making a statement that they will be able to use against you later.

How Treatment Plays a Role in the Personal Injury Claim

One of the most important aspects of any personal injury claim is the treatment record. Obviously, without regard to any potential personal injury claim, if you are hurt, then you need to get treatment from a skilled medical doctor as soon as possible. Within the context of a personal injury case, a solid medical treatment record is of the utmost importance. When you are at the doctor, you need to tell him or her all of the issues you are struggling with due to the accident. If you do not tell your doctor all of your issues, then he or she will not include any notations about them in your medical records. The records must document the injuries sustained or it will be more difficult to get the compensation you deserve. Additionally, if you wait too long after the accident to get treatment, the insurance company will say you have a “gap in treatment” and will attempt to pay less or nothing at all. Therefore, seeking treatment as soon as you can is always advisable.

What if a Settlement Cannot Be Reached Before the Statute of Limitations?

If you cannot get your claim settled before the statute of limitations, your lawyer will need to file a lawsuit in the jurisdiction where the injury occurred. This begins the formal court process, which could inevitably end with a trial by jury. Oftentimes, cases can still be settled after the filing of a lawsuit; however, if the two sides cannot come to an agreement, the case will go to trial and possibly even through an appeal process. This whole process can take anywhere from one to two years and even longer depending on the complexities of the case.

What if I Settle but Then Have Complications With My Injury?

You only get one chance to recover. If you settle and then realize you have further damages, you will not be able to go back to the opposing side again. This is why it is important to take this process seriously to maximize your one chance at recovery.

How Much Do Hamilton Personal Injury Attorneys Cost?

Most personal injury attorneys charge a contingency fee. This means that it costs nothing out of pocket up front for you to obtain the services of a personal injury lawyer. Under this model, your lawyer will only get paid if you actually succeed in recovering compensation. The fee is generally 30-40% of the gross settlement.

Contact Kruger & Hodges Hamilton Personal Injury Attorneys

When accidents occur, the resulting injuries can be particularly severe, which is why personal injury victims should not hesitate to contact our law firm. During a free case evaluation, our Hamilton, OH personal injury attorneys will help you determine the best strategy for your case. Contact Kruger & Hodges today for assistance. We help injury victims at our Hamilton, Ohio law offices. We represent injured parties throughout Butler County and Preble County as well, with personal injury law offices located in Middletown, OH and Eaton, OH as well.

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