Personal injury law covers a broad spectrum of accidents and injuries, making it an extremely wide and diverse field with each case differing greatly from the next. However, most of the laws and regulations applied to the cases are vastly similar, which is why these cases are lumped together into a single field.
Ohio’s state laws define personal injury as the physical harm, loss, or damage done to a person or property due to another’s negligence. Depending upon the gravity of the situation, the matter may either be settled by the defendant’s insurance company, or it may proceed to court for further action and more appropriate compensation.
However, one thing worth noting is that personal injury claims must be filed within two years of the incident’s occurrence. If the plaintiff is a minor, the case must be filed within two years of the minor turning 18 years of age.
What are the Different Types of Cases That Personal Injury Laws Cover?
The volume of personal injury cases can be analyzed with the help of a single statistic. In 2019 alone, the USA experienced 48.3 million injuries. Therefore, the cases are divided into several common subtypes to be dealt with more adequately. The most common kinds of personal injury cases include:
Automotive Accidents: These accidents include car crashes, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, etc. Essentially, all accidents that involve automobiles are classified under this sub-category. Ohio is an at-fault state. This means the plaintiff will have to obtain compensation from the insurance company of the driver who is at fault for the accident. These cases are usually settled out-of-court unless the sustained injuries or the damage done is catastrophic.
Medical Malpractice: Cases that involve the injury or death of a person due to the negligence of the person’s hospital or physician are labeled as medical malpractice. In these cases, not only will the concerned doctor/hospital have to compensate you, but their license will also be suspended or in grave cases, revoked.
Animal Bites: Injuries or deaths caused by shelter animals or pets are covered by this sub-topic. Dog bites, snake bites, stings, etc. are all included here. If the animal has an owner or is under the protection of the local authorities, they will be the ones responsible for compensating you as long as you can prove that the injury was caused by the owner’s carelessness and you had no involvement in agitating the animal.
Product Liabilities/Product Defects: If you are harmed by a defective product or a product that has liabilities (toys that have sharp edges but do not feature a warning, for instance), you can file a personal injury claim against the manufacturer to be compensated by them.
Workplace Injuries and Premises Liability: If you sustain an injury that was caused primarily due to a fault in the location’s geography/construction, the fault is considered a premises liability and the owner of the location will have to compensate you for your injury.
Food Poisoning: If a person has an allergic reaction or digestive issue caused by the food they consumed at another person’s house or at a restaurant — despite the chef being fully aware of the plaintiff’s allergies — they will be considered at fault for the plaintiff’s condition.
What Should You Do if You are Injured or Got Into an Accident?
If you get into an accident or sustain an injury for which you are clearly not at fault, your first move should always be to:
Check your surroundings. If it was a car accident, look at the car’s plate number and remember as much detail out of it as you can.
Receive medical attention for your injuries immediately.
Gather evidence. This could be in the form of medical records or prescription issues for you to treat your particular injury, photographs of your injuries and the accident site, and other legally acceptable documents that may be used as evidence to strengthen your case.
Talk to the one who caused the accident. If the person who did it came back to help you, then you should both talk to each other into having a proper resolution. However, if you plan to bring things to court, then you should NEVER accept any financial aid. At court, this could make it look like the problem had been resolved beforehand with the money that the person gave you for the trouble.
If the person who injured you did not come back, then by all means contact the police and file a report. This way, they can start tracking down that person so you could bring them to justice.
Have You Been Injured in Darke County, Ohio?
At court, you will need to either represent yourself or have someone represent you. While the former is possible, the law goes deep enough to make most people confused. At Kruger & Hodges, our personal injury team is always ready to help you at times like these. You can reach out to us so we can work together and have you fight the legal battle for your compensation.