Seeking Help from a Lawyer after a Brain Injury in Columbus
More than 29,000 Ohio residents sustained traumatic brain injuries between January 2007 and December 2009, according to the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission. The majority of these cases can be attributed to blunt force trauma, such as what can occur in a car accident, slip and fall, or workplace injury.
You may have grounds for a personal injury claim if you or a loved one suffered a head injury in an accident in Columbus. Compensation may address the financial burdens associated with a catastrophic injury, such as traumatic brain injury.
We understand you have many questions about your rights and legal options. Below, you’ll find information to help you decide your next step in the recovery process.
How long do I have to file an injury claim in Ohio?
Ohio Code 2305.10(A) provides you with just two years from the date of injury in which to initiate an injury claim or file a lawsuit. This applies for auto accidents and premises liability cases (such as slip/trip and falls).
The longer you wait to contact a lawyer, the more opportunities arise to compromise your claim. Some of the potential pitfalls of delaying action include:
- evidence to prove the defendant’s negligence can become lost or destroyed;
- witnesses may become difficult or impossible to contact; and
- you inadvertently may say something to the insurance adjuster that undermines your case.
There are limited exceptions to the statute of limitations, but generally speaking, missing it negates your right to compensation.
What is the cost of a brain injury, and what compensation is available?
Research America calculates the average lifetime cost to treat a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as anywhere from $85,000 to more than $3 million. Treatment may include highly specialized therapies, surgery and medication. Meanwhile, an injured victim may be out of work for an extended recovery period.
Some victims may be unable to return to previous employment. A comprehensive claim should take long-term financial needs into account, including diminished earning capacity and lifelong medical care.
Some of the potential compensation in a brain injury case includes:
- medical care (including all necessary accident-related treatment);
- lost income;
- permanent disability;
- pain and suffering; and
- other accident-related expenses.
Since 1980, Ohio has practiced what is known as modified comparative negligence. This means you are allowed to recover compensation even if you are partially to blame for an accident. You can be no more than 50 percent at fault for the injury in order to collect compensation. Likewise, your final settlement will be reduced by your own percentage of fault. This law applies most commonly with car accidents, but also with other types of personal injury cases.
How do I hire a lawyer for my case?
Seek a Columbus-area lawyer who is familiar with brain injury cases. It is important that the attorney understands the financial specifics involved in such a claim and has access to experts who can testify to the severity of your injuries.
Before you hire a lawyer, ask for a written explanation of his or her fees. Many attorneys – including ours – charge on a contingency basis. This means you pay nothing unless you settle or win your case. You can discuss these matters during a free case evaluation. Many reputable law firms, including Bressman Law, offer this service.
If you are ready to start on the path to financial justice, call our offices at 877-538-1116.