What Kinds of Cases Do Personal Injury Attorneys Look For?
Personal injury attorneys help victims of negligence or wrongdoing by holding responsible parties accountable and seeking compensation for the harm victims have suffered. This is accomplished through skillful negotiations with insurance companies for fair settlements or by filing lawsuits for damages in civil court. In evaluating a personal injury claim, an attorney looks for injuries caused by provable negligence of a responsible party, including a potential third party, and considers the following factors.
Most personal injury claims are based on negligence. In a legal context, “negligence” can be defined as the failure to act with the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances. Negligence can occur through actions or omissions. In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff (injured party) has the burden of proof to show by a preponderance of the evidence (meaning it is more likely than not) that:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care.
- The defendant acted in a way that breached that duty of care.
- The defendant’s breach of duty directly led to the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries.
- Because of the defendant’s conduct, the plaintiff sustained injuries and suffered damages.
For example, if a drunk driver ran a red light doing 70 mph and T-boned your vehicle, causing you serious injuries, the factors above would be established through the available evidence.
The value of the damages should justify pursuing the claim. Compensatory damages in a personal injury claim are designed to compensate the injured party for losses suffered. They include:
- Economic damages: These are objectively verifiable monetary losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and diminished earning capacity.
- Non-economic damages. Subjective, non-monetary losses may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish.
In some cases, personal injury victims may also be entitled to recover punitive or exemplary damages – designed to punish the defendant for malicious behavior and deter similar actions in the future. Punitive damages may only be awarded if the defendant’s actions were willful, malicious, or fraudulent. For example, punitive damages may be appropriate in a car crash caused by a drunk or reckless driver.
Reviewing the Statute of Limitations
Every state imposes time limits known as statutes of limitations for filing claims and lawsuits. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years from the date of injury. After that deadline is passed, your claim is forever barred. The time limit in which a claim or lawsuit can be filed is shorter in some cases, such as filing a claim against the government. If you have been injured in an incident caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, it is essential to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Why You Need a Cleveland Personal Injury Lawyer
Your best chance of recovering full compensation for a serious injury that was someone else’s fault is to hire an experienced Cleveland personal injury lawyer to handle your claim. Your attorney can investigate your injury to determine fault and liability, secure evidence to support your claim, and build a strong case based on the facts. When you choose George Mineff, Jr., Attorney at Law, you can rely on us to accurately calculate the full extent of your damages, negotiate skillfully with insurance companies on your behalf, and fight for the compensation you deserve in court if necessary.
We Go the Distance for Our Clients
If you’ve sustained serious injuries due to the negligence or wrongdoing of someone else, contact George Mineff, Jr., Attorney at Law. Our Cleveland personal injury attorneys can tell you if you have a case and what damages you may be entitled to claim. We know the ins and outs of the Ohio court system, and we always have time for our clients.
With our firm, you can trust that your case is in experienced and capable hands. Founding attorney George Mineff, Jr. has been rated Distinguished by Martindale-Hubbell and selected for their 2023 Client Champion Silver award.
Contact us at (216) 621-3930 today to schedule a free initial consultation.