Anatomy of an Ohio Personal Injury Claim (Part 2)

If you were injured and someone else was at fault, the personal injury lawyers at Robenalt Law will represent you in negotiations with the other party’s insurance company.

We have a proven track record of successfully resolving personal injury cases through negotiations. But if it is unclear who caused your injuries, the other party denies that they are at fault, or the insurance company refuses to make a fair offer to resolve your claim, we will file a lawsuit to protect your rights and seek fair and just compensation for your injuries through the court system.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations

Before filing a lawsuit, you must understand the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations determines the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. If you do not file your lawsuit within the time prescribed by the law, the court can dismiss your case as being untimely filed, and you will be unable to receive financial compensation for your injuries.

The statute of limitations varies from state to state. It also varies within the same state based on many factors, including the cause of your injuries, the age of the victim, and when a reasonable person would have discovered their injuries.

In Ohio, most personal injury claims are subject to a two-year statute of limitations: you have two years from the date your injuries occurred in which to file a lawsuit. But there are many exceptions. Perhaps the most important exception is the one-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases.

Correctly identifying the statute of limitations is crucial. Robenalt Law offers free, confidential consultations to discuss your situation and how we can help. We would much rather that you come to us early and learn that you do not have a case you have a case, rather than come to us too late only to discover that you had a case but that it cannot be filed because it is outside of the statute of limitations.

Filing the Lawsuit

A lawsuit begins by filing a Complaint. You must file the Complaint in the jurisdiction where your injuries occurred or the jurisdiction where the defendant resides.

The Complaint should provide a short, plain statement of what happened and why you are entitled to compensation. It must establish the court’s jurisdiction and include a demand for the relief you seek.

Once you file the Complaint, the Clerk of Courts will issue a summons notifying the defendant(s) that they have been named in a lawsuit and must respond to the claims against them. In Ohio, a defendant has 28 days to respond after receiving service of the Complaint.

The defendant, usually through a lawyer, will respond by filing an Answer. In the Answer, the defendant can also name other parties if they believe someone else was at fault.


Once the Complaint has been filed and the defendants have Answered, the parties enter the discovery phase. This is the process by which the parties exchange information and learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of one another’s case.

Discovery usually begins with Interrogatories, Requests for Production of Documents, and Requests for Admission.

  • Interrogatories are written questions that are answered under oath. They are used to establish basic facts about the lawsuit, such as a person’s name, age, and occupation, as well as information about when and where the incident that gave rise to the lawsuit occurred.
  • Requests for Production of Documents are formal requests to provide documents that contain information about the lawsuit. In a personal injury claim, the defendants often request the plaintiff’s medical records, medical bills, and employment records that establish the value of the plaintiff’s claim for damages.
  • Requests for Admission are specifically worded questions that ask the respondent to either admit or deny certain facts. They are used to clarify whether certain elements of the claim are not in dispute.

Once the parties have responded to written discovery, the lawyers schedule depositions of the parties and any witnesses.

Depositions usually take place in a lawyer’s office in the presence of a court reporter. The witness swears to tell the truth, and the lawyers ask the witness questions. The court reporter types everything that is said.

A deposition provides insight into how the witness will respond at trial. A lawyer can also use the witness’s deposition testimony to impeach the witness if they testify differently at trial than they did during the deposition.

Settlement Negotiations

Once discovery is complete, the court will try to resolve the lawsuit without going to trial. The court may order the parties to try to resolve the case through mediation or arbitration. These are informal procedures that are used to try to successfully resolve a case without going to trial.

Over 95% of cases across the country are resolved without going to trial. In our decades of experience, we have learned that the best way to achieve a successful resolution in a personal injury case is to prepare it as if it will go to trial.


If attempts to resolve your case have failed, it will be set for trial. Some personal injury trials take as few as two days to complete, while others last for weeks. In complex cases, a personal injury trial may even take months.

A trial begins with opening statements from the lawyers. Then, each side will present the facts of their case through testimony from witnesses. Finally, the lawyers present a closing argument. Then the case is submitted to a jury to decide who was at fault and an amount of money that will fairly compensate the plaintiff.

Robenalt Law Fight for Personal Injury Victims

The lawyers at Robenalt Law have extensive experience handling all manner of personal injury claims. We have the knowledge, experience, and resources to bring your case to a successful resolution. We resolve most cases through settlement negotiations. But we are no strangers to courtrooms throughout Ohio and know what it takes to win at trial.

If you suffered a personal injury, put our experience to work for you. Contact Robenalt Law via our contact form on our website or call us at 216-223-7535 today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.

Robenalt Law is based in Cleveland and proudly represents people throughout Ohio and elsewhere. In most cases, there is no fee unless we win.

Categories: Personal Injury