Our Frequently Asked Questions
What is the statute of limitations for my case?
The statute of limitations is a deadline in which a person who is injured must file the lawsuit or the claim will be forever barred. For example, in Ohio the statute of limitations in which to file a claim for personal injuries is two years from the date of the incident. In medical negligence and professional malpractice claims like legal malpractice, the statute of limitations is one year from the date of the negligence or the discovery of the resultant injuries, whichever is later.
There are certain, but limited, circumstances that might extend the statute of limitations. For example, if the injury is to a minor child, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the time when the child reaches the age of majority, his or her 18th birthday. In addition, victims of childhood sexual abuse can file their claim up until age 30.
If you’re injured as a result of the negligence of another person or if you still have sustained economic damages because of another’s actions, you should consult with a lawyer immediately. Lawyers need time to order medical records, obtain documents, obtain statements from witnesses and perform due diligence before a lawsuit is filed.
If you have questions as relates to the time period in which your claim should be filed, call now for a free consultation with an attorney.
How much time do I have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Ohio?
Consistent with the statute of limitations, you have one year from the time you discover the injury or should have reasonably discovered the injury to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Ohio.
So, if you think there is a problem with the medical care you received, call an attorney right away. Don’t wait to see if the injury gets better. This is important because sometimes patients may not experience negative effects or consequences until much later. Sometimes the ill effects of improper treatment or lack of treatment may not be felt until months or years down the road.
Do know, however, that if your claim involves a late discovery of the injury, at most you only have four years from the time the injury causing event occurred, unless a foreign object has been left inside the body — then the four-year limit in the statute of repose does not limit the time frame in which you can sue.
Have I waived my rights if I signed a consent form for a medical procedure or a general waiver of rights?
Generally, in the medical field, the consent form sets forth the known risks of a certain procedure, however it does not permit a doctor or hospital to deviate from the standard of care. Doctors and medical providers are still obligated to provide safe medical care and follow standards in the industry. If medical providers don’t follow the standards and if you’re injured, you can still bring a lawsuit for injuries even if a consent form has been signed. If you have been injured, don’t wait or worry over concern because of a consent form, call a lawyer immediately to discuss this issue free of charge.
In other circumstances, a waiver of rights, for example a waiver that appears on the back of a sporting event ticket, may sufficiently protect an entity from being sued. If you’re struck by a foul ball at a baseball game, you probably won’t be able to recover for damages. However, if you’re injured at the stadium because employees have not properly performed their jobs and have allowed an unsafe condition to exist on the premises of the defendants, you may be able to recover.
Again, every case should be evaluated by an attorney. If you sustained serious injuries, call now for a free consultation.
Should I settle my case if the insurance company has made an offer?
Insurance companies train their employees to settle cases with those that have been injured quickly. You should ask yourself why an insurance company would want to resolve the case quickly and pay money to close the file. The answer is that sometimes the full extent of the injuries sustained in an accident is not realized until months down the road. With some neck and back injuries, the pain doesn’t go way, which might indicate a more significant injury like a herniated disk. So if you have pain, especially if you have pain that radiates from your neck into your shoulders, arms and hands, or if you have lower back pain that radiates into your legs, don’t settle until you have an MRI to see if you have structural damage to your spine. In certain circumstances, where the injuries were minor and the medical treatment is either nonexistent or minimal, it may be advisable to settle your case directly with the insurance company.
If you sustained serious injuries and/or if the property damage to the vehicle in which you were riding was significant, don’t settle without consulting with a lawyer. The experience of Robenalt Law is that clients who consult with an attorney end up with significantly better compensation even after paying attorneys fees and expenses than they would if they settled the case on their own. In addition, lawyers who handle personal injury and medical malpractice cases are trained to do much more than just negotiate a settlement – they’re trained to make sure that the clients get fair compensation for all injuries. Lawyers also investigate all possible sources of insurance coverage including UM and UIM coverage in auto accident cases or coverage from a third party who might’ve caused or contributed to an accident.
Often times, if an individual is injured while working, employers have insurance coverage to protect employees who were injured in an auto accident case over and above the coverage the person who caused the accident might have. Further, if your work-related injury was caused by someone working for a 3rd party, you can recover damages over and above what is allowed by workers’ compensation benefits.
If you’ve been injured and an insurance company is making an offer, call now for a free consultation.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Generally, wrongful death claims are governed by probate court in Ohio and the administrator of the estate is the person who has the authority to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit. If there was no will, the surviving spouse if alive and/or the next of kin of the person who died have the rights to hire a lawyer and pursue a claim. If you have a valid wrongful death claim, our lawyers can either open the probate case so the case can be filed, or direct you as to the most efficient manner in getting the estate opened.