Ohio Personal Injury Attorneys: How Cases Work
How Personal Injury Cases Work
Let me tell you a little bit about how personal injury cases work. First question is, what do I need in order to have a valid case? Well, it’s really pretty simple. You need three things. First, the other person or the other driver, they’ve got to be at fault. They’ve had to have caused the accident. Second, you’ve got to be injured due to their negligent conduct. And, third, there has to be insurance. Something they don’t teach you in law school, if there’s no insurance coverage, your chances of recovery are zero.
Now, what are you entitled to recover? Primarily, three main things. You’re entitled to recover payment for your medical bills. Those are medical bills that we can prove are reasonable and necessary for the care and treatment of your injuries. You’re entitled to recover payment for wages that you may have lost.
Now, in order to get your payment for your lost wages, you usually need to show two things. First, your treating physician needs to take you off work. They need to tell you that, hey, don’t think it’s a good idea for you to work with this injury. You need to take some time off. Second, you need to go to your employer and ask them for a letter that will detail the amount of wages you lost. So and so works at this office, they make $10 an hour, they’ve missed 40 hours of work, so they lost $400 or whatever the figure is. The third thing, and this is kind of the intangible thing, you’re entitled to recover for your pain and suffering, your inability to perform your normal daily activities. And that’s the difficult one. That’s when you really can’t put up on a board and show $10, $20, $30. There’s no real way to show the pain and suffering, so you’ve got to look at the case as a whole.
Now, let’s say you come in to the office, we review, looks like you’ve got a case, you have damages, there’s insurance, then what happens? Normally, the first thing we need is an accident report or an investigation, something that will tell us who the at-fault party is, so that we can contact their insurance company and notify them that we are representing you. Second thing we do is make sure that we order all of your medical expenses and all of your medical records.
Quite often times, you would have been to the emergency room. Normally, if you’re transported to the emergency room, you’re going to get four bills. You’re going to get a bill from the emergency squad. You’re going to get a bill from the hospital, that’s the building itself. You’re going to get a bill from the doctor, because in the emergency room, the doctor doesn’t work for the hospital. And you’re going to get a bill from the radiologist, for the same reason as the emergency room doctor. Now, most of the time you’re going to be treating with a physician, a chiropractor, physical therapist, or someone after you are released from the hospital. When you’re done treating, we will get copies of all those bills and records. Once we have all that information, we’ll put it into a packet form and send it off to the insurance company and begin the negotiation process.
There are also a couple other things you might want to be aware of. What if you aren’t healed? What if you continue to have problems? Well, then, what we’ll need is a narrative medical report from your treating physician detailing the nature and extent of your injury as well as your prognosis, your disability and what really your outcome is going to be. Are you going to be a permanently disabled individual? Is it going to eventually resolve, or is this something you’re going to have the rest of your life? All of this information must be contained in the packet that we send out to the insurance company. If you don’t collect all the information, if you don’t make sure that you dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s, you’re not going to get compensated for all of you injuries.
Again, if you have a problem, you want to talk to us, give us a call (614) 944-5055, free consultation, no obligation. We’d be happy to sit down with you and discuss your case. Thank you.