Best Personal Injury Lawyers Columbus, OH Of 2024 – Forbes

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Ohio has a population of almost 11.8 million people, and is the seventh most populous and tenth most densely populated state in the nation. It stands to reason, therefore, that a large percentage of personal injuries in the U.S. occur in Ohio.

Ohio Statute of Limitations

Most states have a statute of limitations between one and three years. Ohio falls in the middle of the spectrum with a two-year statute of limitations on most personal injuries, with several exceptions. In general, this means you have to file a personal injury case within two years of the initial injury or you may be barred from recovery entirely.

Notable Exceptions:

  • If you were injured from exposure to dangerous chemicals, drugs or medical devices, you have to file your claim within two years of the date you were diagnosed with the injury or the date upon which you reasonably should have discovered the injury, whichever comes first.
  • If you were a minor or of unsound mind when the injury occurred, then you must file your claim two years from your 18th birthday or the date upon which your disability designation was removed.
  • If your injury was caused by medical malpractice, then you must file your claim within one year of the date that your injury was discovered or should have been discovered. However, if you do not file your claim within four years after the alleged medical malpractice, then any action upon that claim is barred.
  • If your injury was caused by a dangerous or defective product, then you must file your strict liability or negligence claim within two years of the initial injury. However, if your product liability claim is based on a breach of warranty where you are alleging that the product did not conform to a representation or warranty, then you must file your claim within four years after the initial injury.
  • If your injury was caused by a defective or unsafe condition at another’s property, then you must file your claim within two years of the initial injury.
  • If a loved one dies because of a negligent act, then you must file your wrongful death claim within two years of their death.

Determining Liability in Ohio Car Accidents

Ohio is a “tort” state, which means that it uses a modified comparative negligence law that allows claimants to share a percentage of fault in a car accident or personal injury claim. So the driver that causes the accident must pay damages, but police and insurance companies can determine who was at fault for the accident and, in some cases, can apply the fault partially to each driver.

For example, in a car accident where the Driver A is primarily at fault for the accident, but  Driver B was partly to blame because they were speeding, Driver A could be found to be 90% at fault with Driver B 10% at fault.

Consequently, if you’re found 25% responsible for an accident, you will receive only 75% compensation. If you’re found more than 51% negligent, then you will lose all rights to compensation since the level of fault must be under 50% in order to receive any compensation.

Damage Caps in Ohio

Economic damages refer to actual financial damages that occur as a result of someone else causing you harm. Examples of economic damages include medical bills you have paid or will need to pay in the future due to your injuries, lost wages due to injuries and any loss in future earning capacity.

Non-economic damages refer to compensation for things that are not related to any money loss, like pain and suffering. In Ohio, the compensation for non-economic damages is limited to $250,000 or three times the economic damages. There is a further cap of $350,000 on non-economic compensation.

Punitive damages are rarely awarded in personal injury cases, as they are only considered in Ohio when gross negligence, or a heightened degree of negligence where exceedingly reckless or malicious behavior causes an injury. In Ohio, the limits to punitive damages are

twice the number of economic damages or ten percent of the defendant’s net worth with a cap of $350,000.

Finding Fault and Defining Negligence

All personal injury lawsuits are based on the concept of negligence. There are four elements to negligence:

  • Duty. We all owe certain duties to our fellow man—the duty to obey traffic laws, the duty to not harm others, etc. Manufacturers have a duty to consumers to manufacture products that are reasonably safe and fit for the purpose that they are designed to fulfill. A doctor has a duty to perform their job in a reasonable way that is consistent with the standard of care.
  • Breach of Duty. Someone owes a duty and does not exercise reasonable care in performing that duty. An example is if a motorist does not stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. That is a breach of duty. The breach of duty is what creates a cause of action in a negligence claim.
  • Causation. The defendant’s negligence causes the injury. In our example, the pedestrian wouldn’t have been injured if the defendant had stopped at the crosswalk. The motorist should have foreseen that a person could have been in the crosswalk.
  • Damages. Finally, the plaintiff was actually harmed by the breach, which results in a financial loss. For example, if you’re hit by a truck, the cost of hospitalization, treatment, lost wages and other consequences of the accident are the damages.

Dog Bite Claims

A dog owner is “strictly liable” if their dog bites you, which means that the owner is responsible for any injury caused by their dog even if the dog has never bitten anyone before.

How Can an Attorney Help You?

If you’ve been injured following a slip and fall, medical malpractice, a traffic accident, a dangerous product, or an assault by any other act of negligence, you should hire an attorney in order to protect your rights and hold accountable those who have harmed you.

How to Find the Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Columbus, OH

When trying to find a personal injury attorney in Columbus, make sure to consider the following characteristics:

  • Find a lawyer who specializes in personal injury law. Personal injury cases can arise from a wide range of circumstances, including car accidents, slip and fall injuries, medical malpractice, wrongful death claims, product liability and dog bites. Lawyers who have experience working with these sorts of cases know what to expect, how to deal with insurance companies, how to consider settlements or bring the cases to trial and how to deal with unexpected issues that can arise at any time.
  • Find a lawyer who has a good track record. Check out different personal injury lawyers’ websites to see what favorable results they have won for their clients. Lawyers who have been successful in garnering high settlements and verdicts will feature those results and related client testimonials on their websites.
  • Look for someone who’s experienced. Hire lawyers who have had a good amount of experience in the sort of personal injury case you’re looking to bring. For instance, if you want to bring a case for a slip and fall injury, try to find a lawyer who has won high settlements or verdicts for their clients in slip and fall cases.
  • Be sure to seek a lawyer who is well organized. Many personal injury lawyers have hundreds of personal injury clients at the same time so find a lawyer who is organized and is able to tell you the status of your case whenever you reach out for an update. Some personal injury lawyers are so overwhelmed with the volume of clients they have that they miss crucial deadlines and risk getting their clients’ cases stripped from court dockets. So when you have a consultation with an attorney, be sure to determine how they manage their caseloads.
  • Find a lawyer who is clear and communicative. There’s nothing worse than hiring a lawyer just to find that they never call you back to let you know what’s going on with your case. Find a lawyer who updates you on a regular basis and is responsive to your questions and concerns.

Methodology

To come up with the Best Personal Injury Lawyers in Columbus in 2024, Forbes Advisor considered many factors. Forbes Advisor’s mathematical module considers and weighs the information collected to calculate a specific rating and reviews these results to find the best attorneys in a given practice area.

Within the model, we take into account factors that legal professionals and consumers value in an attorney’s qualifications. After assigning weighted scores to hundreds of data points, we narrowed the field down to our top choices based on:

  • Legal experience
  • Special licenses & certifications
  • Ethics and bar disciplinary measures
  • Legal thought leadership
  • Education & employment background
  • Scholarly lectures & writings
  • Awards & honors

Forbes Advisor collects public data from a variety of sources, including state bar associations, court records and other published sources on the internet. This information should not be considered comprehensive, however. It might not include additional relevant information on an attorney’s legal skills and experience.

Each lawyer listed here has their own merits. Bear in mind that our list relates to these lawyers’ legal backgrounds but does not evaluate their personalities or their knowledge of the law. One attorney may be more suitable than another for your specific legal situation.

One thing that can’t be quantified, though, is the rapport you establish with your attorney. Personality goes a long way when teaming up with an attorney, especially when going through a potentially difficult legal situation. These rankings should serve as a reference and potential starting point in your search for the right lawyer for you and your legal concerns.

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