Accidents and injuries are an unavoidable part of life, and they can happen either from our own carelessness or from the negligence of someone else. Hopefully, you're able to walk away from these incidents without lasting damage, but in some cases, you may be left with severe injuries that fundamentally affect your way of life. This can be a traumatic experience for both you and your family, especially if someone endures catastrophic injuries or even loses their life.
Unfortunately, these incidents can occur every day and often happen at work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, there were 117 deaths from workplace accidents in Ohio, and each one of these families deserves financial compensation for their loss.
Being the victim of a catastrophic injury or witnessing a family member sustain a serious injury can be an extremely stressful and agonizing event. It's likely that you will never again be the same, and you deserve to be compensated. If you or someone you love has recently been seriously injured and it was not your fault, reach out to us at John Brooks Cameron & Associates. We're located in Medina, Ohio, but can serve clients throughout Summit County, Akron County, Cuyahoga County, and Wooster County.
A catastrophic injury is handled differently in a personal injury claim than a less serious impairment. To be considered "catastrophic," the injury must permanently prevent a person from being able to perform gainful work. These injuries usually cause long-term disabilities, and the victims (and their families) must radically alter their lifestyles to accommodate them.
A severe injury like this can happen anywhere, but they are commonly seen in the workplace. A serious workplace injury that affects the brain, spine, neck, or nervous system can permanently disable a worker. These catastrophic injuries can lead to paralysis, neurological disorders, or amputation, all of which can limit an individual's ability to earn money.
If you'd like to pursue a claim against an at-fault party, you should first contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A local attorney will be familiar with both state and federal laws pertaining to personal injury, can help you gather evidence, and can negotiate on your behalf for a settlement that truly meets the needs of your family.
In general, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim, and it's important to work within this time frame. If you go beyond the time limit, it's likely that a judge will throw out your suit without compelling evidence. It's also important to understand how the state approaches injury claims like this. Ohio is known as a "comparative negligence" state which means that in incidents like this, liability can be shared between the parties involved.
For example, if you were a pedestrian and you were struck by a car while crossing the street, investigators will evaluate the evidence to determine whether you had any role in bringing the accident about. If it was found you were crossing in the middle of the street at an unmarked spot, but the driver was still speeding and not paying attention, you may share liability and your total compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
In the most devastating cases, someone may lose their life in one of these horrific accidents. And, while there's nothing you can do to bring them back, you can pursue financial damages that can help your family get through this trauma and account for your future losses.
In Ohio, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one was killed by the "wrongful act, neglect, or default" of another person. Legally, only the deceased person's legal representative can file on their behalf. If the deceased left a will naming an executor, this person will be responsible for any legal claims. If they passed away without a will (known as dying intestate), a judge can appoint a representative, and this is typically a surviving spouse, adult child, or close friend. Like a personal injury claim, you have two years from the date of death to file a lawsuit.
The circumstances of the event will affect the damages you're able to pursue, but in general, you can ask for costs related to medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, pain and suffering, lost companionship, lost wages, and future lost earning capacity.
In these times, you should be concentrating on your own healing without having to worry about going back and forth with insurance adjusters or fighting for a claim. At John Brooks Cameron & Associates in Medina, Ohio, we can help ease this burden by supporting you and your family and advocating on your behalf. Call us today to start discussing your options.