Personal injury damages are awarded to individuals who have suffered injuries and losses due to the negligence or fault of another party. These damages fall under tort law, and they can be claimed whenever physical injuries occur. They include cases of injuries from dog bites or attacks, medical malpractice, auto accidents, premises liability injuries, defective products, and in many cases, in large class action lawsuits.
Some personal injury claims even include litigation in multiple states, which is more complicated because different states have different laws when it comes to providing evidence of damages and liability. If your injury occurred in Ohio, then this post will elaborate on the options available to you for filing a personal injury claim in this state.
Which Ohio Court District Has Jurisdiction For Your Personal Injury Claim?
To ascertain which Ohio court district has jurisdiction for your personal injury claim, you must first establish the value of the claim. This is because the value of your claim determines which court has the authority to hear your claim.
For example, if you have a small claims action in which your personal injury claim is worth $3,000 or less, then you can file your claim with the municipal court in the small claims division, and present your case in front of a magistrate. You can present your case with or without an attorney, but there will not be a jury.
If your personal injury claim is worth more than $3,000, but less than $15,000, then your claim should be filed in the municipal court or in the county court of the county where the injury occurred or the county where the defendant or defendants reside.
For claims that are valued at more than $15,000, the personal injury claim should be filed in the county where the injury occurred or where the defendant lives at the Court of Common Pleas.
Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims in Ohio
Personal injury claims are civil lawsuits which, like all others in this category, have a statute of limitations. This refers to the amount of time that you are allowed to file your claim before you forfeit the right to seek damages. The statute of limitations on personal injury claims in Ohio is two years in the majority of cases but can be extended.
It is possible to extend this timeframe under Ohio’s discovery rule provision, which allows for you to file your personal injury claim within two years of discovering the injury (or within two years of the time that the injury should have been discovered, within reason), instead of the date that the injury actually occurred.
An exception to these rules is found in medical malpractice claims. If you have a medical malpractice claim, you must work with a statute of limitations of just one year, and this can only be extended by 180 days. To extend this deadline, you would serve the medical provider with a notice of your intent to file a claim or lawsuit against them. You must do this within the one year window. A further exception to the Ohio statute of limitations can be found in injuries to minors. If a minor is injured, then he or she can file a claim within two years of their 18th birthday (one year for medical malpractice personal injury claims).
Comparative Negligence Law in Ohio
Some states have comparative negligence laws, and others do not. Ohio is one of the states that operates under strict comparative negligence laws, which means that the victim of the personal injury claim can be held partially responsible for their injuries. This impacts the amount of damages that you are able to recover. If you are 30% responsible for your injuries, then you can only recover 70% of your damages. If you are more than 50% responsible for your injuries, then you cannot recover any of your damages.
The Discovery Phase of Personal Injury Claims
The discovery phase of a personal injury claim begins as soon as you file your claim. This involves research into the facts of the case on both sides. This is typically completed with the aid of an attorney who will seek out the details of the case, asking questions, requesting supporting documents, deposing witnesses, and establishing all of the necessary evidence to prove the case. If there is conflicting evidence or testimonies, then this will be addressed and the attorneys will be prepared to prove or disprove the claims if the case goes to trial.
Learn More with a Free Consultation from an Ohio Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve sustained damages through a personal injury and intend to file a claim, the best thing you can do is to learn everything you can about the laws and procedures for personal injury claims in Ohio. You’ll want legal advice and guidance concerning the specifics of your claim. Contact the determined Ohio personal injury attorneys at Chester Law Group today for a free consultation.