Columbus Personal Injury Lawyer Representing Your Rights After an Accident
An accident can leave you unable to work, unable to pay your bills, unable to take care of your family, or simply unable to live your life in the way you did before your accident and resulting injuries. If your Ohio accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for more than just your medical bills. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and unsure what to do, a Columbus personal injury lawyer at Malek & Malek Law Firm can help you put your life back together.
Accidents Don’t Just Happen on Columbus’ Roads
Of course, vehicle collisions account for just a portion of the total number of accidents that occur in and around Columbus every day. From slips and falls in shopping centers to accidents at work, and from dog bites to accidents in nursing homes, dangerous incidents can (and do) happen anytime, anywhere. At Malek & Malek Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers represent individuals and families in cases involving accidents occurring at:
- Bars, restaurants and other venues throughout Columbus
- Columbus doctor’s offices, clinics and hospitals
- Columbus nursing homes
- Easton Town Center, Easton Gateway, Lennox Town Center and other shopping venues
- John Glenn Columbus International Airport
- Kroger and other grocery stores
- Ohio Expo Center & State Fair
- Ohio Stadium, Historic Crew Stadium, Nationwide Arena and other sports venues
- The Forum, Newport Music Hall and other entertainment venues
- The Ohio State University, Ohio Dominican University and other academic institutions
Regardless of where and how your (or your loved one’s) accident happened, if you think you may need help, you should consult with a local personal injury lawyer promptly. Our lawyers are available around the clock, and we encourage you to contact us for a free initial consultation 24/7.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle Throughout Ohio
Personal injury includes any type of case where you are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. This includes far more than car accident cases. We have decades of experience in helping injured people recover compensation in the following types of accidents:
- Truck Accident
- Car Accidents
- Dog Bite
- Slip & Fall Injuries
- Premises Liability
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Catastrophic Injuries
- Wrongful Death
- And more…
If you’ve been injured and believe someone else is responsible for causing those injuries, a Columbus personal injury attorney at our firm can review your case and determine whether you may have a claim for compensation.
How a Columbus Personal Injury Attorney Proves Your Case
Even though it may seem obvious to you, as an injured party you do have to prove that another party was at fault in causing your accident. In any personal injury case, you and your Columbus personal injury attorney have to prove each of the following elements in order to prevail on your claim:
- The other party owed you a duty of care;
- The other party breached that duty;
- The other party’s breach of their duty of care caused your injuries.
Proving these elements is more complicated than it appears. It requires knowledge of Ohio law and the ability to identify important facts that will prove your case. An experienced Columbus personal injury lawyer will know how to build a strong case so that you can get the compensation you need to make a full recovery.
The Duty of Care in Ohio
Generally speaking, everyone has a legal duty to make a reasonable effort to avoid causing injury to others. The specific duty of care owed to you by the other party will depend on the nature of your case. For example:
- All drivers have a duty to drive safely.
- Property owners have a responsibility to ensure that their property is safe for guests and visitors.
- Dog owners have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control.
- Employers have a legal duty to ensure that their workers are safe.
- Trucking companies have a responsibility to ensure that their trucks are properly maintained and their drivers have adequate training and experience.
It isn’t enough to show that the other party was simply careless. You need to know which duty of care applies in your case and how it applies to your claim.
Negligence Explained by a Columbus Personal Injury Lawyer
Proving negligence is the crux of most personal injury cases in Ohio. Before you can prove negligence, however, it is necessary to understand what it is. Negligence is the failure to act with reasonable care to prevent harm as determined by a prudent person in the same or very similar circumstances. Negligence can include both specific actions and the failure to act. Another perspective is to consider negligence as the opposite of intentional harm. No one intends for an accident to happen – they are the result of simple carelessness.
Determining whether the other party was negligent requires careful consideration of the facts. A single, seemingly insignificant fact can make a big difference in your case. The law also provides some guidance as to what may be considered negligence. An experienced Columbus personal injury attorney will know how the law applies to your case and what facts are important.
Proving Your Injuries with a Columbus Personal Injury Attorney
Even if you don’t plan to go to court, you will still have to prove your case. In addition to proving that the other party was negligent, you also have to prove that you were injured. In order to do this, you need to keep very careful records and keep copies of the following:
- All medical bills and records
- Pay stubs and other documentation of any lost income
- Receipts, invoices, or bills for other expenses directly caused by your accident (i.e. increased transportation costs because you cannot drive)
Your medical records will be the foundation of your personal injury claim. As a result, it is very important that your medical bills clearly indicate the cause and extent of your injuries, your prognosis, and the recommended treatment. They should also indicate if you have any temporary or permanent disabilities. A knowledgeable Columbus personal injury lawyer can review your records and make sure that they are in order.
What Your Injury Claim May Be Worth at Malek Law Firm
You may be surprised by how quickly the insurance company wants to settle your claim. Unfortunately, they will try to settle it for far less than it’s worth, leaving you with uncovered expenses. If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Your medical expenses, especially any out-of-pocket costs such as copays or deductibles
- Your lost wages or other income
- Any other costs incurred as a result of your accident
- Your pain and suffering
The last component, your pain and suffering, is the most difficult component to prove. Even though they are subjective, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t real. Under the law, you are entitled to be made whole, and this includes compensation for your non-economic damages.
FAQs: Pursuing a Personal Injury Claim in Columbus, OH
How Much Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge in Columbus?
Personal injury lawyers in Columbus generally represent their clients on a “contingency fee” basis. This is how we bill at Malek & Malek Law Firm. With our contingency fees, our clients pay nothing out of pocket. We do not charge any up-front or hourly fees, and we advance the costs of pursuing our clients’ claims. If we help our client recover compensation, we then recoup these costs and calculate our legal fees as a percentage of the amount recovered.
How Much Can I Recover for an Accident in Columbus?
The amount you can recover for an accident in Columbus through a settlement or litigation depends on several factors. Broadly speaking, the two most important factors are (i) the cause of the accident and (ii) the severity of your injuries.
The cause of the accident is important for determining liability (or who has to pay). Additionally, if you were partially at fault in the accident, this could reduce or eliminate the amount you are entitled to recover. Since filing a personal injury claim allows for the recovery of “compensatory” damages in most cases, you also need to know how much compensation you will need in order to fully cover the financial and non-financial costs you are likely to endure.
How Long Do I Have to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Columbus?
In most cases, you have two years from the date of an accident to file a personal injury claim under Ohio law. However, you should hire a personal injury lawyer in Columbus much sooner—and ideally as soon after your accident as possible.
Can I File a Claim for a Weather-Related Accident in Columbus?
It is possible to file personal injury claims for weather-related accidents in many cases. This includes vehicle collisions as well as slips, falls and other types of accidents.
In cases involving weather-related accidents, a key issue is whether the weather conditions were the only factor. For example, if you slipped and fell on ice in your own driveway, you might not have a claim. But, if a reckless driver was driving too fast for the conditions, or if a business failed to reasonably clear snow or ice from its premises, then you may have a weather-related claim for compensation under the Columbus Code of Ordinances.
What Should I Do Before Calling a Personal Injury Lawyer?
There isn’t anything you need to do before calling a personal injury lawyer. If you’ve been injured in an accident in Columbus, it is important that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer will be able to guide you through your next steps and gather the information he or she needs in order to assess your legal rights.
Do I Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer to Handle My Insurance Claim?
As a practical matter, hiring a personal injury lawyer is the only way to effectively protect your legal rights after a car or motorcycle accident. The insurance companies are not on your side, and they will not hesitate to take advantage of your mistakes if you try to handle your claim on your own. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to help you avoid mistakes, deal with the insurance companies for you, and help you decide when (and if) you should settle your claim.
Should I Hire a Lawyer if I Got Bit By Someone Else’s Dog in Columbus?
Yes, if you have been bitten by someone else’s dog in Columbus, you will want to hire a lawyer to help you recover just compensation. Not only can dog bite injuries be extremely painful, but they can also be incredibly expensive. Depending on where the attack happened, your lawyer may be able to pursue a claim against the dog’s owner (which typically involves filing a claim under the owner’s insurance policy), or your lawyer may be able to pursue a claim against the kennel, veterinary clinic or other business that is responsible for what happened.
How Do I File a Claim for a Pedestrian Accident in Columbus?
The process of filing a pedestrian accident claim in Columbus is similar to the process of filing a claim after a vehicle-on-vehicle collision. Auto insurance covers pedestrian accidents; and, in most cases, injured pedestrians will need to seek compensation under the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. But, injured pedestrians may have other claims as well (including claims under their own auto insurance policies); and, if you’ve been injured in an accident, it will be important for you to work with a personal injury lawyer in Columbus who can help maximize your financial recovery.
How Do I File a Claim for a Bicycle Accident in Columbus?
The process of filing a claim for a bicycle accident in Columbus is also similar to the process of filing a claim after a vehicle-on-vehicle collision. Even if the driver who hit you was clearly at fault, this doesn’t necessarily mean that recovering just compensation will be easy. You will need to work with a personal injury lawyer in Columbus to prove that the driver is liable, and you will also need to work with your lawyer to calculate just compensation for all of your accident-related losses.
How Do I File a Claim if My Child was Injured in Columbus?
If your child has been injured in an accident in Columbus, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer promptly. The steps involved in filing a claim will depend on how and where your child got injured, as well as the party (or parties) that are responsible for the accident. For example, if your child was injured in a car accident, then one of the drivers, the car seat’s manufacturer, and any of a variety of other parties could all potentially be liable. If your child got injured at a public school, there are special procedures for filing claims against governmental entities in Columbus. Our lawyers can assess your family’s legal rights and pursue all available claims on your family’s behalf.
Injured? Contact a Columbus Personal Injury Lawyer at Malek Law Firm
Founded in 1972, our lawyers have decades of experience in helping injured people get the compensation they need to rebuild their lives. As a family-run firm, we understand the impact an injury can have on you, your family and your livelihood, which is why we fight for you every step of the way. From dealing with the insurance companies to taking your case to trial, we have the knowledge, experience, and skill required to fight for your fair compensation. Schedule a free consultation by calling 888-444-7440 or complete our online contact form to request a personal injury lawyer reach out to you to discuss your potential claim.