Founded in 1833 by its own citizens, Toledo has maintained a steadfast presence in the Northern Ohio industrial sector ever since. Established 122 years later, our firm boasts a long lineage of attorneys with experience in personal injury and workers’ compensation issues. For help with a personal injury or wrongful death case, please contact a Toledo personal injury attorney from Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault right away: 419-843-6663.
As personal injury lawyers, we deal often with the concept of “negligence” under Ohio law. In many cases, an injured victim must establish negligence in order to receive fair and equitable compensation from the party responsible for the incident.
Negligent conduct is – generally speaking – that which is unreasonably dangerous given the circumstances. Personal injury cases are primarily fact-driven and an injured plaintiff must set forth enough facts to show that the other party was engaging in unreasonably dangerous conduct at the time of the accident. While the possible scenarios are endless, compensable personal injury could occur in any of the following situations:
- The defendant intentionally assaulted the victim.
- The victim sustained injury in an auto accident caused by an intoxicated driver.
- The plaintiff suffered injury due to a faulty or defective consumer product.
- The victim sustained injuries related to medical malpractice.
- The defendant acted willfully reckless toward the victim, with a malicious disregard for the victim’s safety.
While personal injury cases are often associated with auto accidents, this is not necessarily the case in every filing. Actually, personal injury cases can involve product liability, malpractice by a healthcare professional, or even a slip and fall at the local supermarket. It would be in your best interest to consult with a Toledo Personal Injury Attorney.
What should I do after an accident?
Following an accident, there are several steps to consider to help maximize recovery and preserve necessary evidence. The following presents a general guideline for accident victims in the minutes, hours, and days post-accident.
Step One: Call 911/Seek Medical Assistance
Even if injuries seem relatively minor or non-threatening, getting medical attention at the scene can be one of the most important steps for a victim’s physical and financial well-being. You never know what a check-up may reveal, especially because adrenaline may mask symptoms.
If you did not receive medical attention at the scene, be sure to have a doctor check you out as soon as possible. If you are need of a doctor, check out Healthgrades’ Physician Directory, Consumer Reports’ Doctors Index, or check out patient reviews on Vitals.com.
Step Two: Report the Injury
To whom you report your injury depends on the type of injury you sustain. For example:
- Car Accident: Report the accident to your insurer and the at-fault driver’s insurer.
- Dangerous Products/Drugs: Report your injury to the manufacturer of the dangerous product or drug. You may want to report a dangerous product to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. You can also report a dangerous drug to the FDA.
- Dog Bite: You should report the bite to the police as well as Animal Control. Afterwards, be sure to report the bite to the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance company.
- Medical Malpractice: Report the injury to the facility as well as the medical professional’s medical malpractice insurer.
- Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect: Be sure to report the injury the facility’s manager as well as to regional Long-term Care Ombudsman. If an elderly resident is in immediate danger, do not hesitate to call 911.
- Slip and Fall: Report the injury to the store manager as well as the store’s liability insurance company.
- Workplace Injuries: Report the injury to your employer.
Note: Once you have reported your injury to the proper insurer, it is likely that an insurance adjuster will call you about the accident. Only give the adjuster the basics of the accident and do not consent to give a recorded statement before speaking with a Toledo personal injury attorney.
Step Three: Gather Evidence
At the scene, be sure to take pictures and gather eyewitnesses’ contact information, if you are able. Once you are physically able, start keeping track of your medical records and any expenses related to your injury.
What should I do in the weeks and months following the accident?
Unfortunately, you cannot just file a claim and hope the insurer gives you money. You must ensure you continue gathering evidence, continue medical care and this is a good time to consult with a Toledo Personal Injury Attorney.
Step One: Continue Medical Treatment/Follow Medical Advice
In the weeks and months after the accident, be sure to closely follow the doctor’s orders. There are three major reasons for this piece of advice:
- First, and most obviously, it will help healing and recovery.
- Second, documenting medical appointments and necessary interventions will be necessary when it comes time to negotiate a settlement or file a civil complaint, as a figure representing total medical expenses will be required.
- Lastly, and most important to your claim, failure to follow the doctor’s orders could cause an insurance company or jury to question the sincerity of the injuries, leading to a reduction in compensation.
Also, consider keeping a pain journal to note how the injury affects your daily life. For example, if you and your daughter played soccer together every week but your injury kept you from playing, note that.
Step Two: Continue Gathering Evidence
Remember to keep track of all of the evidence related to your claim. Be sure to get copies of doctor’s notes, medical records, and medical bills.
Step Three: Stay Off Social Media
We know that most people cannot go a day without checking social media, but make sure that you keep anything about your accident off social media. Do not discuss it and do not accept any friend requests from people you do not know during this time.
Step Four: Hire an Attorney
If you have not already done so, consider hiring a personal injury attorney.
How can a Toledo Personal Injury Attorney help me?
According to the Bureau of Justice statistics, the odds are in a plaintiff’s favor. Specifically, the most recent BJS statistics report that 56 percent of all civil plaintiffs were victorious in their trials in 2005. However, that does not mean that filing a claim or winning a trial is easy.
Even if a case seems straightforward, there are often various complexities that may not be apparent from the get-go.
For instance, we always recommend to our clients that an attorney review the terms of a settlement offer from an insurance company – primarily to ensure the offer is fair and includes all of the victim’s accident-related expenses.
Secondly, an attorney can help ensure fair settlement negotiations and that the victim’s claim upholds her rights.
Lastly, should the case progress to trial, attorney involvement is essential in the preparation for the case – not to mention the attorney’s role in arguing the case in front of the Toledo Municipal Court.
Contact Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault
The Toledo personal injury lawyers at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault are dedicated to helping Toledo residents get the compensation they need and deserve. If you or a loved one recently suffered injury in an accident caused by another’s negligence, give us a call.
Contact us today at 419-843-6663.