You and the Law in Ohio
By Murray D. Bilfield,
Attorney at Law
Your legal rights when you are involved in a motor vehicle accident
A person, who negligently operates a motor vehicle causing a collision, may be required to pay monetary damages (compensation) to the victim(s). The motor vehicles involved could include cars, trucks, motorcycles or buses. To successfully pursue a claim for monetary compensation, the injured party is required to prove that the other driver was negligent. Driver negligence could include, failing to obey a traffic signal, failing to yield on a left-hand turn, or an improper lane change. A driver negligently causing a motor vehicle collision may be responsible for the property damage to the other vehicle and the injuries to the other driver and/or his passengers. The insurance company of the negligent driver is usually obligated, based upon a contract of insurance, to pay the monetary compensation to the injured parties.
A bodily injury claim usually includes the cost of medical care at hospitals, doctors or therapists, lost income or wages, pain and suffering from the injuries, and replacement value or repair costs of the damage to a vehicle. Permanent injuries such as impairment to a leg or arm, loss of a bodily function, or even death, have significantly greater value than lesser injuries such as a sprain.
In Ohio, the time limitation for bringing a bodily injury and/or property damage claim for a motor vehicle collision caused by the negligence of another driver is two-years from the date of collision. If you fail to file the injury claim in Court within that two-year period (statute of limitation), the opportunity to pursue monetary compensation is lost forever. You should take legal action as soon as possible.
Please note that this column contains general legal information and is not intended to provide solutions to specific cases. Every case is different and requires individual review by an attorney of your own choosing, licensed in your state.
Editor’s Note: Murray D. Bilfield is the managing partner of the Cleveland, Ohio law firm of Bilfield & Associates, LLC. Co., L.P.A. Specific questions may be directed to him at 1-800-ABOGADO.