After being hurt or injured in an accident, your biggest question probably is, “what now?”
If you’ve never experienced this before or never had to fight for your right to compensation, you may be a little intimidated. Knowing how to begin the process of filing a personal injury claim isn’t something that comes naturally. Generally, there is a lot of paperwork and legalese involved that can make it very confusing to the average person.
Fortunately, this is why personal injury lawyers exist. At Colombo Law, it’s our job to ensure that your claim is handled by legal experts who know how to fight aggressively for your rights. If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury in an accident, get in touch with us to find out if you have a case.
What Does Personal Injury Mean?
A “personal injury” occurs when an individual is harmed physically, mentally, or emotionally. It does not refer to damages to property or one’s reputation.
Many personal injuries are caused by other people, corporations, or other entities who acted negligently, recklessly, carelessly, deliberately, or intentionally, to cause harm. If this is what happened to you or your loved one, you can bring a personal injury case against the at-fault party in order to seek compensation for your bills and expenses.
Personal Injury Accidents
We have helped victims throughout Ohio and West Virginia seek compensation for personal injuries in:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Distracted driving accidents
- Natural Gas Explosions and other injuries
- Workplace injuries and deaths
- And many more
Personal Injury Types
With over 45 years of experience representing the victims of accidents, we’ve encountered many injuries, such as:
- Chemical exposure and burn injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Birth related injuries and Cerebral Palsy
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Nursing home injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Work-related injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Catastrophic injuries
- Dog bite injuries
- Injuries caused by exposure to asbestos
- Defective product injuries
- Amputation injuries
- Natural gas injuries
- Premises liability injuries
- Swimming pool injuries
When to Begin Your Personal Injury Claim
The first thing you need to do is check your state’s statute of limitations to determine the time frame in which a claim can be filed. In Ohio and West Virginia, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims is two years. Despite the fact that you usually have two years to file within, it is best to contact a personal injury attorney so that your claim can be filed sooner rather than later.
The first step toward a successful outcome is being aware of what you need to do immediately after the accident occurs. No matter what kind of accident you were in, remember to do the following afterward:
- Go to the doctor or emergency room as soon as possible. Having your injuries noted by a doctor can go a long way toward helping your case. More importantly, sometimes very serious injuries are not always immediately apparent and can only be diagnosed in a hospital.
- If your accident occurred in a public place, call the police. This will allow an official report to be filed.
- If your accident occurred at work, contact your direct supervisor. That way they can fill out any necessary paperwork that needs to be completed for a workers’ compensation claim.
- Collect contact information from witnesses. They can help strengthen your case if it goes to court.
- Take pictures of everything. This includes the accident scene, your injuries, property damage, etc.
- Keep notes about the accident. Think of it as a journal containing how you feel on a day-to-day basis, how you’re feeling, and information about when, where, and how the accident occurred in the first place.
- Keep everything. It is essential to keep your medical bills, receipts, prescription information, and anything else that has to do with your injuries after an accident.
- Call Colombo Law. Our personal injury lawyers have years of experience representing victims who have been hurt through no fault of their own. We will guide you through this process step by step while fighting for the best possible outcome, so you can focus on getting healthy again.
What Should I Bring to My Consultation?
While we will handle all of the hard work for you, we do need some information from you to get started. After you schedule your free, no obligation consultation, you should work on gathering the following items to bring with you.
- Every record, receipt, or bill you have from your medical treatment.
- Contact information for your doctor and anyone else who may have treated you throughout this process.
- Notes on how much time you’ve had to take off work and how much money you’ve lost as a result.
- The journal you’ve been keeping with detailed information about the accident, your injuries, and the healing process.
- A copy of the police report or the injury report from your employer (if you don’t have one, Colombo Law will get a copy for you).
- Any information you’ve received from insurance companies or workers’ comp representatives.
- Any photographs you took at the time of the accident and of your injuries since that time.
How Do I Prepare for a Deposition?
A deposition is an interview where the at-fault party’s attorney will ask you questions about the accident. You may not be asked to give one, but in the event that you are, it’s good to know what to expect and how to behave.
Keeping the following tips in mind can make the deposition process less intimidating and less stressful:
- Be honest. This is probably the most important thing to remember. You never want to lie in a deposition. The at-fault party’s lawyer may even ask you the same question in different ways to see if you’re lying. Don’t lie and be sure to repeat the same, truthful answer each time you are asked.
- Wear nice clothes. This can help make a good impression.
- Speak up and don’t mumble. A court reporter will be recording your answers, so you want to make it easy for them to hear you.
- Be Courteous. Be professional, kind, and straightforward.
- Talk about your pain. You’re going to be asked about it, so describe how you feel on a scale of 1 to 10 without making it seem better or worse than it really is.
- Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.” After an accident, there may be some details you don’t remember. If you really don’t know the answer to a question, it’s ok to say so.
- Be honest. We know what you’re probably thinking – that was rule number 1. At Colombo Law we only take cases we strongly believe are valid. If we took your case, you have no reason to lie. The truth is always the best answer.
What Kind of Questions Might I Be Asked in a Deposition?
The exact question you’ll be asked will depend on the specific details surrounding your accident. That said, there are some deposition questions that are asked in many of these kinds of interviews. These include:
- Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
- What kinds of accidents or injuries have you suffered in the past?
- Where do you work?
- How long have you worked there?
- Have you ever filed a lawsuit before?
- Where do you live?
- How long have you lived there?
- Tell us the details of what happened when you were injured?
- Did you file an insurance claim?
- Was anyone with you at the time of the accident?
- Did you talk to any witnesses?
- Is this the first time you’ve suffered this kind of injury?
- How has this injury affected your day-to-day life or ability to work?
- When did you go to the doctor?
- Who is your doctor?
- Did you follow your doctor’s orders regarding care, medication, and rehabilitation?
There is no way to anticipate every question that will be asked at a deposition. Just remember, if you relax and tell the truth, you’ll be fine. The personal injury attorneys at Colombo Law will be there to help make this process easier.
Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Even though many personal injury claims are settled without going to court, there are still many variables and pitfalls that need to be considered. Of course, sometimes taking your case before a judge and jury is the only way to get the compensation you deserve. Either way, victims of negligence need a personal injury lawyer to help them build their case and to get them the compensation they deserve – not just the small amount the insurance company is willing to offer.
Whether you end up in court or not, it is immensely helpful to have a seasoned personal injury lawyer by your side throughout the process. When you contact the personal injury attorneys at Colombo Law, you can rest easy knowing that you’re working with legal professionals who know how to effectively represent the victims of personal injury.
You can also relax knowing that you won’t owe us a dime unless we reach a successful outcome on your case. Call us today to schedule your free consultation and get started at 888-860-1414.