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Home > Blog > Personal Injury > Questions from the Average Joe: Personal Injuries XI
by: NPHM | November 25, 2020

Questions from the Average Joe: Personal Injuries XI

Q: I was in a car accident last week and now I’m trying to find an attorney. How do I know who to pick to represent me?

A: The days following a car accident can feel very overwhelming. On top of your already busy life, you now must deal with injuries, doctors’ appointments, finding transportation, and dealing with the insurance company. A personal injury attorney can help you navigate these difficult times, but it probably feels like there are thousands of attorneys out there, and they all claim they're the best for your accident claim, but how are you supposed to know? It can be difficult to make sure you're picking the right attorney, but thankfully, you don't have to pick someone blindly. Most attorneys have reviews from past clients readily available on the internet, via google and other ratings websites.  Additionally, most attorneys’ websites will feature information about the claims they've handled in the past. Through a little bit of research, you can make sure clients are generally pleased with an attorney before you hire them, and you can ensure that they are sufficiently experienced to handle your accident claim. Perhaps the most useful tool in picking an attorney, though, is a conversation with the attorney.

Image of a man sitting on the curb after a car crash

It is important that you feel like you can trust the attorney that will be handling your claim. If you can tell from a conversation that they care about you and making sure you get a good result, it’s reasonable to assume that you will be satisfied with the work they do on your behalf. Conversely, if you're not sure you can trust an attorney prior to hiring them, there's a higher likelihood that you will be dissatisfied with their work. Ultimately, an attorney that truly puts your best interests at the forefront of their work will always get you a more satisfying result. Often, you can tell from a phone call if that will be the case for your claim.

Q: I had a surgery delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions. As a result of waiting, I needed a much more extensive surgery and a much longer recovery. Do I have a claim for medical malpractice because my doctor made me wait for a necessary surgery?

A: The international Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on every part of society, perhaps none more than the healthcare industry. During the lockdowns in the early part of the pandemic, many hospitals and healthcare providers were prevented from performing any procedure that could be reasonably delayed. As a result, many important and necessary surgeries were put off, often for months longer than would have otherwise been the case.  In a normal situation, delaying a necessary surgery to the point that the patient endures a much more complicated surgery with a longer recovery and potentially permanent complications can give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit. Covid-19, however, has placed healthcare providers in anything but a "normal" situation. In Ohio, in fact, the legislature has passed a law that makes it impossible to sue for Covid-19 related delays in treatment. As a result, you cannot bring a lawsuit for injuries you sustained as a result of delayed care. The law does not, however, protect providers from negligent care when you finally did undergo surgery. Though injuries related to the delay may not be subject to a lawsuit, if you were subject to unreasonably negligent care otherwise, you may still have a lawsuit.  It can, however, be difficult to determine what was the product of negligence at the time of your surgery, and what was a result of the delay. If you were injured during a surgery, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can evaluate all the facts and circumstances surrounding your situation and help you determine if you might have a potential medical malpractice lawsuit.

Q: I’m worried that my employer will fire me if I pursue my workers’ compensation claim. Can they do that?

A: As a rule, employers are not legally allowed to terminate an employee because they made a claim for workers’ compensation. Likewise, a workers’ compensation claim is not a lawsuit against your employer—it is a claim for what are basically insurance benefits your employer has already paid for. If you’re worried that filing a workers’ compensation claim could have a negative impact on your employment, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the challenging situation and make sure your rights are protected and you get the benefits you deserve.

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Zack graduated from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2015 and has handled more than 500 injury cases for clients injured in automobile accidents. He understands the stressful and life-altering situations clients face before seeking a personal injury attorney.

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