Questions from the Average Joe: Personal Injury IV

by NPHM | July 30th, 2020

Q: Is there a time limit to file an injury claim after an accident? I told the insurance company I wasn’t hurt at first but now my doctor wants me to go through physical therapy.

A: In Ohio, the only firm deadline to file an injury claim is the two-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit for an auto accident. That said, insurance companies usually try to wrap up claims as quickly as possible, even sometimes offering money to pay for injuries you might not think you have. If, however, you tell them that you weren’t hurt, it gets harder to obtain a good result on an injury claim. Even so, if you incur medical expenses from an accident, you can still receive payment for your injuries despite that—it’s simply more difficult and may require a lawsuit to obtain the right result.

The best move is always to limit discussion about injuries at least until you’ve talked to a doctor and an attorney about your injuries from an accident. The worst thing you can do is sign a settlement agreement only to find out later that your injuries are much more severe. If you’re in an auto accident, it’s always best to get medical care and contact an attorney before ever telling the insurance company anything about your injuries. Even if it’s too late and you’ve already talked about your injuries though, an attorney can still help you get the best result.

Q: I took Zantac for most of my adult life, but I used to be a smoker. I was recently diagnosed with kidney cancer. Do I have a claim in the litigation from the recall?

A: For decades, doctors frequently prescribed Zantac as a reliable treatment for acid reflux and many Americans took it for years, only to find out that it increases the risks for certain types of cancers decades later. At this time, the litigation is still taking shape, but certain factors are taken into consideration. People with a history of smoking are already at a higher risk of cancer and their claims may end up disqualified. But every individual case is different. Depending on how long you smoked and the length of time since you took Zantac, you may still have a claim. The litigation is still in its early stages and the final outcome and requirements may not be clear for some time. If you have been diagnosed with cancer and you took Zantac, a discussion with an experienced products liability attorney can help clarify your options and begin the process of getting you the compensation to which you may be entitled.

Q: My child was recently diagnosed with a serious neurological disorder and I suspect it is because of something that happened in the hospital when he was born. He’s two now though—isn’t the statute of limitations up?

A: No. In Ohio, a minor’s claims do not expire due to the statute of limitations until their 19th birthday. Though, generally, the statute of limitations expires one year after the date of injury (with a myriad of exceptions), minors get one year from when they obtain the age of majority to bring a claim. This means they get one year from their 18th birthday to bring a claim.

That said, the sooner a claim can be initiated, the better. Evidence needs to be preserved and waiting too long only makes it more likely that important details may be lost or forgotten. The Ohio Statute of Limitations is complicated. It is always important to consult an experienced attorney before deciding your claim is too old to bring. It is always worth a conversation just to make sure.

Get to Know

Headshot of Zachary Belcher, Intake Attorney at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthyZachary Belcher joined Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy and ensures that every individual who contacts the firm receives outstanding service and support throughout the intake process.

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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At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we know that over 90 years of success does not come without hard work. We are committed to building resources so that we can achieve the best possible results for clients like you. Put ours to work for you—call our Cleveland personal injury attorney at (216) 230-6382 or complete a free initial consultation form today.