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Questions from the Average Joe: Personal Injury V

August 28, 2020

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Q: I need my car fixed but I don’t know the other driver’s insurance information and the police report isn’t available yet. What can I do?

A: Depending on the jurisdiction where your accident occurred, it can take many weeks and sometimes longer for a police report to be made publicly available. This can be frustrating as many steps that should be taken as quickly as possible rely on information you can only get on the police report. Thankfully, if you have collision coverage on your vehicle, you can get it repaired while you wait. When you purchase insurance, you may recall that one of the optional forms of coverage is call “collision” insurance. With this coverage, your insurance company will pay to repair your vehicle however it sustained damage. In an auto accident, this will apply even if it was your fault. But even when an accident was not your fault, the coverage will apply while the police report and other driver’s insurance information are still pending. Though you will likely have to pay a deductible, you should get that back once the claim with the other driver’s insurance is complete. If you were in an accident and aren’t sure what to do, an experienced accident attorney can guide you through the process and help you get the results you need.

Q: Earlier this year I went to the hospital for a bad cold and I now think I had COVID-19, but they didn’t test me. I may have infected hundreds of people without knowing it. Do I have a claim for medical malpractice?

A: In the early stages of the global COVID-19 pandemic, tests were hard to obtain and were often reserved for high risk patients with severe symptoms. In Ohio, a medical malpractice claim requires a breach of what’s called the “standard of care” to be successful. In simple terms, this means a medical professional must have acted in a way a reasonable medical professional in the same situation would not have. Depending on your specific risk factors and the severity of your symptoms, a COVID-19 test may not have been a reasonable step to take at the time.

Our nation’s medical professionals have faced unforeseeable challenges in 2020 while dealing with the pandemic. It is hard to say what steps would qualify as unreasonable after the fact. Even so, if you believe you were improperly treated by a medical professional, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you evaluate your situation and bring a lawsuit for you if one is warranted.

Q: I slipped and fell at the store. Can I get them to pay my medical bills?

A: Unfortunately, there is not an easy answer to what seems like a simple question. In Ohio, holding premises owners liable for your injuries is highly fact-dependent with many potential pitfalls. You’ve got to establish that the danger that caused you to slip is something the store would reasonably know about and have an opportunity to fix. Additionally, the hazard cannot have been “open and obvious“ to a reasonable customer in the area. Taken together, this means a considerable amount of evidence is necessary in order to hold the store liable for your injuries.

As a result, it is key that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible so any evidence that does exist (witness statements, security footage, etc.) can be maintained. Any delay in getting in touch with an attorney could make the difference between being able to make a case or not having evidence to hold the store liable at all. 

Get to Know

Headshot of Zachary Belcher, Intake Attorney at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy

Zachary 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.

Contact Our Ohio Personal Injury Attorneys

At a law firm, it takes more than winning cases to stay successful—it takes dedication to client service. We care about each one of our clients, and we want to help you put this behind you, so you can move on from your accident and live your life.  Call us today at (216) 230 – 6352 or complete a free initial consultation form online.

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