Category : Personal Injury

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How long will my Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?

There is no definite answer to the length of time that a personal injury lawsuit takes to settle. The time is determined by multiple factors, including the client, your personal injury attorney, the case itself, and the amount of money that the case is worth.

Settling a Personal Injury Lawsuit

When going through the personal injury legal process, there are three main factors that play a role in the length of time that the lawsuit will take to settle.

  1. The incident or accident – if there are legal issues or undetermined facts associated with the case, the process will take longer.
  2. The money – if the compensation for a personal injury lawsuit is large, it is likely that the case will take longer to settle. In fact, many insurance companies will not settle a larger case unless a lawsuit is filed.
  3. Your injuries and recovery – the personal injury attorneys at Contrada & Associates do not recommend that clients settle a case before they have recovered from their injuries or have reached a point in which they are at their maximum improvement.

Your Personal Injury Accident

As stated above, if there are legal issues or factual disputes related to your personal injury case, it is likely that it will take longer to settle. In instances like this, your personal injury attorney may bring in experts on your behalf, which could include accident reconstructionists, expert witnesses, and others that can support your claim. However, the more experts and individuals involved with the case, the longer the lawsuit may take to settle.

The Worth of a Personal Injury Case

The more money that your lawsuit is worth, the longer it may take it settle. The worth of a lawsuit depends on a variety of factors, including the injuries sustained, the effect on the individuals work life (time off work, temporary or permanent limitations), emotional trauma, and the pain and suffering that has resulted from the accident, among other things.

Injury & Recovery Process

Your personal injury attorney will advise you not to settle your personal injury claim until you are fully recovered from your injuries, or you are at a point in which you know the permanent damage or limitations. The reason for this is because oftentimes, the recovery process may take longer than originally expected. For example, our attorneys have had clients in the past who have had to undergo follow-up surgeries that weren’t originally expected. If you decide to settle your lawsuit before you’re fully recovered or at a place where you know you are at maximum recovery, you may ultimately receive less money than what your medical expenses amount to in the end.

Personal Injury Attorney 

The best course of action to take to be sure that your personal injury lawsuit will be handled properly is to contact a personal injury attorney. Having an attorney guide you through the legal process will ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps toward a settlement and are not jeopardizing your claim.

To speak to one of the Toledo personal injury attorneys at Contrada & Associates, call 419.841.4400. When calling our office, you will be able to review your case with an attorney and learn what your legal options are.


Slipped on Icy Sidewalk in Front of Business

If you were to trip on an icy sidewalk, that does not mean that you have a legitimate slip-and-fall personal injury claim. Ohio slip-and-fall law can seem somewhat confusing because in order for there to be a premises liability claim, there must have been negligence or fault on behalf of the business owner.

Just because someone slips and falls on the property of another person or business, it doesn’t mean that the individual or entity is responsible. A slip-and-fall case must involve some sort of hazard that the owner of the property was aware of.

Hazards in Slip-and-Fall Cases

For a slip-and-fall case to be legitimate, there must be a hazard that caused the accident. It must also be proven that the owner of the property was aware of the hazard but failed to fix it.

Hazards that could cause a slip-and-fall accident can be considered permanent or temporary. A permanent hazard would be a broken stair or an uneven floor, while a temporary hazard could possibly be a wet floor.

Slipped on Sidewalk

If you have slipped on an icy sidewalk in front of a business, you can only pursue a premises liability claim if the snow or ice accumulation was unnatural (manmade). For example, if you slipped on snow or ice that resulted from natural accumulation, you cannot claim that the owner of the property was negligent. However, if you slipped on a man-made accumulation that is considered a hazard (improper placement of drain pipes), you may be able to seek compensation.

As our previous blog post on premises liability states, one of the two factors below must be met in your case for you to file a premises liability claim:

  1. The owner of the property caused the hazard or condition that resulted in your slip-and-fall accident
  2.  The owner of the property knew about the hazard but did nothing to resolve the issue

As a result of tort reform, most cases of slip and fall have been eliminated. Previously it was a question of fact.

Slip-and-Fall Personal Injury Attorney

If you or your loved one has been injured by slipping and falling on a sidewalk due to a hazard that was man-made, proving the owner’s negligence, you should contact a personal injury attorney.

The personal injury attorneys at Contrada & Associates are available at 419.841.4400 and can help you with the premises liability legal process. Call our office today to review your slip-and-fall accident and learn what your legal options are.

How can I find an attorney for a car accident injury?

After sustaining an injury in a car accident, it is very important to contact a car accident attorney. Finding the right attorney for your injury can be done in a variety of ways.

Finding a Car Accident Injury Attorney

The first thing that many do when seeking an attorney for a car accident injury is to ask their friends and family for suggestions. If someone you know has been in a similar situation as you and filed a personal injury claim following a car accident, ask them which attorney represented them and if they would recommend their services to you. Taking this route allows you to not only receive the name of an experienced attorney, but also have an insider’s view of the attorney’s way of communicating and interacting with clients.

If you do not know anyone who has hired a car accident attorney in the past, you can look online for an attorney in your area. Visit a search engine and use keywords such as “Toledo car accident attorney,” or “car accident injury lawyer Toledo” and you will see multiple results for your search.

Researching a Personal Injury Attorney

After you find an attorney’s website, take the time to learn about them. Deciding on a car accident attorney is an important decision as they will be representing you in a legal case that can significantly affect your financial situation. Some things to note when looking through a car accident attorney’s website include:

  • Is the site updated with case results and helpful information to clients?
  • Read the attorney’s bio – do they seem like they’d be a good fit for you?
  • Is there a blog that can guide you through the legal process?
  • Are there client testimonials?
  • Is the attorney board certified?

After you look through the website of the attorney, contact the office via phone. When calling in, ask the secretary or intake person what the office’s protocol is (i.e. will you be working directly with the attorney or a legal aid?). You can also ask how many years of experience the attorney has, how many years the firm has been in practice doing injury cases, and if they are limited to car accidents and personal injury cases.

Once you feel confident about hiring the attorney, make sure you inquire about the fee. Most attorneys operate on a contingency fee which ultimately takes a portion of your settlement as payment. Ask what the percentage is (typically 1/3 of the settlement).

Hiring a Car Accident Attorney

After following the above steps in researching a car accident attorney, contact the office and explain the accident you were involved in and the injuries that you’ve sustained. When calling our law office at 419.841.4400, you will then be able to speak directly to an attorney about your case and receive advice on the steps that you should take.

We recommend contacting an attorney sooner rather than later as the process is much easier with legal guidance from the beginning. You will also be able to avoid the possibility of jeopardizing your claim which can easily be done if you do not have an experienced car accident attorney advising you.

Call Contrada & Associates at 419.841.4400 to receive the legal guidance that you need for your car accident injury claim.


What to Do After a Child Injury Accident

If your child is injured in an accident due to the fault of another individual or entity, as a parent you may wish to seek a personal injury claim on their behalf.

The first thing to do when a child suffers an injury is to seek medical attention. Seeking treatment is always the most important thing to do after suffering an injury, whether the injured individual is a child or adult. After medical treatment is received, the next step to take is to contact a child accident attorney.

Contact a Child Accident Attorney

It is important to contact a child accident attorney soon after your child sustains an injury because the insurance company may begin to contact you. If you have already hired an attorney to represent you and your child, your attorney will be able to handle all communication related to the case.

It is important to have an attorney communicate with the insurance company because if not, you could possibly jeopardize your child’s claim without even realizing.

When an insurance adjuster contacts you to discuss your child’s accident and injuries, their goal is to minimize the compensation that you will receive. The full time job of an insurance adjuster is to reduce the money that their company pays out, so when they have a conversation with you, they may attempt to get you to say certain things related to your child’s accident that may be taken out of context later on. However, if you hire a personal injury attorney early on in the process, you can rest easy knowing that a professional is working on behalf of your family to protect your child’s rights.

Child Personal Injury Lawsuit

After you have hired a personal injury attorney to guide your family through the legal process, we remind you to remember the below points:

  • Complete all medical treatment – go to all follow-up doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions recommended by the doctor. This is in the best interest of your child’s health.
  • Do not settle before treatment is complete – some people think that the initial settlement given by the insurance company is favorable, but this may not be the case. If injuries result in more months of therapy than expected or follow-up surgery, the initial settlement may not even cover all medical expenses. The time limit for a children’s case is generally until their 20th birthday, so there is plenty of time for them to get healthy before filing a personal injury claim

If you would like to learn more about the legal process that follows a child accident, call the personal injury attorneys at Contrada & Associates at 419.841.4400. It is important to have the guidance of a legal professional when dealing with issues that affect your child’s health and financial future.

Trick or Treating Safety Tips

As we get closer to Halloween, the personal injury lawyers at Contrada & Associates are sharing safety tips for children, parents and drivers.

On Halloween, the streets fill with children and their parents. With the influx of pedestrians on the sidewalks and in the streets, it is imperative for drivers to be cautious and for parents to counsel their children in the importance of safety.

Safety Tips for Halloween Night

Costume Tip

One of the tricky things about Halloween is that the event happens toward dusk and many costumes are dark cloth, making it difficult for drivers to easily spot some children. The tip that we have for parents is to add reflective tape to your child’s costume and their trick-or-treating bag, allowing drivers to spot your child much easier as they cross the streets throughout the neighborhood.

Walking Safely

Another tip is to carry a flashlight while trick-or-treating. Both you and your child should have a flashlight, making it easier to see while walking and for others to seek you.

Also, make sure that you always use crosswalks when crossing the street, and sidewalks where available to avoid a pedestrian-car accident. If there isn’t a sidewalk, walk on the very edge of the road facing traffic. Our personal injury lawyers recommend that if there aren’t sidewalks in your neighborhood; consider visiting another neighborhood that has sidewalks throughout.

Another great tip is to plan your trick-or-treating route ahead of time. Share the route with you child ahead of time and make sure your child is familiar with the area, reducing the likelihood of getting lost.

Driving Safely

The safest thing to do is to not drive on Halloween. Drive before or after the trick-or-treating is completed. Check your newspapers to find out your local trick-or-treat schedule.

If you are driving on Halloween night, be extra cautious. Trick-or-treating often occurs in the evening and may go into dusk, which is one of the most difficult times to spot pedestrians as the lighting changes and drivers must adjust.

If you’re driving on Halloween night, go slowly, especially through neighborhoods. Leave extra time at cross walks and keep a constant eye out for children who may be jetting off ahead of their parents.

Preventing Accidents

By following the above tips, you will reduce the chances that you or your child is involved in a personal injury accident on Halloween night. If you are behind the wheel, drive defensively and with extreme caution.

If you have any questions regarding safety on the road during Halloween and what to do if an accident occurs, call the personal injury lawyers at Contrada & Associates at 419.841.4400.

Toledo Zombie Bar Crawl: Don’t Get a Personal Injury Bite

The Adams Street Zombie Bar Crawl returns on October 24th with a night that is sure to be full of ghouls and goblins wandering the Toledo streets. With an increased number of people walking throughout Uptown Toledo, dressed in Halloween costumes and consuming alcohol, we caution drivers to be extra cautious and the participating ‘zombies’ to be aware of their surroundings.

Zombie Safety Tips

The Adams Street Zombie Bar Crawl has turned into a tradition that is cherished by many. It means dark clothing, painted faces, and alcohol consumption. Our personal injury attorneys remind Zombie Crawl participants to remember the following as they navigate through the streets of Uptown Toledo.

Zombies Avoiding Personal Injury

Even though it is common knowledge that zombies can’t die, here are a few tips to make it safely through the night.

  • Stick with a group of zombies – when participating in the zombie bar crawl, travel with a group of friends, just as you see in your favorite zombie TV show.
  • Travel on the sidewalk – do not walk in the road when traveling from bar to bar. Always use the sidewalk, and when crossing the road, be sure to do so in a crosswalk. This will reduce the chances of you and your zombie friends being involved in any accidents with vehicles.
  • If forced to walk in the road, remember to walk against traffic. It is also crucial that you look Left, Right, and Left before crossing.
  • Designate a driver or use a cab – if you plan on drinking during the Zombie Bar Crawl, it is imperative to have a designated driver at the end of the night, or to hire a cab to drive you home. Driving under the influence is never a good decision to make and can led to very serious car accidents.

Drivers Avoiding Personal Injury Bites

Drivers have to be extra cautious when traveling through the zombie-infested area of Uptown. Follow the below tips from our personal injury attorneys during the Adams Street Zombie Bar Crawl:

  • Zombies are difficult to see – the most important thing is that a majority of zombies will be dressed in dark clothing, making it even more difficult to see them. Those who are not dressed as zombies are likely to have Halloween costumes on, which are just as difficult to spot.
  • Drive defensive – when traveling near groups where it is likely that there will be individuals walking in the streets. Be very cautious and drive below posted speed limits. If an individual participating in the Zombie Bar Crawl is wearing anything on their head or face, it can make it even more difficult for them to see or hear.
  • Avoid the area if possible – with over 2,000 people invited to the bar crawl, the area will be very busy.

Adams Street Zombie Bar Crawl

Toledo’s Adams Street Zombie Bar Crawl initially started as a joke among friends, but 700 people showed up the first year and 1,500 people the next year. It has since become a tradition that involves many of the local bars in the Uptown area coming together. This Toledo event has also incorporated the Toledo School for the Arts, handling zombie make up at the 2013 bar crawl.

Personal Injury Attorney

In all seriousness, events such as the Zombie Bar Crawl increase the likelihood of injuries occurring. Whenever there is a concentration of individuals drinking alcohol and moving throughout the streets, there is a potential for danger. The advice of our personal injury attorneys is to always seek medical attention if injured due to the fault of another, as well as the guidance from a legal professional. If you have questions and would like to speak to someone at our law office, call Contrada & Associates at 419.841.4400.

Laws Surrounding Running and Biking on Road

It is not uncommon to see a runner or biker on the side of the road at any given time. With so many individuals focused on their health and fitness with goals of completing races, whether they are a 5K, a marathon, or a triathlon, the number or individuals using the roadways for exercise have increased.

Running on the Roadway

It is understood by many that if using the roadway as a pedestrian (which includes running), you are to run facing traffic, on the very left side of the road. First of all, you are able to see the cars and get out of the way of any cars that are not paying attention. Second, you can train yourself to look at the driver’s eyes to determine what they’re looking at or whether they’ve been distracted by texting or talking on the phone.

If a runner is heading with traffic, the likelihood of being involved in an accident with a vehicle increases. It is also critical that runners travel in single-file lines when running on the side of the road. It is extremely important to wear reflective clothing and shoes as well, especially when running at dawn and dusk.

Biking on the Roadway

When someone is biking on the side of the road, they should do so on the very right side. Biking is different from running on the road as, according to state law, a bicycle is considered to be a vehicle on the road. All traffic rules that are applicable to vehicles are also applicable to bicyclists. Bicyclists should also ride in a single lane, not next to each other, unless there is a specific portion of the road set aside for them to do so.

Injured while Running or Biking on Road

If you or a loved one was injured while running or biking on the side of the road, you may be able to seek a personal injury claim. If you were following the laws established for doing such activity and the accident was caused by a driver’s negligence, you would not be considered at-fault for the accident.

When pursuing a legal claim for an injury sustained while running or biking on the side of the road, it is critical to have the guidance of an attorney. There are many areas of the law that come into play in such accidents and your attorney may have to prove that you were in fact following the established law for the activity that you were doing. To speak to a personal injury attorney about your accident and learn what the next steps should be, call Contrada & Associates at 419.841.4400.

Preventing School Bus Accidents

As each new school year begins, there are concerns for school bus safety. At the start of the 2014-2015 school year, there were three bus accidents reported in the news within a week of each other, highlighting the importance of safety.

School bus safety is a team effort between the school, parents, children and drivers. It is important for proper training courses to teach children the rules of the road and safety at the bus stop, in addition to reinforcement from parents. The personal injury lawyers at Contrada & Associates believe that a major effort that can help in the prevention of school bus accidents is for children to attend the local ‘Safety City’ program as they enter elementary school.

Most of the suburbs surrounding Toledo have their own version of Safety City.

Safety City Programs Prevent Child Accidents

While parents begin to teach their children the importance of safety prior to their entering kindergarten, Safety City is a way to reinforce that teaching and add a real-life scenario to it.

The Toledo Police Department runs a ‘Safe-T-City program for those children entering kindergarten that includes classroom instructions, as well as hands-on learning. The miniature city is complete with sidewalks, buildings, traffic lights, and stop signs. We believe that this an essential program for all children as they will be navigating to the bus stop on a daily basis.

School Bus Safety Tips for Parents

Parents can also greatly impact their child’s safety at the bus stop by sharing the below tips with them:

  • Always use the sidewalk when walking to the bus stop
  • When crossing the street, look left, right, then left again
  • Only board the bus when the red lights are flashing
  • Do not run when boarding the bus – always walk
  • Do not re-board the bus if an item is left on it – the bus driver may not see you

School Bus Accidents

Although parents and children can prepare for school bus safety, there are times when accidents happen regardless of the preparation. These accidents could be a result of many things, such as:

  • Faulty school bus parts
  • School bus driver mistake
  • Improper safety training
  • Driver error

If your child has been involved in a school bus accident and suffered injuries as a result, it is crucial to seek the guidance of an experienced child accident lawyer. Accidents of this nature may not only cause physical injury to a child, but also emotional trauma. Having a lawyer working on behalf of your child is essential to receiving the settlement that is deserved.

To speak to one of the child accident lawyers at Contrada & Associates, call 419.841.4400. We have helped countless families through similar child accident cases, going through the legal process with the child’s best interest in mind.

Sharing Information with Your Personal Injury Lawyer

After being involved in a car accident, there are many confusing and overwhelming things that must be dealt with, including the legal side of your accident (property damages, injuries, etc.).

Some people don’t believe that there should be compensation for something that is considered to be an accident. However, the injury is defined as an “injury that was caused by the fault of another.”

The personal injury lawyers at Contrada & Associates have handled thousands of car accident cases. The clients that we have represented have sustained a variety of injuries from car accidents. Through our experience handling such cases, we would like to share the list of things that every car accident victim should share with their lawyer.

Communicating with your Personal Injury Lawyer

Once you contact a personal injury lawyer following your car accident, be sure to bring the following information with you.

  • Copy of the Police Accident Report, or ask the lawyer if they’re able to retrieve
  • Photos taken at the scene of the accident
  • Contact information (phone number, name, business car, etc.) of others involved/present at the scene (driver, witness, injured passenger, etc.), if available.
  • List of medical professionals/doctors visited following the accident, Follow-Up Care Sheet from the hospital
  • Photos of injuries following the accident
  • Medical bills received following accident
  • Name of claim adjuster, claim number, phone number

Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been involved in a car accident, contacting a personal injury lawyer sooner rather than later will make the legal process much easier. A personal injury lawyer with experience handling car accident cases similar to yours can help guide you through the legal process.

To speak to a personal injury lawyer about your car accident, call Contrada & Associates at 419.841.4400. When calling our office, you are able to speak directly with a lawyer about your car accident and the legal options that you have. You will also enjoy personal attention and face-to-face meetings with your lawyer throughout the entire legal process.

What is the Statute of Limitations?

If an individual is injured in an accident, there is a defined amount of time that they have to pursue a legal claim. This period of time is referred to as the statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations keeps legal claims within a reasonable amount of time from the incident. In Ohio, the statute of limitations for most personal injury is two years. This means that an individual has two years from when the cause of action accruise, or more simply put, the date of the incident to file a personal injury claim. For example, if you have a car accident on August 20, 2014, you have to settle or file a claim by august 20, 2016.

Statute of Limitations: Medical Malpractice

You must be very careful regarding a medical malpractice claim because the Ohio legislature has reduced the statute of limitations to one year. In addition, it is sometimes complex to determine which date the time limit begins to run in a medical malpractice case. It could be measure from one of three dates:

  1. Date the malpractice occurs
  2. Date last treated with doctor who you believe committed malpractice
  3. When you discovered the malpractice or should have discovered

Statute of Limitations: Wrongful Death

If you believe your friend or loved one died because of negligence or fault of another, the estate of the deceased has two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death lawsuit no matter how the death occurred.

Statute of Limitations for Minors

The statute of limitations differs somewhat for minors who are involved in injury accidents. If a child is injured in a personal injury accident, they have two years from their 18th birthday (20th birthday) to pursue a legal claim. It does not matter the age they were when the accident occurred, whether six years old or 17; they still have two years after their 18th birthday to file a personal injury claim.

Personal Injury Lawyer

A personal injury lawyer is able to file a claim immediately following the incident, allowing the process to begin and the resolution to ultimately come sooner. While the statute of limitations allows two years after an incident, our law office highly recommends contacting a personal injury soon after the incident occurs. Seeking legal guidance sooner rather than later will not only help to reduce the stress involved with the process, but also make the claims process easier for you.

To speak to a personal injury lawyer at Contrada & Associates, call 419.841.4400. You will have the opportunity learn more about your legal options and the steps to take toward filing a personal injury claim.