If you sustained injuries in an accident, you might be feeling overwhelmed. Healing could be taking longer than you had hoped, and it might be more painful than you would like to admit. You might also be missing time at work.

If another party’s negligence had a role in your accident, he or she is liable by law to pay you compensation for your suffering. However, you should not pursue financial recovery without the assistance of a dedicated attorney. A Lakewood personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim and advise you of your available legal options.

Breach of Duty Leads to Liability

A person is considered negligent when he or she fails to uphold an obligation that then leads to another person’s harm. However, negligence in a personal injury claim must be proven by the plaintiff and his or her Lakewood attorney. The plaintiff’s representation must prove that the defendant breached his or her duty to the plaintiff, that the breach led to the accident, and that the plaintiff suffered verifiable harm as a result.

The law imposes many duties on individuals, businesses, and governments. For example:

  • Drivers must keep their vehicles in a safe condition and obey traffic laws.
  • Manufacturers are obligated to ensure their products are reasonably safe for use.
  • Medical professionals have a responsibility to meet a reasonable standard of care when treating patients.
  • Property owners have a duty to keep their premises safe for visitors.
  • Local governments are obliged to keep roads in a safe condition and ensure traffic control devices operate effectively.

Breaching a duty to keep others safe can lead to catastrophic harm, so it is crucial for injured individuals to fight for compensation.

Damages Compensate for Negligent Actions

When a plaintiff proves that a defendant’s negligence led to his or her injuries, the defendant is liable to pay some or all of the damages. Damages are sums that compensate the plaintiff for the losses he or she experienced because of the accident.

Damages include any lost income, medical expenses, and incidental costs associated with treating and recovering from the injury. If the plaintiff will require ongoing medical treatment or will be unable to resume his or her former employment because of the injury, damages could compensate those future losses, as well. Damages also might include money for the plaintiff’s inconvenience, emotional trauma, physical suffering, disfigurement, disability, and other subjective effects of the injury.

In addition to proving negligence, a plaintiff also must prove his or her damages. An experienced Lakewood attorney can help an injured party compile proof for the personal injury claim, such as medical records, employment files, tax returns, receipts and invoices, and other financial documents to help prove the extent of the damage done.

Does a Plaintiff’s Negligence Affect Damages?

Under Ohio Revised Code § 2315.33, all parties are responsible for the damage their actions caused in an accident. At trial, a judge or jury will allocate fault between the parties. If the plaintiff is more than 50 percent responsible for the injuries, he or she cannot collect damages from any other negligent parties.

Comparative Negligence

Most personal injury cases settle before the case goes to trial, but comparative negligence impacts pre-trial negotiations. The defendants might try to shift responsibility to the plaintiff, making him or her legally responsible for the damages. However, a savvy local lawyer can thoroughly investigate an accident to find evidence of other parties’ negligence and use it to push back against any claim that the plaintiff was primarily responsible for his or her injuries.

Pursue Damages with a Lakewood Personal Injury Attorney

Trying to negotiate appropriate compensation for your injuries could be mentally taxing when you need to focus on healing. An experienced legal advocate will handle negotiations on your behalf, relieving you of that burden.

There is limited time to bring a personal injury lawsuit, so do not delay taking action with a Lakewood personal injury lawyer. Schedule a consultation with Tittle & Perlmuter today.

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