Reaching out to the opposing party in the Toledo head-on collision case was a necessary step for exchanging evidence, requesting evidence, and bringing the claim to the wrongdoer’s attention. While the victim did wait over a year before switching to our team, we were able to meet her needs in this case. Similarly, if you feel as though you need assistance filing a claim against a negligent party who caused your injuries, you need to connect with a Toledo lawyer familiar with these types of cases.
We reached out to the opposing party’s insurance company to make them aware of my client’s claim either the same day or within a couple of days of meeting with the client the first time. This was done through a letter of representation to let them know that my office was involved in handling her claim.
The only documents we initially requested were any medical records they had for our client that they had already obtained, and we asked for them to disclose the other driver’s auto liability policy limits.
We considered the timeframe for filing a civil court case in Toledo in my client’s case. The statute of limitations is two years for a personal injury claim from an auto accident like this, so when we got the case more than a year of that had already passed. We were aware when we got it in that she was still treating and still looking at a potential additional surgery. Because of all that, we were aware that we would likely have to file immediately.
Attorneys have to be cognizant of the statute of limitations at all times, because if they do not settle or file the claim within that two-year period, then the client loses their right to ever pursue the claim.
The client did decide to pursue a personal injury negligence claim against the other driver. There were a few things that factored into that decision. One of those things was the timing, particularly the amount of time that had elapsed when our team took over the representation from another attorney. One of the other things was that she was still treating at the time, and we thought it was unlikely that she would be finished treating for her injuries before that two-year period was up.
Until she got to a point where she was finished with her treatment, we could not determine the full extent of her damages. The other factor was that the offer we got from the defendant’s insurance company pre-suit was only about $43,000. We thought that the claim was worth significantly more than that due to the injuries that she had, the ongoing treatments she was having, and the likelihood of future surgery and permanence of the injuries.
Fortunately, there were no enforceable legal agreements that existed during the incident that impacted our client’s case. We had some subrogation things with health insurance and with Medicaid, which our office handled, but that was relatively simple.
With a negligence claim, a victim’s attorneys have to show that the other driver had some kind of duty of care to the victim. For example, a wrongdoer is obligated to follow traffic laws or to drive a vehicle safely. In the Toledo head-on collision case, the wrongdoer did not drive safely and because he failed to do what he should have done, he caused an injury to our client. The evidence that we had was our client’s statement—and later, her testimony—that she was proceeding through the intersection, was going within the speed limit, was traveling straight through on a green light that did not turn yellow until she had already entered the intersection, and that the other driver attempted a left-hand turn in front of oncoming traffic. A crash occurred when he turned left in front of her, causing damage to both vehicles, as well as substantial injury to our client. That was the evidence that we were looking at to support the claim at that point.
We calculate potential damages throughout the case because it is an ever-changing number. When we were getting ready to try to settle and get a demand out, we contacted the defendant of the Toledo head-on collision case and were considering the medical expenses that she had incurred for her initial treatment, the two initial surgeries, and a third surgery. We also calculated the damages she had in lost wages because she missed quite a bit of work right after the accident and again for her most recent surgery.
We always try to factor in an aspect of pain and suffering to compensate for the pain that she suffered and the mental anguish that she dealt with as a result of her injuries and the crash. The other thing that was a factor in our determination was that we had a report from her doctor saying that the injuries were permanent and that she would require future medical treatment going forward. There was an additional damages component for that. In addition to that, we consider the other party’s insurance policy. If there are low limits or no insurance, a case involving those becomes a different and entirely more challenging case than this one in which the liability insurance policy involved had coverage up to $500,000.
One of the other factors that we talked to her about was that there was a strong possibility that if we went to trial, a jury would assign some degree of fault to her because the jury would not like the fact that she was driving while she was legally intoxicated. We had plans to try to keep that evidence out of trial, but if it was presented to the jury it would be harmful. One of the things that we talked to her about was that whatever the total value of the case was, it might be somewhat lessened because of some of these difficult factors that we had in the case.
After reaching out to the opposing party in the Toledo head-on collision case, attorneys immediately began drafting a case for trial. Because the defense proposed that the victim in the Toledo case was inebriated and contributed to her own injuries, it was necessary to fight these allegations. Because the victim had an attorney, she was able to successfully bring a wrongdoer to court and defend against counter-claims. Attorneys could similarly help you if you were injured by a negligent driver in a head-on wreck. Reach out today.
Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC