Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer in Cleveland OH
How Do I Prove Negligence?
Defendants are negligent when they should have reasonably known that their actions could foreseeably cause harm to others. Negligence is proven when you show that the defendant owed you a duty; the defendant breached that duty; that breach resulted in the accident and; you sustained actual damages. For example, suppose a doctor is performing spinal surgery on you. That doctor owes you a duty of care. Now suppose that the doctor comes to work drunk. That doctor is breaching a duty of care because drunkenness delays reactions and impairs sound decision making. Thus, the doctor hits a nerve. This injury results in you losing the ability to move your lower body. In this case, you can clearly prove that negligence occurred.
What is Contributory Negligence?
Ohio is a contributory negligence state. According to Ohio’s law regarding negligence, if you are more than 50% at fault for your injuries, you are barred from seeking recovery. If you are less than 50% at fault but still played a role in your injuries, then your recovery award amount is reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if a court awards you $25,000 for your injuries, but the judge finds that you’re 30% liable for the incident that occured, the defendant will only have to pay $17,500. You’re responsible for the other $7500.
There are a plethora of reasons as to how and why you may have contributed to the accident, but this is something that your spinal injury lawyer should investigate, uncover, and discuss. This is not an assumption you should make on your own, and it’s not an assumption you should volunteer to opposing counsel, police, medical staff, etc. One major reason for letting your lawyer decide whether you played a role in your injury is that you may overestimate how much you contributed to the accident; you may think you did something wrong when you didn’t; or you may provide opposing counsel with evidence that they didn’t have. Statements you make against your self-interest are admissible to be used against you.
Can I Recover From Workers’ Compensation?
If your spinal cord injury is a result of a work-related injury, your first thought may be whether you can get workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is not automatic, and it only applies if certain conditions are true. For one, your employer must purchase workers’ compensation insurance. That’s not, it’s optionable, and not every employer buys it. Two, you must be an employee. That means that you can’t benefit from this insurance if you’re an independent contractor, seasonal worker, volunteer, hired from a temp agency, or a household worker who makes less than $160 per quarter. Three, your injury must have taken place during job hours or at the worksite.
Whether an intern is an employee for legal purposes depends on several factors, which are best covered when you speak to one of our knowledgeable spinal cord injury lawyers in Cleveland, OH from Mishkind Kulwicki Law Firm co., L.P.A.