When to File: What Is the Statute of Limitations for Slip and Fall in Ohio?
If a person sustains an injury caused by someone else's actions, they're entitled to fair compensation. However, the time victims have to take legal action is limited.
When should people file a personal injury lawsuit if they were injured due to another individual's actions? In Ohio, this is governed by the statute of limitations.
If the Ohio personal injury statute of limitations has expired, victims will likely lose their chance to recover compensation for the harm they suffered. Therefore, it's important to understand this concept and the laws that govern these cases.
Additionally, victims can consult with a lawyer about possible exceptions that could give them additional time to file a lawsuit if the statute of limitations has expired. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys also has has to questions like What is the average payout for a slip and fall in Ohio?
Ohio Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims: How Long Is It?
In Ohio, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including slip and fall cases, is two years from the date the injury occurred. Most of the time, victims aren't allowed to take legal action to recover compensation if this period has expired.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death is also two years from the date of death.
If the claimant misses the deadline, the defendant can file a motion to dismiss the case. A court will likely grant it if plaintiffs cannot prove that an exception applies to their personal injury lawsuits.
Exceptions That May Apply to the Ohio Statute of Limitations
In cases involving injuries caused by negligence, the statute of limitations is subject to multiple exceptions that pause or toll the period for a specific time.
These are some of the exceptions that would allow victims to extend the time to file a lawsuit:
More often than not, injuries are evident, and victims can spot them right after the accident occurs. However, sometimes, they don't know that they have been physically harmed until weeks, months, or even years later.
In Ohio, this is known as the "discovery rule" and tolls the statute of limitations until the date the injury was or should have been discovered.
If a legal disability prevents a person from taking legal action to protect their rights, the statute of limitations will be paused until that disability is removed.
Ohio law states that a minor or a person diagnosed with a mental illness has a "legal disability." In other words, it applies to individuals under the age of 18, institutionalized, or of "unsound mind."
The statute of limitations also changes if the defendant leaves Ohio or attempts to hide. In this case, it can be tolled until the person returns to the state or is found.
Ohio also tolls the statute of limitations if the defendant is in prison until they get out of it.
Other events could toll the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim. The coronavirus pandemic is an example of this.
Amid the pandemic, Ohio passed a law that tolled the statute of limitations in personal injury cases that expired between March 9 and July 30, 2020.
How Are Slip and Fall Cases Handled in Ohio?
Whether the slip and fall claim is filed before or after the statute of limitations expires, victims would have to prove that the premise owner was negligent and their injuries were caused by that behavior.
Plaintiffs are required to demonstrate that the defendant owed them a duty of care, meaning that they had to act reasonably to avoid injuring or endangering them.
Additionally, the evidence must demonstrate that the premise owner breached that duty of care and that the injuries victims sustained were caused by that breach.
Victims must also present strong evidence to prove the extent of their damages in order to recover compensation.
In Ohio, slip and fall victims can recover the following damages:
These damages are intended to return victims to the financial position they were in before the accident occurred and include quantifiable losses, such as lost wages and medical bills.
Damages that aren't quantifiable, such as pain and suffering, disability or disfigurement, and mental anguish, may fall into this category.
Instead of compensating victims, these damages are intended to punish the defendant and discourage them from committing the same negligent actions that harmed the plaintiff.
Caps on Damages a Slip and Fall Victim Can Recover in Ohio
Ohio doesn't cap economic damages, which means that people who file a personal injury lawsuit and win the case could recover all of the expenses and losses caused by their injuries.
However, non-economic and punitive damages are capped in this state. Here's what Ohio law says about this:
Non-catastrophic injuries are capped at $250,000 or three times the economic damages, whichever is greater. However, this amount cannot exceed $350,000.
If the plaintiff sustained catastrophic injuries, non-economic damages are capped at $500,000.
In most personal injury claims, punitive damages are capped at twice the compensatory damages.
If the defendant is an individual or small employer, punitive damages are capped at 10% of the at-fault party's net worth or $35,000, whichever is lower.
There's no cap on punitive damages if the defendant acted maliciously or purposefully.
Under Ohio law, people injured by someone else's actions should take legal action within two years from the date when the cause of action accrues. However, several exceptions may pause or toll this period.
Therefore, after a slip and fall accident that resulted in injuries, victims should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. They also has insight to sidewalk slip and fall who was liable.
Attorneys with experience in Ohio personal injury claims, including those involving slip and fall or a car accident, can help victims build their cases and file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.
Additionally, if the statute of limitations already expired, experienced slip and fall attorneys will go the extra mile to find an exception that tolls this period, helping victims recover the compensation they deserve.
Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Today!
Whether victims need help building a case before the statute of limitations expires or want to know if any exceptions can extend this period, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is here to help them.
A personal injury attorney from this firm will work hand in hand with victims to help them recover fair compensation for their slip and fall cases.