You have two years to file a personal injury action after sustaining a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Surviving family members of loved ones who suffered a TBI and passed as a result of their injuries have two years from the date of their passing to file a wrongful death action.
In Ohio, like in other states, you must comply with the statute of limitations or face potential consequences for filing late.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Traumatic Brain Injuries in Ohio?
According to Ohio Revised Code §2305.10, you have two years from the date the injury occurred or was diagnosed to file a personal injury action if you’ve suffered a TBI.
Ohio Revised Code §2125.02 allows two years from the date of the loved one’s passing to file a wrongful death action.
The Statute of Limitations is in place for a reason, primarily because filing after several years have passed likely means that essential evidence has been lost.
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Are There Any Exceptions to Ohio’s Statute of Limitations?
There are some instances where a court in Ohio may allow you a time extension to file your traumatic brain injury lawsuit. For example, if the victim was a minor or deemed disabled at the time of the accident, the statute of limitations clock pauses until they turn 18 or the disability is removed.
Also, the statute of limitations clock in Ohio may be paused if the defendant flees the state or hides to avoid responding to the charges. The clock will only start ticking once the defendant is located.
These exceptions are listed in the statutes for the type of action you wish to file.
Why Do We Have the Statute of Limitations in Ohio?
Here are the main reasons why the time limits imposed by the statute of limitations in Ohio are essential:
To Protect Defendants from Abuse of Power
The statute of limitations protects those accused of a crime or a wrongful act. If authorities weren’t pressured by time to bring charges against the accused, it would be unfair to those who had already established themselves as law-abiding citizens for decades.
Filing against someone many years after an accident also increases the chances that they’ve lost the evidence they need to defend themselves in court.
To Encourage Efficiency in the Criminal Justice System
It is taxing on the resources of defenders, judges, and juries to attend to a case that is years or decades old. If courts are already attending to cases that happened in recent years, they would be stretched thin to begin including cases that happened a long time ago, especially as they would be harder to prove or disprove.
Preservation of Evidence
The deadline naturally aids in preserving crucial evidence. Witnesses move, memories fade, and documents can easily get lost. Losing evidence that can support your case may affect a settlement or verdict outcome.
In addition, some evidence cannot be acquired if it isn’t secured within a certain time frame. After incidents like car accidents, forensic evidence may be naturally lost or surveillance footage could be erased. It is common for some forms of potential evidence to be routinely deleted.
What Happens if You Miss the Deadline for Filing Legal Actions?
Filing a motion after the deadline has passed gives the opposing party reason to file a motion to dismiss. If you don’t qualify for a time extension, the judge may grant the motion and have your case thrown out.
It’s also possible for insurance companies to use a failure to follow deadlines against you to offer a lower settlement value. Filing before the deadline gives you more power as the claimant, the one filing the claim, to prove that your losses are as severe as you said they were.
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What Damages Can You Recover in a TBI Action?
After filing a TBI action within the time frame set by the Ohio statute of limitations, you could recover financial compensation for economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Past, ongoing, and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost income and benefits
- Temporary or permanent physical impairment
- Reduced earning capacity
- Diminished quality of life
Filing after the deadline may make it more difficult to prove that you sustained some of these losses. Not only will lost evidence affect your case, but if you do not show a sense of urgency to file, it may give defending legal teams or insurers reason to doubt your losses.
How Do Traumatic Brain Injuries Occur in Ohio?
Traumatic brain injuries can happen at any place due to various reasons. The following are the leading causes of TBIs in Ohio:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Violent crimes
- Physical abuse
- Workplace accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
If you suffered a TBI but aren’t sure where your accident fits, a traumatic brain injury lawyer can help.
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At Isaacs & Isaacs Personal Injury Lawyers, we help injury victims who are entitled to financial compensation to recover their losses and move forward. Darryl “The Hammer” Isaacs and our body of lawyers contribute 400 years of combined legal experience to accident clients with cases like yours.
You have a lot on your plate. A traumatic brain injury lawyer can help you keep your case on track, so filing deadlines don’t hold you back from getting the compensation you need.