Ohio Personal Injury Law
Statutes of Limitations:The amount of time you have to sue whoever caused your injury or damage.
- Personal Injury- 2 years from the discovery of the injury
- Damage to Personal Property - 2 years
- Medical malpractice - 1 year from the date of discovery of the injury
- Legal malpractice - 1year from the date of discovery
- Other professional malpractice - 1 year from the date of discovery
Where to Sue:
- Personal injury claims under $3,000 - Ohio Small Claims Division of a County or Municipal Court
- Personal injury claims $3,000-$15,000 - Ohio County or Municipal Court
How to Sue: Small Claims Court:
- Forms: Small Claims Civil Cover Sheet, Small Claims Complaint Form. These forms can be obtained from the clerk of the Small Claims Division of any Ohio County or Municipal Court.
- Where to file: Where the defendant resides, where the defendant has a business, or where the injury occurred.
- How to notify the defendant (service): The clerk will mail the Ohio Small Claims Complaint Form to the defendant by certified or express mail. Alternatively, the plaintiff may have the defendant served personally by a sheriff, bailiff, or outside process server.
- Proving the defendant was notified: The person serving process must file a return of service with the Small Claims Division.
- Attorneys: Representation of a lawyer at the trial is permissible in an Ohio Small Claims Division.
- Appealing a small claim: Either party may appeal on questions of law. The appeal must be filed with an Ohio Municipal or County Court in your jurisdiction within 30 days of entry of judgment.
Ohio County or Municipal Court: You should seek the help of a qualified Ohio personal injury attorney for help. Personal injury claims involve complicated paperwork and specialized knowledge. Errors in filing may result in your claim’s dismissal, or the loss of your claim. You may also be subject to court fines.
- Forms: Ohio Civil Cover Sheet, Complaint, and Instructions for Service of Summons form. Forms may be obtained from the Ohio Municipal or County Court where you intend to sue.Make sure you have copies of the forms for the court, the defendant, and for yourself.
- How to File: Hand copies of the forms to the court clerk in the court where the defendant resides, has a business, or where the injury occurred. Pay the stipulated filing fee.
- How to Notify the Defendant: A sheriff, bailiff, or outside process server must give the forms stamped by the clerk of the court to the defendant personally and file proof of service with the clerk. The clerk will stamp the return. Keep a stamped copy for yourself.
What to Do if You Are Being Sued:
- Time to respond to a Summons in Ohio: 28 days.
- Consult an attorney as soon as possible.
- If your injury occurred at your home or business, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Your insurance company may provide a lawyer to argue the suit if you are covered for the claim.
What to Do if A Judgment Was Entered Against You:
If you do not respond to a summons and complaint, the court will automatically enter a judgment against you. You will then have to pay whatever the plaintiff requested in damages.
- Time to Set Aside a Judgment in Ohio:
- An Ohio court may set aside a judgment for a clerical mistake at any time.
- An Ohio court may set aside a judgment for mistake, inadvertence, excusable neglect, newly discovered evidence, default or fraud within a reasonable time, but not more than one year after entry of the judgment
- Ask for an attorney's advice if a default judgment has been entered against you.
Ways to Collect Your Judgment:
- If you succeed in your Ohio personal injury lawsuit and the defendant refuses to pay, you may collect your judgment by asking the court to order the seizure of the debtor’s personal or real property, garnishing the debtor’s bank account, or by garnishing the debtor's wages.
- Consult an experienced Ohio debt collection attorney to collect your judgment.