What To Do About Personal Injuries in Columbus, OhioIf you've been hurt in an accident and that accident was someone else's fault, then you may be wondering what you can do about it. Attorney Evan T. Engler is a personal injury attorney and partner at the Columbus, Ohio based law firm of Harris & Engler. Evan T. Engler has helped clients in Columbus and across Ohio with their personal injury cases and he helps clients get the compensation they deserve. If you've been hurt, you may be wondering if you have a personal injury case, and if so, what you can do about it.
What To Do About Your Personal Injury CaseThe first thing to keep in mind is that Ohio has a two year statute of limitations for personal injury negligence cases, and a one year statute of limitations for medical malpractice. That means if you don't bring your personal injury case within two years of being injured, then you can't bring it at all. You only have one year from the date of injury to bring a medical malpractice case.
The most important thing you can do to help your personal injury case is to go to your doctor in order to get your injuries fully evaluated and diagnosed and then follow your doctor's orders for the treatment of your injuries. There are many times when someone gets hurt in an accident and then calls an attorney to see what their case is worth and then the attorney will come to find out that the victim never went to the doctor. If you did not think your injuries were serious enough to see a doctor, then an insurance company is not going to think your injuries are serious enough to compensate you for it.
Finding a Personal Injury Lawyer in Columbus, OhioWhen you've been injured in an accident, the biggest priority is talking to a medical doctor about your injuries and treatment. The next most important thing is finding a good personal injury attorney. Evan T. Engler is a personal injury lawyer who helps accident victims in Columbus and all over Ohio. If you want to do things right and get maximum compensation for your injuries, then you should talk with an experienced personal injury attorney. Evan T. Engler has vast experience helping his clients get fully compensated for their injuries. You can call Evan today to discuss your case by calling (614) 610-9988.
Central Ohio Lawsuit AttorneysIn a civil lawsuit, you're either the person who filed the lawsuit (the Plaintiff) or the one that the lawsuit was filed against (the Defendant). If you're the Plaintiff, then the only point to filing a lawsuit is to try to win it. An experienced civil litigation attorney can help your chances of winning a lawsuit by gathering together all the relevant documentation and evidence before the lawsuit is filed in order to properly build your case.
If you're the Defendant, then you want to try to make the lawsuit go away as fast as possible. The Defendant is a stressful position to be in in a lawsuit because unless you can forcibly make the lawsuit go away, then the Plaintiff is in control of the lawsuit and moving it forward. An experienced civil lawsuit attorney may be able to get the lawsuit to go away through a Motion to Dismiss, Motion for Summary Judgment, or victory at trial.
The Columbus, Ohio based law firm of Harris & Engler has experienced litigators who help clients file or defend lawsuits in Columbus, Delaware, and greater Central Ohio.
How to Win a Lawsuit as a DefendantIf you've been named as a Defendant in a lawsuit, then you need an attorney, plain and simple. There are a few options at an experienced litigators disposal for trying to win a lawsuit outright for the Defendant. First, if there is some procedural or technical error with the Complaint, then an attorney can file a Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit.
If a Motion to Dismiss is not appropriate or unsuccessful, then the next step that an experienced litigator would do is conduct discovery (forced exchange of information and evidence) with the opposing party in order to build the Defendant's case. Then, if it is appropriate to do so, the attorney can file a Motion for Summary Judgment. A Motion for Summary Judgment can only be filed when there is no dispute about the facts of the case, just the law. For example, if the crux of the case is that the Plaintiff says that Sally caused the car accident and the defense says that Sally wasn't even in the car, then that is a material dispute of fact and the case cannot be resolved through summary judgment. If a Motion for Summary Judgment is either not appropriate or unsuccessful, then the next way to potentially end the case is through settlement.
If both parties are able to reach an agreement amongst themselves, then there is no reason to proceed further in litigation. A good litigator is also a highly skilled negotiator. If negotiations fail to produce the desired result, then the only next step is to try the case.
A civil case can be tried in front of a jury or it can be a bench trial where it is decided by a Judge. Usually it is the Plaintiff that decides whether it will be a jury trial or not, but the Defendant can also request a jury trial.
How to Win a Lawsuit as a PlaintiffA lot of the steps are similar or the same for winning a case as a Plaintiff as they would be with a Defendant, except that the first step for the Plaintiff might be winning the lawsuit through Default Judgment. If the Defendant does not file an answer to the Complaint, then the Plaintiff can file a Motion for Default Judgment and win everything they asked for in the Complaint.
Beyond that, the process is the same, in that the Plaintiff will conduct discovery, file a Motion for Summary Judgment, if appropriate, to win the case, negotiate, if appropriate, or just take the case to trial.
Only an experienced civil litigation attorney gives you the best chance to win your case. The law firm of Harris & Engler represents either Plaintiffs or Defendants in Columbus, Delaware, and greater Central Ohio.
Experienced Litigators Giving You the Best Chance to Win Your LawsuitThe attorneys at Harris & Engler have vast experience helping both Plaintiffs and Defendants with their lawsuits in the Columbus, Delaware, and greater Central Ohio area. The litigators at Harris & Engler know that for a Plaintiff, the case is built up front before filing suit and during discovery after a lawsuit is filed in order to build your case in the best position possible for success. For defense of a lawsuit, a number of different strategies and tactics can be used. It is usually the goal of Defendants to make the lawsuit go away as quickly and as cheaply as possible.
Whether you are a Plaintiff or Defendant, if you'd like to consult with an experienced civil litigation lawyer, you can speak to one today by calling Harris & Engler at (614) 610-9988.
Personal Injury Lawyer Columbus OhioAttorney Evan T. Engler helps personal injury victims in Columbus and across Ohio recover for their injuries suffered due to the negligence or wrongdoing of others. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries due to an auto accident or other type of tragic accident due to machinery failure or dangerous conditions on property, then you would be best served by retaining the services of a good personal injury attorney.
Experienced Columbus Personal Injury AttorneyThe Columbus, Ohio based law firm of Harris & Engler has experienced personal injury attorney and partner Evan T. Engler who has extensive experience helping clients in Columbus and all around Ohio recover top dollar for their injuries. Every case is different because the circumstances and injuries are unique to each individual and each accident. With that, you need a personal injury attorney who is focused on you, your specific needs, and your specific injuries so that you can get the best results.
You Deserve The Best Results For Your CaseResults matter, both to you, and the personal injury law firm of Harris & Engler. When your livelihood is at stake, you can't afford to get anything but the best results. Personal injury attorney Evan T. Engler works with his clients and doesn't stop until the best possible results are achieved.
Types of Personal Injury Cases Handled By Harris & EnglerPesonal injury attorney Evan T. Engler helps clients obtain compensation for car accident and truck accident cases, wrongful death and survivorship cases, injuries caused by mechanical failure or dangerous conditions on property, and for brain and spine injury cases.
If you would like to speak with a personal injury attorney, then you can call Evan T. Engler today at (614) 610-9988.
Ohio Lawsuit AttorneysMost people in Ohio go through life without ever having to deal with a civil lawsuit. If you've gotten to the point to where you're thinking about whether you should file a lawsuit, or you've had a lawsuit filed against you, you may be wondering what you might be in for. A lawsuit is an unnerving process for the parties involved and there is usually a lot hinging on the outcome. Talking to a lawsuit attorney near you, before it is too late in the litigation process, can help to ease some of your stress and worry.
In a lawsuit, you are either the Plaintiff or the Defendant. If you're doing the suing, then you're the Plaintiff. If you're the one being sued, the you're the Defendant. You can read more about defending yourself against a lawsuit here.
Most people want to file a lawsuit because they've been wronged in some way and they are seeking monetary compensation to right that wrong. Depending on the type of lawsuit you have, you may need a different kind of lawyer and that lawyer may charge differently depending on the type of lawsuit (contingency v. hourly). Most plaintiff side personal injury attorneys charge on a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay nothing up front and the attorney fee is contingent upon and taken out of the settlement or judgment. For contract or property disputes, depending on the specifics, most attorneys would charge by their hourly rate and require an up front retainer. The attorneys at Harris & Engler handle personal injury, contract, and property related lawsuits, among others. You can call the law firm of Harris & Engler by calling (614) 610-9988 to talk about your case and to ask about fees. You may also be wondering what you might be in for if you decide to file a lawsuit in Ohio.
Is it Worth it to File a Lawsuit?One thing that you should try to calculate before filing a lawsuit is whether it will be financially worth it to do so. The cost of a lawsuit is going to vary dramatically depending on whether you are paying your attorney fees hourly or on a contingency basis. Please keep in mind that it is usually just personal injury lawsuits where the attorney fees are on a contingency fee basis. Sometimes for personal injury cases you have to file a lawsuit just to protect against the statute of limitations or to get the best result.
In general, with the breach of contract and property dispute lawsuits, you are going to be putting down a retainer to pay your attorney hourly. The attorneys at Harris & Engler help people all over Ohio decide whether to file a lawsuit or not. To be worth it, you've got to make sure that the potential amount of money that you might get from the lawsuit is more than you might have to pay in litigation expenses to get there. You also want to make sure that you're OK with being onboard the rollercoaster ride that can be a lawsuit.
The Emotional Rollercoaster Ride of a LawsuitThere are a few things that you need to understand before deciding to file a lawsuit:
- The wheels of justice turn slowly. A lawsuit just plain takes a long time. It depends on what court you are in, but if you go all the way to a trial, then a lawsuit can take anywhere from 6 months to 3 years to come to a conclusion. There are some good aspects of having a lawsuit take so long and that is that the costs of litigation are at least spread out over time.
- You will lose some privacy. When you are a party to a lawsuit, you may get asked questions that seem like intrusions on your privacy. Sometimes you just have to answer those questions anyways.
- There are ups and downs. Usually with longer term litigation, there are a lot of small wins or small losses along the way to the final outcome. Ultimately, the final outcome is all that really matters, but there may be small motion battles going on in the lawsuit process prior to that final outcome.
Contractor Issues in Ohio - An Overview on Avoiding Potential ProblemsSome of the most common disputes and types of lawsuits that the attorneys at Harris & Engler deal with are between homeowners and contractors. Home repairs and remodels are expensive and the stakes are high when you are dealing with a potential screw up. There are generally two instances where a homeowner is hiring a contractor: (1) with homeowners insurance after an event triggering a homeowners insurance claim; or (2) on the homeowner's own dime for something that needs fixed or improved around the house.
Whether homeowners insurance is involved or not makes for a completely different experience on the part of the homeowner. When a homeowner hires a contractor on their own dime, the process is a bit more straightforward and there are usually less people involved.
Tips for a Homeowner Hiring a ContractorThe simplest thing to keep in mind when hiring a contractor is to hire a contractor that is "licensed, bonded, and insured." If you hire a contractor that is not properly qualified and that contractor screws something up with your home, such as, removes a load bearing wall that collapses the roof, then that screw up is not likely to be covered by your homeowners insurance. So the only place that you can look to for the money to fix the roof is the contractor themselves. If that contractor is not properly bonded or insured then that means that they've got no money to fix the roof and you will have to pay for it youself.
In Ohio, in order to do plumbing or electrical work you must have a valid license to and be registered with the county or smaller municipality. In Columbus, the city requires general contractors to have a license to do work in the city limits, as well as licenses for plumbers and electricians. Some contractors have mutliple licenses. Some contractors have no licenses, but do the work anyways. There is case law that supports that unlicensed contractor work (where a license is required) constitutes fraud. As a practical matter, it can be relatively expensive and somewhat difficult for contractor to get proper licensure and post a bond with the City of Columbus. For homeowners, this is actually a good thing. If a contractor does not have the resources to post a bond and get licensed with the City of Columbus, then they will not have the resources to fix the hole in your roof if they remove the wrong support beam. Homeowners can save themselves a lot of pain and heartache by simply getting a licensed, bonded, and insured contractor.
Things A Homeowner Should Keep in Mind Before a Home Construction ContractThe City of Columbus and certain other municipalities around Ohio require a permit before starting any residential construction or remodeling projects. The City may require inspections during and at the completion of projects in order to make sure that things were done in accordance with applicable housing and building codes. One thing to keep in mind is that housing and building codes are always being updated and always being improved as the years go on. When a homeowner does a construction or remodeling project it must be completed in accordance with current housing and building codes. So if you have a house that was built in the 1950's, then whatever construction you do has to be done in accordance with today's standards, not 1950's standards. This can sometimes make construction, especially electrical work, on older homes more expensive.
Another thing to keep in mind as a homeowner is that you want a written contract and you want a written estimate. A lot of contractors seem to forget about the initial contract for the engagement of their services, so this seems to be pretty common but it can also be a red flag. In order to best protect yourself as a homeowner it is best to have a written contract.
Second, you should always have a written estimate for the work you intend to be done. That estimate should accurately reflect getting all the work done you intend to have done with the quality of materials that you intend. If the estimate does not reflect this, then get it corrected. Also keep in mind that it is common for estimates in price to be exceeded, but this should also be documented. If you change your mind about one aspect of the project and want something else (which could change the cost), then get it documented. The best way to do this is in an email. If you have a phone or in person conversation about it, then follow up that conversation with an email that says something to the extent of "just to confirm our earlier conversation, I agreed to do x ..." As a homeowner, your primary means of communication should be through email. If your contractor does everything over the phone, then follow everything up with an email. If your contractor does not use email, then demand a hard copy writing. The point is, an attorney can much more easily help you in case things go wrong if you have a good paper trail.
Dealing With Contractors When You Have a Homeowners Insurance ClaimMost of the time when you have to file a claim with your homeowners insurance company it is the result of some bad and unfortunate event. Most of the time the homeowner is pretty frazzled and does not know what to do, does not know what their insurance company is supposed to do, and does not know who is supposed to find the contractors and what they are supposed to do. The attorneys at Harris & Engler have dealt with these situations before and can help you through the process.
First, your relationship with your insurance company is wholly governed by contract - your insurance policy. What is a covered claim and what is excluded is governed by your contract. Whether things are supposed to be replaced like new or at a fair market value is controlled by your contract. However, contracts are written words that are subject to interpretation. Your insurance company might interpret things in a way that is favorable to the company, but the law in Ohio requires that where there is any ambiguity in the language of the contract, then it must be interpreted in favor of the homeowner (interpreted against the drafter). If things get to the point to where you think something should be covered under the insurance policy and the insurance company does not think it should be covered, then that is the time to get an attorney involved.
Second, the homeowner is in charge of picking the contractors. The insurance company's obligation is to pay for the things that it is required to pay for under the insurance policy. The homeowner's obligation is to find the contractors to fix the things that need to be fixed. Part of what the contractor will do is prepare an estimate and submit it to the insurance adjuster. The adjuster will have the obligation to approve or disprove the proposed scope of work and then cut the checks in order to pay for those things. The homeowner is in the best position when those checks are written to the homeowner and then the homeowner pays the contractor in portions as the work is completed.
The Payment ConundrumOne thing to keep in mind is that if you have a mortgage, which is likely, then your mortgage company may also be involved in the process and they may send their own people out to look at the property, see what needs to be done, and see that it gets done. Your mortgage company has a security interest in your home and it is in their interest that their investment (your home) is protected. Your insurance company may have an obligation to write all checks jointly payable to you and your mortgage company. Your mortgage company may have some stipulations in place before those funds are released. There are many more parties involved in a home construction issue when there is a homeowners insurance claim involved. However, the thing that the homeowner should keep in mind is that they are ultimately the ones responsible for seeing that what needs to be done gets done.
In the case of payment to contractors, a homeowner never wants to make payment in full until the work is done in full. If there are still things that need to be done, then there is no incentive for the contractor to finish those things if they've already been paid in full. It is customary for the contractor to be paid in stages, at certain percentage thresholds of completion. If a contractor needs to purchase materials, then they obviously will need that money up front to purchase the materials. However, each stage of work should be completed fully before that stage is paid for fully.
In most cases where there is a mortgage and a homeowners insurance claim, then payment works like this: the contractor prepares an estimate for services and provides it to the homeowners insurance adjuster for approval of the funds, the insurance adjuster approves the funds and writes a check jointly payable to the homeowner and the mortgage company. Most of the time the mortgage company will have some control and stake over the process, but every situation is unique. Generally, a homeowner should keep in mind that it is their house and homeowners should keep in mind that they are in control of the process. The homeowner should oversee the estimate to make sure that it accurately reflects what should be done, the homeowner should make sure that the payment is disbursed from the insurance company, that the necessary permits have been obtained for the construction to be able to take place, that the mortgage company is aware of the process and that they are signing off on the checks and making sure that the contractor is doing what needs to be done in order to properly fix the house, and the homeowner needs to check up on all the work and make sure that payment is issued in accordance with stages of completion of the project and that the project is moving forward in a timely and efficient manner.