Car accidents are a common occurrence all across the US and the state of Ohio is no exception. Anyone can be a victim of a car accident, even those who don’t actually own or drive cars themselves. If you happen to be riding in a car there is a chance that you will come across a reckless driver and be involved in an accident. If you have been injured in an accident, or care about someone, you may be wondering about your future and the possible financial or professional implications the ordeal will cause. This can be an especially overwhelming notion considering you may still be emotionally shaken by the dangerous encounters. But, you may find relief in knowing there are experienced professionals just waiting to lend you a hand and sort out all the legal affairs so that you can get about the business of healing and recovery.
Those injured in a car accident can find help at the law offices of Young, Reverman, & Mazzei. Call us today at 513-721-1200 or fill out a contact form to arrange a FREE consultation and learn more about the options available to you. We have handled all kinds of car accident cases and have the skills and resources to turn the wheels of justice in your favor. Helping out victims of these dangerous collisions get the compensation they need is our passion and we will do what it takes to make those responsible for your injuries make suitable restitution.
6 Things to Do If You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident in Centerville
Even the most cautious and meticulous driver in the city of Centerville is not safe from the actions and carelessness of other drivers. This can be especially upsetting, both emotionally and mentally. But, the aftermath of a car accident is no time to lose your head. The following are some important things to keep in mind that will improve your chances of getting compensation in a car accident case:
Seek Medical Treatment
The first and most important thing to do will be to get proper medical attention. You may think that the injuries you have sustained in the car accident are minor and you will be just fine, but this is dangerous thinking. There are many injuries that will not seem serious initially but can have more serious effects later. Some can even be life-threatening, like internal bleeding. But more importantly to your case, a doctor’s examination will give you the essential timestamp that connects the injuries you have sustained to the accident in question.
Obtain Personal Information from Everyone Involved
If you are not too seriously injured, you will want to collect important contact information from the other parties involved in the accident. You will need the contact information of the driver, the owner of the vehicle as well as other passengers in the car. If any of the parties are reluctant to give you their information, don’t push your request. You will be able to collect this information from the officers who arrive on the scene.
Document the Scene
Using the camera on your mobile device, you will want to take some pictures that will be important as evidence. You will need some wide-angle shots of both vehicles as well as close-ups of skid marks (or a lack thereof), damages, injuries and traffic signals that are in the vicinity.
Save all your Receipts
Throughout the process of treatment and recovery, you will want to keep detailed records and updated information. Keep careful records of the care you receive from emergency services and the ambulance which takes you to the ER. Be sure you keep all the notes and documents given to you by doctors and other medical staff as well as all the receipts and bills from any treatments or medications you have bought.
Notify your Insurer
You are required to notify your insurance company after the accident. However, you are not obligated in any way to speak with the insurance adjuster from the other party. You should actually be very careful what you say and do when in the immediate aftermath of the accident as what you say can be used against you to make your claim invalid. This could include making assumptions about your condition, accusations or even polite apologies. Remember that the insurance provider is there to reduce the amount of payouts the insurance company will make and they will look for any detail to prove this point.
Contact a Qualified Car Accident Lawyer
You can increase your chances of full coverage and ensure that your rights are protected from the very beginning by retaining the services of a qualified car accident lawyer in Centerville, Ohio. The sooner your car accident lawyer is able to begin their investigation into your case, the fresher the evidence will be and the more weight they will lend to the case. You should know that legal representation is not required in these matters, but it helps. If you are serious about getting the full compensation you are entitled to, the opposition is as certain that you will get the bare minimum –– and they do have professional legal support.
Having a skilled personal injury lawyer handle the legal aspects of your case will allow you to know the exact amount you are entitled to and can help you detect a low-ball offer from the insurance company. We will skillfully file the case and prepare for an intense negotiation and potential legal battle against the opposition. This will greatly increase your chances of a higher payout.
How is Liability Determined in Ohio Car Accident Cases?
The law of comparative negligence states that compensation can still be granted a victim of an accident even if they are partially to blame for the accident near Centerville. Other states follow the contributory negligence law which states that the only way to receive compensation is if the victim had no (0%) fault in the accident.
The competitive negligence law also states that the amount of compensation a victim can receive is the amount of damages they sustained minus the percentage of fault they shared in the accident. This means if the victim’s total damages were summed up to $10,000, but they were 25% to blame for the accident, they will only be entitled to $7500. If the percentage of fault in the accident rises to 50% or higher, they can expect no compensation.
Considering this, it is easy to see why having a professional experienced in making these claims is so important in minimizing your fault in the accident and getting full compensation. As you can imagine the insurance company will doing everything in their power to pin the accident on you to avoid having to cover your injuries or damages. Having a qualified lawyer at your side working to minimize your fault.
What Compensation Could I Expect from an Ohio Car Accident Case?
After your accident, you may be concerned about what type of financial help you can expect from a car accident case. Under Ohio law, there are a variety of different damages that an accident victim can receive compensation for in an accident. Some of these include compensation for time away from work and lost wages and others will cover medical fees and costs of treatments. Then there will be compensation for more intangible damages like the pain and suffering caused by your injuries. Compensation will not only cover the expenses and damages now but also future expenses and damages caused by the accident.
Compensation for car accident cases will cover:
- Medical expenses
- Long-term disability and any costs of renovating homes or vehicles to accommodate your disability
- Lost wages and loss of earning potential
- Transportation costs for medical appointments
- Disfigurement and scarring
- The impact the accident has close relationships, family, and a general sense of well-being
- The costs of hiring personal domestic help
- Counseling and mental health treatment
This list shows some of the most common reasons compensation is granted in a car accident case. Nevertheless, you will want your qualified car accident attorney to review your case thoroughly and provide you with a more specific figure considering all the details. Remember to never accept a settlement from an insurance company unless you have had your case reviewed by a lawyer and been assured that you are getting a reasonable offer.
What Happens if the Other Driver was Underinsured or Uninsured?
If you have gotten involved in a car accident and found out that the other driver is either uninsured or is not carrying sufficient coverage, the situation can seem a bit more complex. Ohio state law requires that all motorists carry a minimum insurance policy but this is often not enough to cover all the expenses caused in an accident.
There may be a chance that the driver can be sued directly for the damages. But often underinsured drivers are not in possession of costly assets that could be used to settle the case. In this case, you will need to carefully study your insurance policy and see if you can receive money from there. If you have a no-fault policy, this means that it doesn’t matter if the accident is your fault or not, you can still get coverage.
Should I Hire a Car Accident Attorney Immediately After The Accident?
There is a statute of limitations for seeking compensation for injuries and damages incurred in a car accident case. This means a deadline in which victims can seek help for their injuries. In Ohio, this deadline is set at two years from the date of the accident.
Nevertheless, if you are hoping to get compensation for your car accident damages you will want to retain legal counsel as soon as you possibly can. The longer you wait the harder it will be for you to get the evidence and eye-witness testimonies that can lend so much clout to your negotiations.
As you may imagine, the insurance adjusters will begin their investigation into the matter as soon as they can and look for every loophole to avoid making coverage payments. It would be good if your lawyer in the city of Centerville had equal time to prepare for the upcoming negotiations.
Who Will Be Responsible to Fix Your Car After the Accident?
You will get a different answer depending on who you ask this question. If you were to ask your auto repair shop technician, they would say that it is your car and you are responsible for making repairs. But, under Ohio law, it is the person responsible for the damages that must make the necessary repairs.
You should know that the police report on the accident is not the final word on determining who is at fault in the accident. There will be some cases where the damage makes the at-fault party fairly obvious, but this will not always be the case and some accidents are a little more complex. In such cases, the photos taken from the accident, the reports from eyewitnesses, and other important details will be studied to decide where the fault lies.
Is an Accident Lawyer in Centerville Car Going to Cost Me A Lot?
One of the biggest concerns that many accident victims have is how much the car accident case is going to cost them. But, this worry can be laid to rest as most of the reputable car accident lawyers in the Centerville, OH area will be operating under a contingency fee basis. This means that they won’t make any charges for their consultations, the skills, and resources they invest in building your case or anything else until your case has been won and you have been provided with the compensation you really need.
After the checks have been signed after the settlement, your lawyers will take a percentage of the winnings as their remuneration for successful work. If the case is not a success there will be no fees for all the hard work.
Consult an Experienced Accident Lawyer from Young, Reverman, & Mazzei for a Free Consultation
A car accident can be a serious and life-changing event and the consequences can be felt for many years both financially and physically. If you expect the insurance adjusters to protect your interests, you may find that the compensation they provide is not enough to make up for the damages and injuries suffered. With this in mind, you don’t want to take any risks in a case like this.
Call the law offices of Young, Reverman, & Mazzei at 513-721-1200 or use a contact form and book your free consultation today. We will worry about addressing the legal issues surrounding your case so you can focus your mind and energy on making a full recovery.