Auto accidents can happen at any time and anyone can be a victim. You don’t actually have to drive or own a car to be a victim of an auto accident. If you are in a vehicle you may someday come across a reckless or malicious driver. If you have been injured in a car accident, or maybe have a loved one who was injured, the task of healing and finding recovery for your injuries and lost income can be an especially overwhelming prospect.
For this reason, it is often best to take advantage of the reputable legal support from one of the Hamilton Car Accident Lawyers to learn more about what your options are.
At Young, Reverman & Mazzei our attorneys have extensive experience in handling all kinds of car accident cases in Ohio and apply our resources and expertise to make the law work for you. We are passionate about helping our clients no matter the circumstances surrounding the accident. Allow us to address the legal issues surrounding a car accident case while you focus on the healing and recovery process. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help your claim.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured in a Car Accident in Ohio?
Even the most cautious drivers will eventually find themselves in a car accident, usually caused by another’s negligence. When this happens it can always be a time of mental and emotional upset. But, by keeping your head and achieving a few important objectives, you can greatly increase your chance of finding the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Here is what you should do in the aftermath of a Hamilton, Ohio, car accident:
Seek Medical Treatment
The first thing you will want to do after you have been in a car accident is to seek medical attention for the injuries you have sustained. You may think you are fine and can handle them later, but often the most serious injuries are not immediately apparent due to the excitement of the ordeal. These injuries could get worse over time and some, like internal bleeding, can even be life-threatening. Furthermore, it will be much easier to prove your injuries were related to this accident is a medical professional provides a proper examination and diagnosis.
Obtain Personal Information from Everyone Involved
If your injuries allow it, you will need to collect as much information from the other parties involved in the accident, this will include the names and contact information of the driver and owner of the vehicle. You will also want to get the same information from any passengers inside the vehicle as well. If someone is hesitant to give you their information you will be able to get it from the police officers when they arrive on the scene.
Document the Scene
If you are able, get some pictures of the scene of the accident with your camera on your mobile device. You will want pictures of your injuries, damaged vehicle, traffic signals in the area and other relevant elements of the environment.
Save all your Receipts
At every step in the medical process to your full recovery, you will want to keep accurate and updated information. This includes the ambulance ride and care you will receive from paramedics and other medical professionals you see about these injuries. You will want to keep all the medical bills you are given as well as a collection of all paperwork from any other professionals you consult about your physical state after the accident.
Notify your Insurer
You will want to notify your insurance provider immediately after the accident. But, you are not in any way obligated to speak or negotiate with the insurance adjuster from the other driver. Be careful what you say and do because anything can be used by the opposition to make you appear as the guilty party.
This includes making apologies, accusations, assumptions about your conditions, etc. All in all, it is better to not speak with the insurance adjuster at all, call your legal counsel and allow them to handle all these transactions. More information on what not to say to insurance companies can be found here.
Contact a Qualified Car Accident Lawyer
To make sure that your rights will be protected from the very beginning, get in touch with an attorney near Hamilton. The faster your car accident lawyer is able to begin the investigations the stronger the evidence will be to support your case. If you wait too long, some of the more important details surrounding the case will have disappeared. It is true that legal representation is not required in these matters, but if you are hoping to receive maximum compensation for your injuries it is best to have a lawyer on your side.
A skilled legal advisor will know what your case is actually worth and will be able to warn you about low-ball offers from the insurance adjuster. Your lawyer will also know exactly how to file the claim and be able to pursue the case in your favor through negotiations and if necessary court battles till you get the compensation entitled to you by the law.
How is Liability Determined in Ohio Car Accident Cases?
The law of comparative negligence is in place in Ohio and ensures that victims are allowed to seek compensation even if they were partially to blame for the accident. This is different from the contributory negligence law in some locations which doesn’t allow victims to seek compensation if they were even 1% to blame for the accident.
Under comparative negligence laws, the amount of compensation you can expect to receive is equal to the amount of liability you shared in the accident. For example, if you were 10% liable for an accident and the damages you suffered were equal to $10,000, you will be entitled to $9,000, or your damages minus the percentage of fault you shared in the accident. If you were 51% to blame for the accident or even more, you will not have a right to any of the damages.
With this in mind, it is easy to see why determining blame in a car accident case is so crucial to getting the full amount of compensation you need. You can imagine the insurance company will be doing everything they can to make sure the fault lies primarily on you. For this reason, you will need a qualified lawyer at your side fighting to defend your right and reduce your fault in the incident
What Compensation Can Be Recovered in an Ohio Car Accident Case?
You may be wondering at this point how exactly a car accident case will provide for you as the suffering victim. Ohio law allows the victim to seek coverage for a variety of damages related to the accident. You can receive compensation for your medical bills, and lost wages due to time spent away from work. Then there will be compensation for other more intangible damages like pain and suffering. The compensation you receive will not just cover the expenses you face now, but also those you will experience in the future.
Here are some things you can pursue compensation for in a car accident case:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and loss of earning potential
- Transportation costs for medical appointments
- Long-term disability and any costs of renovating homes or vehicles to accommodate your disability
- Disfigurement and scarring
- The costs of hiring personal domestic help
- Counseling and mental health treatment
- The impact the accident has close relationships, family, and general sense of well-being
This list represents only some of the damages that can be recovered in a personal injury case. Nevertheless, after reviewing the details surrounding your situation, it is possible that your legal representation may find other important additions to this list. It is important that you never accept and settlements from insurers until your car accident lawyer in the city of Hamilton has had a chance to review your case in its entirety. Your case may be worth more than you actually thought.
What happens if the Other Driver was Underinsured or Uninsured?
If you were in a car accident and the other driver either did not have insurance or their insurance was not sufficient to cover your damages, you may be wondering what will happen next. In Ohio, the law requires that all motorists carry a minimum amount of insurance in case of accidents. Unfortunately, this amount is not always enough to cover the expenses that may be caused by an accident.
Sometimes, there will be a possibility to sue the driver directly. But, underinsured drivers don’t always have the assets or wealth to make this possible. In such a case, it will be important to review the policy your insurance provided. It could be that your insurance will only cover an accident if you were to blame. But, if you have a no-fault policy, it will not matter who is at fault in your accident, you will be compensated.
Should I Hire a Car Accident Attorney Immediately After The Accident?
The time limit for pursuing a car accident case in which you hope to receive compensation is called the statute of limitations. In Ohio, this period of time will be two years from the date of the accident. Still, it will be a good idea to hire your legal counsel as soon after your car accident as you can. Waiting too long means that witnesses will be harder to find, details harder to recall and there is a possibility that important video footage will be lost forever.
With all this in mind, the sooner you can get your legal counsel working on the case the better it will be for your chances of a full compensation. Furthermore, you can expect that the insurance adjusters will begin a deep investigation once they have learned about the accident. An experienced legal aid is essential to making sure their efforts are countered effectively.
Who Will Be Responsible to Fix Your Car After the Accident?
This depends on who is answering the question. If it is your auto repair shop, they will say it is up to you to foot the bill. But, according to the Ohio law, it is the party at-fault that is in charge of paying for this cost. It is important to note that the police report is not the final word when it comes to determining fault in a car accident.
While some cases, like a rear-end collision, is more obvious, some car accidents can be more complex and require an expert to determine who is truly at fault in such a case. Accident photos, accounts from eyewitnesses and other important details will be needed to reveal the true party at fault in a car accident case.
Is a Hamilton Car Accident Lawyer Going to Cost Me A Lot?
One of the primary concerns that prevent many accident victims from seeking the compensation they deserve is the potential of high financial costs associated with legal aid. The good news is that most personal injury lawyers in Ohio will be working from a contingency fee basis which ultimately means that they will not require any payments for their skills, service or resources they put toward the case until the case has been won and you have received your compensation.
When you have received the settlement, your lawyer will then take their fee from the winnings. The important thing to remember is that compared to what an insurance company usually pays out for car accident claims with no legal aid, your lawyers will add considerable value to the case. Often the legal counsel will more than pay for themselves. At Young, Reverman & Mazzei, we fully understand that your accident may have left you with serious concerns and worries about the future. We will not charge you any upfront fees for our professional services.
Consult an Experienced Hamilton Car Accident Lawyer from Young, Reverman & Mazzei for a Free Consultation
Car accidents can affect your life for years to come and the low ball offers made by an insurance adjuster sometimes won’t cover it all. If you need legal counsel to protect your rights in a Hamilton car accident case don’t take any risks. Call up the law offices of Young, Reverman & Mazzei at 513-721-1200 to schedule your free consultation today. We will handle the legal issues while you get back to resting and recovering your strength.