How Do I Ensure I Get Compensated After a Car Accident
Whether driving in a big city or the rural areas of Ohio, a car accident can happen at any moment. Every year in the United States, it is estimated that 32,000 people die in a car accident, while approximately 4.4 million people are injured seriously enough to require medical treatment.
Ohio is a state that has many attractions for locals and tourists alike. There is always something to do, meaning the roadways are usually busy. That’s why it’s crucial you know how to ensure you get compensated if you are in a car accident.
An Ohio lawyer from the Henry Law Firm can help guide you on the various aspects surrounding car accident compensation laws you need to know. We can ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Take a look at this guide about car accident legal compensation, as it should help shed some light on your situation and ease any strain you may be experiencing.
Fault Must Be Established to Ensure Compensation
Did you know Ohio is a comparative negligence state? That’s why the most significant step toward ensuring compensation is determining who is at fault. In Ohio, unlike other states, you can recover damages for any injuries you incurred in a car accident even if it is determined that you are a partially at-fault party.
The comparative negligence rule states that you will be allowed to recover damages if you are not over 50 percent responsible for the car accident. Unfortunately, this rule can be confusing, but we are well-versed in Ohio car accident law and can help you understand what you need to know about comparative negligence.
To give you an idea, consider this scenario. Your case is at trial, and a jury has determined that the amount of damages equates to $50,000. It was established that you were only 10 percent at fault while the other driver was 90 percent at fault. In this plausible scenario, you would be entitled to recover up to 90 percent of the $50,00, which is $45,000.
Steps to Ensure You Have a Valid Claim to Compensation
If you want to ensure you receive compensation for the injuries you sustained in your car accident, there are some incredibly vital steps you need to follow. We have listed the most crucial steps below.
1. Seek Medical Care
Even if you believe you are okay or that your injuries are minor, you should always seek medical attention after a car accident. You must seek medical care for two reasons. First, many injuries are not immediately apparent after a car accident. Second, failing to seek medical care can negatively impact your car accident claim.
2. Document the Scene
Ultimately, it is your responsibility to prove that you are not liable for the accident. The most effective way to prove you are free of blame is to document the scene. Documenting the scene of the accident does not have to be a complex problem. The most important thing you can do at the scene is using your cell phone to take pictures of important elements, such as:
- Your car
- The other driver’s car
- Scene of the crash
- License plates
- Skid marks
- Visible injuries and their progression
You should also identify any eyewitnesses at the scene and get their contact information. Once you hire an attorney, they can help locate surveillance video footage, first responder reports, and any other public records that will help your case.
3. Obtain a Police Report of Your Accident
Even if your car accident is minor, you need to file a police report as this is a crucial piece of evidence that will help immensely when you or your attorney files an insurance claim or a personal injury claim. Usually, a police report lists important information about the accident, such as:
- Witness statements
- Weather and lighting conditions
- Diagram of the accident scene
4. Determine if the Liable Party Has Insurance
All Ohio drivers are required to carry liability car insurance. However, many drivers continue to drive without insurance. Be sure to ask the other driver about their insurance and take a picture if they have an insurance card. When you are in a car accident with a driver who does not have insurance, you may be able to utilize uninsured motorist protection to cover your damages and injuries. Contact us and we will help you understand the available insurance coverages.
5. Use Caution When Talking to Insurance Companies
The harsh truth is that insurance companies will do their best to pay you as little as possible. Many insurance companies may even deny your claim for baseless reasons. That’s why you must make sure you are incredibly cautious when dealing with them. You should never discuss your injuries obtained in a car crash directly with insurance. Contact an experienced attorney to handle your injury claim, and they will provide the insurance company with the necessary information – and only that. Do not sign anything until your attorney has reviewed it.
Compensation You May Receive After a Car Accident in Ohio
In most instances, accident-related costs can cover anything associated with your car accident. You could claim many different types of damages if you win a verdict or reach a fair settlement. Some of the more common damages we have managed to secure for our car accident claims clients include:
- Past and future medical expenses including emergency department services, hospitalizations, transportation to medical consultations, prescription medication, surgical bills, rehabilitative therapy, and ongoing care costs
- Lost wages and a diminished earning capacity
- Replacement or repair of your vehicle and other personal property
- Other out-of-pocket expenses related to the car accident
- Non-economic damages such as mental and physical anguish, psychological damages, and emotional suffering
Contact an Ohio Lawyer Today About Your Car Accident Claim
Ensuring you get fairly compensated for injuries and property damage associated with a car accident can be challenging. That’s why you should consider hiring an Ohio car accident attorney. The legal team at the Henry Law Firm have years of experience working with car accident victims. We fight for each of our client’s rights and always strive to attain maximum compensation for them. If you would like to discuss your car accident and determine your options, get in touch today.