Even if you follow all applicable traffic laws and drive defensively, there is no guarantee you won’t be involved in a car accident at some point. Car accidents can be a scary experience for anyone. It’s essential to remain calm afterward and remember the Ohio car accident laws.
You need to know your responsibilities and your rights, which can improve your ability to file a claim later on. If you need legal assistance after a car accident, let our skilled Northwest car accident lawyers show you how we can help.
Your Responsibilities After an Accident
Understandably, you may feel overwhelmed after an accident and be unsure of what to do. Most importantly, you don’t want to leave the accident scene. If your injuries are not too severe and you can safely do so, get photos of vehicle damage, road conditions, and injuries. Get the contact information for any witnesses while you wait for the police to respond and prepare a report.
In an accident where your injuries are not severe enough to warrant transport via ambulance, you should seek medical care and report the claim to your insurance company right away. Many carriers have requirements that the claim be reported within a specific time frame.
Does the Other Driver Have Insurance?
Determining whether the other driver has coverage is important. When you report your claim to your insurance carrier, they will file a report with the other party’s insurance. That insurance company will do a coverage investigation to determine whether coverage applies before deciding on liability.
If the other party does not have applicable liability coverage, you will want to pursue a claim through your own Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage if you purchased UM/UIM under your own policy.
Proving fault against the other party is necessary before you are entitled to recover any compensation for your damages. If there were multiple other vehicles involved, the process could become even more complicated. To successfully prove negligence, you must show the other party owed you a duty of care, they breached that duty, and that breach caused your injuries.
Ohio car accident laws use comparative negligence to resolve claims. This means that as long as you are not more than 50% at fault, you can still recover a portion of your damages. However, the amount will be reduced by your percentage of fault. That means if a jury finds you 20% at fault, you will receive 80% of your damages.
Statute of Limitations
In Ohio, you only have up to two years to file a lawsuit for injuries resulting from an auto accident. Ohio auto accident laws are stringent on this deadline. Failure to file within the specified time limit could result in you receiving no compensation at all.
When Insurance Companies Get Involved
When presenting a claim to the other party’s insurance company, remember that they are not on your side. Their main goal is to save money, and their loyalty is to their insured, not you. This means they may deny liability outright or offer you an amount that is far less than your claim is worth. You should never sign any documents or agree to a settlement amount without first talking with a knowledgeable attorney.
How Our Lawyers Can Help
Deciphering Ohio auto accident laws can be complicated. You need someone on your side who understands the claims process and the applicable laws. When you retain our Northwest Ohio car accident attorneys, we will handle your claim from start to finish, so you can concentrate on your recovery.
We will conduct an independent investigation, collect the necessary evidence, negotiate with the defendant’s insurance, and keep an eye on the statute of limitations. If your case needs to be resolved through a trial, we have the experience and resources to make that happen. Don’t let your fear of the legal system keep you from pursuing the compensation you deserve.
Contact Bensinger Law today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you after an Ohio car accident. With our years of experience handling Ohio car accident claims, you can be sure we won’t let the insurance company push you into settling for less than your case is worth.