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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Can I Be Sued for Car Accident? - Ohio Car Accident Attorneys

Ohio has a long and complicated history with cars. It all started when John Lambert created the first gasoline-powered car in America, but it caught on fire before it could even be on the road.


Then, a few years later, Ohio issued its first speeding ticket to someone called Harry Myers of Dayton for exceeding the legal limit by 12 miles per hour. This complicated relationship with cars isn't only a part of Ohio's history. It is also part of its present.


Although Ohio is the second most active car producer in America, it also has far more fatal car accidents than the rest of the country. Therefore, those who live in Ohio should be aware of several things in case they get in a car accident such as, how to calculate pain and suffering in a car accident in Ohio.



Car Accident Damages

When someone gets in a car accident, they can get serious injuries, such as scratches, bruises, and even death. This will all depend on the accident's context, such as the speed of the vehicles and which safety measures were taken.


However, the most common car accident injuries include bone fractures, whiplash, brain injuries, road rash, scarring burns, and death, which would lead to a wrongful death claim.


Luckily, most car accident victims can get compensation for their economic and non-economic damages.

Usually, economic damages are much easier to calculate, as it refers to the financial losses caused by the accident, such as medical bills and lost wages.


On the other hand, non-economic damages can and should be compensated, but they are more difficult to calculate, especially since Ohio caps these compensations. The state only allows the victim to receive $250,000, but with skilled Cincinnati car accident attorneys, they can get the other option, which is to receive three times what they got for compensating their economic damages.


Moreover, it is crucial to keep in mind that catastrophic injuries, such as disfiguration or amputations, don't have these restrictions.


Determining Who the At-fault Driver Is


All motor vehicle drivers in America must follow all traffic regulations and be careful on the road. Otherwise, they can be held liable for negligence if they cause an accident.


Nonetheless, it isn't easy to determine whether the driver was negligent or not, so the attorney must work hard to demonstrate the following negligence aspects:

  • There must be a duty of care. In this case, the driver's duty of care is to drive safely to make sure everyone else on the road is okay.

  • Then, there must be proof that the driver breached the duty of care. Depending on the case, the attorney can prove this in several ways, but it basically means that the driver wasn't following traffic laws, which caused the accident.

  • Finally, there must be a direct relation between the driver's violations and the victim's injuries to obtain compensation. In summary, there must be proof that the accident wouldn't have happened if the driver hadn't acted recklessly.

Another useful thing to remember is that common carriers, such as taxis, public transportation, and commercial vehicles, must be even more mindful of traffic laws, as they are held to a higher degree of responsibility if an accident happens because of their recklessness.


Statute of Limitations


A statute of limitations is the time frame in which the plaintiff must file a lawsuit to get properly compensated for the accident. In most states, including Ohio, this time frame is two years. Therefore, if the car accident victim doesn't act as fast as possible and finds the right lawyer to file a lawsuit, they might lose their compensation benefits altogether.


What to Do After Car Accidents


It is okay to feel overwhelmed after a car accident case, but those involved must take certain actions to make sure the rest of the process runs as smoothly as possible. The following section will explain each of the steps that need to be taken.


Stop the Car


First and foremost, all drivers who engage in car crashes must immediately stop their vehicles and get close to the scene. Then, all the parties involved must exchange information, such as their name, contact, and insurance company info.


Moreover, if someone gets injured, it is crucial to get them medical help as soon as possible. If the parties involved in the accident fail to execute these steps, they can face strong legal repercussions, such as fines or even jail time.


Call the Police


In many cases, the car accident might not be too severe, so those involved could believe they should call the police. However, this is never the case. Everyone should always contact the police, even for minor accidents, as they can help prevent further damages caused by either of the parties or other cars, create an official report that will be useful for filing an insurance claim, gathering information from the other party and witnesses, etc.


Non-emergency Number


Still, those who want to avoid clogging the 911 line for something that's not an emergency can use the local police department's non-emergency number. This number is sometimes 311, but other times it is a full phone number, so the best thing to do is to call 411 and ask the operator for the correct number.


Interview the Witnesses


Something that many victims find difficult after an accident is to contact the witnesses, as they don't tend to collaborate much. Still, the plaintiff should try to collect as much information as possible and get at least the names, addresses, and phone numbers of as many witnesses as they can. They can even go the extra mile and get a relative's phone number in case they can't contact their witness.


Although the police can be of great help in these cases, victims shouldn't rely on them and believe they will do all the work. They must remember that police officers deal with these situations every day, and they won't be as motivated as the plaintiff to back up their version of the events. Therefore, plaintiffs should be proactive and locate witnesses on their own.


Gather Evidence


In most cases, human memory isn't as reliable as many believe. That's why it is crucial to gather as much evidence as possible when involved in a car accident lawsuit. Some things the people involved can do is write down the accident's details and take pictures of the scene and injuries.


Something that can make or break a lawsuit is good record-keeping. Therefore, some other things that can be done to back up the claim are to keep all medical bills and a diary of how the injuries affect the victim's daily life. They should store all this information in a safe place for their lawyers to go through and use whenever necessary.


Call Your Insurance Company


This applies to both the at-fault party and the victim. The defendant must make a claim with their insurance company, and the plaintiff can either make it with their personal insurer or the other party's insurance company. If they decide to file a claim with their personal insurer, the person in charge of the case will seek compensation from the other party's insurance company.


That's why it is crucial to immediately inform the insurance companies about the accident, as this will fasten the whole process. Moreover, this prevents the victim from getting their claim denied, as many insurance plans demand for the claim to be filed within a determined time frame.


Hire an Attorney


Finally, the last step people should take after being involved in a car accident is to hire a reliable car crash attorney. Although the insurance company may help to receive compensation, there is no way to know whether it is fair or not without a lawyer who can calculate the total damages and expenses. This means that the plaintiff should not accept an offer without first talking to their lawyer.


If the victim accepts the offers and signs a release, they won't be able to sue for extra money if they find out their injuries are much more severe than they initially thought. Therefore, their safest bet is to hire an experienced car accident lawyer who can take care of everything. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can advise on how long you can sue after a car accident in Ohio.


What If the Drivers Are Uninsured?

What If the Drivers Are Uninsured?


Firstly, driving in Ohio without liability insurance is illegal, but sadly, this doesn't prevent people from doing it. However, it makes things extremely difficult for the people involved, as there won't be an insurer who can take care of the expenses. Hence, the only solution is to file an Ohio car accident lawsuit and get the at-fault party to pay the expenses with their own money.


Hire Our Skilled Car Accident Lawyers


Anyone who gets in a car accident in Ohio must file a personal injury lawsuit to make sure they receive maximum compensation from the other driver's insurance coverage. However, a car accident claim can be pretty tricky. Still, the lawyers at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys will seek fair compensation for all their car accident cases to help their clients recover from their wounds as peacefully as possible.

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