Montgomery, OH Car Accident Attorney
Car accidents can change your life dramatically. You may no longer be able to go to work, chase your dreams, or even take care of yourself. The worst part is that such accidents can leave you in an endless cycle of debt if you do not hold the other party responsible for their actions. If you live in Montgomery, Ohio, and you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident, it is always advisable to speak with a car accident attorney from N.P. Law firm. We might be able to help you receive compensation for your injuries.
Although our law firm is based in Montgomery, OH, we serve clients all over the state and also in Kentucky.
Car Accident Claims Process Explained
The exact steps to follow when filing a car accident claim vary depending on multiple factors. For example, here’s what to do if the other driver hits your vehicle from behind:
Get Their Contact Information
This includes their insurance provider’s information, the driver’s name, and address. It is also advisable to get the contact information of any witnesses you may encounter. Their statements could come in handy if the insurance company disputes your claim.
Seek Medical Attention
Go for a medical checkup after an accident, even if you feel fine. This is to ensure that you have not suffered any serious internal injuries, and if you have, the medical provider can begin the treatment process right away.
Contact the Insurance Provider
Suppose you did not suffer any serious injuries or any injury at all. In that case, contact the other driver’s insurance company to file a claim.
The insurance provider will most likely send a claims adjuster to evaluate the damages and calculate the settlement amount. Ensure you have the details about your claim, such as the claim number, the individual you talked to when you contacted the insurance company, etc.
The insurance company will write you a check to cover the costs of repairing the vehicle.
While this claims process seems pretty straightforward, things can become complicated if you suffer serious injuries. If so, the claims process is entirely different.
If the other driver’s insurance company accepts liability, they may offer a lowball settlement to close the case quickly before you decide to hire an attorney. Insurance companies do not want you to hire an auto injury lawyer because they know they may have to pay more than the initial offer. This also explains why the other driver’s insurance company could attempt to contact you just a few hours or days after the accident to propose a settlement. Although they may sound caring and understanding during the initial conversation, the main goal is to protect their interests and convince you to accept a settlement without an attorney.
Things are even more complicated if you have lost a loved one due to an accident caused by a negligent driver. Their insurer may try to offer a lowball settlement to close the case.
Here is what to do if you or your loved one suffered severe injuries in a car accident caused by a negligent driver:
- Ensure you are safe and then call 911
- Request an ambulance and the police at the accident scene
- Gather evidence from the accident scene, such as pictures and the contact information of witnesses
- Get the other driver’s contact information and their insurance provider
- Contact their insurance company to report the accident
- Do not discuss specific details about the accident other than the date and location
- Do not accept liability for the accident even if you feel that you were partly at fault
- Contact a car accident attorney for a case evaluation
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help
When you contact an attorney for a free case evaluation, here are different ways they might help.
Car accident attorneys can help you identify the party at fault for the accident. In some cases, more than one party might be at fault. Here is a hypothetical example:
John is driving down a hill. Peter, the driver behind John, is drunk. He runs a red light and hits John’s vehicle from behind. John loses control of his vehicle. His brakes fail, and the car crashes into a building. John suffers serious injuries requiring several surgeries. During the preliminary investigations, police discovered that John’s vehicle also had an airbag problem – they failed to deploy when his car crashed into the building.
More than one party might be responsible for the accident in such a case. While some attorneys might easily point out that Peter, the drunk driver, was at fault, a skilled car accident attorney might be able to hold other parties responsible for negligence. For example, if the attorney can prove that the brakes did not work due to a manufacturing defect, this could also be a product liability case. The same applies if they can prove that the airbag was defective.
The bottom line is that an attorney, especially an experienced one, opens a whole new world of possibilities when evaluating such cases. You will be surprised to find out about rights you never knew you had. The main goal is to maximize your claim, ensuring you receive reasonable compensation for your injuries. In addition, auto injury attorneys try to maximize such claims because they know that the chances of reopening the case once it is closed are extremely low.
After identifying the parties at fault for the accident, the attorney will then begin gathering evidence. Remember, Ohio is an at-fault state when it comes to car accidents. This means that the party alleging fault (you in this case) will bear the burden of proof. As a result, it is your responsibility to prove that the other party was responsible for your injuries. But this is not something you need to worry about when you have an attorney fighting for you.
Firstly, attorneys usually have the resources and skills to gather evidence after such accidents. Whether they need to travel long distances, interview witnesses, review surveillance footage, obtain expert opinions, or anything else, experienced attorneys will do everything to defend your rights.
Secondly, having the help of an attorney comes in handy, especially if you are still recovering from your injuries. The last thing you want is to face the frustrations of gathering evidence while nursing your pain simultaneously.
The next step is to evaluate the damages suffered due to the injury. The attorney will review the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life. For example, if you needed several surgeries after suffering a broken hip, you may be entitled to higher compensation than if you suffered a few cuts and bruises. Speaking of the accident’s impact, the attorney will also review how your life has changed since you sustained those injuries.
Using the hypothetical example above, let’s assume that John was a professional football player who supported his family through football. Losing his legs due to the accident could mean that he would never play professional football again. It also means that he might not be able to support his family as he used to before the accident.
Since the accident had a huge impact on his life, his attorney will help negotiate a reasonable settlement. The goal is to ensure that John – and many other clients in similar situations – receive the kind of compensation that will cater to the demands of their new lifestyles caused by the injuries.
When evaluating damages, an auto injury lawyer in Ohio, Kentucky, and many other parts of the country usually considers two aspects: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are financial losses and expenses that surfaced due to the injury. Examples include medical expenses, short-term or long-term care costs, lost wages, lost earning potential, etc.
On the other hand, non-economic damages are the kind of damages that do not involve money. Examples include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, etc.
Filing a Claim
The process of filing a claim involves complex paperwork and strict deadlines, but a car accident attorney can help you navigate the hurdles. Once the claim has been filed, the insurance company will either accept or dispute it.
If you have been seriously injured, the insurance provider will most likely send a claims adjuster to evaluate the injuries and independently assess the damages. Remember, insurance claims adjusters usually serve the insurance company’s interests and not the accident victim. So even if they sound friendly during the initial conversation, do not fall for this trick. Chances are they are looking for any possible reason to dismiss or reduce your claim.
When you have a car accident attorney fighting for your rights, they will let you know things you can and cannot say to a claims adjuster or any other representative of the other party. This ensures that you do not give them any reason to avoid liability. It is also important to note that personal injury cases are often decided on many different technicalities. Therefore, consulting an attorney is one of the best ways to avoid losing your chance at compensation due to technical reasons such as the statute of limitations, wrong filing procedures, etc.
Negotiating a Settlement
Your attorney will also negotiate a reasonable settlement with the insurance company on your behalf. Throughout the negotiations, the attorney will fight for and protect your interests. Most insurance companies prefer settling such cases out of court. But this also depends on the weight of the case brought against them. When they realize that you do not have a strong case against them, probably due to proper research or any other mistakes along the way, they will most likely refuse to settle out of court and opt to have the case decided in front of a judge.
An experienced attorney helps seal all these loopholes, forcing the other party to negotiate a reasonable settlement. And if they are not willing to settle the claim out of court, the attorney will file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Car Accident Injury Claim?
The exact types of damages you may be able to recover depends on the circumstances surrounding your case. In most cases, you may be able to recover:
- Medical expenses
- Cost of long-term or short-term care
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disfigurement
- And so much more
Common Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents
The most common injuries sustained in car accidents usually fall under two categories: internal and external injuries.
External injuries include cuts, bruises, burns, facial fractures, neck-related injuries, back injuries, etc. On the other hand, internal injuries may include broken ribs, organ injury, ruptured spleen, internal bleeding, etc.
How Do You Choose a Car Accident Attorney?
When looking for the best car accident attorney to handle your case, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is their experience handling such claims?
- Do they have any reviews or referrals?
- How quickly do they respond to your calls, texts, or emails?
- Do they sound knowledgeable about car accident cases?
- Will they handle your case individually or outsource it to another attorney or law firm?
- What are the fees involved?
- What is their payment structure? Do they charge upfront, hourly, or on a contingency basis?
- My Insurance Company Wants Me to Sign a Release Before They Give Me a Check. Should I Sign It?
No. Do not sign any document from the insurance company without speaking with an attorney. When you sign a release, you agree to waive your right to sue the insurance company over that particular incident. So if you later find out that the settlement offer was way less than what you may be entitled to, you cannot do anything about it because the case will be considered closed.
Need Help Filing a Claim? Talk to a Car Accident Attorney Today!
Our team of experienced car accident attorneys can help you secure compensation for your injuries. All you need to do is call us for a case evaluation!