When a motorist’s negligent behavior causes an accident in Ohio, the at-fault driver must pay for the victim’s economic and non-economic damages. Victims who may be entitled to compensation include drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.
Though getting just compensation following a car accident is never easy, victims have several ways to collect damages. Read on to find out more about when you need to file a lawsuit to recover damages from a car accident in Ohio.
Filing a Claim Against the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance
The good news is that many car accident cases settle out of court. This is because most victims seek damages by filing a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance provider.
Many insurance companies attempt to lowball victims and the process may be lengthy. But, with the help of an experienced car accident lawyer, this can be an effective way to get compensation for your losses.
Find out when you should accept a car accident settlement offer from the insurance company.
When It Is Time to File a Lawsuit
If a negligent driver has policy limits that do not cover your damages, then victims will have to file personal injury lawsuits to collect compensation.
Filing a Lawsuit Before Time Runs Out
In Ohio, there is a statute of limitations for filing personal injury cases. In general, injured parties usually have two years from the date of their accidents to file lawsuits against the legally responsible parties.
It is vital victims understand and abide by this statute of limitations. Victims who do not file lawsuits promptly may lose their opportunities to get compensated for their injuries, suffering, and other losses. Victims who fail to meet the deadline can expect to be turned away by the Ohio court system.
What Happens When Car Accidents Involve Uninsured or Underinsured Drivers
Unfortunately, things get much more complicated if the car accident victim was involved in a crash caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
In Ohio, all drivers must carry liability auto insurance. Despite this law, many motorists drive without insurance.
If you were in an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured motorist, you may have to use your own uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance coverage to get compensation for all your damages. However, if you do not have this optional type of auto coverage, you must file a lawsuit against the negligent driver.
If a lawsuit must be filed to recover damages from a car accident in Ohio, a court may order the at-fault driver’s assets to be seized or his wages garnished until the victim’s damages are paid in full.
Read more about whether you can recover anything from an uninsured driver in an Ohio accident.
Damages Car Accidents Victims May Collect
Negligent drivers are responsible for paying victims all damages, which may include:
- Medical costs
- In-home nursing care
- Ongoing occupational and physical therapy
- Lost earnings
- Lost future income if you cannot return to work
- Home modifications if the accident caused a permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
Learn about how one receives compensation after a car accident in Ohio.
Steps to Optimize Compensation
To increase your chances of collecting maximum compensation, there are several steps you should take following a car accident, including:
- Document the scene by taking photos and witness information
- Obtain a police report
- Seek appropriate medical care
Getting medical attention even if you do not have obvious injuries is especially important in car accident cases. Whether you file a claim with an insurance company or file a lawsuit, defendants may try to argue your injuries or medical conditions were caused by something other than the car accident because you did not seek immediate care.
Get a Free Car Accident Case Consultation
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries following a car accident, do not try and navigate the system on your own. The process can be confusing, overwhelming, and lengthy, and those who do not know the law feel outmatched.
Instead, allow our firm to fight to get you damages for your injuries, pain, and suffering. We can help you determine liability, negotiate with insurance companies, file any necessary paperwork, and protect your rights.
Call Bressman Law at 877-538-1116 to discuss your car accident case in Ohio. We are passionate about pursuing justice for victims and their families and fighting for fair compensation. Contact us today if you have any questions about whether you need to file a lawsuit to recover damages from a car accident in Ohio and/or for a free, no-obligation case review.