When the driver who caused your accident had a suspended license, do not worry that this fact alone diminishes your ability to file a claim against their insurance company or to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver. All that matters is that the other driver was at fault for the accident and that they had insurance at the time of the accident.
If both these statements are correct in the case of your car accident, you can pursue recovery of your damages resulting from your physical injuries, as well as damage to your property, from the other driver with a suspended license.
Ohio Requires That Motor Vehicle Drivers Carry Insurance
Ohio’s Financial Responsibility Law requires motor vehicle drivers in the state to carry liability insurance to cover injuries, death, and property damage suffered by the other person or people in a car accident that you caused.
Bodily Injury (BI) Liability Coverage
Ohio motorists must have BI insurance to cover the amount the accident victim pays for injuries. The minimum coverage required by Ohio’s Financial Responsibility Law is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
Property Damage (PD) Liability Coverage
Ohio motorists must have PD liability insurance to cover the damage to the victim’s motor vehicle and/or other property. The minimum coverage required by Ohio’s Financial Responsibility Law is $25,000 per accident.
Determining the At-Fault Party in Your Ohio Car Accident
Ohio is a tort state, which means that whoever is at fault for a car accident carries the responsibility of paying for damages.
At Bressman Law, we launch a private investigation into the cause of your car accident so we can gather evidence to prove that the other driver was at fault. Our legal team will look to some key sources for this evidence:
- Office police accident report (which often indicates who was at fault)
- Statements from witnesses
- Videos (perhaps from nearby surveillance cameras)
- Medical records
- Expert testimony
Establishing Negligence, as Required by Personal Injury Law
In the eyes of the law, to present you as eligible to receive compensation from the other driver in a car accident, your personal injury lawyer needs to establish four criteria of negligence:
- Duty of Care – The other driver had an obligation to behave and drive in a way that protects others from harm and injury. For example, stopping at a red light
- Breach of Duty – The other driver violated this duty. Example: For example, running a red light
- Causation – The other driver’s breach of duty caused your car accident. For example, running the red light at an intersection and then crashing into your car as you crossed the intersection
- Damages – You suffered provable, recoverable damages from the car accident. For example, brain injury, contusions, sprains, and car damage.
Filing a Claim and/or Lawsuit Against the Negligent Driver
Once your car accident lawyer has built your case using evidence from their investigation to prove the four criteria of negligence, they can proceed with filing a car accident claim.
Insurance Claim for Your Car Accident
Your legal team will draft a demand letter and present it to the negligent driver’s insurance carrier. The insurance adjuster will respond with either a denial or a counteroffer to your claim for damages. The counteroffer typically represents a figure that is much lower than the amount you demanded in your letter.
Your attorney will then sit down with the adjuster to negotiate a fair settlement. If the insurance company does not agree to fair terms, your attorney can cease the negotiation and file a lawsuit against the negligent driver.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
Your car accident lawyer will prepare to present your case in a civil court. Often, a case like this does not even make it to trial. The defendant’s lawyers generally attempt to settle the case with your lawyer during pretrial; at other times, they arrange for negotiations during the trial, before the judgment/verdict is made.
You Have Limited Time to Take Legal Action for Your Car Accident
Ohio imposes a statute of limitations, generally requiring that car accident claims be filed against the at-fault driver within two years of the car accident.
One benefit of hiring a personal injury attorney is that they can keep your case on track with this and other deadlines and state requirements. It can offer tremendous relief just knowing that someone else is at the helm, navigating you toward a successful outcome.
A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Handle Your Quest for Compensation
Bressman Law has a reputation for getting the job done. We are here to take on all the details of your car accident claim so you can focus on your recovery.
Call our office at 877-538-1116 for a free, no-obligation consultation.