After a car accident, your vehicle remains unscathed, but you are left struggling with physical and emotional injuries. You may be facing some sprains or added anxiety every time you get behind the wheel. A car accident comes with consequences even if the vehicles do not meet the brunt impact of it.
You may be wondering if you are eligible for compensation when all the damage is put onto you. The answer to that question is yes. You may be eligible to receive compensation, but this relies heavily on Ohio’s laws.
Ohio At-Fault Insurance Model
Ohio follows the at-fault insurance model, which means that the at-fault party pays for any damages, including costs to cover physical and emotional injuries, caused by accident. In Ohio, the liable driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying the damages. In Ohio, all licensed drivers must carry insurance.
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Ohio’s Comparative Negligence Law
Ohio also follows the comparative negligence law, which allows those injured who were partially responsible for accidents to also seek damages. However, the injured person’s negligence reduces the damages received. For example, if you were 25% legally responsible for the accident and there were $20,000 in damages, you could only collect $15,000 in damages.
Finally, if you were more than 50 percent at fault for the accident that caused your injuries, then you could not seek any damages. The insurance company involved in the case determines the parties’ negligence.
Steps to Take Following a Car Accident
Victims can seek damages for physical and emotional injuries if another driver’s reckless actions or negligence leads to the accident, regardless of whether or not there was property damage. However, these cases may be difficult to prove if you do not have supporting evidence to back it up.
To help build your case:
- While at the scene, call the police and when officers arrive, fill out an accident report.
- Seek medical attention and keep all reports.
- Take images of any injuries or damage to the vehicle that was driven by the at-fault driver.
Most importantly, remember that some injuries, such as whiplash and back problems, do not show for days or weeks after an accident. Therefore, it is best to fill out a police report immediately, especially if there is no damage to your vehicle.
The Importance of Police Report Information
Most importantly, the police report will include pertinent information that can be used to bolster a case, such as:
- A sketch of the car accident scene
- The contact information of all parties involved
- A description of the road and weather conditions
- Details about the crash, as well as whether anyone complained of injuries or received medical treatment
- Witness information
Types of Damages Victims May Seek
Damages compensate victims for the cost of their financial and emotional and/or intangible injuries.
Economic damages are those that have specific values and are accident-related. These include the costs of:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Future health care expenses
- Property loss
- The inability to earn
Non-economic or general damages cover those losses that are not easily calculated and are considered more subjective. These include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of a limb, disfigurement, or scarring
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment
- Reputational damage
- Worsening of pre-existing injuries
- Chronic pain
In general, intangible damages are more difficult to prove that economic damages, like hospital bills. This also is why it is important to seek medical treatment and document how an accident has impacted your life.
Sometimes, victims will be asked to submit proof to show how an accident impacted their qualities of life, such as testimony from family and friends and demonstrations of how the accident-related injuries changed the victim’s life.
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Aspects of a Car Accident Case that Impact a Case’s Value
Though no lawyer can estimate a case’s worth, specific circumstances impact the amount of compensation you receive. Common factors that can affect the compensation value of a car accident case include:
- The nature, duration, and severity of the person’s injuries
- The injured person’s age and job
- The victim’s pre-existing injuries or medical conditions
- The total cost of health care expenses, including hospital stays, ongoing medical care, and therapies
The quality of the supporting evidence and the liability of all at-fault parties also impact damages.
Call Bressman Law to Get a Free Car Accident Case Evaluation Today
No victim should have to worry about how they will pay for injuries caused by another’s negligence. Facing the legal system alone can be difficult. Instead, reach out to a firm like ours, Bressman Law, which can fight to get you justice.
Call us at (614) 538-1116 today to get a car accident case consultation. There is no charge or obligation. Let us begin fighting for you and your family now.