After a car crash, you must identify the at-fault driver to recover your losses, such as medical expenses, property damage, vehicle repairs, and lost wages. When it comes to auto accidents and other personal injury cases, different states have different laws regarding fault, which affects your compensation claim. At Babin Law, you will find a dedicated and experienced car wreck attorney in Columbus to help you in your fight for fair compensation.
In this article, we will explain in detail fault vs. no-fault states, and what you need to do to file an insurance claim in the state of Ohio after a car accident in order to receive fair compensation.
No-Fault vs. At-Fault Laws: Why Do They Matter?
A car wreck attorney in Columbus will explain to you in detail what at-fault insurance rules are and how to proceed in your particular case. However, let us talk about the general provisions of the two principles and how they affect an accident claim.
In a no-fault state, you do not have to identify the fault driver. Your insurance provider will cover your economic losses up to the limit of your policy coverage (each state has different mandatory car insurance laws and minimum coverage amounts).
If your accident took place in an at-fault state, then tort insurance rules apply. This means that victims must identify the responsible driver in all motor vehicle accidents and file a claim with their insurer in order to recover damages from their liability insurance policy. In this situation, an experienced car accident lawyer can help you prove the other driver's fault up to a reasonable level.
Is Ohio a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
Our state is a fault or tort state in all personal injury actions, including filing a personal injury lawsuit. In order to recover any accident-related expenses and other economic and non-economic damages, you have to find the responsible driver, prove that they were at fault, and initiate the claims process against their insurance carrier (up to their policy limit, of course). If your total losses exceed the amount you can recover in economic and property damage claims, you can sue the fault driver for the excess amount.
Ways to Recover Damages in Ohio
At-fault insurance states use several principles to determine eligibility to recover damages after a car crash:
- comparative negligence
- pure contributory negligence
- modified comparative fault
The state of Ohio uses the comparative negligence principle in personal injury matters. This means that an accident victim must be less than 50 percent at fault compared to the other driver (or drivers) involved in the crash in order to be eligible to file auto insurance claims.
What to Do After Motor Vehicle Accidents
An experienced car wreck attorney in Columbus knows that the victim's actions and failure to act are crucial in light of comparative negligence law. It is very important to give the other driver's insurance adjuster any reason to claim that you have a higher percentage of fault than their client.
Thus, you must do the following:
Call 9-1-1 and Remain at the Accident Scene
You must notify the police and ask for an ambulance after your accident. The police report prepared at the scene will be beneficial for your personal injury attorney in determining the fault party. Also, you should receive emergency medical care, because you may have suffered severe injuries. Even if you don't feel that you were badly injured, you should still go to the hospital for further investigations. Your medical bills and other accident-related expenses will be included in your accident claim.
Take Photos at the Accident Scene
You should document your injuries, the damages to your car, as well as the entire area where the accident happened. The photos you take with your mobile phone will be relevant evidence to support your claim during settlement negotiations.
Do Not Negotiate with the Insurance Adjuster
The other party's insurance carrier will send an adjuster to keep you from starting the claims process. They will either offer you a very low settlement amount or try to persuade you that you are not eligible to file a claim. Also, they will note everything you say, and, in many cases, people who are still in pain and shock after a car crash make self-incriminatory statements (even the basic "I'm sorry" could be used against you).
Hire an Experienced Car Wreck Attorney in Columbus
At Babin Law, we want to help you win your case, and we have a proven track record. We know that the vast majority of accident victims are left in debt after they complete their hospital stay and physical therapy sessions. For this reason, we fight to obtain the maximum compensation they deserve, not only for their economic damages but also for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.
We know how to prove all the necessary elements of negligence and hold fault drivers responsible for your bodily injury, property damage, and other losses. We encourage you to get in touch with one of our attorneys as soon as possible after your accident. The statute of limitations in Ohio for personal injury cases is two (2) years after the date of your accident.
Contact us now to discuss with a car wreck attorney in Columbus during a free case review: 833-SURVIVORS!