Milford Car Accident Lawyers
Ohio is considered one of the most dangerous states to drive, and it routinely ranks as one of the top five states with the highest number of car accident fatalities in winter. As part of the Greater Cincinnati area, Milford, Ohio sees its share of accidents. Therefore, it is best to know what steps you should take after a car accident:
- Report the car accident. Never leave the scene of an accident, no matter how minor it seems. Call for law enforcement and emergency first responders if there are injuries, especially catastrophic injuries.
- Do not argue with the other driver. Be cordial to the other driver, but do not argue or incite a fight. Share your contact and insurance information with the other driver, but do not volunteer any other information, assign blame, or apologize for the accident. Should your statements be recorded by police or witnesses, they could hurt your claim later.
- Take photos of the accident scene. Snap photos or videos of the scene, including the damage to both vehicles, road conditions, signage, lighting, obstacles, and anything else that may have played a role in the accident.
- Gather witness statements. If possible, gather contact information and statements from any witnesses, including occupants of either vehicle, and ask them to share any photos or videos of the accident. Police will also collect witness statements, so if you are unable to do so, you can request a copy of the police report.
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Regardless of the extent of your injuries, you should always be evaluated by a medical professional following a car accident. Adrenaline often masks injuries, and certain types of injuries do not present symptoms for hours or days but can be life-threatening if left untreated. Additionally, the medical evaluation is a critical element in your claim.
- Keep records. Following the accident, maintain all records and reports you receive from the accident, as they will be important for a later claim.
- Speak with an attorney to discuss your options. Working with an attorney increases your chances of recovering compensation for your injuries, wage loss, and property damage.
What Is Comparative Negligence?
Ohio is one of a handful of states that follows the legal principle of comparative negligence, which places a percentage of fault on each driver involved in a car accident. This affects the amount of compensation you may receive. For example, if you are found to be 30 percent at fault for the accident, then 30 percent will be deducted from the total compensation amount.
One crucial element in the rule of comparative negligence is that if you are found to be more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, you will not be able to seek compensation from the other driver. This is why it is critical to have a lawyer on your side if you are pursuing a personal injury lawsuit.
Auto Insurance Requirements in Ohio
Ohio follows a “fault” insurance system, which states that the driver considered at fault, typically their insurance company, will be responsible for damages. The at-fault driver’s insurance carrier will likely be liable for paying compensation, which may include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Drivers in Ohio are required to carry insurance coverage on any vehicle driven on public roads, and dictates the minimum required coverage of:
- $25,000 per person for injuries or fatalities.
- $50,000 total for injuries or death in any single accident.
- $25,000 for property damage.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in Ohio
The statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years, meaning you must file a claim for damages within two years of the accident date or you forfeit the right to file entirely. Ohio’s statute of limitations does not apply to car insurance claims. Insurance companies typically require you to file a claim promptly or within a reasonable time following the accident, typically meaning a matter of days or weeks.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for My Car Accident Claim?
Hiring a car accident attorney is not a requirement in Ohio, however, it is to your benefit to do so for your best chance of recovering compensation. Studies report that those who hire an attorney generally receive three times more compensation than those who do not. A Milford car accident lawyer can help your claim in a myriad of ways, including:
- Investigation: Your attorney or a hired investigator may visit the scene or review police reports and photos to gather an understanding of how, where and why the accident happened. This is accomplished by focusing on the location, surrounding environment, signage, lighting, road and weather conditions at the time, obstacles, traffic and security camera footage, and any other factors that may have contributed to the accident.
- Witness statements: You attorney will contact and interview and witnesses identified by the police or provided by you if you were able to collect that information on your own.
- Seek out experts: Law firms frequently work with experts, particularly in accident cases, such as automotive experts or accident reconstruction specialists, especially in complex accidents with no clear fault to provide a more precise understanding of what took place.
- Gather medical records: Some of the most important elements of your car accident claim are medical records, which offer comprehensive reports of your injuries, care and treatment, often from multiple medical specialists. Obtaining your medical evaluations and records is crucial to the success of your claim.
- Assess the damage: Car accidents almost always result in at least some level of property damage to your vehicle or personal property inside. Your attorney will gather damage reports and the repair or replacement costs incurred.
- Negotiate: One of the most beneficial aspects of hiring a car accident attorney is their ability to negotiate with insurance companies, which often means the difference between whether your claim will be denied or if you receive compensation.
- Assess non-economic damages: In addition to compensation for physical and property damages, you may also be entitled to non-economic damages. This includes pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, mental anguish, and more.
Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer increases your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries and property damage, and it provides peace of mind to allow you to concentrate on recovering.
If you have been injured in a car accident, it is in your best interest to contact a skilled Milford car accident lawyer. They can help assess your case, protect your rights, and determine if you have legal options.
Milford Car Accident Lawyers at the Wolterman Law Office Represent Clients Injured in Car Accidents Due to the Negligence of Others
If you have been injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence, one of our experienced Milford car accident lawyers at the Wolterman Law Office can help. Call us at 513-790-4207 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Loveland, Ohio, we serve clients in Hamilton County, Fairfield, Norwood, and Forest Park.