Should You Make a Statement to the Insurance Company?
Soon after a car accident, you will likely receive a call from an insurance adjuster who has been assigned to handle your claim. He or she will typically ask you to make a recorded statement about the accident. This may seem innocent enough, but you should not make any statements to the insurance adjuster. Remember that the insurance companies want to settle cases as cheaply as possible. As such, they will use any information you give them against you later in order to diminish the value of your claim. For example, some injuries do not present themselves until days after an accident. If you make a statement within the first hours of an accident and tell the insurance company that you feel fine, but then two days later you find out that you are injured, you may have unwittingly hurt your claim. Be cautious and do not make any statements to the insurance company unless your Butler County car accident lawyer advises you differently.
How Long Does a Car Accident Injury Claim Take?
Many factors will influence how long a car accident case takes to resolve. Generally, these cases take quite a long time to be handled properly. On the low end, a case could take about six months. On the high end, a car accident case can last years. The best way to maximize compensation is to properly treat and document any injuries sustained in the car accident. A personal injury case is typically not settled until medical treatment is finished, which can take many months. Once treatment is complete, then the amount of necessary damages can be properly valued. If you rush to settle your case before you have completed treatment for your injuries, you may be leaving significant money on the table.
Shared Responsibility After Ohio Accidents
The responsibility for an accident does not always lie entirely with one party. In situations in which the responsibility for an accident is shared by the at-fault party and the victim, it might still be possible to obtain damages for losses sustained. In these situations, the rule of comparative fault applies in Ohio. Comparative fault allows a party to recover damages from another party, but states that the compensation awarded must be reduced in proportion to the degree of a person’s fault. For example, if a person was 10% responsible for an accident, the amount of damages that person can recover is reduced by 10%.
Ohio Law Allows Passengers to Sue Drivers
In most cases, Ohio law allows injured passengers to pursue lawsuits against drivers who played a role in their accident. This is because Ohio drivers owe a duty of care to passengers as well as to anyone else traveling on the roads in Hamilton or any other part of Ohio. If you are a passenger who was harmed by a driver’s negligence, you will likely be able to pursue compensation for your losses.
Will I Have to File a Lawsuit?
Some cases can be settled without the need for a drawn-out lawsuit. However, others require formal litigation. In Ohio, the statute of limitations on a car accident case is two years. This means if the claim has not been settled within two years of the accident, then a formal lawsuit must be filed or your claim will be time barred and you will not receive any compensation. In most cases, your personal injury attorney will help you ensure that you reach a settlement or proceed to trial well in advance of the statute of limitations running out. Our priority is ensuring that your rights as an accident victim are protected.
How Much is a Car Accident Case Worth in Hamilton?
There are many variables to consider when valuing any injury claim. To name a few, insurance companies look at the severity of the injuries, the age of the injured party, the location and jurisdiction of the accident, the victim’s lost wages, past and future medical bills, and pain and suffering.
In Ohio, accident victims can also receive punitive damages if the party responsible for an accident acted with aggravated or egregious fraud or malice. Ohio law, however, places a cap on punitive damages. This means that a person cannot receive more than two times the compensatory damages in punitive damages. Regardless of how much a person receives in compensatory damages, the amount of punitive damages is also capped at $350,000.
The Time to Pursue Hamilton Car Accident Claims
It is critical that people injured in car accidents that occur in Hamilton or any other part of Ohio act promptly to pursue compensation. This means that you should notify your insurance carrier within 24 to 48 hours after an accident, because if you wait longer than this, there is a good chance that the company could end up denying your claim. In either case, you only have a period of two years from the date of your accident in which to pursue a civil lawsuit against the responsible party. If you attempt to pursue a lawsuit and more than two years have elapsed, you will likely be barred from obtaining compensation.
Why Kruger & Hodges?
There are some personal injury law firms that quickly try to negotiate settlements for clients after car accidents occur. While their clients might receive compensation sooner rather than later, these settlements often do not add up to the full compensation accident victims deserve. At Kruger & Hodges, we will begin assisting you by analyzing each detail of your case. We will then quantify the full damages that you deserve and determine the possible ways to achieve the full amount of compensation. If we decide that it would be best to proceed to trial, we will not hesitate to take these steps. Contact our car accident lawyers in Butler County today to schedule your initial free consultation.