Step-by-Step Auto Accident GuideDownload Checklist
Statistics suggest that an average driver will be involved in three to four motor vehicle accidents during his or her lifetime behind the wheel. Over a quarter of accidents involve one injury or fatality. In other words, it is likely that most drivers will need the assistance of a car accident attorney at least once in their lives.
A seasoned car accident attorney is essential in a number of situations, including when a person wants to create a strong legal defense to argue that he or she was not responsible for an accident. Our Hamilton, OH car accident attorneys will help victims obtain compensation from the party who caused their injuries.
The law firm of Kruger & Hodges has helped countless car accident victims in Hamilton fight for the compensation they deserve. If you have been impacted by a car accident, do not hesitate to contact our experienced Butler County personal injury attorneys to schedule a free consultation.
According to a 2022 article on Local12 News, Ohio ranks among the 11 worst states when it comes to traffic safety laws. This means the state has extremely lax traffic safety laws as compared to the rest of the nation—and as a result, auto accidents have significantly increased. In 2021, there were 1,334 traffic collision fatalities across the state of Ohio, up 8 percent from 2020, and 15.5 percent higher than 2019.
Failure to wear a seatbelt was a factor in many of those deaths; Ohio does not have active seat belt laws that allow police to pull a driver over for not wearing a seat belt rather than only being allowed to issue a seat belt ticket as a secondary offense. Those in the back seat of a vehicle are not required to wear a seat belt in the state.
These statistics all suggest that each year in Ohio, the lives of thousands of people are impacted by a variety of car accidents. Many of the people involved in these accidents are left needing the assistance of skilled legal counsel. The legal counsel at Kruger & Hodges can help obtain the best possible results for anyone who has been in a car accident in Butler County.
There are numerous ways in which people can be seriously injured in car accidents. Some of the most common types of injuries incurred in car crashes include the following:
Every case of injury that is caused due to negligent or reckless driving is capable of being pursued financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. The legal counsel at Kruger & Hodges fully understands how to create a strong legal strategy to obtain the compensation that accident victims deserve.
If you have been involved in a car accident, there are some important steps that you should remember to take:
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 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.
Following a car accident in Hamilton, you may find the following resources helpful:
The amount of time it will take for your car accident injury claim to settle will depend on a variety of issues. First and foremost, whether liability is clear, or can be clearly proven by your attorneys will have a significant bearing on how long your car accident claim takes. The goal of your attorneys will be to definitively prove that the other person was negligent and that negligence caused your accident, therefore, they are liable for your injuries and other damages. Car accident injury claims can take as little as six months once you have experienced Hamilton, OH car accident attorneys on your case.
Unfortunately, if the insurance company refuses to pay you a fair settlement and your attorney must litigate the matter in court, a car accident injury claim could take a year, two years, or even longer. Personal injury claims like car accidents are rarely settled until medical treatment has been completed, or your attorney has a good idea from your physicians just how long it could take for your medical treatments to be complete.
While it is understandable that you need the settlement and want to move forward with your life, rushing to settle your case could result in significant money left on the table. Remember, there are no do-overs in personal injury settlements, so once you have accepted a settlement—no matter how low—you can’t go back and renegotiate. Once your case has settled—whether through negotiation or a court decision—it takes about six weeks for you to receive your check for damages.
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 is 10% responsible for an accident, the amount of damages that person can recover is reduced by 10%.
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.
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.
There are many variables to consider when valuing an 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.
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.
Choosing the appropriate attorney is pivotal after a car accident in Hamilton, Ohio. Your decision carries significant weight, as adept legal representation is highly regarded by insurance companies.
When seeking a suitable personal injury lawyer for your car accident case, take into consideration these vital factors:
Expertise: Opt for an attorney with proven experience in managing cases related to car accidents.
Open Communication: Choose a lawyer who emphasizes transparent communication, and remains approachable for discussions.
Resourcefulness: Verify that the attorney possesses the essential resources to navigate the complexities of your case.
Availability: Assess the lawyer’s responsiveness and flexibility in addressing your specific needs.
Financial Transparency: Inquire about the attorney’s fee structure and any potential additional expenses.
Experience is crucial when choosing Hamilton, OH car accident attorneys, but it is also important that you have an attorney you feel comfortable with, an attorney you can trust with your personal details, and an attorney who always answers your calls and your questions. The Kruger & Hodges legal team is very client-centered. We truly care about our clients, understand their situations, and will fight tirelessly to ensure justice is served. At Kruger & Hodges, we know how overwhelmed you may be feeling. We want to take much of the burden off your shoulders, allowing you the time you need to heal from your injuries while we fight for you, your family, and your future.
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 attorneys in Hamilton, OH We represent injured parties throughout Butler County.