According to the Ohio Department of Insurance, as many as 15 percent of all Ohio drivers do not have auto insurance or other proof of financial responsibility. All drivers in the state of Ohio must provide proof of financial responsibility or car insurance that meets Ohio’s minimum liability insurance requirements.
Ohio requires drivers to carry minimum Bodily Injury Liability coverage as well as minimum Property Damage Liability coverage. The requirements include $25,000 coverage for Bodily Injury Liability for one individual harmed in a single-vehicle accident, or $50,000 total coverage in Bodily Injury Liability for a single-vehicle accident, plus $25,000 coverage for Property Damage Liability for a vehicle accident.
Proof of insurance or other proof of financial responsibility must be carried by drivers and provided during a traffic stop or accident scene. As you might imagine, these minimum coverages may not fully cover serious injuries following a severe auto accident. Drivers caught driving with no insurance could have their license suspended, their vehicle impounded and can be required to pay a reinstatement fee.
If you have been injured following a car accident in which you were not at fault, it can be extremely beneficial to speak to an experienced car insurance lawyer in Middletown from Kruger & Hodges to ensure your rights and your future are properly protected.
How is Liability Assigned in an Ohio Car Accident?
Proving liability following your car accident can hinge on many different things. The police report of your accident may clearly show liability—or it may not. If speed, a violation of traffic laws, or other types of reckless or careless driving behaviors caused the accident—and the police report clearly states this—then the police report can go a long way toward establishing liability. Other ways to prove liability following an Ohio car accident could include:
Photographs or videos taken at the scene of the accident
Statements from eyewitnesses
Opinions from experts in the field of car accidents
Expert reconstruction of the car accident
Either insurance company may choose to conduct their own independent investigation of the car accident and your attorney may do the same.
What Are Some Common Issues Your Car Insurance Lawyer in Middletown Can Help With?
Following a Middletown car accident, you may find yourself severely injured, perhaps unable to work and make a living, and possibly even unable to obtain the medical treatments you need to heal. You may have filed a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and that company may be stalling you on a settlement. They may also have offered you a lowball settlement or even denied your claim outright. You may feel overwhelmed and frustrated by your circumstances, caused by no fault of your own. Once you are legally represented by a car insurance lawyer in Middletown from Kruger & Hodges, you can focus entirely on healing from your injuries and getting your life back on track. Your attorney will handle everything else, from clearly establishing liability, to demanding that the insurance company pay you a fair settlement in a timely manner, and even ensuring you receive the medical treatments you need.
What is the Process for Filing a Middletown Car Accident Insurance Claim?
Once you are legally represented by a car accident lawyer in Middletown, a claim will be filed with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The insurance company will evaluate the damages and make a settlement offer. If the settlement offer is not sufficient to cover all your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages, your attorney will negotiate with the insurance company until a reasonable offer is made.
If your attorney believes the insurance company is acting unreasonably, a written complaint can be filed with the Ohio Department of Insurance which will then determine whether the company acted in an unreasonable manner. Your attorney might also decide to take your claim to court where you will be suing the at-fault driver, although few car accident claims actually make it to a courtroom. If your attorney can reach an agreeable settlement with the insurance company and you agree to the settlement, then you should receive a check within about six weeks.
If you go to court, and the jury or judge finds in your favor, you will also receive a check for your damages within about six weeks. The state of Ohio imposes a damages cap—the maximum amount of damages you can recover—on non-economic damages of $250,000, or three times the amount of economic damages. In the state of Ohio, you have two years from the time of the car accident to file a claim for damages—if you exceed this time, you will be unable to recover damages.
What if an Insurer is Engaging in Bad Faith Practices?
Insurance companies are required by law to investigate, negotiate, and settle all personal injury claims in good faith and fair dealing. Unfortunately, some insurers engage in bad faith tactics. These bad faith tactics could involve an extremely low offer for damages, a denial of a valid claim, or a misrepresentation of the law during settlement.
Getting injured in a traffic accident can be difficult and emotional under the best of circumstances. These difficulties can be made even worse when an insurer fails to honor its contractual obligations. Bad faith tactics are dishonest or unfair practices that insurance companies may use to deny, delay, or minimize legitimate claim payments. If you believe an insurer is acting in bad faith, your attorney can assist you in holding the insurer accountable.
How a Car Insurance Lawyer from Middletown Can Help
When life does not go as planned and a car accident occurs, you may be left injured, perhaps unable to work, and possibly unable to even obtain the medical treatments you need to heal from your injuries. Should this occur, you need a strong legal advocate from Kruger & Hodges who will go up against a big insurance company, fighting every step of the way for your rights. Our attorneys have experience on the other side: defending the government and corporations. This means we know what their resources are and which tactics and tricks they are likely to use to deny, delay, or lowball your settlement. Kruger & Hodges has built a compassionate law practice that is committed to pursuing justice for each and every client who walks in our door. We believe in you, your health, your future, and your rights and we believe you deserve an accessible attorney who picks up the phone when you call.
The Kruger & Hodges attorneys have years of experience representing personal injury victims. Our firm stands for honesty, community, and doing the best we can for every client at every part of the process. If you want an experienced, compassionate attorney who prides themselves on being available to clients, you want the attorneys at Kruger & Hodges. Contact Kruger & Hodges today.