In the state of Ohio, it is illegal to drive any motor vehicle absent proof of financial responsibility and/or insurance. You may also not allow another person to drive your vehicle without proof of financial responsibility. This means that in order to comply with Ohio’s insurance laws you must either maintain vehicle insurance or obtain a bond. If you obtain car insurance, you must purchase Bodily Injury Liability Coverage in addition to Property Damage Liability Coverage, with minimum coverages of:
$25,000 per person injured in any one accident under Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
$50,000 for all persons injured in any one accident under Bodily Injury Liability Coverage
$25,000 for injury or destruction of the property of others in any one accident under Property Damage Liability Coverage.
You may wonder whether you should purchase higher coverage amounts than those mandated by the state. When making that determination, think about what you potentially have to lose if you cause a car accident. Having additional coverage could protect your assets in the event of a serious accident.
On the flip side, if you are injured through the negligence of another person, your injuries could easily exceed $25,000, so you should potentially consider purchasing uninsured/underinsured insurance coverage on your own policy. If you have been involved in a car accident that was not your fault, speaking to an experienced car insurance lawyer in Eaton from Kruger & Hodges is extremely important to ensure your rights are properly protected.
How is Liability Assigned in an Ohio Car Accident?
A police report is extremely important in establishing who is at fault in an Ohio car accident by bringing in an authoritative third party to document the incident. The police report is a key factor in determining liability. Police reports generally include contact information of both drivers and any passengers. There may be information regarding weather and road conditions if they influenced the accident, as well as the current condition of the cars and any resulting damage. The police report will have statements from drivers, passengers, and witnesses.
The officer will also look at certain factors which help prove liability. These factors might include impairment, excessive speed, distracted or careless driving, passing in a “no passing” zone, running a red light, or ignoring a stop sign. The state of Ohio allows any person injured in an accident to sue the at-fault driver. Even if you were partially at fault for the car collision, you can still seek damages from the other driver. While the police report may be the primary factor in determining liability, the insurance companies of both drivers may conduct their own independent investigations to determine liability.
What Are Some Common Issues Your Car Insurance Lawyer in Eaton Can Help With?
Following your car accident, you may encounter the following difficulties:
The question of liability may not be totally clear, so establishing liability may be a problem.
Your injuries may be so severe that you are unable to return to work and pay your normal monthly expenses.
You may not be getting the medical treatment you need or may be unable to pay for the medical treatments you need.
The at-fault driver’s insurance company may be stalling on paying you for your injuries, may have refused to pay your claim at all, or may have offered you an extremely low settlement offer.
Once you are legally represented, your attorney can address all these issues. The question of liability can be answered by an independent investigation instigated by your car insurance lawyer in Eaton from Kruger & Hodges. Your attorney can help you obtain the medical treatments you need, even talking to your doctors to convince them to wait for payment until your case settles.
If you are unable to work and pay your bills, your attorney will add lost wages and lost future wages to your settlement demand. If the at-fault driver’s insurance company has offered you a lowball offer, or is denying or delaying your payments, your attorney will step in and ensure the insurance company takes you seriously and pays you what your claim is worth in a timely manner.
What is the Process for Filing an Eaton Car Accident Insurance Claim?
Perhaps you have already spoken to the at-fault party’s insurance company and the insurance company has denied your claim, delayed your settlement, or offered you an extremely low settlement that will in no way cover your damages. You may then decide to hire a car insurance lawyer in Eaton. At that point, your attorney will investigate your claim in order to clearly show liability, then file a demand letter that asks for a specific amount of damages on your behalf.
If a settlement amount is agreed upon, you can expect your settlement check within about six weeks. If no settlement can be reached, your claim may go to trial where a judge or jury will determine whether your claim has merit, and, if so, how much you are entitled to receive. If the judge or jury finds in your favor, you will also likely receive your settlement check within six weeks. Your claim must be filed within two years from the date of the accident.
What if an Insurer is Engaging in Bad Faith Practices?
If an insurer acts in bad faith, they have broken the law. Bad faith practices include knowingly misrepresenting the pertinent facts or policy provisions to you, deliberately offering you an extremely low settlement offer, delaying a legitimate claim, or denying a legitimate claim. If your insurance company has engaged in any bad faith practices, your attorney can address those practices, ensuring the insurance company treats you in a fair and honest manner.
While an insurance company can certainly offer you less than your claim is worth, they may not offer you an unreasonable or ridiculous amount for a legitimate claim. Unfortunately, many individuals who are not legally represented, are pressured into taking a low offer. Injury claims should never be settled until you have reached the Maximum Medical Improvement. This means the full extent of your injuries and other damages has not yet been determined.
How a Car Insurance Lawyer in Eaton Can Help
Having a car insurance lawyer in Eaton from Kruger & Hodges can make all the difference in the outcome of your car accident claim. At Kruger & Hodges, we understand that life does not always go as planned. You may have been involved in an Eaton car accident that was not your fault, and are now left injured, perhaps unable to work, not knowing which way to turn.
We also understand that it is hard to find a lawyer you can trust which is why we have built a compassionate law practice committed to pursuing justice for our clients. Having an accessible attorney who answers when you call and really listens can feel like a lifeline thrown your way when you need it most. Contact an experienced Kruger & Hodges attorney today to have an attorney who is on your side and who truly believes in you, your rights, and your future.