Did you know Ohio has the highest percentage of speeding drivers in the US? Worse, Ohio Accident rate is 18 percent higher than National average. If you drive regularly in the state of Buckeye, there is a reasonable chance that you will become a victim of a careless driver.

If you have an accident, one of your first thoughts is likely to be, “How much does it cost to fix my car?” or “Do I have to call the police or go to the hospital?”

Adrenaline and stress are high after an accident, so you may not think clearly or immediately see the extent of an injury. Even if you don’t think you are seriously injured, it may take some time before the pain develops and the full extent of your injury is realized. Your first step should always be to find appropriate medical care.

Ohio is a culpable state. This means that anyone responsible for causing the accident will be responsible for your loss and damage. However, no payments will be made by the culpable driver’s insurance company (provided he or she had insurance) until you have approved the final value of your personal injury case. This means you may have to wait to be compensated for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. This waiting time alone can cause a lot of financial and emotional stress. Often times, a lawyer is required to help an injured person through this uncertain time. The attorney can also help the injured party get the full value of their claim.

It is especially important to contact a lawyer if you have a question about who was responsible for a crash. If you are more than 50% guilty of a crash in Ohio, there is nothing you can recover. With this in mind, insurance companies often try to pressure a person to admit fault for an accident or to settle their claim without knowing exactly how the system works. Never accept an offer of settlement before consulting a lawyer. An attorney’s experience and knowledge can help ensure that you are treated fairly, especially if the crash is not your fault.

Also, you shouldn’t delay consulting a lawyer after a car accident due to the statute of limitations. A limitation period determines the period in which individuals must assert a legal claim in court. After the limitation period has expired, you can no longer assert the damage to which you are entitled. In general, the Ohio statute of limitations is two years from the date of the crash for both personal injury and property damage. However, you should consult a lawyer about possible exceptions to this rule.

Additional points to consider in the crash scene

Provided you are physically able, there are things to consider at the scene of the accident.

  1. Do Contact the police.
  2. Do Take photos of the vehicles and the damage they suffered. It may come as a surprise, but the cops who respond don’t always take photos of the scene.
  3. Do Exchange information with the other driver and potential witnesses. The witness information can be especially important if it is not obtained from the answering police officers.
  4. Do not state that you are not hurt. Often times, if you don’t claim a violation, that comment ends up on the police report and may later violate your claim. Here too, adrenaline can prevent you from recognizing possible injuries at the scene of the accident.

Remember, getting the evidence you need can be critical to your case. You should request a copy of the police report and check that it is correct. If the report contains an error, you should inform the investigating authority of the error and ask them to correct it. A lawyer can assist you with this process.

If you feel that you are injured in any way, you should seek medical help. Visiting the hospital not only ensures that your injuries are properly diagnosed and treated, but also provides clues about your injury and when and how it occurred. This information makes it much more difficult for an insurance company to claim that you are trying to obtain compensation for an unrelated injury.

Murray & Murray has successfully fought car crash victims in and around Sandusky, Ohio for nearly ninety years. We have that Personal injury experience needed to help you receive fair compensation for your financial and personal injuries. If you have been the victim of a car accident, please contact Contact me at jlm@murrayandmurray.com or call 419-664-3711. We are here to help.