After getting hurt in a car accident, filing a claim against the other party’s auto insurance seems like the apparent next step. But getting the help you need can be more complicated than expected. There can be many roadblocks to getting compensation, whether it be mounds of paperwork, questionable delays, or an unhelpful insurance adjuster.
Hiring a car accident attorney can help you avoid the roadblocks and resolve your case. Read on to learn more about how to prepare a successful auto insurance claim in Ohio, what you may be eligible to collect and how to get help with your insurance claim.
Preparing an Auto Owners Insurance Claim
Generally, when you’ve been in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you can file an insurance claim against the at-fault party’s liability insurance. There are no time limits for filing your insurance claim. However, you should file the claim promptly. You also should call your local auto insurance agent to start your claim and provide as much detail about the accident as possible.
You can do a few things to help your claim:
- Document the other party’s identifying information, including witnesses.
- Take photos and videos of the accident scene.
- Call the police and file a report.
- Don’t admit fault or express guilt.
- Refrain from making an official statement about the accident.
It’s important to know that the insurance company can use your actions and statements against you in your claim. Remember that you are not their customer, which means they may not be working in your best interest.
If possible, they may also want to investigate the claim further to disprove their client’s liability. If the insurance company begins using questionable tactics, know that you have the right to seek help with your claim.
Getting Help With an Auto Owners Insurance Claim in Ohio
If you’ve been hurt in a wreck, a car accident attorney can help you navigate the aftermath. Insurance companies count on you being uninformed. An attorney can advise you of your rights and simplify the process so that you can focus on healing.
A car accident lawyer can help you with an auto owner’s insurance claim in Ohio by:
- Gathering evidence from the accident scene
- Collecting witness statements
- Calculating the value of your damages
- Filing your insurance claim for you
- Corresponding with the insurance company
- Leading negotiations with insurance
- Recruiting expert witnesses to help with your claim
- Taking your case to trial if necessary
An attorney’s job is to help you recover compensation for your losses. Most car accident lawyers work on contingency, meaning you pay no upfront fees or costs unless you recover compensation.
Compensatory Damages in an Ohio Auto Owners Insurance Claim
The effects of a car accident can last long after you have left the scene. The mental, emotional, and financial toll can be a lot to bear. Unfortunately, compensation will not undo the damage, but it can help you move forward.
Depending on your accident’s circumstances, you could collect the following damages:
- Past, ongoing, and future medical costs
- Lost wages or reduced earning capacity
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Car repair or replacement costs
- Other accident-related expenses
An injury attorney can also help you pursue wrongful death damages if your loved one suffered fatal injuries from an accident. Because every accident is different, the compensation you can expect to receive will differ from others. However, an insurance company could try to deny or limit the compensation you could seek. An attorney understands how the claims process works and can help you negotiate with insurance companies for a favorable settlement.
What to Do if You Are Partially At Fault for an Ohio Auto Accident
If you are partially at fault for your accident (following too closely, not wearing a seat belt, etc.), you may still be able to collect compensation. As the Ohio Department of Insurance explains, Ohio’s comparative negligence law states that individuals who are less than 50% at fault for the accident can collect damages. However, these damages will also be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if you receive a $100,000 settlement award but are 20% at fault for the accident, you can still collect $80,000. This allows an attorney to continue working on your behalf regardless of whether you are partially at fault for the wreck.
The Fitch Law Firm LLC: Get Help With Your Auto Owners Insurance Claim in Ohio
The Fitch Law Firm LLC’s attorneys offer free case evaluations, so they can review your Ohio accident case before talking with an insurance company about your claim. Our firm can work with the insurer directly, prepare your auto collision claim, and negotiate top dollar for your injuries. Call us today to discuss your accident.