Frequently Asked Questions About Ohio Auto Accidents
Q: I was in a car accident, but my injuries seem minor. Should I see a doctor?
A: You should visit a doctor as soon as possible, even if your injuries only seem minor. Car crash injuries often manifest hours or days after the accident. In addition to protecting your health, a visit to a physician documents your injuries in support of your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
To learn more about what you should do after an Ohio crash, visit our page on steps to take after an accident.
Q: Do I need a lawyer after my car accident?
A: If you've been injured because of another driver's negligence, it's always wise to contact an experienced car accident attorney. If you sign or accept an insurance settlement offer, you typically forfeit your rights to bring a lawsuit, even if your injuries end up being worse than you thought.
A skilled Ohio accident attorney will help you protect your rights, so you can make an informed decision on whether the insurance company is offering a fair amount or whether a lawsuit is necessary to provide you with full compensation.
Q: Do I need to file a lawsuit to recover money?
A: If you suffered significant injuries in a car accident, a lawsuit may be the only way for you to obtain full compensation. Insurance policies have limits, and insurance companies often lowball accident victims. Further, there may multiple at-fault parties that can be held accountable only through a lawsuit.
Q: The accident was my fault. Can I still recover money?
A: Some states have no-fault insurance laws, but Ohio isn't one of them. Instead, Ohio drivers are required to have a valid insurance policy providing coverage that meets the state's minimum standards. If you've been injured by your own mistake, hopefully your insurance carrier will cover most of your damages after you pay the deductible.
Q: Is there a time limit for bringing a car accident lawsuit?
A: Yes. Ohio has strict time limits for bringing personal injury lawsuits. If you wait too long, you forfeit your right to recover money damages. Generally, Ohio has a two-year statute of limitations for accidents causing bodily injury, although you need to speak with an attorney to be certain of the time limits for bringing your particular claim.
Aside from potentially forfeiting your ability to recover damages, delaying your claim may weaken it: Evidence can get lost or destroyed, witnesses' memories will get foggy, and the at-fault party may move far away and be difficult to find and hold accountable. You want to act quickly and get a trusted attorney in the mix.
Q: I think the other driver was on a cellphone during the accident, but can't prove it. What should I do?
A: If the driver was talking on a cellphone or texting during the crash, phone records will typically confirm it. If the at-fault party won't voluntarily disclose his or her cellphone records, that evidence can be obtained during the discovery process of a lawsuit.
The discovery process can also reveal other important factors, such as whether the other driver was on prescription medication that affected driving ability or whether the other driver wasn't wearing needed glasses or contacts.
For more information about auto accidents visit our auto accident information center.