Car accidents are unfortunate, but they’re extremely common in the United States. With millions of people traveling by car daily, the odds that you will be involved in a car crash in your lifetime are high. The good news is, if you’re in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you could receive compensation for your damages with the help of a Circleville, Ohio car accident lawyer.

What is a Car Accident Lawyer?

Auto accident attorneys are professionals who help you get compensation after a car accident in the event you suffer personal injury or property damage. Their job is to understand everything there is to know about the legal system and local laws, in order to help you reach a successful settlement or verdict (if your case goes to trial).

What to Do After a Car Crash

The best thing you can do after a car accident is to stay calm. You’re going to be upset and scared, but it will all be ok. Remember, after checking others for injuries, the less you interact with the other driver(s) involved, the better. You could say something out of anger that could hurt your chances of getting the settlement you need. Instead, direct your energy towards:

  • Calling 9-1-1
  • Checking everyone for serious injuries
  • Removing vehicles and debris from the road
  • Writing down notes about how and where the accident happened
  • Photographing injuries and damaged vehicles
  • Swapping contact and insurance information with the other driver(s)
  • Calling your insurance agent to let them know you were in a crash
  • Contacting the Circleville, OH car accident lawyers at Colombo Law

Ohio Car Accident Statistics

The most recent statistics for Ohio car crashes come from 2016, when there were:

  • 305,964 accidents
  • 112,331 injuries
  • 1,133 deaths
  • 8,866 children under age 14 injured
  • 11,958 alcohol-related accidents
  • An average of 306.9 injuries/day and 3.1 fatalities/day
  • 4 percent of accidents occurring during daylight hours
  • And 18.3 percent of accidents caused by drivers failing to control their car

Circleville, Ohio Car Accident Statistics

Circleville, OH car accident facts from 2016 show there were:

  • 240 total car accidents
  • 87 injuries and 1 death
  • 457 vehicles damaged
  • 3 alcohol related accidents that caused 2 injuries

Ohio Car Insurance Minimums

Ohio drivers must carry liability insurance in the amounts of at least:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident involving more than one injured person
  • $25,000 for property damage

Who Is Responsible for Damages After a Circleville, Ohio Car Accident?

Because Ohio is an at-fault state, the person who caused your car accident is the one you would be seeking compensation from.

You may find that the limits of the at-fault party’s insurance company are too low to cover all of your expenses. If you have underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), your policy may cover the remainder of your expenses after the at-fault party’s insurer pays out. Without UIM, another alternative is to hire a car accident lawyer to help you go after the at-fault party themselves.

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How Ohio Handles Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

If you don’t follow the rules and drive without the right insurance in Ohio, you could:

  • Receive 90 days (for a first offense) to 1 year (for a repeat offence) of driver’s license suspension
  • Be charged $75 ( for a first offence) to $500 (for a repeat offence) for reinstatement fees
  • Have your plates and/or vehicle seized
  • Be required to obtain and prove that you have car insurance

Even though these drivers will be punished, there is no way to guarantee you’ll be able to get the compensation you deserve unless you purchase uninsured motorist coverage (UM) or uninsured motorist coverage (UIM).

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage pays for your expenses if the at-fault driver in your accident doesn’t have any insurance.

Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) pays for your expenses if the at-fault driver in your accident has insurance but their policy limits are less than that of your total costs.

An example of underinsured motorist coverage would be if your damages total $100,000 but the at fault driver’s policy limits are only $50,000. In this case, you’d get $50,000 from the at-fault party’s insurance company and the remaining $50,000 from your own UIM provider.

How to Use Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Underinsured motorist coverage isn’t always straightforward, and it isn’t like your typical auto insurance policy. To make it easier to understand, there are really only two big things you need to know about using your UIM:

  1. You can only use UIM coverage once you’ve gotten the maximum payment possible from the at-fault party’s insurance company.
  2. You must notify your UIM coverage provider if you want to settle with the at-fault party

If you fail to follow these two steps, you risk losing your UIM coverage completely. Talking to a Circleville car accident lawyer can help you better understand this process and prevent this risk.

Once you’ve taken the above steps and talked to an attorney, your insurance company will either:

  • Waive the right to subrogation;
    OR
  • Decline subrogation so they can pay you themselves. If your UIM provider does this, they will send you a check for the total amount of the at-fault driver’s insurance limit.

Why Get Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

The answer is simple: UM and UIM are the best way you can protect yourself and your assets from an underinsured or uninsured driver. Without this coverage, there is no sure way of getting the compensation you deserve after an accident caused by an underinsured or uninsured motorist.

What Can I Receive Compensation For After a Car Accident?

As attorneys, we have helped many of our clients in the Circleville, OH area be compensated for things like:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Property Damage
  • Lost income
  • Loss of future earning ability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of companionship
  • Physical injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Medical expenses and equipment
  • Emotional trauma
  • Wrongful death

Should I Hire a Circleville, Ohio Car Accident Lawyer or Not?

Absolutely. The fact is, you have two years under the Ohio statute of limitations to file a personal injury or property damage case. If you don’t do it in that time frame, your case will be dismissed.

Not only can a car accident lawyer in Circleville, OH help you do this, they can take care of the smaller details like:

  • Obtaining reports
  • Reviewing medical records
  • Gathering CCTV footage and phone call records
  • Talking to insurance adjustors
  • Finding witnesses
  • Collecting expert witnesses
  • Searching for information on automobile defects or recalls

Circleville, Ohio Car Accident Lawyers

If you need a car accident attorney and live in the Circleville, OH area, you’re in luck. At Colombo Law, we have worked with clients throughout Circleville, including neighborhoods like:

  • Downtown
  • Florence Chapel
  • Brooks Miller
  • Ringgold
  • South Circleville
  • Walnut
  • Amanda
  • Logan Elm Village
  • Westfall
  • Williamsport
  • Interstate 70
  • Interstate 270
  • Ohio Route 161
  • Ohio Route 16
  • Ohio Route 37
  • S. Route 40
  • S. Route 33
  • S. Route 22
  • S. Route 23

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Circleville car accident attorneys at Colombo Law. We are ready and waiting to handle your case and would be happy to schedule a free consultation with you to go over your legal options. Find out if you have a case by contacting us or giving us a call at 614-362-7000.