Car accidents can be terrifying experiences. Not only that, but they can cost you thousands of dollars and hours of valuable time. Fortunately, you can get some peace of mind by hiring a car accident attorney to help your case go smoothly and reach a successful settlement.

What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?

As Hebron, OH car accident lawyers, it’s our job to help you through the legal process of obtaining a settlement or going to court. We also do everything we can to see to it that you’re compensated fairly for your injuries. We do this using our experience from years of education and countless hours of real-world case time.

Steps to Take after a Car Crash

Your emotions are going to be strong after a car accident. It’s important to remember this, and to watch what you say and who you say it to as a result. Making claims or blaming someone for the accident could not only get you in trouble, it could cost you money. Instead, direct your energy toward doing what you can to make your potential case go smoothly, by:

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

Remember, stay calm. It will be ok, especially if the attorneys at Colombo Law are on your team.

2016 Ohio Car Accident Statistics

The most recent statistics on Ohio car accidents come from last year, when:

  • 305,964 accidents resulted in 112,331 injuries and 1,133 deaths
  • Children under 14 accounted for 8,866 of the total injuries
  • 11,958 accidents were alcohol-related
  • Ohio roads averaged 306.9 injuries and 3.1 fatalities per day
  • 66.4 percent of accidents happened during daylight hours
  • And an 18.3 percent majority of accidents were due to the driver failing to control their car

Hebron, Ohio Car Accident Statistics

In Hebron, OH in 2016, there were:

  • 43 total car accidents
  • 13 injuries and no deaths
  • 80 vehicles damaged
  • 2 alcohol related accidents that caused 3 injuries

Ohio Car Insurance Requirements

All Ohio drivers are required to carry minimum liability insurance in the amounts of:

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

Who Pays for Damages After a Hebron, Ohio Car Accident?

Ohio uses an at-fault insurance system, so the driver who caused your accident, and their insurance company, are the ones responsible for paying for your expenses.

If the at-fault driver’s insurance policy limits are too low, and you have underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), you can also seek compensation that way. If you don’t have UIM however, you may want to consult an attorney about seeking compensation from the at-fault party directly.

How Ohio Handles Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

There are plenty of people who neglect to follow the rules by refusing to purchase car insurance. These people can be punished by:

  • Receiving 90 days (for a first offense) to 1 year (for a repeat offence) of driver’s license suspension
  • Being charged $75 ( for a first offence) to $500 (for a repeat offence) in reinstatement fees
  • Having their plates and/or vehicle seized
  • Being required to obtain and prove they have car insurance

Unfortunately, their punishment doesn’t mean you get the money you need to cover your expenses. The only way to get the settlement you may be entitled to from an underinsured or uninsured motorist is by purchasing uninsured motorist coverage (UM) or uninsured motorist coverage (UIM). Here’s how those coverages work:

Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage makes sure you’re compensated if you’re in an accident with an at-fault driver who has no car insurance.

Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) reimburses you if the at-fault driver’s policy limits  aren’t high enough to cover your expenses.

An example of this would be if you were in an accident that wasn’t your fault and your damages add up to $100,000. Since it’s not your fault, the at-fault party’s insurance has to pay you, but they are limited by the policy to paying only $50,000. With UIM coverage, once the at-fault party’s insurance provider pays up to the limit of the policy, your UIM will pay the remaining $50,000.

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The Risks of Underinsured Motorist Coverage

UIM is a nuanced system with some learning curves. The two most important things you need to know are:

  1. You can’t make use of your UIM coverage until the at-fault party’s insurance policy limits have been exhausted; AND
  2. You have to tell your UIM provider that you want to settle with the at-fault party, before you begin the settlement process.

If you don’t know these two things, and you don’t have a Hebron, OH car accident lawyer to help you,you could risk losing your UIM coverage completely. Once you know these things and follow the appropriate steps, your insurance provider will:

  1. Allow you to settle by waiving subrogation; OR
  2. Decline to subrogate in favor of writing a check themselves for the amount of the at-fault party’s insurance coverage

Is Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage Worth it?

Absolutely. You can’t control who you are involved in a car accident with, and there’s always a chance that person could be underinsured or uninsured. If that happens, and you don’t have UIM or UM, there’s no guarantee you’ll get compensation from the at-fault underinsured or uninsured driver.

What Kind of Compensation Can I Get After a Car Accident?

If you were in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you could seek compensation from the at-fault party or their insurance company for things like:

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

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

There are several reasons to consider hiring a Hebron, OH car accident lawyer. The first is that the statute of limitations in Ohio for property damage and personal injury is only two years. Since legal battles can become lengthy, it’s a good idea to have an attorney who knows the system and can help the process go smoothly.

Next, you have to consider that you may not have the knowledge or time to handle your case on your own. It is possible, but it may be better to hire a lawyer with education and experience who can give you a greater chance of a successful settlement.

Finally, you may not have all the resources to do the things before a settlement or trial that can help your case. For example, lawyers have to gather things like:

  • Police reports
  • Medical records
  • CCTV footage and phone call records
  • Interviews with insurance adjustors
  • Witnesses
  • Expert witnesses
  • Information on automobile defects or recalls

Hebron, Ohio Car Accident Lawyers

In short, hiring a Hebron, Ohio car accident attorney can expedite your legal proceedings and allow you to focus on more important things like recovering and getting back on the road. We’ve helped clients in and near Hebron do just that, in areas like:

  • Beaver Run
  • Harbor Hills
  • Waters Edge Estates
  • Jacksontown
  • Buckeye Lake
  • Thornville
  • Millersport
  • Kirkersville
  • Fairfield Beach
  • Interstate 70
  • Interstate 270
  • Ohio Route 161
  • Ohio Route 16
  • Ohio Route 37
  • U.S. Route 40
  • U.S. Route 33
  • U.S. Route 22
  • U.S. Route 23

The Hebron car accident lawyers at Colombo Law will fight on your behalf with compassion. We know this is a difficult time, and our focus is on seeing you made whole again. We will do everything we can to help you reach a fair settlement, and won’t charge you anything for our services until we do.

Contact us or give us a call at 614-362-7000 to schedule a free consultation and find out if you have a case.