Car accidents are scary and traumatic events that can seriously injure or kill thousands of Ohioans every year. While a car accident can happen on any kind of road, in areas like New Lexington, OH, they are much more common on narrow, rural roads.

The good news is, if you’ve been hurt in a car accident, the New Lexington, Ohio car accident lawyers at Colombo Law can help you seek the compensation you need to heal and get your life back on track.

What Will a New Lexington, OH Car Accident Lawyer Do?

We understand that the days and weeks after a car crash can be physically and emotionally exhausting. You may be in pain, require immediate medical attention, or be in too much emotional anguish to handle what comes after a car accident.

As local, New Lexington, OH car accident attorneys, we make the process of seeking compensation after a car accident easier, by taking care of all the details. We will handle the insurance companies, paperwork, and legal process so you can rest. Our job is to fight for compensation on your behalf, so you can focus on getting better.

What Should I Do After a Car Accident?

Immediately after a car accident, your body and mind can be put into a state of shock. You may not know what steps to take in a time like this. Unfortunately, the way you handle yourself after an accident can affect the outcome of your case. To protect your chance of getting the settlement you deserve, write down the following tips and use them in the event of an auto accident:

  • Call 911 to request police and other emergency responders
  • Make sure your injuries are not so severe that you can’t move
  • Get vehicles and crash debris as far off the road as possible
  • Swap contact information with those involved
  • Take pictures of the crash scene and injuries
  • Make a note of where the accident occured (city and street names)
  • Call your insurance company and notify them of the accident
  • If you’ve been injured, call a New Lexington, OH car accident lawyer ASAP

In addition to these tips, remember that after a car accident, it’s best not to speculate about who or what caused the crash. Making claims like these can hurt your case and you should hold your thoughts until you have the opportunity to talk to a lawyer.

Ohio Car Accident Facts

Thousands of car accidents occur on Ohio roads each year. What follows are some statistics on car accidents in Ohio from 2016:

  • A total of 205,964 accidents occurred
  • Over 66 percent happened during the day
  • 3 percent of these accidents resulted from the driver’s failure to control the vehicle
  • In total, these crashes caused 112,331 injuries and 1,133 deaths
  • Of these, 8,866 of those injured were children younger than 14 years old
  • This averages out to 306.9 injuries and 3.1 deaths per day
  • Nearly 12,000 of the accidents in Ohio in 2016 involved alcohol

New Lexington, Ohio Car Accident Stats

With a population of 4,689 people, the Village of New Lexington, OH did not see as many accidents in 2016 as a large metro area might. Below are some facts on car accidents in New Lexington in 2016:

  • There were 91 car accidents involving a total of 175 vehicles
  • These crashes resulted in 18 injuries, 76 instances of property damage, and no fatalities
  • There were only two accidents that involved alcohol use, both of which resulted in property damage only

Ohio Car Insurance Laws

To drive a car in Ohio, every driver must carry liability insurance. If a driver is at fault for an accident, liability coverage handles the cost of property damage and injuries after the accident. All Ohio drivers must carry a minimum of:

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

Who is Responsible for Damages in a New Lexington, Ohio Car Accident?

Ohio uses an at-fault system for determining who pays for damages and expenses after a car crash. If your accident was caused by another person, that person’s insurance company is responsible for reimbursing you. If your expenses exceed the at-fault party’s insurance coverage limits, you may be able to receive additional compensation if you have underinsured motorist coverage (UIM).

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Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Ohio

Unfortunately, there are plenty of people in the state of Ohio who drive with little or no car insurance. You can protect yourself in the event you are in an accident with one of these individuals, by purchasing uninsured motorist coverage (UM). If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, UM coverage will pay for the damages the other driver can’t.

By contrast, underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) can help if you are in an accident with a driver who has insurance, but whose limits are not sufficient to fully compensate you for your damages. With UIM, if the at-fault driver’s policy pays out, your UIM may cover additional damages up to your policy limits.

This can be a little confusing, so here’s an example of how underinsured motorist coverage works:

Let’s say you are in a car accident in Ohio and the at-fault driver’s liability insurance covers him up to $50,000. Unfortunately, your medical bills total $100,000. In this instance, the at-fault party’s insurance company would pay for the first $50,000 and then your UIM policy would kick in, up to the payable UIM limits.

Risks Associated with Underinsured Motorist Coverage

There are a few important things to understand if you need to make a claim using your UIM coverage. The first is that you are not eligible to use this coverage until the at-fault party’s insurance policy reaches it limit. The second is that, if you intend to settle with the at-fault person’s insurance company, you must notify your UIM insurance provider first.

Once you notify your insurance company of your intent to settle, they will do one of two things:

  1. Waive subrogation and allow you to settle; OR
  2. Refuse subrogation and issue you a check in the amount of the at-fault party’s policy limit

It is a good idea to speak to a New Lexington car accident lawyer before making any moves toward settlement, to reduce the risk of possibly losing your UIM coverage.

Should I Buy Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

Absolutely. Though you aren’t required to buy UIM or UM in Ohio, a policy like this can go a long way toward protecting your financial best interests after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. In addition to protecting yourself, you should know that uninsured drivers who cause accidents face:

  • 90 days (first offense) to 1 year (repeat offense) of driver’s license suspension
  • Having their vehicle impounded and license plates seized
  • $75 (first offence) to $500 (repeat offence) in reinstatement fees
  • Having to acquire and show proof of adequate car insurance coverage

Despite these punishments, without UIM or UM, it can be difficult to force an uninsured or underinsured driver to pay for your damages. Often people who drive without insurance do so because they cannot afford it, so they aren’t likely to have spare money to pay for your damages. UIM or UM is the best way you can protect yourself and your assets from these irresponsible drivers.

What Can I Be Paid for After a Car Accident?

Injuries and damages from a car accident can be physical, emotional, and involve your personal property. Thankfully, you can be compensated for things like:

  • Medical expenses
  • Injuries
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of future income
  • Missed activities
  • Inconvenience
  • Pain
  • Suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium
  • Wrongful death

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

In Ohio, the victims of personal injury and property damage have two years in which to file a lawsuit. Failing to do so will result in your case being thrown out by the court.

Reaching a successful settlement without a New Lexington car accident attorney is possible but would be challenging. You would be responsible for every aspect of the legal battle, from gathering witnesses to arguing your case in front of a judge.

After a car accident, it’s often much easier for the victim to hire a local lawyer to take care of things like:

  • Gathering evidence
  • Collecting police reports
  • Keeping track of medical expenses
  • Collecting cell phone records and camera footage
  • Dealing with insurance adjustors
  • Talking to witnesses
  • Finding expert witnesses
  • Learning whether your vehicle had defects or had been recalled

New Lexington, Ohio Car Accident Lawyers

At Colombo Law, we’ve helped clients throughout the New Lexington area, in neighborhoods like:

  • Rehobeth
  • Somerset
  • Junction City
  • Moxhala
  • Crooksvillie
  • Milligan
  • Roseville
  • Fultonham
  • White Cottage
  • Zanesville
  • 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

It is our job to save you time, effort, and money by taking care of your legal concerns after a car accident. We will fight for your rights and will only charge for our services if we reach a successful settlement in your case.

Don’t stress after a New Lexington car accident. Bring your case to the lawyers at Colombo Law and let us handle the rest. Not sure how to get started? Contact us or give us a call at 614-362-7000 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation of your situation.