Monthly Archives - June 2016

What to Do Following An Ohio Vehicle Collision

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Driving is a huge responsibility that requires constant concentration and good habits. However, no matter how good your driving skills may be, there is always the danger of being in a collision with another driver who is more careless. Each day, countless Ohio residents find themselves part of a senseless and avoidable collision.

Since the risk of an accident occurring at the hands of someone else is always present, it’s important to be prepared. Following a wreck, the insurance company will battle to avoid giving you the compensation you deserve. Listed below are the steps you need to take to make sure that you are prepared to prove your innocence and guarantee blame is placed where it is deserved.

#1. Keep a Pen and Paper in Your Vehicle. While it may seem like writing supplies are easy to come by, if you’re not prepared, they can be almost impossible to find after a wreck. Keep these supplies in a certain place in your car such as the dash or glove compartment.

#2. Make Sure That Everyone is Okay. Before you start to collect details, make sure that everyone involved in the accident is all right. No matter who is at fault, getting help for the injured is the most important thing. Also, call the police so that they can make a report.

#3. Get the Other Driver’s Information. Ask the other driver for important information such as their name, address, phone number, registration, and the make and model of their vehicle. If they refuse to give you this information, there is a chance they may not have insurance, so be sure to call the police before they can leave the scene.

#4. Take Pictures of the Accident Scene. Almost all cell phones are now equipped with cameras; use this to your advantage and take lots of pictures of the accident in addition to making out a sketch of the scene. Note road markers, signs, and the positions of the vehicles before, during, and after the accident.

#5. Take Information from Any Witnesses. If anyone saw the accident happen, get their full contact information such as name, phone number, and address. These witnesses can give a first-hand account of exactly what took place. Also, note any area cameras or dashcams that would have been active during the accident. CCTV footage is only kept for a short period of time, so you need to ask for a copy as soon as possible.

#6. Know Who Was in the Other Car. Write down what the driver of the other car looked like along with a description of their passengers. Take note of things like children who were not in car seats or passengers who weren’t using seat-belts.

#7. Keep Up With Your Records. During accidents, it’s easy to sustain injuries that may cost you in medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Keep account of any money that you spend or lose because of your accident.

#8. Contact a Trusted Attorney. Having a good attorney to help you after your accident is vital if you want to receive the compensation you deserve. A lawyer can request a reconstruction of the accident, ask that your vehicle be professionally inspected, and gather other important information that will prove your innocence in addition to negotiating with the insurance agency.

Being in an car accident in Ohio is never on anyone’s wish list; however, if you find yourself the victim in a motor collision, following the eight steps above will guarantee you the compensation you deserve, leaving you time to focus on recovery and healing.

Tips for Settling a Car Accident Claim

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When a person is involved in a car accident in Ohio, they may wonder how they are going to settle car damages and the injury claim against the at-fault driver. Car accident victims want to get what they deserve and quickly return to a normal, productive life as soon as possible; putting the memory and hassle of the auto accident behind them. The suggestions, tips, and advice below can help personal injury victims form a plan of action to settle a car accident claim in a fast, efficient manner.

What to Do First

While the other driver may have been at fault for the accident, the auto accident victim does not typically deal with the other driven on a personal basis. In most cases, the victim is to deal with the insurance company of the other driver, and that’s why it’s important to collect necessary information at the scene of the accident, such as their name, phone number, and other pertinent details for easy access. The victim will want to collect:

  • The name of the driver’s insurance
  • Eye-witnesses accounts
  • Pictures of the accident and the surrounding area

Taking photos can help ensure that the victim has details needed when contacting a car accident lawyer. The victim will want to snap shots of:

  • Both vehicles and their location
  • Damage to vehicles as well as the license plates for both cars

Successfully pursuing an insurance claim involving a car accident, as well as settling the claim, is to hire an auto accident lawyer so they can deal with the driver’s insurance company and handle the ins and outs of the case.

The other driver’s insurance is not going to be on the victim’s side, so it’s important that a legal professional takes care of the negotiations to ensure that the legal terms are understood. The driver’s insurance company will try to prove no fault of their client because they don’t want to pay the victim. If a person deals with the company on their own, they will not have the experience to negotiate or know what details need to be discussed. Not providing the correct, essential information to the claim can cause a denial of payment, so it’s vital that the victim has a seasoned car accident lawyer on their side who can represent their interests.

The claim process involving an auto accident can be extremely complicating and confusing to a victim. Settlement talks occurring without an attorney can leave the victim with little to no compensation; adding insult to injury.

Damages Collected in a Car Accident

When filing for property damage only, the victim files a claim for:

Vehicle damages: repair costs for fixing the vehicle or money to replace for a total loss
Property damage; personal property damage includes items that were inside of the car at the time of the accident (phone, computer, and any other type of property that was damaged
Out-of-pocket: expenses for services or items purchased by the victim (taxi home)

If a car accident victim needs assistance with a claim in Ohio or a city within Ohio such as Cleveland, they’ll want to make sure they hire an Cleveland car accident attorney to handle everything from personal injury, property damage, car repair or replace, and out-of-pocket costs.

Understanding General and Special Damages in Personal Injury Cases

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Residents of Ohio who are victimized by the negligent actions of others have the right to take action against the perpetrators through the U.S. civil court system. Under the principles of tort law, the victims may seek financial compensation for a number of reasons. However, the compensation will be divided into two different categories and, if awarded, the amount determined in different ways.

In civil court proceedings, damages refer to the amount in compensation being sought. The victim seeking compensation is known as the plaintiff and the party being sued is the defendant. Known legally as general and special, the two categories of damages are essentially noneconomic and economic in nature.

General Damages

This portion of the compensation pertains to the physical or psychological pain associated with an injury. Physical disfigurement and impairment can also be considered when seeking general damages. In cases where the victim is killed or severely incapacitated, family members can seek general damages for the loss of companionship.

The liability of the defendant may in some cases extend beyond the original act of negligence. A motorist who runs a stop light and injures another driver can obviously be held responsible for the physical harm inflicted. If the victim had a particular health condition that worsened the situation, however, the defendant could be liable for the costs beyond those of the original injury.
One shortcoming in assessing general damages is related to the difficulty in determining the dollar value of a life or the mental anguish that has been inflicted. These imprecise factors will often affect the amount in general damages that are awarded.

Special Damages

This portion of the compensation pertains to the actual costs incurred by the plaintiff. The amount needs to be determined with considerable specificity, but the nature of these costs usually make this a relatively easy task.

Special damages are intended to cover the cost of the medical treatment that is received or anticipated, the loss of wages related to an injury and the repair or replacement of property. A determination of the amount needed may require the careful examination of evidence and the testimony of expert witnesses. Additionally, the cost of items deemed as “irreplaceable” may be largely subjective and thus difficult to assess.

Claiming Damages After an Injury

Both general and special damages can be sought in the same case, but there are many factors that need to be considered before filing a lawsuit. Such issues as factual consistencies, the credibility of witnesses and even the likability of the plaintiff may affect the outcome of a case.

A consultation with a personal injury attorney can help guarantee the viability of a case and ensure that the plaintiff receives adequate compensation.

How to Recover Lost Wages in Motor Vehicle Accident Cases

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Car accidents can be quite bothersome, particularly if they cause you to miss work or forfeit wages. Many Ohioans are interested in undertaking auto accident damages lawsuits, but these suits are somewhat complex and must be handled by a professional legal team if they are to succeed. There are certain considerations that must be made in order to enter into these lawsuits — here are a few things you need to know before you can begin the process of wage recovery and compensation.

Most Lawsuits Involve Wage Recovery Attempts

If you were in a car accident that was no fault of your own, it is very common to sue the person at fault for wage disruption. Most commonly, plaintiffs sue when they experience an injury that causes them to miss work, or if their vehicle is so extensively damaged that they physically cannot travel to work. These are the two easiest grounds to cover for recovery of wages, because they can be easily proven in a court of law that has access to medical reports or auto repair assessments.

Disabling Injuries are Grounds for Compensation As Well

Long term injuries, disabilities or chronic conditions that arise as the result of the accident are grounds for a lawsuit as well. Rather than suing for lost wages, plaintiffs sue for lost earning capacity. In essence, you are suing for the employment years and time that you missed out on by being injured in the crash. These lawsuits are more difficult to win, but they can result in impressive payouts.

Pre-existing injuries that were aggravated in the crash can be used to claim wage loss settlements as well. However, these injuries must be made worse by the accident, not simply re-aggravated to the same level of discomfort as before the crash.

High Standards of Proof

The main focus of many of these lost wages trials is the precise amount of damages that the plaintiff is entitled to. This depends on the evidence that the court is presented with, meaning that the plaintiff must supply the court with evidence of prior payment history, such as paychecks or invoices for a particular period before the accident. Of course, suing for lost earning capacity is much more complicated: often, the court will have to bring in an economic witness to serve as expert testimony in the case. This economist will examine the extent of the injury, the prior compensation history, and other extenuating circumstances like career length and work performance, before making a judgement.

Recovering lost wages after injury in a car accident is not impossible, but it is a long battle to the finish line. It is always best to retain the services of an experienced Ohio car accident attorney before entering into the legal arena.