In a Cincinnati car crash, there are two parties – at-fault and not-at-fault. An at-fault party/driver is the one responsible for causing the accident. The accident is caused due to the negligence of such a driver. The not-at-fault driver is the victim of a car accident with no fault.
When you are an at-fault driver in an accident, you cannot be any more reckless. Each carelessness can increase your punishment and make you lose an appreciable amount of your earnings. If an at-fault driver isn’t backed up by an insurance company, things can be more tactful.
On the greener side, not every at-fault driver is to be looked upon as a bad driver. Accidents can happen on roads without pure negligence. You may be partially at fault for the accident. Keeping this in mind, here is what to do when you are an at-fault driver in a Cincinnati car crash, hiring an accident attorney in Cincinnati being the first thing to do.
What to do when you are an at-fault driver in a car crash in Cincinnati
Do not accept fault
After the accident, you may see a police investigation team at the accident scene. The police officials must interview the drivers and prepare the police report. This police report acts as a major evidence of the accident.
The statements of both drivers are recorded. If needed, this evidence is presented before a court of law. When interviewed, the at-fault driver should be neutral in their answers. You should not accept your fault or assume the other driver is at fault. You can also have the right to remain silent.
Help the injured party
An at-fault driver must provide help to the injured driver. Leaving the scene of an accident is the worst mistake an at-fault driver makes. The hit-and-run case can further harm your chances of getting redemption.
If not seriously injured, you should stop and provide help to the other driver. Call for medical help and stay present at the scene of the accident. Your good conduct can help you reduce the extent of your fault. The same will be portrayed before the judge by your attorney to reduce your compensation amount.
Contact your insurance company
Cincinnati, Ohio, is an at-fault state when it comes to car accidents. This means the at-fault driver is responsible for compensating all the damages to the other party.
Since it’s an at-fault state, all drivers must carry at-fault insurance coverage. This insurance helps at-fault drivers cover the damages. The insurance coverage in Ohio covers the following:
- $25000 bodily injury per person in a single accident
- $50,000 bodily injury for all persons in a single accident
- $25000 property damage for a single accident.
Drivers in Ohio are legally required to have this minimum insurance coverage. Moreover, uninsured drivers are subjected to penalties. If a driver is caught driving without insurance, he is still given a 30-day window to obtain insurance and provide proof. If the driver still didn’t get issued one, such a driver loses the driving privilege for up to 2 years.
After reinstating, a license is nearly equivalent to getting a new one in Ohio.
If the at-fault driver carries such insurance, they should inform their insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Your insurance company, on your behalf, talks to the injured driver or their attorney (as the case may be) and works on a negotiation outside the court of law.
In case of no insurance
If the at-fault driver is not insured, he will have to pay for the damages from his own pocket. If the not-at-fault driver files a case before a court, the damages can go higher.
In such a case, the judge provides the facility of a pre-payment plan or wage garnishment to the uninsured at-fault driver to cover the amount. He will be granted a certain period to pay for damages.
In the meanwhile, the injured driver has to pay for the medical expenses from their own pocket or with the help of their medical insurance.
Hire a defense attorney
Hiring a defense attorney is recommended for an insured at-fault driver. Such an attorney can help you in multiple ways. He may not be able to eliminate paying the compensation fully but can help in minimizing to a large extent. He can do so by:
- Establishing partial fault
Since Ohio is a pure comparative negligence state, establishing a partial fault instead of 100% at-fault can help in reducing the compensation amount.
An attorney can look deeper into the case and help establish the fact that the other driver was also partially at fault for the accident. He may also prove a fifty-fifty percent at-fault on behalf of the at-fault driver.
- Dealing with the insurance company of another driver
If you (at fault) do not have insurance and the other driver carries an uninsured motorist coverage, you have to deal with the other driver’s insurance company.
Uninsured motorist insurance protects the victim against an uninsured at-fault driver. The other driver can use his uninsured motorist coverage to cover the damages. However, the expenses will ultimately be recovered from the at-fault driver.
If the insurance doesn’t cover the damages in full, that’s when the other driver files a lawsuit to recover the excess amount. Thus, a not-at-fault driver with uninsured motorist coverage can greatly help the at-fault driver.
On top of the same, it isn’t easy to deal with the other party’s insurance company. Having an attorney by your side makes it easier. He deals with such insurance adjustors on your behalf and reaches a negotiation that allows you to pay minimum compensation.
- Deals with the plaintiff’s attorney
The attorney is also responsible for communicating with the other party’s attorney on your behalf.
If the other party has filed a lawsuit in a court of law, your attorney fights on your behalf. He presents valid reasons for incapacitation. He may also work on enlarging the window within which the compensation amount has to be paid.
Knowing exactly what to do after a car accident for which you are at fault in Cincinnati can help you reduce your fault. This may also help reduce the amount you pay as compensation.
Having an Ohio accident attorney by your side from the very start is greatly helpful for an at-fault driver.