A car accident can really throw a monkey wrench into your life and daily routine. It does not matter how careful you are, if an accident is due to happen, it will happen. Even if you are as cautious as you possibly can be on Columbia, Ohio roads, the problem is, everyone else is not as careful. After a collision, you need to know exactly what steps to take to get your vehicle to the repair shop and collect compensation from the driver of the other vehicle.
After a car accident, it is not always a requirement for you to report the accident. The only times you need to file a crash report with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) within 6 months of the accident are in the following instances:
- A person suffers injuries in the collision.
- There is $400 or more worth of damage to property.
- You are in an accident with a driver that does not have auto insurance on the vehicle.
Since the majority of individuals in car accidents are not automotive body technicians, you really will not know if the damage to your vehicle is worth more than $400. It is always a good idea to contact the local police after any type of car collision. You may also want to contact an attorney after your car accident in case you need to pursue legal action against the driver that hit your vehicle. A lawyer will be able to inform you of the state laws and help you if you have trouble collecting damages from the other driver.
Columbia, Ohio Car Insurance Requirements
In order to operate a motor vehicle in Columbia, Ohio, one must have liability insurance on their vehicle. Insurance will provide compensation for property damages and injuries after a car accident. It is against the law to drive without valid insurance or proof of financial responsibility in the state. All drivers must carry car insurance that meets the following state requirements:
- $25,000 to compensate for one individual with injuries in an accident
- $50,000 to compensate for all individuals with injuries in an accident
- $25,000 to compensate for property damage from one accident
The state of Ohio is an “at-fault” state, which means the person at fault for the accident is liable for all damages and losses. So in other words, if an individual hits you, you can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company or with your own insurance carrier to collect compensation for your damages. If the other driver’s insurance coverage is insufficient to pay for all of your damages and injuries, the driver must pay for any charges not covered by the insurance company.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit for My Columbia, Ohio, Car Accident?
The state of Ohio gives accident victims two years from the date of the car accident to file a claim for property damages and injuries. If you do not make a claim within the specified timeframe, the court will not hear your case, and you will not be able to recover damages. If you or someone you love sustains injuries or damages in a car accident in Columbia, you should consult with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your case. A lawyer will be familiar with the state’s time limits and can make sure you do not miss any critical deadlines to file a claim for damages.
Ohio’s Comparative Negligence Laws
In 1980, Ohio adopted a modified “comparative negligence” rule for handing out damages in Lexington and all other areas of the state. This simply means that a car accident lawsuit jury will assign fault to each party in the accident and any damages are subject to the degree of each person’s fault. So if your damages equal $1,000, and the jury finds you 20% at fault, you will be able to collect $800 in damages. Any individual that found to be more than 50% at fault for the collision may not be able to collect any damages.
Columbia, Ohio Car Accident Lawsuit Variations
Columbia, Ohio car accident victims typically file a lawsuit for damages after a car accident under negligence laws. This simply means you will have to prove the driver of the other vehicle did not use reasonable care and conduct while driving their car. It is easier to prove negligence if the other driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, texting, failing to obey traffic laws, or driving recklessly. A wrongful death lawsuit will request compensation for damages for surviving family members of a car accident victim. The damages usually include the lost wages and funeral expenses for the deceased victim. You can also pursue legal action against a manufacturer for a defect in a vehicle if it is the reason for the crash. In order to be successful in a manufacturer defect case you will have to prove:
- The defective part or car was hazardous;
- You operated the car in the manner it was meant to be driven;
- There were no modifications made to the car since you bought it.
Call the Chester Law Group for Assistance with Your Columbia, Ohio, Car Accident
If you or someone you love sustains injuries in a car accident in Columbia, Ohio, the Chester Law Group can help you get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. We have a wealth of resources available to us to help investigate your car accident and prove who was at fault for the crash. Let us go to work for you to collect the damages you are due. Our attorneys will negotiate an appropriate settlement on your behalf to cover your current and future expenses from the collision. We care about all of our clients and want to make sure everyone we represent receives the justice they deserve. Call our office today for a free, no-obligation consultation to determine how we can assist you and your family.