Usually who is or isn’t at fault in a car accident is readily apparent. Your insurance company uses an accident report from the police to establish fault and begins the standard procedures for filing a claim. They take on the liability and start the payment process for any damages or medical expenses associated with the crash. But sometimes, even the insurance companies can’t agree on who is at fault for an Ohio car accident because these crashes often happen for a variety of reasons. Inform your insurance company right away if you were involved in a car accident that was the fault of another driver.
For example, two cars in a parking lot backing into each other. Neither saw the other, and both claim to have taken cautionary steps before backing up. When the two cars collide, both drivers are left wondering what to do after a car accident. Thankfully, laws in Columbus, Ohio make it easy to start the process for a no-fault car accident. With the assistance of your insurance company and an attorney, the matter can be fully resolved.
What to Do After a Car Accident in Columbus, Ohio
After an Ohio car accident, there is a standard procedure that most insurance companies require you to follow unless there are special circumstances involved in your car accident which makes them unnecessary:
Pull over to a safe area
A safe area is away from traffic and in a well-lit area. This is not only the best way to ensure that everyone involved in the accident is safe and physically OK, but it also shows you were not trying to flee the scene. Be sure to signal to the other driver so they know you are pulling away from traffic and they should follow you. This is only step one of what to do after a car accident.
Exchange license and insurance information with the other driver
In Columbus, Ohio, you are financially responsible for the costs of an accident with your vehicle. The requirement in Columbus, Ohio, is to carry minimum liability insurance in the following dollar amounts:
- $25,000 for injuries per person
- $50,000 for a total of two people per accident
- $25,000 for a total of property damage
The state believes this is enough to cover common damages and injuries if the accident is your fault. The bigger issue that comes up for Ohio car accidents is obtaining contact information from the other driver. Non-insured or underinsured drivers already face several fines for not meeting these requirements. It’s common that uninsured or underinsured drivers will try to show they are not at fault and pin the blame on you. This is when most people start to question what to do after an accident. This is where the assistance of an Ohio car accident attorney is invaluable. They can help you prove liability so that the other driver cannot place the blame on you.
Take photos of the scene and both cars
This is the most important step in showing that you are not involved in an Ohio car accident. Take lots of pictures. If you think you’re taking too many, you’re not. Include pictures of both cars, including where they were affected by the impact, and take pictures of the surrounding area. Pictures of tire marks or bent guard rails can show the extent of the collision.
Report to Your Insurance
The final step in what to do after a car accident is to make a phone call to your insurance company. As mentioned above, most of the time, insurance companies decide who is at fault in a car accident. There is a system of appraisers, insurance adjusters, and an investigation which could take six days or six months. Insurance companies all have their own policies and way of handling things. However, they still get things wrong. They likely want to pay as little as possible and could potentially offer you a smaller settlement than what your claim is actually worth.
To avoid this possibility, it is best to work with an Ohio car accident lawyer from the very start of your case. Your attorney can gather evidence that proves the other driver was liable for the car accident and that you had little or no fault. In addition, they can also help you collect a record of any medical expenses and lost wages after the accident so you can clearly point out how much this wreck has cost you.
Reach Out to an Ohio Car Accident Lawyer to Discuss Your Wreck
An experienced Columbus, Ohio car accident attorney can help you navigate the insurance issues that come with car accidents that are not your fault. If you’re stuck on what to do after a car accident in Columbus, Ohio, contact the Chester Law Group to discuss the details of your case.