Were you hurt in a car accident in Cleveland, Ohio? If you were not the one at fault for the accident, Ohio laws give you the right to seek compensation for any economic and non-economic damages related to your car accident injury, and for property damage as well.
In order to obtain the compensation, you need to file an auto accident claim. The process can be quite long and complicated, especially for someone injured in a car accident, so you should consider hiring a Cleveland car accident injury attorney.
If you are on the fence about whether you should hire a car wreck lawyer for assistance in preparing the compensation claim, you should consider answering the questions listed below to make sure you have a strong case and your efforts will not be in vain:
Questions to Ask Before Filing a Cleveland Car Accident Injury Claim
Who was at fault for the accident? As you may already know, Ohio car accident laws embrace the “at-fault” rule, meaning that both drivers can be at fault and they will share liability for the car accident damages according to their fault percentage. If you were more than 40% at fault for the accident, your claim could be a waste of time and money, so it is best to have a Cleveland car accident attorney evaluate it before actually initiating the procedures.
Does the party at fault carry liability insurance as per Section 52, Chapter 4509, Title XLV of the Ohio Revised Code? If they do, you have to decide whether to file your claim against them, their insurer, or your own insurer. If they do not, you may want to conduct an investigation before continuing to make sure the party at fault has the means to pay the compensation you deserve.
What evidence do you have? Before you can obtain any type of compensation, you will need to prove the other party was at fault and you will need to document the damages, losses, and pain and suffering you incurred. Check what the police car accident report mentions, look for photos and video records, and try to find witnesses to prove you were hurt in a car accident someone else caused. Also, make sure you have all medical records, receipts, and invoices to prove the expenses you incurred. Without them, your Cleveland car accident injury claim could be rejected.
How much time has passed since the accident? If you were hurt in a car accident that took place more than two years ago, chances are you will no longer be able to file your claim. According to Ohio Revised Code section 2305.10, the deadline for taking legal action for bodily injury is within two years. Even if the deadline has expired, consider consulting a Cleveland auto accident attorney to find out if you can still file the claim – in some cases, it is still possible.
At this point, you should already know if you have a solid case and it is worth filing a car accident claim or not. Here are the steps you will need to follow if you decide to go through with your claim.
Main Steps to File a Car Accident Injury Claim in Cleveland, OH
- Prepare and file the claim – The most important part of this step is organizing your evidence and formulating your claim in such a way as to show beyond reasonable doubt that: a) you were injured in a car accident that would not have occurred had it not been for the actions or negligence of the other party, and b) you sustained economic and non-economic damages worthy of the compensation you request.
- Wait for the response and prepare to negotiate – If you filed the claim against the other party’s insurer, their claim adjusters will investigate your claim and either inform you that they reject it or, most likely, make you an offer to settle. If you accept the offer, you receive the amount you decided to settle for, in exchange for giving up all writes to pursue further compensation. Depending on your case specifics and their experience, a Cleveland car accident lawyer may be able to negotiate a more convenient settlement.
- Appeal – If you are not satisfied with the settlement offer of the insurance claim adjusters, you can appeal their decision to the insurance company’s claims supervisor. If their offer still does not live up to your expectations, you can file a complaint with the Ohio Department of Insurance. They will review your complaint and decide whether the insurance company acted reasonably or not.
The alternative to this three-step process is to file a lawsuit and defend your interests in court. However, most parties choose to avoid the hassles of a court trial and negotiate reasonable car accident injury settlements with the help of an experienced attorney.
Get a Fair Car Accident Injury Compensation with Chester Law Group
If you were injured in a car accident in Cleveland, OH, our experienced and compassionate attorneys can help you file your car accident injury claim and negotiate a fair and convenient settlement. Contact the Chester Law Group now and schedule a free consultation at our office in Cleveland.