How Much Car Accident Compensation Can I Recover in Cincinnati?
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The amount of money you may be entitled to as compensation after a car accident caused by someone else's negligence depends on several factors. To begin with, it's important to note that Ohio is an at-fault state, meaning the party responsible for the accident is also responsible for compensating the accident victims. The at-fault party's insurance provider processes the settlement after reaching an agreement with the accident victim or their legal representatives. So how much car accident compensation should you expect if you or your loved one has been injured in such an accident in Ohio?
The truth is, there's no direct answer to this question. In fact, it's always advisable to avoid any car accident attorney that claims to know exactly how much you may receive as compensation without evaluating the circumstances surrounding your case. Such attorneys may be desperate to take on your case and accept a settlement that's not in your best interests. They'll add the case to their list of successful results when they do that, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you won. This is a perfect case of victory for the attorney but not the client.
However, that's not something you should be concerned about when you work with an experienced car accident attorney from Morgan & Morgan. When you contact us for a free consultation, we will review your case in detail. Many factors come to play when evaluating the value of a case, as discussed below.
Did You Seek Medical Attention After the Accident?
Seeking medical attention is one of the most important things to do after a car accident. Here's why.
Let's first begin with the health aspect. Seeing a doctor after an accident minimizes the chances of developing certain complications. For instance, some accident victims suffer internal bleeding, which can be fatal if left unattended. Even worse is that the symptoms of internal bleeding may not seem that serious initially. Some common examples of such symptoms include:
- Body pain
- Blood in urine
- Abdominal pain
- Rigid abdomen
These symptoms may develop into something even more severe within a few days or weeks. For example, internal bleeding can lead to the accumulation of blood clots, blocking the flow of oxygen to the brain. This blockage eventually leads to coma, seizures, and even permanent brain damage.
From the economic perspective, seeking medical attention helps establish the authenticity of your claim. It proves that you got injured in the accident and that you're not faking it. Insurance companies will always try to find any reason to dispute or dismiss your claim. So if you don't see a doctor after the accident, they could argue that your injuries were not serious enough to deserve compensation or that you were not injured in the first place. In cases where the insured is at fault, and you didn't seek immediate medical attention after the car accident, the insurance company could cite this to negotiate a lower settlement.
Did You Spend Any Money on Medical Bills?
You might be eligible for additional compensation if you spent money on medical treatment. This is because you wouldn't need to spend money on medical expenses had it not been for the other driver's negligence.
For this reason, it's important that you collect all medical bills after seeking treatment. Your Morgan & Morgan car accident attorney will then review these bills to determine the amount you may be able to recover.
It's also important to note that insurance companies won't settle medical expenses unless the accident victim is ready to settle the entire claim. This tactic prevents the insurer from paying additional fees if you need ongoing treatment. Bearing this in mind, you need an experienced car accident attorney to negotiate the best possible settlement for your claim, ensuring that it covers all your medical needs after the accident.
Who or What Caused the Accident?
The exact cause of the accident can significantly influence the value of a claim. This is because insurance providers always try to find possible ways to blame the victim for the accident. And when they find such a loophole, they use it to their advantage.
Ohio practices the comparative negligence law. This law seeks to share legal and financial responsibilities between parties with a certain degree of fault for an accident.
Here's an example of such a situation:
Driver A is drunk. He runs a red light and hits driver B, who was making an illegal turn. In that case, the court might determine that although driver A was clearly at fault for drinking and driving and running a red light, driver B was also at fault for making an illegal turn. For this reason, the court might find driver B 20% at fault and driver A 80% responsible for the accident.
Following such a ruling, driver A's insurer will only pay for 80% of what driver B may be entitled to as settlement for the injuries suffered. This further explains why insurance companies send their claims adjusters to the accident scene. Their job is to evaluate the value of the accident. But as expected, they don't always play fair because they serve their employer's interests, not the victim's.
To prevent this, you need a seasoned car accident attorney to fight for your rights. That's one of the many benefits of working with Morgan & Morgan car accident attorneys in Ohio.
Do You Have Legal Representation?
When you file a claim with an insurance provider individually, they'll know that you don't have an attorney representing you. Not having a car accident lawyer means you may not know your rights as the accident victim. When insurance companies realize that you don't have an attorney fighting for your rights, they'll begin to play games.
If the insured driver is at fault for the accident, but you don't have an attorney to help you seek compensation, the insurer will want to settle the claim out of court as fast as possible. This is because, with each passing day, there's always a possibility that you may decide to work with an attorney, something insurance companies don't want you to.
Hiring an attorney means insurance companies won't have to deal with you individually. This also means that they can't bully you as they would want to. Instead, they'll have to deal with your legal representatives. And when facing a car accident lawyer, especially one from Morgan & Morgan, the possibility of playing games significantly drops. This is because our car accident attorneys in Cincinnati, OH, understand the law and the different tactics insurance companies use to avoid their responsibilities.
Insurance companies will also want to settle a claim fast enough to prevent you from accumulating additional fees that could bump up your settlement. As mentioned before, the insurer might not be willing to pay your medical bills unless you're ready to settle the entire claim. They do this to ensure that the case stays closed even after paying the medical bills. So if you need additional medical attention, you may not be able to sue the other party over the same accident because you already accepted a settlement offer.
Did You Hire the Right Attorney or Law Firm?
Although it's important to work with a car accident attorney if the other party's insurance company disputes your claim or if you suffered severe injuries, not every attorney or law firm you come across is worth working with. For instance, you need to avoid lawyers who promise to recover a certain amount of money without reviewing your case.
Also, avoid attorneys who claim to handle all types of personal injury cases. This is because personal injury is a broad area of law; you need an attorney who's specifically experienced in handling car accident cases. At Morgan & Morgan, we have over 800 personal injury attorneys specializing in different injuries. So whether it's a case of wrongful death, premises liability, medical malpractice, car accident, or anything in between, we have the right attorney to handle your case.
Speaking of law firms, you need one with powerful legal resources to fight for your rights. This is usually one of the biggest challenges of working with small law firms. Although some may have some good attorneys, they may not have enough resources to fight for you. It's like sending a skilled soldier to battle without a weapon.
But when you hire Morgan & Morgan to handle your case, you can rest easy knowing that it's in safe hands. We have unlimited resources to fight for your rights. This includes a team of attorneys, paralegals, investigators, etc. We've also established a vast network in different fields, such as healthcare, engineering, sports, automobile, etc. So if your case requires expert testimony or opinion, we know the right individuals to contact.
What Damages Did You Suffer Due to the Accident?
Car accidents often come with devastating effects, both mentally, physically, emotionally, and even financially. When calculating the settlement amount you may be entitled to, an experienced attorney lists the damages into two categories, as explained below.
These are damages that are easily documented. They mostly involve finances. For example, if you were unable to go to work due to the injuries sustained, you may be able to claim lost wages. The same applies if you missed out on important business deals because of the injury. However, to prove economic damages, you'll need copies of your most recent paystubs or financial statements if you're self-employed or any other proof of income.
As the name suggests, non-economic damages are damages that don't necessarily have anything to do with money. Such damages are usually difficult to quantify. Some common examples of non-economic damages caused by car accidents include pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of consortium.
Was the Injury Permanent or Temporary?
If you suffered temporary injuries, you'd receive a lower settlement than someone who's suffered permanent injuries. For instance, the settlement for whiplash after a car accident isn't the same as that of permanent brain damage.
This is because permanent injuries often come with life-long expenses you can't avoid. For example, depending on the nature of your injuries, you may need a full-time or part-time caregiver, long-term medication, special medical equipment, special treatment for the rest of your life, etc.
Similarly, if you need to stay at the clinic or hospital for a prolonged period, you'll have higher medical bills than when receiving treatment at home. Again, a seasoned car accident attorney will review these expenses and determine what the other party's insurance company is financially responsible for.
How Has the Injury Impacted Your Life?
Your attorney will also review your lifestyle to determine the effects of the injury. They'll want to know how the injury has impacted your life. To put things into perspective, consider an athlete who's been injured in a car accident.
Chances are they may not be able to compete at a professional level for months, years, or the rest of their lives. This, of course, depends on the nature of the injuries. Unfortunately, such an athlete probably won't have any other source of income other than what they earn from competing professionally.
The same applies to a college student who's suffered permanent injuries due to another driver's negligence. Such a student might not be able to graduate or even go back to college for the rest of their lives. For this reason, they may be entitled to higher compensation for the injuries.
Contact a Cincinnati Car Accident Lawyer From Morgan & Morgan
It's normal to be concerned about how much you or your loved one may be entitled to as compensation for an accident caused by someone else's negligence. But that's not something you should feel stressed about when you contact Morgan & Morgan for a free consultation. Call our Ohio offices today at (614) 927-6770 to speak with one of our representatives.