CAR ACCIDENTS CAN OCCUR ANYWHERE AND WHEN THEY DO THE DAMAGES CAN BE SEVERE.
Car accidents leave people with serious injuries, and sometimes are so serious that they are fatal. When a serious car accident occurs, anyone who is harmed in the crash deserves to be compensated for their losses.
At the law offices of Groth & Associates, our Defiance, our Ohio car accident attorneys have handled many car accident claims like yours in the past, and have experience investigating crashes, proving fault, calculating damages, and getting our clients the settlement awards they deserve.
WHO’S RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING FOR DAMAGES AFTER A DEFIANCE CRASH?
Every driver in the state of Ohio is required to carry bodily liability and property damage liability insurance. Rather than paying for one’s own damages, this type of insurance pays for damages that the policyholder causes to others in a crash, be it damage to a vehicle or injuries to another person. This requirement is based in Ohio’s at-fault insurance system, which holds that drivers who cause accidents are responsible for paying for them. This means that if you are involved in a crash caused by the negligent, careless, illegal, or reckless actions of another, that party is responsible for paying for damages, typically via their liability insurance policy. In the same vein, if you cause a crash, your liability insurance policy will be responsible for paying for the other party’s damages.
HOW IS FAULT DETERMINED?
Because the party who is responsible for paying for a crash is the party who caused it, determining fault is an essential part of the car accident claims process in Ohio, and carries much more weight than it does in other, no-fault car insurance states. Because you could be potentially barred from damages if the other side can prove that you were mostly to blame for the accident, working with a legal team that is willing to open a comprehensive investigation on your behalf is essential. Our attorneys determine fault by:
- Traveling to the scene of the accident;
- Interviewing eyewitnesses and talking to responding police officers;
- Requesting copies of police reports;
- Hiring accident reconstruction experts;
- Sending spoliation of evidence letters to preserve “black box” and other important data; and
- Gathering, interpreting, and organizing all other essential evidence.
WHAT HAPPENS IF FAULT IS SHARED?
WHILE PERSONAL INJURIES ARE OFTEN REFERRED TO AS ACCIDENTS, THEY ARE OFTEN THE RESULT OF ANOTHER PERSON’S RECKLESS OR NEGLIGENT CONDUCT.
It is not uncommon for fault to be shared in an accident. When this is the case, an injured party can still recover compensation from the other party so long as they are not more than 50 percent at fault for the accident. Further, comparative negligence allows for a party to recover compensation when fault is shared, but compensation is reduced in proportion to the party’s degree of negligence. For example, if a person suffers $1,000 worth of damages in an accident that was 10 percent their fault, they can hold the other party liable for 90 percent of damages, or $900. This rule is another reason why determining fault via investigation is so important. Each insurance company will open its own investigation, and each will be interested in preserving as much money as possible by proving the fault of the other driver. Having an attorney on your side can help to even the playing field and improve your chances of recovering the compensation that you deserve.
HOW CAR ACCIDENT SETTLEMENTS ARE REACHED IN DEFIANCE
The process of reaching a car accident settlement involves many steps, beginning with you giving your insurance company notice of the accident as soon as possible after it happens. Keep in mind that if you do not provide the insurance company with notice in a timely manner, you may be prevented from recovering damages.
After giving notice, the insurance adjuster who is assigned to your claim will probably ask you to give a recorded statement. You should speak with your lawyer before doing this, but in all cases should be careful to never admit fault, and to stick to the facts of your accident.
The insurance adjuster will then open an investigation, which will involve collecting the myriad evidence types listed above, as well as collecting any medical data pertinent to your injuries. The damage to your vehicle will also be valued. The insurance adjuster will use all of this information to determine what your claim is worth.
You will then likely be offered a settlement. Unfortunately, as stated above, the job of an insurance adjuster is to save the insurance company money. As such, your settlement may be much less than you feel you really deserve.
You have the right to reject a settlement offer, and our lawyers almost always recommend that our clients reject first settlements, as these offers are usually lowballed. After rejecting a settlement, you will have the opportunity to counter by demanding a settlement that you think is fair. The insurance company may accept or reject this demand, and negotiations that go back and forth for many weeks or months may ensue.
In most cases, the entire process of settling a car accident settlement will take a few months’ time, but usually is completed in less than a year. When a settlement cannot be reached, the claimant may file a lawsuit for damages, which can significantly lengthen the process.
WORDS FROM OUR CLIENTS
Our experience with Attorney Stevin Groth was nothing short of life changing.ALFRED & JENNIFER
When we first contacted Mr. Groth, he gave us his cell phone number and we were able to directly contact him day or night. His knowledge of the Ohio judicial system was astounding. He handled all aspects of our case himself, never once handing off our case to jr. associates. Stevin had positive relationships with all the judges, district attorneys and court personal that we came in contact with. Stevin’s persuasive arguments on our son’s behalf cleared him of all charges. Because of Stevin’s abilities, our son is able to move forward with his life without the stigma of a criminal record. We could not recommend Stevin Groth more highly.
Dan is an amazing attorney. He had my divorce finalized in a short period of time. A lot quicker than I thought it was going to be and for that I’m thankful! Dan knew exactly what he was talking about. Any questions I had Dan, and his assistant, Michelle was glad to answer. The outcome of my divorce was exactly what I was hoping for.LAURIE
Thank You Dan for your services!
Allison Lawrence is the best lawyer I have hired.she was attentive when I presented my case to her & knew exactly how to handle it.very professional person when it comes to her job,also a humanitarian.Allison has given me great advice in a free consultation,as well as stood by side in court with chargers pending,of course she got the charges dismissed!!Great attorney,very dependable.in need of a lawyer,I highly recommend Allison Lawrence.RONNIE
WHY WORK WITH A DEFIANCE, OH CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER
As illustrated by the information above, the car accident process and getting a fair settlement can be complicated, especially when fault isn’t clear in your case or your damages are valued at a lot of money. When you work with our Defiance, Ohio car accident attorneys, we will do everything we can to keep the process simple on your end–handling all complicated matters on your behalf–so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
We are an experienced legal team with a history of recovering large settlements on the behalf of our clients, and have the resources and skill your case deserves. To schedule a free consultation with our Defiance car accident lawyers today, please call us directly, or use the contact form found on our website to tell us a little bit more about your case.