Car accidents happen every day. Driving to work, to school, on a road trip, or around the block to the grocery store. Car accidents happen when you least expect them to. You may know the road and be familiar with every pothole and speed bump and drive cautiously, however, another distracted driver is all it takes. If the other driver on the road, reaches for their mobile device, or drives under the influence, or takes their eyes off the road for even a split second there is a possibility for collision.
When you are in a car accident, you experience an overwhelming rollercoaster of emotions and have many things running through your mind. During the time of the impact, you worry if your passengers are injured, if you are injured, your car is wrecked and how badly is it wrecked, is the other driver ok, and how will handle the situation as it unfolds. In the midst of all of this, you have rights that protect you during a car accident.
The first steps to take when you are in a car accident is to file a police report. In the state of Ohio, you must file the car accident report within six months of the accident and the accident must have caused personal injuries or property damage in excess of $400. It is routine for the police department to file the report after every crash and Ohio law requires police to be present at the scene and file a report when the accident causes an injury that requires medical care, a fatality occurs, or property damage totaling more than $1,000. Some cities in Ohio such as Columbus and Cincinnati, have their own reporting rules. In other cases, the police may not respond to the accident, the parties involved in the accident will need to document and file a report. Filing a report is crucial for both parties even when both agree to settle without involving insurance companies because you may not be aware of your injuries immediately, the damages to your vehicle may be worse than you initially thought, and the other party may decide to retract their original claim and give false information in the future.
Next, seek medical attention. You may not know what injuries your body has sustained during the impact and there can be internal injuries. In most scenarios, the injuries you sustain during a car crash are noticed immediately. These injuries can be lacerations, broken bones, or other apparent problems. The impact can cause alignment issues and injured muscles. Take notice if you bump your head during the accident, trauma to your head is an immediate health concern and should be checked out by a physician or emergency visit right away.
Now, determine how you want to proceed with your case. It is best to seek counsel before speaking to the opposing attorney or party involved in the car accident and before you speak to the insurance. Your legal representative will assist you along the way as you enter the next steps of seeking compensation for your losses – car damages, injuries, medical fees, time, and other items impacted by the accident. Car accidents can be serious business and if your injuries are more severe than first noticed when the filing the initial claim, reporting the accident and seeking legal action can protect your rights and interests.
Hiring an experienced attorney to fight for the compensation that is appropriate will put your mind at ease. At Kasunic Law, we want the chance to represent you and negotiate the best settlement we can. We strongly believe in helping our community and seeking justice for car accident victims.