Backup cameras, lane-keeping assist systems, automatic parking, smartphone integration, automatic emergency braking, and, in some cases, Wi-Fi are all standard equipment in new automobiles. However, despite all these features in the most recent vehicles, driver irresponsibility occurs daily. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Lucas County had 33 fatal traffic incidents in 2021. A Car accident causes burdens and harm as a result of negligence. Everyone involved in an automobile accident is affected emotionally, cognitively, physically, or financially.
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Notably, the statute of limitations for car accident injury cases in Toledo is two years. This implies you have two years to file your claim or will lose the right to do so. A competent Toledo car accident attorney can assist you with the filing of the claim and also with vehicle accident payouts that can alleviate financial concerns, enabling you to focus on your health and recovery.
This post will examine the 10-step process for a car accident case in Toledo that you should follow after being injured in a motor vehicle accident.
1. Initial Investigation
Your health should be your top priority at the scene of the accident. If you are injured and require medical transport, ensure you get the required attention. However, if you can undertake some preliminary inquiry, such as taking photographs of the site and recording the names and phone numbers of witnesses, you will be one step ahead. This is because when the police arrive at an accident scene, they frequently attempt to clean up the area and move the vehicles out of traffic. While they may take photographs, you should capture your photographs to document the location of the cars, any debris, witness information, and weather conditions by snapping a few shots with your smartphone.
Furthermore, if you have the opportunity, search the vicinity for businesses with surveillance cameras that may have captured the entire crash on video. This preliminary investigation can assist in moving your case along more swiftly and offer evidence if doubts about how the accident occurred surface later.
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2. Treatment for Injuries
Receiving medical treatment may be the most crucial step in resuming your life following an automobile accident. Remember to disclose your symptoms to your doctor when you see them. Be truthful with your doctor, but don’t go overboard. This will assist your doctor in providing you with the best therapy available. Check with your doctor to see whether you may return to work with your injuries or if there are any limits.
Furthermore, if you are still experiencing symptoms, continue to seek medical attention. Insurance companies interpret gaps in therapy as evidence that your injury has healed, which is rarely the case. This step in the procedure should continue until your symptoms subside and for the duration of your personal injury case.
3. Submit a Claim to Your Insurance Company
After an accident, you should notify your insurance provider. Your insurance company is typically the best business to help you with car repairs or total loss coverage. If you have collision coverage as part of your policy, your insurance company can help you get back on the road. The at-fault driver’s insurance company will then be pursued for payment by your insurance provider.
4. First Consultation with a Car Accident Lawyer
Personal injury lawyers have a long professional history of exclusively practicing personal injury law. Hiring personal injury attorneys skilled in vehicle accident cases will help guarantee that the insurance company does not take advantage of you. Furthermore, attorneys can assist you in dealing with the numerous calls from insurance adjusters, conducting investigations, and resisting cheap settlement offers from the insurance company.
5. Liability and Medical Investigation
After you hire a vehicle accident lawyer, they will do additional research into the accident. They will also update you regularly on your medical care. As your treatment progresses, they will order your medical bills and records. When your injuries have healed, they will order your treatment records and submit them to your insurance carrier. If your discomfort does not go away and your doctor believes it may be persistent, they will contact your doctor and obtain a report to file with your treatment records. This stage of the procedure can take the longest because it entirely depends on how you feel. It is critical to wait until your future prognosis is determined before even considering a settlement offer from the insurance company.
6. Settlement Demand
Once your medical condition has stabilized, they usually collect payment from the insurance company on your behalf. The insurance company will usually make the first offer. However, there will be some back-and-forth with the insurance adjuster until they are confident that the insurance company will not make any further proposals.
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7. Case Settles If a Lawsuit is Not Filed
When your automobile accident attorney receives a final offer from the insurance adjuster, you can settle your case or file a lawsuit. Many consumers will say they are not willing to bring a lawsuit and prefer to settle. However, because insurance companies know that people do not want to bring lawsuits, they offer low settlement amounts, knowing that most cases will be settled. During this procedure, a car accident attorney and their team of experienced car accident lawyers will advise you on whether the insurance company’s offer is fair. If not, you can pursue the case.
When a lawsuit is filed, the case enters the discovery phase. The discovery means that your auto accident attorney can learn more about the other side, and the other side can learn more about you. Interrogatories, requests for documents, and even depositions are all part of the discovery process. Interrogatories are written questions that are submitted to the opposing party. Document requests may include a request for images or medical records you have taken. A deposition allows lawyers to interview the parties involved in the accident, witnesses, treating doctors, or anybody else who may testify at trial.
Mediation is a method of resolving disputes in which a neutral third party, the mediator, conducts a dialogue between the parties to a lawsuit to achieve a voluntary settlement of the case before trial. Most personal injury mediations will occur between you and your car accident attorney, with the opposing attorney in a different room. The mediator will walk between the two rooms to encourage both parties to agree on a settlement figure. However, the mediator doesn’t have the authority to order a settlement.
In the absence of effective mediation, a trial will be held. In populated counties, a trial may not happen for more than a year after the lawsuit is filed. Significantly, the injured person bears the burden of establishing that the other motorist was negligent at trial. To establish negligence, the injured party and their counsel must demonstrate that the other driver failed to exercise ordinary care, which resulted in your injuries. Furthermore, the aggrieved party and their counsel must demonstrate how much damages the jury should award. Following the testimony of you, the other driver, witnesses, police officers, doctors, and other witnesses, the jury is needed to render a unique verdict.
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No matter how small your automobile accident is, it’s always best to reach out and consult a car accident attorney before discussing the crash with an insurance company or accepting any settlement offers. Insurance companies may frequently offer a rapid settlement, which will be significantly less than what you are entitled to. If you accept this offer, your claim is closed, even if you later discover it did not cover all your losses.
An expert vehicle accident lawyer can assist you in filing your claim and negotiating the best possible compensation. If the settlement is unjust, they will defend your claim for just compensation in court.