Someone Hit You, What Can You Expect?
In my practice, I have handled enough personal injury causing car accident cases to know that while each incident is different, there are some critically important similarities. To begin, you can expect that the insurance company will work quickly to protect their interests. They will often approach you under the guise of sympathy, and then coax you to say things that you do not mean or even know about. So first thing’s first, if you are reading this and are being pressured to give a recorded statement or speak at length with an insurance company adjuster or lawyer, think twice. While you have a duty to cooperate with your own insurance company, you should never do anything that may negatively affect your legal rights without first consulting a lawyer.
To this end, it’s important to say that I (as well as most personal injury lawyers) work on a contingency fee, which means it costs you nothing to sit down and talk to me.
The next step, and arguably the most critical, is to document any and all facts you can remember from your accident and any consequences the accident caused. In order to succeed at trial, a number of things must be shown. To begin, the first step is to show that a duty was owed to you. In Ohio, all driver’s are under a duty to act as a reasonable person would under the same or similar circumstances. In general, this means that all driver’s must obey traffic law and remain alert and attentive when driving.
After establishing that a duty was owed to you, and that the duty was breached, the next (and most technical) step is proving causation. To put it simply, causation is connecting the damages you are suffering to the accident you were in. This area of the law is exceedingly detail oriented, and often requires expert opinions to tie injuries to the accident. Insurance companies frequently assert that the injury at issue was caused by something else despite evidence to the contrary.
To Settle or Not To Settle.
Every personal injury case varies widely from the next. No two are the same. As a result, it is nearly impossible to formulate any exact equation to when a settlement is worth accepting. As a general rule, a thorough balance of risk and reward is critical when considering whether to litigate a case. A skilled personal injury Attorney can and should explain in great detail the pros and cons of litigation whenever an offer is made.
What About My Medical Bills?
If you’ve ever been injured, you know at least two things. First, an injury can turn your life entirely upside down. Secondly, medical bills can be absolutely crippling even with decent insurance. One vital component to any personal injury case is dealing with a concept called subrogation. Under Ohio law, all health care providers retain a lien on settlement proceeds in the amount of the medical bill. However, this number is often negotiable, and an Attorney who handles a large number of these types of cases knows how to artfully negotiate with health care providers to ensure that more money goes to the victim of an injury accident.
Dennis E. Sawan is a car accident and personal injury lawyer based in Toledo, Ohio. To schedule a free consultation, call 419-900-0955 or 1-866-INJURY-0 today.