Toledo Ohio Car Accident Lawyer Dennis E. Sawan has experience representing the victims of automobile negligence. The following are answers to a number of frequently asked questions. If you have any specific questions about any automobile accident claim, call the Law Office of Dennis E. Sawan today at 1-866-INJURY-0 to schedule a free consultation.
Q: What do I do if I’m involved in a car accident?
If you are involved in an automobile accident, you should under no condition leave the scene; otherwise, you could face criminal charges. The most critical first step is to call an ambulance if someone has been injured. Make sure your vehicle is not creating a hazard to other motorists by moving it from the flow of traffic, when possible. Next, you should call the police and file an accident report. Never admit liability at the scene of the accident–this is a legal matter that will be investigated later. Be certain to collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses, or others involved in the accident. It is also a good idea to take photographs to document skid marks, vehicle damage, road obstructions, and injuries
Q: When the police arrive, should I discuss the accident with them?
Yes, you should absolutely cooperate with law enforcement. Whether you are the victim or the cause of an automobile accident, it is important to limit yourself to discussing known facts. It is important to avoid speculation or blame for the accident. Accusations have a time and a place, but at the scene of the accident is not it.
Q: How much does it cost to speak to a car accident lawyer?
I never charge for an initial consultation and for a review of the facts surrounding you case. Personal injury cases I handle generally involve a contingency fee agreement, although alternative payment methods are sometimes available if you prefer. Under a contingency fee arrangement, the client agrees to pay a specified percentage of the recovery. If there is no recovery, there is no fee and I often absorb the expenses which have been advanced on the case. Call 1–866-INJURY-0 today to schedule a free consultation.
Q: How soon after a car accident should I get a lawyer?
Quickly. To be safe, you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible, especially under circumstances where the injuries are severe or a death has resulted. It is far too common for evidence to disappear, memories to fade and witnesses move. This all can negatively impact the practical ability to prove your case. If you are still being treated by a doctor, an attorney can also provide you with guidance concerning your heath care and help you deal with the financial fallout of medical bills. Legal advice is also indispensable when answering questions about the settlement value of a claim, your insurance policy’s terms, or potential bad faith on the part of your insurance company.
Q: Should I notify my car insurance company of the accident?
Yes. Under your policy, you have a duty to cooperate with your own insurance company. Most insurance companies require their policyholders to promptly notify the company of every auto accident so that they can gather basic information. In fact, it’s important to note that failure to provide information to your insurance company in a timely manner can mean the loss of coverage for the accident. However, you should avoid making any statements about who was at fault in the accident and only relate the facts of the accident as they occurred. Avoid speculation or guessing. You should consult with a personal injury attorney before providing any other information to an insurance company.
Q: Should I notify the other driver’s insurance company of the accident?
Unless you want to jeopardize your claim, it is advisable that you hire a personal injury attorney to handle this type of communication. Most people have no concept of how the other side can twist something you have said so that you are robbed of the compensation you deserve.
Q: Should I give any insurance company a recorded statement?
The short answer is NO. While it is true that youhave a duty to cooperate with your insurance company and give them a statement, this does NOT require that you give a recorded statement to the other side’s insurance company. Insurance companies will go to great lengths to secure these statements because they know that they can misinterpret statements made to limit responsibility. In fact, you should never give a recorded statement until you have consulted with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Insurance company claims adjusters are professional negotiators with extensive experience and are well trained to ask questions in a manner designed to limit your claim. Insurance companies are trained to save the company money, and one tactic they use is to make liability questionable and attempt to establish that your medical claims are unfounded.
Q: What can I do if the other driver doesn’t have insurance?
Statistics show that nearly one in three drivers in the United States is uninsured. If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you may mistakenly think that you have no legal recourse. However, in actuality, you can seek compensation from you own insurance company, as part of your underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage. If you do not have this coverage, then your only recourse i often to sue the driver individually. Most people who don’t carry insurance do not have much by way of assets, so it’s unlikely you’ll make a recovery if you must resort to suing an uninsured driver.