How Car Accident Compensation Works in Ohio
An experienced attorney can guide you through the process
When you’ve been injured in a car accident in Columbus, your life can change quickly. You need extensive medical treatment and are looking at months of recovery. You are unable to work and there is less money coming in. When a negligent driver caused the crash that left you hurt, you deserve financial compensation. But the process of recovering that compensation can quickly become complicated.
At Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC, our Columbus car accident attorneys understand the impact that injuries can have on victims and their families. Physical injuries can prevent you from taking part in your usual activities. Dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating. We can help guide you through the process to recover the compensation you deserve.
Ohio has a “fault” – or “at-fault” – insurance system. This means that the person who caused the accident is responsible for paying the damages that were suffered. But that is easier said than done. In short, you have three options for recovering compensation after a car accident:
- File a “first-party” claim with your insurance company – Your insurance company would handle the claim and pay you financial compensation. They would then seek payment from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
- File a “third-party” claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company – The other driver’s insurance company would handle your claim and pay you financial compensation.
- File a lawsuit against the at-fault driver – There are often disagreements about how much compensation should be paid after an accident. If a settlement can’t be reached, you have the option of taking legal action.
One of our attorneys can review the details of your accident and discuss your legal options to find the best strategy for you. Our goal is to help you recover maximum compensation for the damages you suffered, which may include current and future medical expenses, lost income if you couldn’t work, and other damages such as pain and suffering.
What are the insurance requirements in Ohio?
All drivers in the state are required to buy insurance coverage with minimum limits of:
- $25,000 for the injury or death of one person
- $50,000 for all injury or death in a single accident
- $25,000 for property damage
It’s important to remember that damages in a car accident can easily exceed these amounts. If a driver causes an accident that left you injured and only has minimum coverage, the insurance won’t pay for anything above those amounts. That leaves you responsible for covering the rest. That’s why it’s recommended that all drivers purchase coverage with higher limits.
There is also optional coverage that drivers can add to their policy, including:
Collision and comprehensive insurance – This type of coverage pays for damage to your vehicle. Collision covers damages caused from an accident, while comprehensive covers damage caused by vandalism, fire, or natural disaster. While legally optional, this coverage may be required if you finance your car.
Medical payments (MedPay) – If you are injured in an accident, this coverage will pay your medical expenses, up to the policy limit. It doesn’t matter who was at fault. Because recovering compensation from an at-fault driver can take some time, this coverage can be used to pay initial medical expenses.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist protection – This coverage will pay your damages, up to policy limits, if you are hurt in an accident caused by a driver who does not have insurance – or does not have enough insurance. This coverage can be very beneficial in certain situations, such as a crash involving a hit-and-run driver who is never found.
Do I need a lawyer to recover financial compensation after an accident?
There is no requirement for you to have a lawyer when dealing with the insurance company. But the insurance company has lawyers, and they work together to find ways to pay you less. That’s why it’s important to have an attorney who knows how they operate and can fight for the compensation you deserve – not the compensation they want you to have.
Our firm has been fighting for the injured since 2007. We know the laws in Ohio. We are familiar with the tactics insurance companies use to limit compensation. We focus on building strong cases that insurance companies have to take seriously.
Our legal team investigates your accident to gather evidence that helps prove the other driver was at fault. We carefully review accident reports and medical records, interview witnesses and if needed, consult experts. We determine the total damages you have suffered as a result of the accident and fight for just compensation – whether that’s through a negotiated settlement or a jury verdict.
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, learn more about how we can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.