A car accident is one of the most stressful experiences a person can undergo. And when an accident is coupled with a severe injury, it can be life-altering.
If you were recently involved in a car accident, whether as the driver, passenger, or pedestrian, you have the right to sue for medical bills, hospital stays, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
What to Know When Filing a Personal Injury Claim
Unfortunately, Car Accidents are More Common Than People Realize
Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and even the most experienced driver can find themselves in an accident. Across the country and in Ohio, these are the most common causes of car accidents:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Poor weather conditions
- Failing to obey traffic signals
Immediately After an Accident
If you’re ever involved in a car accident, even a minor fender bender, the first thing you should do is take pictures of your car and any other cars/items involved in the accident. When filing a PI claim, evidence is key and photos can shed light on who was at fault.
Next, you should call the police. Especially if the other driver was clearly at fault, they may ask that you not call the police and promise to pay for any damages out of pocket. While this can be tempting at the time, it will complicate your PI claim down the road because there’s no documented account of the accident. If they later claim to have never hit you, you may not be able to prove they were at fault.
Lastly, you should always visit a doctor or go to the emergency room as soon as possible. It’s very common for car accident injuries (whiplash, a concussion, back injuries, etc.) to affect someone days, even weeks, after the accident itself. After an accident, you may experience an adrenaline rush or be in shock — both of these are your body’s coping mechanisms against pain, however they won’t last for long. If you wait too long to go to the doctor, your claim may be denied.
There is a Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Auto Accident Claims
The car accident statute of limitations is the window of time you have to bring a lawsuit against another party for negligence. If your claim falls outside of this window, it will likely automatically be denied.
Here in Ohio, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims, including car accident lawsuits, is two years from the date of the incident. However, there are times when certain factors will extend that period. For example, if someone dies as the result of a car accident and you decide to file a wrongful death claim, the statute of limitations begins from the date of death, not the accident.
Truck Accidents in Ohio
Contrary to popular belief, truck accidents are handled very differently from traditional car accidents, mainly because claims against commercial trucks can be filed against more than just the driver. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to sue the trucking company, the shipper/cargo loader, the maintenance company, and/or the parts manufacturer.
An Experienced PI Attorney Will Alleviate Much of Your Stress
Car accidents often feel like something that will never happen to you — until they do. If you were seriously injured in an accident, recovering should be your only priority. Laws regarding car accident injuries can be incredibly complicated and one incorrectly filled out document or missed deadline can keep you from getting the compensation you deserve.
At HMW Law, we can provide the legal representation you need for your criminal or personal injury case. We care about what happens in your case. To learn more about our team, call us at (216) 220-6776 or contact us online today.