Ohio Auto Accident Claims
Car accidents can happen instantly, and they can majorly impact your life. As a car accident victim in Ohio, you may wonder what you can do to get the compensation you deserve.
From Zanesville to Columbus to Cincinnati and Cleveland, there is much to explore in Ohio on its thousands of miles of roads. You can drive through Canton and visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame, take in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and enjoy the rolling hills in the southern part of the Buckeye State. There are 8 million licensed drivers in this state, and they drive an average of 9700 miles per year. If you plan to drive in Ohio, you should become familiar with its laws and regulations. If you happen to get in an accident, you will know what you need to do to file a claim or even a lawsuit.
Most Ohio car accident settlements are resolved out of court during the negotiation stage. However, you may need to sue if you cannot agree with the other driver’s insurance company.
- How Much Is Your Car Accident Settlement Worth?
Find out the maximum compensation you could receive.
- How Much Is My Car Accident Settlement Worth?
How Car Accident Settlements Work in Ohio
In Ohio, comparative negligence law governs car accident settlements. This law in Ohio states that your percentage of fault will reduce the amount you can recover in compensation for the accident.
For example, if you are 20% at fault for an accident that caused $100,000 in damages, you can only recover $80,000.
Factors Affecting Your Ohio Car Accident Settlement Amount
The value of your car accident settlement will depend on some factors, including:
- The severity of your injuries: The more severe your injuries, the more money you can recover. More severe injuries require more medical treatment and may cause long-term disabilities.
- The amount of your medical expenses: The amount of your medical expenses is another crucial determining factor in the value of your settlement. It covers the cost of your hospital stay, doctor’s visits, prescription medications, and any other medical treatment you received because of the accident.
- Lost wages: If you cannot work because of your injuries, you may recover your lost wages. The longer you could not work, the more money you could recover. The longer you cannot work, the more money you may recover.
- Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering is non-economic damage that can be difficult to quantify. However, it is essential to document your pain and suffering, both physically and emotionally. You can do this by journaling, writing your thoughts and feelings, and talking to your doctor or therapist.
- The availability of insurance coverage: If the other driver does not have insurance or their insurance coverage is insufficient, you may have difficulty recovering a settlement. However, there may be other sources of compensation, such as your own insurance policy or government programs.
How to File a Car Accident Claim in Ohio
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to file a car accident claim in Ohio:
- Report the accident to the police- this is important for getting a police report, which can help prove who was at fault for the accident.
- See a doctor. Even if you don’t think you’re injured, getting checked out by a doctor is crucial. Doing this ensures proper documentation of your health condition and treatment plans.
- Contact your insurance company. You should report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. They will help you file a claim and may provide you with a rental car while the body shop repairs your vehicle.
- Gather evidence- this includes things like photos of the accident scene, police reports, medical records, and any other documentation that can support your claim.
- File a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. You will probably file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. You can do this by mail, phone, or online.
- Negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company. The other driver’s insurance company may offer you a settlement. If you are unhappy with the offer, you can negotiate a higher payment.
- If you cannot settle, you may need to file a lawsuit. You can do this by contacting an attorney.
How Much Can I Get in a Car Accident Settlement in Ohio?
The amount of a car accident settlement in Ohio can vary depending on the severity of the injuries, the amount of medical expenses, the amount of lost wages, and the type of insurance coverage.
Here is the range of car accident settlements in Ohio for different injuries:
- Minor injuries: $2,500 – $10,000
- Moderate injuries: $10,000 – $50,000
- Serious injuries: $50,000 – $1 million
- Catastrophic injuries: $1 million – $5 million
It is important to note that these are just estimates, and the actual settlement amount will vary depending on the specific facts of each case. It is always best to speak with an experienced Ohio car accident lawyer to discuss your case and get an estimate of the potential value of your claim.
What Damages Can I Claim in an Ohio Car Accident Settlement?
You can claim two types of damages in an Ohio car accident settlement: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are for the financial losses you suffered from the accident. These losses can include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Cost of future medical care
- Loss of earning capacity
Non-economic damages are for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you have experienced because of the accident. These losses can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium (the loss of companionship and intimacy with your spouse or partner)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Car Accident/Driving Laws in Ohio
- Ohio is a fault state, so the driver at fault for a car accident is responsible for the damages caused.
- The state follows the comparative negligence law, so if you are partially at fault for a car accident, you may still recover damages. Still, your percentage of fault will reduce your recovery.
- Ohio requires all drivers to have liability insurance. This means that if you are in a car accident, your insurance company will pay for the damages caused by your car up to the limits of your policy.
- Ohio’s speed limit is 65 mph on most highways.
- Ohio has a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Ohio drivers cannot use handheld electronic devices while driving.
- When turning or changing lanes, drivers must yield to pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vehicles.
- Drivers should leave at least two seconds of space between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them.
- Drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving.
Ohio Car Accident Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Ohio is two years. If you have been injured in a car accident, it is important for you to retain an attorney as early as possible after the accident occurs. Filing a car accident claim for property damage has a statute of limitations of two years, as well.
Auto Insurance Requirements for Ohio
If you drive in Ohio, you are required to have a minimum level of car insurance. The minimum coverage required here is:
- $25,000 in bodily injury for each person in each accident
- $50,000 in bodily injury for every person in each accident
- $25,000 for property damage liability
Other Ohio Driving Laws
If you drive in Ohio, be aware there is a texting ban for all drivers. Also, there is a ban on cell phone use for novice drivers. If you are under the age of 18, there are now stricter rules for driving in Ohio. For example, those under 18 cannot drive between midnight and 6 am, unless a parent/guardian is with the driver. Also, those who have documentation from work, church or school to travel in those hours are exempt from the law.
Drivers under 18 also cannot drive with more than one non-family member in the vehicle, and all passengers are required to wear safety belts.
Ohio Accident Resources
Have you been in a car accident in Ohio? This can be a difficult and stressful experience, but we hope the resources you find below make this situation easier.
- For accidents that occurred in Columbus, you should file an accident report through the City of Columbus.
- If you are in an accident in other parts of Ohio, you should file a police report through the Ohio BMV.
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Statistics & Notable Ohio Car Accidents
According to the Ohio Department of Motor Safety, these were some of the crash statistics for Ohio car accident settlements.
- There were 3 fatal car accidents per day in the state, with 3.1 people killed that year.
- A person was killed in Ohio that year every 8 hours, and they were hurt every 4.6 minutes.
- Drunk drivers were involved in 30% of all fatal accidents in Ohio. Most of the drivers in the accidents were men or boys.
- 66% of car accidents happened during the day; this is likely because more people drive during the day, but night accidents are common as well.
- Car accidents killed 33 children.
The Ohio Department of Motor Safety reported in 2016 that common causes of accidents were DUI, drowsy driving, distracted driving and reckless driving. Distracted driving in Ohio is on the rise as it is in most states. That is why there is a texting and driving ban in the state, but these accidents still continue to rise.
Probable causes behind many fatal accidents in Ohio in 2016 were:
- Failure to control the vehicle
- Unsafe speed
- Failure to yield
- Left of center
- Improper change of lane
Also, holiday periods in Ohio lead to more fatal accidents. The estate reported that more than 12 people died over the following weekends in 2016:
- Labor Day
- Memorial Day
- Fourth of July
Pedestrian car accident deaths have also increased with 139 killed in 2016, which is the highest number that has been seen in the state in the last 10 years. It is believed there is more drunk driving, but distracted driving is certainly causing a higher number of pedestrian fatalities.
A major and tragic car accident story from Ohio this year was the death of Terry Glenn, a former Ohio State football star who also played 12 years in the NFL. He was killed in a one car crash in Irving TX in January 2018. The 43-year-old was killed in a car accident at 1 am near Dallas.
Glenn lived near the city and was driving when the vehicle left the road, hit a barrier and rolled. His fiancée was treated for minor injuries, but Glenn was killed when the car crashed into him him. Police determined that the driver may have fallen asleep behind the wheel.
Ohio Car Accident Settlement Calculator:
Have you been involved in a motor vehicle accident or otherwise injured in Ohio? Find out how much financial compensation you may be legally entitled to in just minutes with our free online Car Accident Settlement Calculator.
Ohio Car Accident Settlement Taxes
In most personal injury cases in Ohio, the settlement or jury award is not subject to taxation at the federal or state level. The federal tax code states that any amount that has been recovered for a physical injury is not subject to taxation. This includes the amounts paid for medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering and other harms and losses.
The thinking is that the car accident settlement payout is not income but is due to a loss. These funds are intended to make you whole. However, there is another rule in place when the person who was injured did not sustain a physical injury but only had emotional injuries. In this situation, the settlement would be taxable. For example, if you were in an accident caused by someone else in a car and you suffered emotional trauma only, this amount would be taxable. But if you suffer emotional trauma because of a broken arm in the car accident, the settlement would not be taxable.
Also, punitive damages are taxable at the federal and Ohio state levels. Punitive damages in a car accident case are more than what you need to make you whole. These damages are supposed to punish the other person and deter similar conduct in the future.
Car Insurance Requirements in Ohio
All drivers in Ohio are required to have liability insurance. This means that if you are in a car accident and are at fault, your insurance company will pay for the damages caused by your car up to the limits of your policy.
The minimum liability insurance requirements in Ohio are:
- Bodily injury: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
- Property damage: $25,000
You may purchase higher liability limits, which can provide you with more financial protection in the event of an accident. Consider purchasing additional types of insurance, such as collision, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
If you do not have car insurance, you may be subject to some penalties, including fines, license suspension, and jail time. You may also be personally liable for the damages caused by your car in an accident.
So, what does all of this mean for you? If you’ve been in a car accident, knowing that you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries is essential. This can help you pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It can also help you repair or replace your vehicle if it is totaled.
Don’t let the financial stress of a car accident settlement get in the way of your recovery. Focus on healing and getting better, then you can start a car accident claims process to get the compensation you deserve.
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