Many Cincinnati Drivers' Experience Similar Problems and Questions After a Car Crash - Get Answers Now
There are many issues that arise after a car accident. Some have immediate consequences, and some develop over time. In both cases, accident victims are often left with the responsibility to get back on their feet. In cases of manipulative practices by bad faith insurers and reckless drivers, victims often feel as though they have no options. Hopefully these questions and answers below can assist in case you are ever in such an unfortunate situation:
I've been involved in a car accident. What do I do? In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, it is important to keep your wits about you. Make sure that everyone in the car is okay and check on the occupants of the other vehicle. Make sure that you tell the police everything you know and get a copy of the police report.
I feel okay. Should I visit the hospital? In many accidents, drivers do not feel immediate pain or discomfort. In some cases, the pain is minor and many people have the urge to just "walk it off." Since many issues related to car accidents can develop in the hours, days, and months following a crash it is vital to be checked out by a medical professional. Perhaps you are okay and perhaps you have severe soft tissue damage that will develop over time.
What type of evidence should I collect from the scene? When you return to the scene of the accident, make sure that you document everything. Take pictures of just about everything you can, including both vehicles, the surroundings, and the road conditions. Take notes about the time of day, weather conditions, and other driver's insurance information. When in doubt, document it. Better yet hire a lawyer to get the critical evidence before it disappears.
What should I tell the insurance company? You should inform your insurance carrier of the accident as soon as possible, but give no details until consulting an attorney. Many insurance corporations make it a point to manipulate their policy holders to avoid paying out on claims.
When should I contact an attorney? Immediately! Once you are able to speak with a legal expert, you should. The insurance company and its adjustors and lawyers will be breathing down your neck to try and find anything they can in order to avoid paying for the costs incurred from the accident. Having an attorney as soon as possible can make sure that you can be guided through every step and protected from common pitfalls.
How much will I pay the attorney up front? There is significantly reduced risk in using an attorney that operates on a contingency basis. With this, the accident victim doesn't pay a cent unless the attorney recovers for them. This reduced risk will make sure that your family is not pushed further into debt as a result of the initial accident.
How much would the attorney's share be? Every law firm has a different approach to handling cases. Some will charge a very low commission but often get little results. Often they will take a smaller slice of a small pie. Skilled attorneys charge what they are worth and will commonly ask for about 33%, or one third of the total recovery. The significantly increased settlement will allow you and your family to get back on its feet.
How long does a claim take? A claim can take anywhere from a month to years. Commonly, auto accident claims are settled within about the space of a year. There are many factors at play, including negotiations with insurance companies, other drivers, and government agencies. If the parties can agree to a settlement before going to court, the time is significantly reduced.
Do I have to go to court?
In most cases: no. A large majority of car accident cases are settled between the parties without getting to that point. The more skilled your legal advocate is, the more likely they will strike a deal without having to bring you into an extended court case.
What am I entitled to in a case? From your attorney, professional treatment and straightforward answers. From the other driver and/or insurance carriers, you are entitled to the cost to get back on your feet. This can include the cost of medical treatment and physical therapy. This can also include money for lost wages or disability. There are also emotional and physical traumas that can be compensated for, including pain and suffering, loss of affection, and inability to lead your former life.
For more questions or if you are facing a similar situation, please call the Law Office of Anthony D. Castelli. We are available at 800.447.6549 or 513-621-2345 or via the email form to the right. Or you can schedule an appointment at our downtown Cincinnati law office. Anthony and his team are top ranked personal injury and car accident advocates in Ohio and are able to help you find the answers you are looking for.