Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
Following a car accident, filing a car accident lawsuit helps you recover the damages you need to put your life back in order. While nothing can change the fact that your accident occurred, compensation can help you to cover costly medical bills, or can replace any lost wages and address your pain and suffering.
If you want to file a lawsuit following a car accident, there are five critical steps you must take in the car accident lawsuit process.
1. File Your Lawsuit in Time
Filing your car accident lawsuit within the proper amount of time is perhaps the most important step in the process. If you fail to file your claim within the law’s specified statute of limitations, you risk forfeiting your right to recover damages.
In Ohio, the statute of limitations for pursuing a personal injury case is two years from the time of injury, as detailed in Ohio Revised Code section 2305.10.
2. Gather and Protect Evidence
To help to protect your legal rights, you should gather evidence pertaining to your car accident as soon as possible. Evidence can be used to defend you case, and prove the negligence and liability of the other driver involved.
Forms of evidence that you should collect are below.
- Photographs of the accident scene and damage to vehicle(s)
- Police reports
- Eyewitness reports
- Information about other driver(s) involved (registration, insurance, name)
- Medical reports
- Photographs of injuries
- Any other relevant information
The evidence that you gather can make or break your car accident lawsuit. As such, this is another vital part of the car accident lawsuit process.
3. Continue and Document Medical Treatment
Following a car accident, nothing is more important than your health and wellbeing. Seek medical attention after your wreck, even if you don’t feel injured. Some injuries may not appear right away, and it’s important to get checked out by a doctor. Your medical treatment should not cease until recommended by a doctor.
Continuing medical care up until the point that your doctor releases you from treatment is important for two reasons. First and foremost, continuing medical treatment ensures you receive the amount of medical care that you need to remedy your injuries.
The second reason that you should continue receiving medical care pertains to the car accident litigation process. Your doctor’s reports will serve as important testimony of the extent and severity of your injuries. If you fail to get medical care, or cease medical care too early, the defense may argue that your injuries aren’t as serious as you claim, and may try to reduce damages.
4. Acquire Witness Testimonies
Just as important as your medical records detailing the severity of your injuries are any witness testimonies that defend your position and help to prove the negligence of the other driver involved. Witnesses are usually neutral in their position, which make them a valuable source of information from the perspective of a judge or jury.
If there were neutral witnesses during your accident, you should try to obtain contact information for them. Then, as part of the car accident lawsuit process, you should turn the information over to your attorney, who can speak to the witnesses about what they saw, gather a recorded statement, and use the testimony to help build your case.
5. Seek the Help of an Attorney
The fifth step in the car accident lawsuit process is understanding your right to receive a fair settlement. Oftentimes, car accident victims will settle for an amount much less than what they deserve. An attorney can help you understand your rights as a car accident victim, and can guide you through the process of knowing how much money you should receive.
At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, our attorneys are ready to work to get you the settlement amount to which you’re entitled. For help filing your case within the statute of limitations, gathering evidence, documenting medical treatment, and acquiring witness testimony, give us a call at 1-800-HURT-NOW.