Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
If you were injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence and plan to file a lawsuit, you may wonder about your chances in court. Will it even go to trial, or will the insurance company settle for everything you need? That would be considered a win, right?
There are no guarantees if you file suit, but there are a few things you can do to strengthen your case and improve your odds.
Why Car Accidents Go to Trial
Most personal injury cases in the United States (over 90%) never make it to trial and are settled out of court. But if you aren’t happy with the settlement amount offered by the other driver’s insurance, or you want to dispute fault concerning the accident, you can file a lawsuit and take your case to a judge or jury.
Ohio’s Comparative Negligence Law
Before starting your car accident lawsuit, you should know the damages you can recover and how those amounts are determined. Ohio follows the law of comparative negligence, which means both you and the other driver involved in an accident can recover damages. Still, the amount can be reduced proportionally by your share of negligence.
For example, if your damages total $50,000 and you were found to be 10% negligent, the damages you recover would be reduced by $5,000. However, if you are more than 51% at fault, you cannot recover damages.
Damages You Could Be Entitled To
One advantage of taking your case to court rather than settling is that you can sue for multiple damages. While many of these can also be incorporated in a bulk settlement, a lawsuit lets you recover compensation for your:
- Cost of vehicle repairs or replacement
- Medical bills and medication/treatment costs
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages if you are unable to work
How Much Compensation Is Typical?
Payouts in car accidents will vary due to the circumstances and the extent of your injuries, and there is no typical settlement you can expect. However, taking your case to court instead of settling could result in a higher award.
Improving Your Chances of Winning
Filing a car accident lawsuit might seem daunting, but the risk of going to court can pay off if you receive a monetary award higher than the initial settlement offer. Here are some steps you can take to increase the likelihood of a verdict in your favor.
Under Ohio law, you have two years from the accident date to file a personal injury claim. If you wait until the statute expires, you won’t be able to take your case to court and recover compensation.
Getting your case started as soon as possible after the accident can help you recover damages more quickly and efficiently.
Make Liability Clear
The key part of winning your car accident lawsuit is proving the other driver’s negligence. Having evidence to prove your side of the case will strongly improve your chances of winning in court. Some forms of evidence that can help your case include:
- A copy of the police report
- Photos of your vehicle damage and the accident scene
- Witness testimony
- Medical reports documenting the extent of the injuries you received in the crash
Work with an Attorney
The most significant way to improve your chances in a car accident lawsuit is to hire a lawyer. An attorney who knows Ohio car accident law can help by using experts, accident reconstructionists, and other witnesses to prove the other driver’s negligence and support your claim.
Contact KNR for Help
To maximize your chances of winning your car accident lawsuit, you shouldn’t handle it independently. With genuine trial experience and a well-documented record of success, the car accident lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick will fight to recover the compensation you deserve. We won’t charge you anything unless you win.