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Posted in: Car Accidents
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you are likely facing significant financial loss. To recover compensation for your damages and hold the liable party accountable, you may need to file a car accident lawsuit. And while most cases settle, understanding the Ohio car accident lawsuit process improves your odds of success.
At KNR, we can tell you what to expect and make things as straightforward as possible. Learn more when you contact us for a free consultation. Call 1-800-HURT-NOW.
There are several reasons to file a lawsuit following a car accident. For instance, filing a lawsuit may be necessary when the insurance company disputes liability or refuses to negotiate in good faith. Lawsuits are also common if your car accident injuries are particularly severe, if the case involves complex details, to secure critical evidence through discovery, or if the defendant does not have sufficient insurance coverage.
The decision to file a lawsuit after a car accident will be based on the various factors unique to your situation. However, sometimes a lawsuit represents an effective way to preserve evidence, advance your interests, and ensure your case is taken seriously.
Civil lawsuits in Ohio are filed in the court of common pleas. And car accident lawsuits are generally filed in the county where the accident occurred. Therefore, it does not matter where either involved party resides.
However, if your damages are less than $3,000, you may need to pursue your claim in the small claims division of the Ohio civil courts.
In the aftermath of your car accident, there are specific steps to take, including:
Evidence plays a vital role in every car accident case. It can be used to defend yourself and prove the other parties’ liability. Examples of evidence that you should focus on include:
Since the evidence you collect can significantly impact your case’s outcome and are an essential part of the car accident lawsuit process.
After a car accident, your health should be your top priority. Therefore, seek medical attention immediately. Even if you feel fine, visiting a doctor is important because many injuries are not apparent initially.
If a doctor prescribes a medical treatment, follow their instructions to ensure that you treat your injuries and return to your pre-accident condition. Adhering to a treatment plan also shows the extent and severity of any injuries you incurred from the car accident. If you choose not to seek medical treatment or stop early, the liable party may argue that you’ve exaggerated your injuries.
If anyone witnessed your accident, try to obtain their contact information as they can help support your case. Once you collect their information, share it with your attorney. Our team will contact the witnesses, document their accounts, and use their information to strengthen your case.
Understand that you have the right to recover fair compensation for your damages. Since insurance companies are in business to make money, the liable party’s insurer may try to convince you to accept a settlement offer far less than what you deserve.
You must seek legal representation to ensure you are not taken advantage of and obtain the fair and full compensation you are entitled to. An experienced lawyer can inform you of your rights, communicate with insurance companies, and make sure your rights are protected.
After your car accident lawsuit has been filed in the appropriate Ohio civil court, your attorney will review the defense’s evidence through a process known as discovery. In preparation for your trial, your attorney must also turn over the evidence and case you have built against the defendant.
Before the trial, there will be pretrial motions and hearings where evidence may be suppressed or dismissed, motions filed and attempts to resolve the case outside of court commence. Although many cases can be resolved prior to an official trial, preparing for court can go a long way in helping you recover maximum compensation for your damages.
Your attorney will present the evidence gathered to support your case at trial. Your attorney will call witnesses, introduce evidence, and explain why the defendant is at fault.
Then, the defense will have an opportunity to refute your claims and introduce evidence. You can expect them to look for opportunities to blame you, as this could reduce their financial obligation.
Once all evidence has been presented, the judge or jury will review the evidence in detail and deliberate. Once they have decided, they will return to court and render a verdict. If the outcome is in your favor, the defense will be compelled to compensate you based on the amount awarded by the jury.
However, if the jury does not agree that the defendant is liable for your damages, the defendant will not be ordered to compensate. In some cases, you may have the opportunity to file an appeal with the higher court.
A car accident lawsuit is usually very technical and legally complex. The insurance company will have attorneys handling the process on their behalf, and you should also benefit from professional insight.
An experienced trial attorney helps ensure sufficient evidence meets the necessary legal burdens to establish negligence, complicated legal documents are properly handled, and your financial losses are accurately illustrated.
Additionally, since many first insurance settlement offers are insufficient to meet an injury victim’s needs, going to trial may be your best opportunity to be awarded maximum compensation. If that’s the case, you’ll want someone who can guide you and develop a plan of action.
Kisling, Nestico & Redick has extensive trial experience and a record of courtroom success. With KNR by your side, you will have access to the resources needed to handle any car accident case from start to finish.
The car accident lawsuit process can take as few as several months or longer, depending on the complexities involved. If multiple parties share liability or if your damages are extensive, it may take longer to build a case.
According to Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 2305.10, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident lawsuit is two years from the date of the injury. If you do not file within this two-year time frame, you may not be able to recover damages.
You are not required by law to testify at your own civil trial. However, the jury hearing firsthand how your injuries have affected your life could considerably impact the outcome. Your attorney can review the specific details of your car accident to determine whether your testimony at trial is appropriate and necessary.
Unfortunately, you may be in a position where you must file a car accident claim on behalf of a loved one. For example, if your child suffered an injury in a car accident, as their parent, you may be able to pursue the compensation they deserve. You can also file a wrongful death claim if a loved one suffered fatal injuries. It’s best to discuss your eligibility to bring legal action on behalf of another with an attorney.
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, call the Ohio car accident lawyers of Kisling, Nestico & Redick today. We will guide you through the car accident lawsuit process and answer any questions you may have.
Get your free, no-risk consultation. Call 1-800-HURT-NOWW today.