Insurance Claims Process & Accident Resources

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Let us be your one-stop resource for car accidents. If you have any questions regarding a collision involving yourself or a loved one, do not hesitate to call Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW.

At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, it is important to us to be a reliable resource for Ohio residents. We take our duties as Ohio car accident lawyers seriously.

We want you to be as prepared as possible for what to do in case of an accident. We know being part of a collision can be shocking. If you are prepared to deal with the immediate aftermath of a crash, then you’ll be better positioned to bring a successful claim. Yet, we are not just here to help prepare you for a crash that may or may not happen. We are also here to help after you or a loved one have been injured in a car wreck. When you or your relative are hurt because of another driver’s carelessness or recklessness, we are here to represent you during an insurance claim, or if necessary, a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Let us be your one-stop resource for car accidents. If you have any questions regarding a collision involving yourself or a loved one, do not hesitate to call Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW!.

Stage 1

Pre-Accident

What should you know in case you ever get in an accident?

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If you own a vehicle or regularly drive another person’s car, such as your parent or spouse’s vehicle, you need to be prepared for something to go wrong.

Some preparations are required by law, such as Ohio’s auto insurance requirements. If the vehicle is owned and registered in Ohio, then the owner should have at least:

  • $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage, and
  • $25,000 in property damage liability coverage.

Keep in mind, this is the minimum requirements. It may be smart to carry bodily injury and property damage liability coverage with higher policy limits, or to obtain other types of auto insurance coverage.

If you are ever in an accident, and you and the other driver are physically able to, you will need to exchange information. In this day and age, you may rely on your phone. However, what happens if your phone was damaged or lost in the collision? This potential problem is why it never hurts to keep a notebook and pen or pencil in your vehicle. When your phone is not an option, old-fashioned notetaking can be a life saver.

Helpful Resources

Stage 2

At the Scene

What you should do right after a collision.

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Immediately following a crash, there are a few things you should do – or not do:

Look yourself over for injuries first.

Do not try and help others unless you are OK. Only after you are confident you can move without injuring yourself further should you then check on your passengers and people in other vehicles.

If anyone is hurt or there is significant property damage, call 911.

If no one appears to be hurt at all, you can consider calling the police department’s non-emergency number. However, the police often prefer to investigate the accident and clear the road as quickly as possible. You may fill out and file an Ohio Crash Report.

Do not admit fault.

For some people, apologizing is a reflex. You need to hold back. Until there has been a thorough review of the crash, you do not know exactly what happened and who is responsible. Do not admit fault or apologize. Also, if the other driver is aggressive and blaming you, do your best to keep yourself safe and not escalate the situation.

Exchange information.

Do you best to obtain the other driver’s name, contact information, and auto insurance information. If the driver does not own the vehicle, obtain the owner’s name and contact information. If the other person is not cooperative, do not push the subject. Get the information from the police later.

Obtain witness information.

After a crash, witnesses may stop to provide help. Ask these witnesses for their names and contact information. You may need their statements for a car insurance claim or lawsuit.

Document the situation.

If your phone is working, use it to take photos and videos of the scene. If your phone was lost or damage, you may ask for a passenger or witness’s phone. You can also use pen and paper to take detailed notes. Write down the location of the crash, date and time of the accident, the road and traffic conditions, the light and weather conditions, a description of the accident, the final positions of the vehicles, the place and extent of the damage you can see.

Notify your insurer.

You should let your auto insurance company know about the accident as quickly as possible. You do not need to talk to the other driver’s auto insurance company, though you may provide them with a statement or information at a later date.

Call a car accident lawyer.

After being the victim of a car crash, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer near you. Our attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick have offices in Akron, Beachwood, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Independence, Toledo, Westlake, and Youngstown.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I get money after a car accident?

A. If you were injured in a car accident that was caused by another person, then you may have the right to pursue compensation. You should speak with a car accident lawyer in Ohio regarding proving negligence in an auto insurance claim.

Q. How much is my claim worth?

A. Every car accident claim is unique. At Kisling, Nestico, & Redick, we will thoroughly review your economic and non-economic losses to determine the potential value of your claim. In general, the more serious your injuries or the more egregious the at-fault party’s conduct, the greater the value of your case.

Q. What if I was partly at fault for the accident?

A. If you contributed to an accident, you may still be able to recover compensation. In Ohio, it depends on how much you were at fault. If a court finds you were less than 50 percent responsible, your compensation will be decreased by your percentage of fault.

Q. Will my case go to court?

A. Depending on your circumstances, your lawyer may recommend filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. However, that does not mean your claim will go to trial. Most auto accident claims are settled before trial.

Q. What is the statute of limitations on car accidents?

A. In Ohio, personal injury claims must be brought within two years form the date you were injured or in cases involving a minor, before their 20th birthday.

Stage 3

Getting Medical Treatment

You should obtain medical care as soon as possible.

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If you were injured in an accident, then you should be looked over by paramedics at the scene.

In many cases, you should agree to go to the emergency room to be sure your injuries are not more serious than they appear. Unfortunately, after car accidents, it is not uncommon for drivers and passengers to suffer serious injuries that are not immediately obvious. Even a concussion may not be clear until you are examined by a physician experienced with head trauma.

If you do not go to the ER after an accident, do not skip seeing a doctor. After a car accident, it is important to document your physical injuries. You should see your family physician or your local immediate care provider within a day or two.

After seeing a doctor, you need to listen to them. Do not ignore your physician’s advice. If you are told to take time off work, you should. If you are told to avoid activity, you should. Our car accident lawyers in Akron and throughout Ohio understand how frustrating this is, and how much it can cost you. We will take your lost income and inconvenience into consideration when we negotiate a settlement with the insurer.

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Stage 4

Hiring an Attorney

A car accident lawyer can help with your auto accident claim.

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If you or a loved one were hurt in a car accident, it should not be your responsibility to handle the car accident claim entirely on your own. You have the right to get help from a car accident lawyer near you.

At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, we understand that it can be stressful to look for an attorney. It can be difficult to tell which firm is right for you, but at KNR, we try to carry as much of your burden as possible. We offer free initial consultations so we can learn about your case, and answer any questions.

KNR is highly experienced in a wide variety of motor vehicle accidents, and we have a track record of securing results for people just like you. Regardless if you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, motorcycle accident, or commercial truck crash, we will know what it takes to investigate your accident, how to handle the insurance process, and if necessary, we will fiercely represent you in court. Our goal will always be to gain the maximum possible amount of compensation for your injuries.

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Stage 5

The Insurance Company

A lawyer will ensure you are treated fairly.

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Following a car accident, you are almost always going to be part of a car accident insurance claim.

This is the process through which you may obtain compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurer. You will typically deal with your insurance company, which may communicate with the other insurer. Or, you may also be contacted by the other driver’s insurer directly. To be clear, you do not need to speak with the other driver’s insurer. If you wish to, in order to speed up the process, be sure to speak with KNR’s car accident lawyers first. Anything you say to an insurance adjuster can be used in your claim – and could be used to deny your claim.

Insurers tend to market themselves as drivers’ best friends. The truth is that insurance companies are businesses that are out to make a profit. They have a legal duty to treat your fair, though that does not mean they will. Adjusters will look for any way they can to deny or limit your claim. Some of these practices go so far as to be bad faith, which can give you a legal claim against the insurer. However, many of insurer’s strategies are not illegal, they are just unfair. By working with a lawyer, you can protect yourself from these unjust practices and improve your chance of obtaining fair compensation.

Helpful Resources

Video Guide



Stage 6

Settlements

Many car accident claims are resolved in out-of-court settlements.

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A majority of auto accident claims do not go to trial.

Instead, insurers settle with car accident victims out of court. However, that does not mean reaching an appropriate settlement is easy. You may need to have an attorney conduct an independent investigation and gather evidence of the other driver’s fault. Your attorney may need to fight to prove that the other party, and therefore their insurer, is liable. A common issue during settlement negotiation is allegations of contributory negligence – the other driver may claim you were also at fault.

Your attorney may go through considerable negotiations to fight for the compensation you truly deserve. Insurance companies will often give low-ball settlement offers at first. Unless you have considerable experience in dealing with insurers, it is best to leave settlement negotiations to an attorney who has specific negotiation experience and is used to dealing with insurance adjusters and lawyers.

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Video Guide




Stage 7

What to expect if your car accident claim goes to court.

A car accident lawyer can help with your auto accident claim.

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Depending on the circumstances surrounding your car accident, KNR may recommend filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit right away.

This does not mean your lawyer thinks you will go to trial. In most cases, filing a lawsuit is intended to show the insurance company you take your claim seriously and to give your lawyer the ability to utilize discovery. The discovery process is an important tool in your lawyer’s investigation of the crash, particularly if the other party is a trucking company or other business.

If your lawyer files an auto accident claim in court, the initial phase is discovery. This is where the parties request information and documentation. During this time, your lawyer may conduct depositions, obtain witness statements, and hire expert witnesses. Once discovery is complete, your lawyer may begin or return to settlement negotiations.

If negotiations fail, your lawyer will prepare for trial. There may be a pre-trial conference and multiple pre-trial hearings regarding the evidence that may be admitted to court. You may need to attend court at various times during the discovery and pre-trial phases, though most hearings can be taken care of by your lawyer.

During a trial, each side gives opening arguments, then presents their evidence one at a time. Each side can call their own witnesses and cross examine the other side’s witnesses. When both sides have finished, they will present closing arguments. The case is then decided by the jury, or if you waived the right to a jury, then by the judge.

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