Question

Do I Need A Lawyer After A Car Accident in Ohio?

Gordon D. Evans, II - Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Gordon D. Evans, II

The Donahey Law Firm
Columbus, OH
Phone: 614-224-8166
Fax: 614-849-0475

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Answer

The reason why you may want to call a lawyer after a car accident is that insurance companies are notoriously cheap and often do not want to compensate you appropriately. You might need money to cover pain and suffering, your medical bills, lost wages and any property damage, and the insurance companies do not want to pay all that. A lawyer knows exactly what must be done to pursue a case for compensation, and can help the company take you more seriously. If it becomes necessary, a lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf and argue in court for you. 

In practice, whether you should call a lawyer depends on what type of car accident you were involved in. In some cases, you may be able to resolve the situation yourself. If your accident was more serious, the stakes are higher and you would want a lawyer to help.

If Only Property Was Damaged

If just your property or that of the other party was damaged (for instance, if only the car was damaged), then you might not need to call a lawyer. You might be able to deal with the insurance companies on your own. 

If The Accident Caused Injury

If you were injured, then it is much more likely that you would need an attorney. If your injuries are minor, you can give it several months, and if you get better on your own, then you can try to settle with the company yourself. If your injuries are more serious or permanent, you should call a lawyer right away. 

The Best Way To Protect Your Case 

During the entire process, do not make any statements, whether over the phone or in written form, to the insurance company. Just say, “I’m taking a wait-and-see attitude.” This will help you keep your options open. They might try to use any statement you make, even an offhanded comment about how you are feeling, against you if it does come to a lawsuit. 

If you were injured in the accident, even if your injury is seemingly minor, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. You want to create documentation of your injury and how it is affecting your life. This means you should save every piece of documentation possible. Doctors’ notes, medical bills and anything related to your injury might be a piece of evidence your lawyer can use to your advantage. 

You are also limited by time. In Ohio, you have two years to file a lawsuit after a car accident, so you do not want to wait too long. You will have the best chance at a successful suit if you deal with it as promptly as possible.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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