In the United States, over seven million car accidents occurred in 2016. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that of those involved in crashes, over three million suffered from injuries and nearly 40,000 people died. Collisions can happen at any moment for any number of reasons. When another driver’s negligence or recklessness was the cause of your accident, you deserve the chance to hold them accountable for their actions.
Taking legal action against a driver who harmed you isn’t something you have to do on your own. A Dayton car accident lawyer from Bey & Associates, LLC will support you through the process of filing a car accident claim against the liable party. We understand that the aftermath of a car accident can leave you feeling vulnerable, which is why hiring an experienced lawyer from our firm will benefit you—we’ll take care of the legal side of things so that you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery.
Steps to Take Immediately Following a Car Accident
After a collision, you might not know what to do, and that’s okay. You never know how you’ll react in a stressful and potentially life-threatening situation until you are in one. Just like any scary situation, though, the most important thing to do is to stay as calm as possible so you can think clearly and make good decisions. Here are the steps you should take immediately following a car accident so you get the help you need and remain safe:
- Assess yourself for injuries. If you’re in pain or suspect you have suffered a serious injury from the collision, it’s best if you stay still and wait for help to get there. If your injuries seem minor, you should be safe to move on to the next step.
- Move to safety. Chances are that after your collision you’re in danger of being hit by other cars as well. If you can, move to the side of the road so you are not in the direct line of traffic. If you can’t move your car, turn it off, and at least get yourself and any other passengers out of the vehicle and to a safe area.
- Call 911. Witnesses may have already done this, but you should call 911 to ensure that police, medical professionals, and any other necessary personnel arrive on the scene. Never assume someone else has already alerted emergency services. When the police arrive to file an accident report, give them an honest description of what happened and don’t include any opinions on who caused it, and don’t apologize. Assigning blame to any party, including yourself by apologizing, during your report could harm you later on in your claim.
- Exchange information. You should get information from any other drivers on the scene. You’ll want their name, phone number, insurance information, and their license plate number. This will help you later on. You’ll also want to talk to any witnesses of the accident and get their name and phone number in case you need them to testify on your behalf later.
- Take pictures of the scene. Documentation of the scene will help you later on when you’re preparing to make a case. Take pictures of any damages to your car, the other car or cars, any objects that contributed to the accident, weather conditions, road conditions, and injuries that may be visible.
- Seek medical attention. Whether or not you believe you’re injured, you should get evaluated by a medical professional immediately after your accident. Shock and adrenaline can mask the pain of any injuries directly after a collision, so you might not even realize you are injured until hours or days later. Getting evaluated as soon as possible helps doctors spot your injuries early on and begin treating them right away.
- Hire a lawyer. Even if you follow all of those steps, you’ll still want an experienced legal professional on your side for your car accident claim. A Dayton car accident lawyer from Bey & Associates, LLC will be able to guide you through the claims process and support you every step of the way.
Ohio Car Insurance Laws
Before a car accident, and even before you get behind the wheel, you’ll want to know your state’s laws for car insurance. Ohio is an at-fault state, so you can seek damages from the driver who caused an accident that injured you or damaged your property. Here’s the minimum coverage required for drivers in Ohio:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in one accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death to two or more persons in one accident
- $25,000 for property damage in one accident
Even though Ohio is an at-fault state, the comparative negligence rule still comes into play. While the driver at fault is liable for the costs incurred by the accident, if the other driver is slightly at fault, the amount of available compensation could change. The way this usually works is that the driver who is more at fault still must pay the less at-fault driver’s compensation, but the amount is reduced by the percentage of lesser fault.
For example, if a driver A is 90% at fault and driver B is 10% at fault, then driver B cannot receive 100% of the compensation that was determined by their damages. Instead, they can only recover 90% of the amount that they are owed because they were proven to be partially at fault for the collision as well.
Get Legal Representation From Bey & Associates, LLC
After a car accident in Ohio, you might be struggling to figure out how you’re going to get you and your family back on your feet financially. Medical bills, repair bills, and lost wages can keep you from moving on from the accident in the same way that physical and emotional injuries can keep you from getting back to your normal life.
Bey & Associates, LLC knows how hard it can be to recover from an accident on your own. That’s why our Dayton car accident lawyer is dedicated to helping you get back on your feet by fighting for fair compensation. Our experienced team can give you a free case consultation to discuss if your potential case is worth fighting. Reach out to us today so we can look into your situation and determine if legal action is right for you.