Top 3 Things To Know About Auto Accident Personal Injury Cases In Kent, Ohio
Auto accidents can completely change the course of a person’s life, all in a matter of seconds. In the time it takes to miss a turn signal or forget to double check a blind spot, an accident can occur, and can send a person’s physical, emotional, mental, interpersonal, financial, and professional wellbeing into complete disarray.
If you have been in a motor vehicle accident in Kent, Ohio, it’s important to know a few essential facts about what that means for you, and how a personal injury settlement may help you navigate your new post-accident life.
Motor Vehicle Accidents Are Very Expensive
Car accidents can have very serious financial ramifications. Often, an accident will put you out of commission work-wise—sometimes on a temporary basis, and sometimes on a long-term or even permeant basis. Whether it’s temporary or longer term, your absence from work usually means that your regular income, which you count on to keep you and your family afloat, will be interrupted by your accident in some way.
Then there’s the other major financial issue: medical bills. Motor vehicle accidents often cause extensive physical injuries, which then require lots of medical treatment. This can include triage care, surgery, procedures, hospital stays, medications, and long courses of physical and occupational therapy—all of which tend to be very expensive.
Even if you have insurance, many policies have enormous gaps in coverage or insanely high deductibles, which can leave you responsible for large portions of your medical bills. Insurance companies are for-profit entities, and they do everything in their power to deny coverage whenever possible. In many cases, personal injury survivors have to sue their insurance companies into covering basic elements of care.
The double whammy of losing your income or wages and being stuck with astronomical medical bills can throw many accident survivors and their families into financial disarray.
In some cases, however—specifically, in cases where the accident was at least partially the fault of another party—you may be able to sue for some of those costs, as well as other damages, such as pain and suffering. If necessary, a personal injury attorney can also help you negotiate with or sue your insurance company for coverage if they lowball a settlement offer or deny your coverage claims.
“Comparative fault” means that the other party does not have to be entirely at fault—and you do not have to be entirely without fault—in order for you to recover personal injury damages from them.
If you are injured in a car accident in Kent, Ohio, you can recover against another party so long as they were more at-fault than you were—even if the division is, say, 60/40. If the other party was over 50% at fault, you can recover damages from them.
“Modified” means that in Ohio, your damages are reduced by the percentage of your liability. So, in a 60/40 case, you would be awarded a certain amount of money in damages, which would then be reduced by 40%. If you are seeking a settlement from an insurance company (yours or the other party’s), the insurance adjuster will also base their settlement offer/negotiation on comparative fault.
The process of assigning a percentage of fault in either case—whether it’s being determined by a Judge/jury or by an insurance adjuster—is rather subjective and depends largely on how well each side makes their case. This is why it is essential to have an experienced, adept personal injury attorney on your side to argue that you were less at fault rather than more.
There Are Statutes Of Limitation For Both Insurance And Personal Injury Claims.
In Kent, Ohio, there are statutes of limitation (i.e., legal time limits to file your claim) for auto accident personal injuries. If you do not file within this time frame, insurance companies can usually deny your claim, and Courts will usually dismiss your case.
To file an insurance claim, the time limit depends on the individual insurance company’s policies. Most policies hold that you have to file your claim or at least notify the insurance company within “a reasonable amount of time”—which can mean a few days to a few weeks from the time of your accident, depending on the company policy.
If you are pursuing a civil lawsuit, most Kent, Ohio car accident personal injury suits have the statute of limitations of two years to file, from the date of the accident. However, if someone died in the accident and the lawsuit is being filed by the deceased person’s relatives, it becomes a “wrongful death” matter, and the statute of limitations becomes two years from the date of the deceased person’s death (rather than the date of the accident).
An experienced Kent, Ohio motor vehicle personal injury attorney can help you meet every deadline in your case—including the statute of limitations—to ensure that you have the best chance possible of recovering the damages you deserve.
Have you or a loved one survived a motor vehicle accident in Kent, Ohio? Are you looking to pursue a personal injury claim? Attorney Amy Turos and the team at the Law Offices of Amy R. Turos can help. Call today for a free consultation on your case.