How to Dispute Car Accident Fault
Posted on Sunday, June 25th, 2023 at 2:01 pm
If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident in Ohio and believe you were not at fault, it is essential to understand your rights and the steps you can take to dispute the blame. This blog post outlines a straightforward, actionable approach to disputing fault after a car accident in Ohio. Keep reading to learn more about your rights and how a lawyer could help your case.
Preserve the Scene
The first step toward disputing fault for a car accident is to preserve the scene. Taking photos or videos immediately after the accident can offer valuable evidence for your claim. Take pictures of the position of the vehicles involved as well as any damage they sustained, road conditions, traffic signals, and any visible property damage. Also, if there are witnesses, ask for their contact information. Their testimonies could prove instrumental in disputing fault in your case.
Details matter in car accident cases. Take detailed notes on all events, conversations, and decisions related to the accident as accurately as possible. This includes details about the accident and conversations with the other driver, law enforcement, and medical professionals. Memories can fade over time, so writing down everything while it’s fresh in your mind is essential. You should also maintain records of your medical bills, vehicle repair costs, and any other expenses resulting from the accident.
Notify Your Insurance Company
Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as you can. Provide all the details and, importantly, avoid admitting fault. Insurance companies will use your statement and other information to determine fault, so be as clear and accurate as possible. If the other party’s insurance company contacts you, refrain from making statements without consulting an attorney.
Consult a Car Accident Attorney
Disputing fault in a car accident can be daunting. Having an experienced car accident attorney on your side is crucial to proving the other party is responsible for the crash. A lawyer will be deeply familiar with Ohio’s car accident laws and prepared to protect your rights. Furthermore, an attorney can gather crucial evidence, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and, if necessary, take your case to court and represent you at trial.
Understand Ohio’s Comparative Negligence Law
Ohio follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule when determining fault and compensation for car accidents. This means you can recover compensation even if you were partially at fault for the accident, provided your fault is less than that of the other party. The amount of compensation you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you are found to be 10 percent at fault and seek $100,000, you can recover up to 90 percent of your losses, or $90,000. Understanding this law is vital in assessing your case and determining a strategic approach.
Fight the Initial Determination
Don’t be discouraged if the initial fault determination by the insurance company is not in your favor. Insurance companies have been known to make errors or rushed judgments. You have the right to dispute their decision. You can submit additional evidence, such as witness statements, photos, and videos, or request a reevaluation. An attorney can handle these details for you to ensure that the paperwork is submitted promptly and accurately.
File a Lawsuit if Necessary
If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement or incorrectly assigns fault, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced car accident attorney can help you through this process, evaluating your legal options and filing the necessary paperwork. Furthermore, a lawsuit may allow you to recover additional compensation for intangible losses such as pain and suffering, which insurance companies do not typically cover.
The most critical aspect of disputing fault is staying proactive. Continue to gather evidence, stay organized, and work with your attorney to create a strong case. Communicate openly and often with your legal team to ensure you’re always in the know.
Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys in Ohio Today
At Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC, we are dedicated to offering top-tier legal representation to injury victims. If you’re facing the aftermath of a car accident and want to dispute fault, our team is here to help. With our in-depth knowledge of Ohio law and a solid commitment to our clients, we will fight tirelessly for your rights and aim to achieve the best possible outcome.
If you need help disputing fault in your car accident case, contact Lawrence & Associates Accident and Injury Lawyers, LLC right away. Call us at (513) 351-5997 or contact us online for a free consultation with a car accident lawyer near you.