It's the last home game of the year, and you're on your way to see the Cavs play the Bulls. The roads are busy with all cars heading towards Quicken Loans Arena. While you are carefully driving in heavy traffic, the car behind you doesn't see you slow down and crashes into your vehicle. Now your back is in pain and your car is wrecked. What should you do? Who do you call? Here's some helpful information about the Ohio car accident settlement process and timeline.
Do I Need to Report a Car Accident in Ohio?
Not always. You are required to file a Crash Report with Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) within 6 months of the accident date only in the following situations:
- Someone is injured.
- There is at least $400 worth of property damage.
- If the driver or the owner of the vehicle in the accident doesn't have car insurance or acceptable financial responsibility coverage.
Ohio Car Insurance Laws
Ohio drivers are required to carry liability car insurance to help pay for injuries and property damage arising out of a car accident. It is illegal to drive any motor vehicle without insurance or other proof of financial responsibility (FR). Drivers are required to purchase a policy that meets the minimum amount of insurance:
- $25,000 per person injured in any one accident
- $50,000 for all persons injured in any one accident
- $25,000 for property damages of others in one accident
Like many other states, Ohio is an at-fault car insurance state, meaning the person at fault is responsible for all losses and damages. Therefore, if someone crashes into your vehicle, you can file an insurance claim either under your own insurance policy or directly with the other driver's insurance company. If the amount of damages exceeds the policy limits, the policyholder is legally responsible to pay for any damages that the insurance company cannot cover.
How Do Car Accident Settlements Work in Ohio?
Once you file a claim with an insurance company, adjusters will evaluate damages and make settlement offers. If you believe the settlement offer is unfair, you can make an appeal to a claims supervisor of the insurance company. If you think the claims supervisor's decision is still unreasonable, you can file a written complaint with the Ohio Department of Insurance. The Department will determine if the company have acted unreasonably or not.
Another option to settle a car accident case is to go to court. You can sue the other driver at your county court. Most car accidents do not reach all the way to trial. Courts encourage parties to negotiate, attend mediation, and make settlement offers outside of court.
What Is the Average Car Accident Settlement in Ohio?
Generally, there is no set equation used to calculate the amount of personal injury damages. For example, if you are suffering from physical pain and emotional distress, the amount of damages can vary depending on the person and the case. Ohio imposes a damages cap (a maximum amount of damages you can recover) on noneconomic damages, which is $250,000 or three times the amount of economic damages. The most common damages an injured person recover from a car accident are medical expenses, car repairs, and lost wages due to missed work.
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Lawsuit in Ohio?
In Ohio, you have two years to file a claim for both personal injury and property damages. If you fail to file your claim within this time period, Ohio court will refuse to take your case, and you won't be able to recover any damages. Therefore, it's important that you meet the deadlines and abide by Ohio laws.
Let an Attorney Help With the Ohio Car Accident Settlement Process
Ohio law has certain limitations and restrictions on car accident claims, whether you're filing a claim with the insurance company or pursuing a lawsuit against the person at fault. For example, if you were found to be more than 50 percent at fault, you would be responsible for your own injuries and property damage. Learn more about your claim by speaking with an Ohio accident attorney today.