Frequently Asked Questions Regarding a Car Accident in Columbus, Ohio.
Dear Prospective Patient,
Each week patients come into our office immediately following a car accident. Aside from their physical pain, they also have questions for us about things such as what their auto insurance will pay for, what the other drivers insurance will pay for, along with questions pertaining to property damage, lost time at work, etc.
Some of the answers to these questions we can simply call the insurance carrier for. Others require the help of an attorney. Below are answers to some questions that attorneys have prepared for us to help with these concerns:
Do I need an attorney?
Most attorneys agree, every situation is different. For example, they say you should consult an attorney if you answer “yes” to any one of the following questions:
- Do you have a scar or permanent injury?
- Do you have any broken bones?
- Did you visit your doctor or chiropractor?
- Did they prescribe treatment beyond two weeks?
- Have you missed any work?
Insurance companies hire attorneys to advise them. You may need an attorney to even your odds. Most attorneys would be happy to discuss your specific situation. Together, you both can sort through the details and determine how to handle your case.
Who will pay for my medical bills?
Almost all attorneys recommend that you sign nothing and talk to no one other than your doctor and/or attorney about your case. They can help protect your interests and analyze options for paying the bills. Generally, the at-fault insurance company will not pay a dime on your medial bills until you sign a release for them giving up your rights to a claim.
If the person who caused the accident does not have auto insurance, can I still recover for my losses?
Attorneys can help you look for all available insurance. In most cases, your uninsured/under-insured motorist coverage will cover your injuries.
If contacted, must I speak with the other party’s insurance company to explain what happened after an accident?
The other party’s insurance company will attempt to contact you to obtain a “recorded statement”. In most cases, attorneys will say that it is not in your best interest to agree to speak to the other party’s insurance company without the advice or representation of an attorney. This statement can be used against you in a court of law. Insurance companies look for reasons to deny claims to save their stockholders money; they are very good at it! They do not look out for your best interest; there is nothing in it for them to do so.
What type of damages can I recover, if I have been injured in an auto accident caused by someone’s negligence?
Experienced attorneys can help you maximize the value of your claim. If you have been injured as a result of someone’s negligence, you could be entitled to receive compensation for the following types of damages:
- Bodily injuries, whiplash
- Past pain and suffering
- Future pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Hospitalization expense
- Chiropractic expense
- Nursing care and treatment
- Past lost earnings
- The loss of ability to earn future money
- Aggravation of pre-existing condition
- Property damage
- Loss of consortium
What does it cost to hire an attorney to handle my case?
Most attorneys offer a free consultation. They will give you an honest opinion as to whether or not you should hire an attorney. They usually take cases on a contingency basis. This is good for you since this means that they only get paid from the proceeds of the settlement or judgment against the responsible party. Their fees are usually based only on the personal injury claim. Sometimes they can advance expenses on your behalf and wait for the successful completion of your case for reimbursement. Typically, attorneys do not get paid unless you get paid on your personal injury claims.
Who will pay for damage to my vehicle?
Attorneys jobs are to assist you with your property damage claim at no cost to you. The at-fault party’s insurance company pays for any damage to your vehicle. You will be eligible for a rental car if your vehicle is severely damaged.
Who will pay for my lost wages?
The negligent party’s insurance carrier will ultimately be responsible for any lost time from work.
Again, each situation is different and the answers to these questions may not be exactly the same for you. If you need help in selecting an attorney, we can recommend a few that we trust and have treated our patients fairly through the years.