Filing an insurance claim can often prove far more challenging than most accident victims expect. Insurance companies are businesses that are interested in turning profits. It is in their best interests to minimize the settlements they pay to resolve claims.
This truth can be difficult for many people to accept when they need financial relief. However, you have options when dealing with an insurer. Our Ohio insurance claims lawyers can support you through the claims process.
How to Navigate Auto Accident Insurance Claims in Ohio
A common insurance claim filed is an auto accident claim. Ohio is a fault state, so in any car accident you would turn to the at-fault party’s insurer. This would involve:
- Collecting evidence to support your claim
- Filing the claim with the liable insurer before the company’s deadline
- Negotiating for a fair settlement
- Waiting to receive the check after you settle
Our car accident lawyer may advise that you file a lawsuit. Theoretically, you can continue negotiating with the insurer for a fair settlement offer until the court date. If you cannot reach a fair settlement, you would then take your case to trial.
If you make it to trial, your lawyer will present your case, and you could either lose your case or recover a settlement to pay for your losses.
Our Team Takes Cases on a Contingency-Fee Basis
You should not let concerns about money prevent you from reaching out to our team to discuss your insurance claim issues. We handle personal injury types of cases on a contingency-fee basis. This policy means you do not pay anything up front because the lawyer will instead collect an agreed upon percentage of whatever compensation you are later awarded. Our consultations are also free. You do not risk anything by speaking to our staff.
Your Percentage of Fault Will Determine the Damages You Recover
Ohio is one of 33 states in the nation that follows the doctrine of modified comparative negligence. As stated in Ohio Revised Code § 2315.33, the contributory fault of a person does not prevent that individual from recovering damages. However, their percentage of fault cannot be more than 50 percent.
Our Lawyers Will Stand by You and Fight for Your Best Interests
The Ohio insurer you deal with could reduce your claim value using the comparative negligence doctrine. Insurers could view your case in a negative light, and they could employ many tactics to reduce the value of a claim, including:
Disputing the Claimant’s Version of Events
The insurance company may challenge the claim when the claimant does not have evidence to back their claim. Insurers will look for flaws in a claim to justify a denial or limitation of a claim.
Sending Claimants the Wrong Forms
A questionable tactic, if a claimant fills out the wrong forms, it may allow the insurers to delay negotiations or possibly even deny a claim. Furthermore, a person who has to resubmit new forms will have lost time and risks important timelines expiring.
Claiming Lack of Coverage
An insurer could claim that a policy does not cover certain injuries. Insurance companies know their contracts and could use exceptions within their contracts to avoid paying a claim.
Seeking Written or Recorded Statements
An insurer may ask to record a statement. Chances are very good that the insurer will record your statements and may use what you say against you later. Don’t volunteer extra information, admit to fault, or say that you feel fine.
Requesting an Independent Medical Exam
When an insurance company asks you to undergo an independent medical examination, most insurer want to verify the severity of your injuries. That said, you do not want to release your medical history to them. Another questionable tactic would have them stating that your current condition is related to a past incident and not the accident in question.
Many Ohio insurance policies require an independent medical examination, but you can take notes during this examination. You could use these notes to tell your insurance claims lawyer what occurred.
Using Social Media Posts Against Claimants
Almost as soon as a claim is filed, an insurance company will look into the claimant’s social media. As with giving recorded statements, they could use your posts against you. So, set your social media accounts to a private setting.
Convincing Victims to Accept Initial Settlement Offers
Insurance companies know that claimants are under financial stress facing large hospital bills and lost wages. Insurers offer settlements to address the claimants’ immediate needs, failing to address the full range of the claimants’ damages.
Insurance companies know that most people may not have the patience or knowledge to resolve their own insurance claims successfully. Insurers could use people’s uncertainty and confusion against them to make lower payments on claims.
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How Long Your Ohio Insurance Claim Could Take to Settle
We cannot tell how long your accident claim will take to resolve. However, we will work for you to get you the compensation you need as soon as possible. We will provide you case updates as often as we have news to tell you and will advise you about what a reasonable settlement offer looks like in your situation.
It Matters Who the Liable Party Is in Your Case
When pursuing damages after an auto accident, you would usually turn to the at-fault party’s insurer. However, some situations could affect who the liable party is. You could find yourself in a confusing situation. Our lawyers can guide you through accidents involving:
- A rideshare driver
- An uninsured driver
- A driver with an unknown identity that caused a hit-and-run
Your situation might make you nervous, but you could have options. Don’t discount your claim yet.
Our Firm Wants to Support Your Ohio Insurance Claim
Do not wait to call (614) 545-3930 for a free consultation from The Fitch Law Firm LLC. Our firm has Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Marion, and Springfield office locations. Furthermore, we can Zoom, or come to you if you cannot come to us, like if you are confined to your home or stuck in a hospital room.
Our Ohio lawyers will take on your insurance claim and fight for fair damages.