After a car crash in Ohio, the situation can be highly chaotic. You or the other driver may be injured. You may be facing a long recovery, costly medical bills, and a loss of income. There are a number of steps you should take if you are involved in a car accident.
First and foremost, you should make sure to contact law enforcement and first responders. You also should tend to any injuries that anyone may have at the scene. Beyond the immediate steps to take, you should follow a few other procedures after the accident to preserve your chance to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit in the future.
Do not Confront the Other Driver
After the accident, you, the other driver, or someone else involved may be angry. They may want to assign blame or to start a confrontation before law enforcement officers arrive.
You should not allow this confrontation to happen. After checking on the people in the other car about injuries, do not accuse anyone of fault in the crash. If you believe the other driver may threaten you or try to harm you, just stay in your car until first responders arrive.
Avoid Chasing After a Hit-and-Run Driver
If you believe the driver who hit you is going to try to flee the scene, do not try to stop the other driver. Even though this driver is committing a crime by leaving the scene, according to Ohio Revised Code Section 4549.02, you should let police handle it.
The driver trying to flee may try to hit you with the car, putting your life or others in danger. Instead, give police a description of the hit-and-run driver and their vehicle when they arrive.
Preparing to Speak with Police
After first responders arrive at the scene, they will assess your injuries and those of others involved in the crash. They may recommend that you travel to the hospital in the ambulance.
At some point, either at the scene or the hospital, you will need to speak to law enforcement officers about the accident. They will want to hear your version of the events that led to the crash.
Telling the Truth to Police
You should always tell police the truth. Being in a car accident is a very frightening time. Even remembering details at the scene just moments afterward can be a challenge.
Give police your version of events to the best of your recollection. It is all right to say that you are unsure about something or that you do not remember exactly how a certain aspect of the crash happened. These memories may come back to you later, or an eyewitness to the accident may have the information.
Seek Treatment for Your Injuries
If you have injuries that leave you with an economic loss because of the other driver’s negligence behind the wheel, you will have the right to seek damages.
Economic losses can involve a number of items, including:
- Medical bills
- Costs for ongoing medical treatment
- Costs for prescriptions or therapy equipment
- Lost wages
- Lost salary from an inability to work because of lingering injuries
Receive a Full Diagnosis of Your Injuries
To be able to make a personal injury claim, you will need to seek medical treatment after the crash. You must have proof of your injuries from a doctor. The other driver’s insurance company will not simply accept your testimony that you have injuries.
To give yourself the best chance at receiving a fair settlement, you will need to have a doctor’s treatment plan for your recovery. You then will need to follow that plan. If you miss appointments or skip taking your medication, the other insurance company may claim that your injuries are not serious enough to warrant a personal injury settlement.
One Key Step May Involve Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you choose to hire our law firm to represent you, we will take over the day-to-day work of managing your claim, giving you time to heal and recover. If you file a personal injury lawsuit, you have two years from the date of the crash to do so, according to Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10.
The Fitch Law Firm LLC team is ready to protect your right to receive an award against the driver at fault for your crash and your injuries. Call us today for a free consultation at (614) 545-3930.