Injuries sustained in a car accident can result in grave financial difficulties. The cost of medical treatment can amount to thousands of dollars. In this scenario, a car accident settlement claim can help ease the financial burden.
If you are involved in a car accident, it's natural to get confused about the settlement process. You should know of the timeline and process involved in making a settlement. Here are some tips that will help you learn about the car accident timeline and process in Ohio.
1. Filing a Car Accident Claim
Right after a car accident, you need to submit a settlement claim with the guilty driver's insurance company. You need to submit the claim soon after the accident. This is important otherwise your claim may not be accepted.
If you are confused about how to submit a claim, you should contact an experienced car accident attorney in Ohio. The lawyer will carry on an investigation and prepare an independent report about the accident. This will help in finding out about acceptable car accident settlement amount.
2. Receive a Claim
The insurance company of the driver will carry on an investigation to determine the fault of the accident. If the fault of the other driver gets confirmed, the insurance company will offer you a settlement amount.
Keep in mind that when the insurance company accepts the claim, it means that the driver's mistake is covered by the policy. Accepting the claim does not necessarily mean that the insurance company has accepted the amount that you have claimed for losses.
In case the insurance company denies the claim, the driver's conduct that led to the accident does not get covered. There may be some technical reasons for denying access to the policy. A written explanation will be provided in case the insurance company of the guilty party has rejected the claim.
3. Negotiating with the Insurance Company
If the insurance company has accepted responsibility, you will be offered an initial settlement amount. Generally, the first offer is low. You are not obligated to accept the first offer. You can deny the offer by the insurance company and ask for a higher amount based on the actual medical and vehicle repair costs.
If you don't accept the offer, or the insurance company has rejected your claim, you need to contact a professional car accident attorney.
Even when you file a lawsuit, you still have a chance to settle the matter out of court through an attorney. Some insurance companies insist on talking with a car accident lawyer only to settle the matter. That's why it's important to hire an attorney who is experienced in negotiating a settlement of car accident cases.
4. Request a Mediation
You can request mediation in case you or the other party is not able to come to a definite conclusion of the settlement amount. In mediation, a third-party known as the mediator listens to the claims and makes a recommendation. The role of the mediator is to facilitate the negotiating process. The mediator cannot force a settlement. The mediator merely helps the injured party and the insurance company in coming to a settlement.
5. File a Car Accident Case
In case you and the insurance are not able to negotiate a settlement, you might have to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for injuries. Claim lawsuits are generally filed in the property Circuit Court. The case is usually filed in the court located in the county where the car accident occurred.
This court usually will be the one located in the county where the accident occurred or where the negligent driver resides
6. Pay Taxes on Settlement
Settlement amount paid for a car accident is not tax-free. You have to pay taxes on the settlement amount received for a car wreck. Also, you have to pay taxes on compensation for emotional distress and lost wages. However, compensation for medical expenses due to a car accident will be tax-free.
7. Settlement Period
A car accident settlement case typically takes months to conclude. Insurance companies have to deal with many cases. That's why it's a slow process. Even when the case is settled, you won't receive the settlement amount quickly. It can take months or longer to receive the settlement amount. For large payments, insurance companies make periodic payments until the settlement amount is fully paid.
Car settlement cases are complicated. The fact is that no two car accident cases are alike. The circumstances surrounding the case differ. The outcome is based on the seriousness of the injuries of the victim.
Another important thing you should remember is that the insurance company is not your friend in a car accident claim case. The company will try to minimize the fault of the driver in order to make the lowest possible offer. Hiring an experienced car accident attorney is important to ensure that your interests are protected. Expert car injury lawyers know what negotiating tactics to apply in order to obtain the maximum possible amount for injuries sustained in a car accident.
Lastly, you should note that time is of the essence in the case of a car accident settlement case. According to the Ohio Revised Code 2305.10, you need to file a claim within two years after a car accident. The clock starts ticking from the day of the accident.
For expert guidance regarding a car accident claim, you should contact an attorney who specializes in such cases. An experienced car accident attorney will represent you through every step of the process, and help you get the settlement that you deserve.
You should contact Christopher Jackson Law for a car accident claim case in Ohio. We can explain to you about the car accident settlement process in simple terms. In this way, you can know exactly what you have to do to seek compensation for the car accident injury.