If you were the victim of a traffic accident, you’re probably expecting your insurance company to cover your damages.
An accident can change your life in an instant. Instead of taking your kids to school and heading off to work, you may find yourself on a hospital bed with an uncertain future ahead of you. The only certainty you can expect are mounting medical bills and a lot of pain and suffering. If you live in Ohio and you don’t know how you can recover damages following an accident, you should consider talking to an experienced accident lawyer in Cleveland as soon as possible.
Motor vehicle accidents account for the majority of cases such lawyers have to deal with on a regular basis, but they can help you with other types of accidents as well – slip and falls, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse or work-related injuries. If you’re considering filing a personal injury claim, do yourself a favor and seek legal counsel from seasoned Ohio accident lawyers before talking to your insurance company.
Why do I need a lawyer if I have insurance?
If you were the victim of a traffic accident, you’re probably expecting your insurance company to cover your damages. Maybe someone from the company has already called you and they seemed most sympathetic. Don’t be fooled by any sign of goodwill. The insurance industry posts $30 billion profits each year and you don’t make that sort of profit by freely giving money to anyone who makes a personal injury claim. Especially if that person has sustained significant injuries, like spine damage, head trauma or loss of limb. The medical expenses alone can total over $100,000 in such cases, not to mention the lost wages. Do you honestly expect them to write you a $100,000 check without putting up a fight?
This is not a fight that you can win alone, especially if you’re still in the hospital waiting for a surgery or a miracle, maybe. You need a lawyer well-versed in the kind of tricks insurance companies routinely use to minimize the value of a claim or to deny it altogether. This can happen, as well. A ruthless insurance adjuster can easily pretend you’re not covered for that particular type of accident. Or they may pretend your medical issues have nothing to do with the accident and accuse you of insurance fraud. For instance, if you’re in a car accident or a slip and fall one and you start complaining of back pain, the insurance adjuster in charge of your case can very well say that you’ve injured your back playing ball and you’re now trying to claim damages you don’t deserve. A knowledgeable lawyer can help by putting you in touch with an independent expert who can testify that your injuries were indeed caused by the accident.
What sort of damages can I recover after an accident in Ohio?
You are entitled to compensatory damages. Economic damages are meant to cover your medical expenses, property damages and lost wages, past and future, if you won’t be able to resume your old job. Non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for your pain and suffering. The amount of non-economic damages you can be awarded depends on the severity of your injuries and the extent to which they have affected your life. If you are left with a permanent disability or disfigurement you can claim substantial damages for your pain and suffering. Punitive damages are awarded only in egregious cases where those responsible for your accident acted with gross negligence or malice.