Nobody anticipates being in a serious car accident. Yet car accidents happen every day on Ohio roads. When they result in injury, victims are often left wondering what their legal rights are.
When a car accident is caused by the negligence of another driver, Ohio law allows the injured victim to bring a lawsuit to recovery monetary damages. These damages can cover out-of-pocket losses like medical expenses and lost wages. They can also cover general damages for which there is no fixed dollar value. These general damages include intangible losses such as pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, disability, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Every driver in Ohio is required to have automobile liability insurance. This insurance pays for injury claims when the driver is at fault. The insurance company will also hire attorneys to defend the at-fault driver, if the victim starts a lawsuit. The victim sues the driver, but the insurance company defends the claim and ultimately pays any damages, up to the policy limits.
Of course, there are many people who drive without insurance, and sometimes they cause accidents. When a person is injured by an uninsured driver, that person can bring a claim against their own uninsured motorist coverage, if they have purchased that coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage essentially takes the place of the liability coverage the negligent driver should have had.
Negotiating with insurance companies and litigating against lawyers hired by insurance companies requires a sophisticated understanding of personal injury law, court procedure and insurance coverage issues. An experienced personal injury law firm can provide a significant advantage to an injured victim seeking fair compensation.
Source: Ohio Rev. Code §§ 3937.18, 4509.101, accessed March 19, 2017