First Steps After a Car Accident
If you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident and you’re able to move and locate your phone, call emergency services. It’s the first thing you should do. Even if the accident is not serious, still contact the police in order to fill our and file a police report. When you’re giving a statement to the police, do not speculate as to things about which you are unsure. Instead, give a short, concise statement of only the facts.
Additionally, you need to get the other driver’s insurance information. You should also record their driver’s license and license plate numbers. Next, if you are able, take pictures with your cellphone – be sure to capture the damage to all vehicles involved and any visible injuries that you have sustained. Finally, if you are injured or suspect you are injured, seek immediate medical attention.
What is my Claim Worth?
This is a very difficult question to answer because so many factors play into the value of a claim. However, there are some issues that affect each medical malpractice case.
There are two types of damages available in medical malpractice cases: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are losses that you can more easily put a number on, like medical bills, lost wages, cost of prosthetics, cost of care, etc. Non-economic damages are more difficult to pinpoint, and include losses such as pain and suffering and the loss of the companionship of a loved one.
In Ohio, economic damages are not capped, meaning that you can recover all economic damages suffered. However, there are laws which limit, in some circumstances, how much money can be recovered for non-economic damages. Wrongful death cases have no non-economic damage cap. Catastrophic injury cases – meaning where there has been loss of a limb, loss of use of a bodily organ system, or permanent and substantial physical deformity – are subject to a non-economic damage limit of $500,000. Non-economic damages in all other cases are capped at $250,000-$350,000, depending on the amount of economic damages.
Remember that no two cases are the same, so each has a different value and must be handled accordingly.
Can Fault Be Shared by More than One Driver?
Yes. Fault can be apportioned between any involved driver. At times, the injured driver may be partially at fault for the accident. In car accidents involving multiple collisions, several drivers involved are often found to be at fault.
What is a Personal Injury Deposition and What Can I Expect from the Process?
A deposition is legally sworn testimony in the form of an interview that occurs once a lawsuit has been filed and takes place in front of a court reporter. Both sides in a car accident lawsuit are given the opportunity to depose the opposing party.
Honesty is essential during a deposition. Usually, car accident victims will be asked in detail about their medical history, how the accident occurred, and their injuries as a result of the accident. Insurance companies want to know if the victim’s injuries existed before the accident, so be prepared to have the deposing attorney inquire about your medical history going back as far as 20 years.
It is common for an attorney to ask questions in an attempt to confuse or “trip up” the deponent. Just remember to make sure that you understand the question before you give a response, and answer questions only when you know the facts – avoid conjecture and guessing.