The leading cause of injuries nationwide is car accidents, so it’s no surprise that many of these incidents result in lawsuits. In Ohio, people who are injured in auto collisions might be entitled to compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses or other damages. While the specifics and outcomes of car crash cases may vary widely, most cases share the same basics, running from pre-litigation negotiations to establishing negligence and receiving compensation from at-fault parties or their insurers.
Negotiations may begin at any point during a case, but there are usually opportunities for an attorney to negotiate a settlement early on. The insurance company that has liability for damages will often make an offer to settle. If the offer is appropriate and fair, it may be worth it to settle the personal injury claim at that point. Typically, settling the case means receiving payment in exchange for an agreement not to file a lawsuit. Otherwise, a lawsuit might be necessary.
In most car accident cases, the plaintiff proceeds on a theory of negligence. All drivers have a duty of care to the other drivers on the road. Generally speaking, this means they should drive reasonably, obey traffic laws, keep their vehicles in good working order and pay attention while driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may create a presumption that the driver was negligent.
Someone who has been hurt in an auto collision may want to obtain legal representation. An attorney who has experience practicing personal injury law might visit the site of the car crash to gather evidence, conduct witness interviews, secure reports or conduct depositions to build a case for trial. An attorney might draft and file a complaint for relief in civil court or work to negotiate a money settlement to compensate the injured party for damages.