Ohio follows what is known as the “comparative negligence” rule. What this means is that, if you are less than 50 percent responsible for an accident, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages. The comparative negligence rule typically applies when a claim goes to trial—your attorney may be able to negotiate a settlement regardless of fault. Essentially, if another person or entity acted carelessly, recklessly, or negligently and you were injured as a result, you may be able to bring an auto accident claim.
At The Mellino Law Firm, we have more than 30 years of experience handling complex injury claims. Our Cleveland car accident attorneys are prepared to answer your questions and help you navigate the legal process. We encourage you to reach out to our firm as soon as possible for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Contact us online or by phone at (440) 276-3535 today. We have office locations in Cleveland and Rocky River for your convenience.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
With millions of cars on the road, it’s no surprise that hundreds of thousands of accidents occur each year in the United States. Of these accidents, many result in severe injuries and fatalities. All too often, collisions are the result of negligence.
Some of the most common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Cellphone use
- Drunk driving
- Reckless/aggressive driving
- Illegal driving maneuvers
- Unsafe road design
- Dangerous conditions
- Fatigued driving
When motorists act negligently—whether by turning left into oncoming traffic, illegally changing lanes, or deciding to get behind the wheel after drinking—they should be held accountable for the harm they cause. Our auto accident lawyers in Cleveland are committed to helping you pursue the full, fair recovery you are owed.
What to Do If You Are Involved in a Car Accident
After a car accident, you will likely be contacted by an insurance adjuster from the liable party’s insurance company. It is important that you do not speak to this person or any representative from the liable insurance provider about the accident. In nearly every instance, they will try to limit their own costs by getting you to admit fault, which can allow them to devalue or deny your rightful claim. Instead, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney to determine who is liable for your injuries and other losses.
Following a car accident, you should do the following:
- Seek medical attention, even if you believe your injuries are not that serious. Having medical records proving that you sought treatment can be very beneficial to your case if you should pursue a claim. Furthermore, you may not notice the severity of injuries right away and some injuries may take hours, days, or even weeks to appear.
- Call the police to the scene of the accident. Once they arrive, give an official statement detailing how the accident occurred, what happened leading up to the collision, and any other relevant information.
- Get the contact information of the other involved driver/drivers, including his or her insurance information. When speaking with the other driver, refrain from apologizing or otherwise admitting fault, as this can ultimately hurt your case.
- Document the scene of the accident, if possible. If you have a cellphone or camera with you, take pictures of the accident, as well as your injuries. If possible, document statements and take down the contact information of any witnesses.
- Inform your own insurance company of the accident. As previously mentioned, however, do not talk to the other driver’s insurance company before speaking with an attorney about your case.
You should also keep in mind that your insurance policy may have a subrogation clause. If your insurance provider pays for your medical treatment after an accident and you later win an auto accident case, you will be required to repay the insurance company with a portion of your settlement. Typically, this repayment is automatically deducted from your total recovery amount.
Compensation in Auto Accident Cases
One of the most common questions we receive in regards to car accident claims is, “How much is my claim worth?” While we understand that injured individuals need to know how they are going to be able to pay for their medical expenses and other bills, it is, unfortunately, impossible to say how much your claim is worth without taking a look at the unique circumstances involved.
That being said, many injured victims are able to recover compensation for the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Medical bills
- Future medical costs
- Lost income/wages
- Lost earning ability
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Property damage
This list is not exhaustive; our Cleveland car accident attorneys can help you determine the potential worth of your claim and will help you fight for the maximum recovery you deserve.
Contact Our Team Today
If you were injured or your loved one was killed in a car accident and you believe someone else was at fault, reach out to The Mellino Law Firm for a free case evaluation. We have more than three decades of legal experience and are prepared to assist you every step of the way. Our firm only accepts select cases in order to better provide our clients with focused attention and personalized representation.
Schedule a no-cost consultation with our legal team today; call (440) 276-3535 or fill out and submit an online contact form.