An auto accident attorney is a legal specialist who works to get compensation for innocent victims of car accidents caused by others. These accidents fall under the heading of personal injury and they are the most common type of accidents that result in personal injury claims. To the person who is seriously injured in an accident, it may be quite difficult to distinguish whether the cause was theirs, the other driver’s, or a combination of each.
When a person is injured severely enough to require immediate transport to the hospital, there is no time for them to evaluate the situation and learn whether there are any witnesses. Auto accident attorney Kevin Attkisson of The Attkisson Law Firm explains that “Even a minor accident can result in major injuries.” They may not even be conscious or have the memory of the accident to determine who was at fault. The most important thing at that time is to get the medical treatment they need for their injuries. It will be left up to the officer investigating the accident to file an accident report and learn the names of any witnesses who observed the accident.
Statute of Limitations
Once the injured party has sought initial treatment, they should speak with an auto accident attorney about their injuries, even if they are unsure that the circumstances that caused the accident are classified as a personal injury.
Once the auto accident attorney is hired, they can begin to gather the necessary information to determine who was at fault. This includes receiving instant access to the accident report, witness information, and any other evidence that is pertinent to the case.
It is important to do this as quickly as possible due to the statute of limitations in Ohio. The person only has two years from the date of the accident to file a claim before their options come to an end.
Shared Fault Rule
In Ohio, fault is not always given to one party when an accident occurs. The Shared Fault Rule dictates that damages are only awarded according to the degree that one driver is at fault in comparison to the other driver. For example, if one driver is hit by a drunk driver who crosses over into their lane while they are driving over the speed limit, the driver who is hit may be determined 10% at blame while the drunk driver is determined to be 90% at blame. If the total compensation is determined to be $40,000, then they will receive 90% of this amount, or $36,000.
If the injured driver is determined to be over 50% at fault, they will no longer be able to receive any compensation. At this point, they are more than equally responsible for the accident as the other driver.
Any time a driver is in doubt about how an accident occurred and whose fault it may be, they should see an auto accident attorney early to get to the facts of the case. Staying well ahead of the statute of limitations and learning the degree of fault for each party will help them determine which approach to take.