Car Accident FAQs

Every driver on the road in Ohio is supposed to have insurance. Unfortunately, some of the most dangerous drivers on the road break the law and drive without any insurance. Some of the most careless drivers on the road have only the very minimum insurance coverage. If you are a victim of a driver with no insurance, look at your own policy to see if you have uninsured or underinsured coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage will pay for any damages that you suffer if you are involved in an accident with a driver that does not have insurance or only has a minimal amount of coverage. Your insurance company is not permitted to raise your rates if the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance and you have to make a claim under your policy.

If your vehicle can be repaired for less than its fair market value, the insurance company must pay the costs of repair. If the cost to repair your vehicle exceeds its fair market value, problems frequently arise when you and the insurance company disagree on what the fair market value is. If you are facing this situation after your car accident, consider the following options:

  • Ask your own automobile insurance company to have their claims adjuster estimate your vehicle’s fair market value (if you have collision coverage).
  • Try working a “collateral exchange.” Your wrecked vehicle was the collateral on the loan to the finance company. The finance company shouldn’t care whether it has your vehicle as collateral or another of equal value.
  • Try buying another vehicle and financing the $3,000 balance owed into the purchase price, allowing you to pay over time, while enjoying your new vehicle. For this to work, you will have to deal with the same dealership that sold you the original vehicle.
  • If you had made any recent repairs to your vehicle, you should provide copies of the receipts to the claims adjuster. Your recent repair costs can help you to show that your vehicle had a value greater than the “average” vehicle of that make and model.
  • Did you purchase Credit Life Insurance or Credit Disability Insurance with your vehicle? If so, you are entitled to a rebate of that portion of the premium that was “unearned.”
  • If have an extended warranty on your vehicle, you must contact the dealership to make sure that you are refunded the unused portion of the premium you paid for it.

If you’re involved in a car accident, and the vehicle is repairable, but the cost of repairs is more than 25% of the value of your vehicle, and your vehicle is less than five years old, you may be entitled to depreciation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.

If you’re involved in a car wreck and your vehicle is repairable, the insurance company is obligated to provide you with a similar rental vehicle during the time reasonably necessary for repairs to be made. If your vehicle is totaled, the insurance company must provide you with a rental vehicle for a reasonable time to allow you to replace your vehicle.

This is coverage, offered by some insurance companies, that pays any “gap” between your loan payoff and the value of your vehicle if your vehicle is totaled in an accident. If you don’t have it now, and you have financed your vehicle for three to five years, you might want to purchase this coverage.

  • Photograph the accident scene.
  • Measure the length of any skid marks or gouge marks in the roadway.
  • Photograph the interiors and exteriors of all vehicles involved in the accident. (If you believe the injuries to you or your passengers were caused by a defect in your vehicle, such as the failure of an air bag to deploy or the collapse of your seat back, it is crucial that your vehicle not be repaired or destroyed until an automotive design expert has inspected it.)
  • Get the name, address and phone number of anyone who witnessed the accident or who arrived at the scene shortly after.

Because you are here looking for more information, you already suspect the answer to this question.

The insurance adjuster is probably being rude, abusive or may be ignoring your phone calls. That tells you something about his priorities. Consider who makes money if the insurance company gets away with paying you less than your car accident case is worth. Why would the insurance company offer you anything even close to a fair amount if it can get away with paying you less? How will you know if the amount the insurance company offers is fair?

When you are in an accident, the police file a report that lists your phone number and address. The accident report is a public record and that means anyone who bothers to look can get your name and phone number. The result is that there are now companies engaged in ambulance chasing, wanting to profit from your having been in an accident. Some of these companies are paid to recruit patients for chiropractors. The caller may claim that an appointment has been set up for you by an insurance company or that there is a free appointment to evaluate your injuries. Some will even claim that the chiropractor will get a lawyer for you.

The best advice when dealing with anyone calling you after an accident is to be very careful. There are lots of very fine chiropractors who will accept patients who were injured in car accidents who do not use companies engaged in ambulance chasing. If you are in an accident and are in pain and want to see a chiropractor, you can call your family doctor to see who they recommend or use your phone or computer to look at online reviews. If you get a call claiming that a medical or chiropractor appointment has been made for you, you may want to contact an attorney to get legal advice.

If you’ve been in a car accident, you’re probably shocked, hurting, and facing serious medical bills and car repair costs. If you’re the at-fault driver in a car accident, you could be on the hook for the other driver’s injuries and damages as well. In some cases, a settlement could garnish your wages, and even your assets and home, to pay the victim’s damages.

Of course, it’s almost impossible to predict a legal outcome until all the facts are established in the case. Until then, the answer to whether you’ll lose your house in a car accident claim is it depends. Even your liability is up in the air until it’s determined by insurance or the court.

Other factors influencing your case’s outcome include

  • Whether the at-fault driver carries insurance
  • The coverage levels of that insurance policy
  • The severity and longevity of the victims’ injuries
  • The total cost of the victims’ recovery
  • Associated costs with their recovery, including loss of earning potential and others
  • Other liable parties to the crash
  • Other contributing factors to the crash

An at-fault car accident is any traffic collision that you caused through negligence. Liability is established based on witness statements, physical evidence collected at the scene, and records like traffic camera and dash camera footage.

If you’re found responsible for a car accident, the other party has the right to recover damages from you and your insurance. You could be sued for damages as a result.

If you’re found at-fault in a car accident, every asset you own—including your car, your house, and more—could be at risk. Even if you have insurance (which you should), if your policy is not enough to cover their damages the injured party can collect damages from you personally.

This is why carrying adequate car insurance is a necessity. In almost every state, including Ohio, it’s required by law. But even the minimum required by law frequently isn’t enough to pay for the full cost of a victim’s damages, meaning you’ll be left on the hook for the remainder. To protect your property from seizure, having a comprehensive insurance policy is the best bet.

At the end of the day, you can never have enough insurance. You should also drive defensively every time you’re behind the wheel, and never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drive distractedly, or drive recklessly. Those are sure-fire ways to be found liable in the event of a wreck.

If you are found at-fault and don’t have enough insurance, filing for bankruptcy may be the only way to protect your assets from seizure in a personal injury settlement. However, bankruptcy is a drastic move with a lot of far-reaching implications, so it should only be used as a last resort.

If you are in an Ohio traffic accident, keep the following in mind to protect your rights and property in the coming months:

  • Do not admit fault
  • Do not apologize
  • Do not confess to distraction
  • Do not allude to any actions you could’ve done differently

In fact, you should avoid talking to the other driver as much as possible. Exchange information like names, drivers license numbers, and insurance information, then wait for first responders to arrive. While this may seem callous, anything you say can be used against you in a personal injury case.

In addition, no matter how obvious the circumstances of the incident may seem, do not represent yourself in a traffic accident case. If you’re insured, you’ll probably be represented by your insurance’s legal team. If not, you should hire a lawyer to advocate on your behalf.

If you’re at fault, your lawyer will do all they can to minimize the damages you owe. Even if you have representation through your insurance, a second legal opinion is usually free—call Rinehardt Injury Attorneys for a free consultation today. We’ll do all we can to help you save your home and other assets.


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Rinehardt Injury Attorneys
8351 N. High St, Ste 251,
Columbus, OH 43235
Phone Number: (614) 686-2020
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