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How Much Money Can I Receive from a Car Accident Settlement in Ohio?

By February 26, 2024April 1st, 2024No Comments

Becoming the victim of a car accident is a terrifying experience, and unfortunately, it’s also fairly common. According to The National Safety Council’s most recent data, car accident fatalities continue to rise across America every year. Projections for the future indicate that soon, more than 50,000 Americans will die every year from car accidents, and more than 550 million will be seriously injured in a crash.

When these severe accidents happen, they cost the victims considerable cash. Total motor-vehicle injury costs are projected to reach $500 billion soon nationwide, and they include all expenses related to the accident, such as lost wages, loss of future earnings, vehicle repairs, and medical expenses.

If you’ve been the victim of a car accident in Warren or Butler County, Ohio, call Garretson & Holcomb, LLC today. We can make sure your settlement covers everything you need so that you can move forward from this terrifying experience.

What Will My Car Accident Settlement Cover?

In Ohio, your car accident settlement can cover several costs and damages related to your injuries. The Ohio Department of Insurance offers a handy guide for the types of coverage drivers must have. These typically cover:

  • Medical Expenses: This is usually the largest section of a car accident settlement. It covers your hospital bills, doctor’s visits, physical therapy, medications, and any other required treatments. Ohio law lets you recover both past and future medical expenses, as well as costs related to any medical equipment that needs to be installed in your home.
  • Property Damage: This includes repairs to, or the replacement of, your vehicle as well as any personal property that was damaged by the accident. If you were traveling with your laptop, for instance, the settlement should include the cost of a new one of equal value.
  • Lost Wages: If your injuries stopped or hindered you from working, you can be compensated for that lost income. This includes wages you’ve already lost in your initial recovery phase and your potential future earnings if your injuries will affect your ability to work in the long term.
  • Pain and Suffering: This part of a car accident settlement includes compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress that victims often endure after an accident. Calculating how much you should be awarded for pain and suffering can be a complex process. It usually depends on several factors, like the severity of your injuries, the length of time you’ll need to recover, and the impact the accident has had on your daily life.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If the injuries you sustained in the accident prevent you from enjoying your usual hobbies, activities, or daily routines, you may be compensated for that loss of enjoyment. Victims who regularly participated in community races, for instance, may receive higher compensation if their ability to walk was affected by the crash.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases where the other driver’s actions were particularly reckless, you might file a lawsuit for punitive damages. These are not tied to specific losses you’ve suffered but are intended to punish the responsible party and deter similar behavior from others in the future. Punitive damages are relatively rare in Ohio car accident cases, but they can be awarded against corporations who knowingly put drivers at risk with unsafe shipping practices.

It’s important to talk with a personal injury attorney who specializes in Ohio accident cases to get a better estimate of what your settlement will cover. Garretson & Holcomb, LLC can help you process your claim and negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf. We can ensure that your settlement covers the full extent of your losses so you can focus on getting better.

What Can Affect My Settlement Amount?

The things your settlement will cover depend heavily on the factors we outlined above, but the percentage of those costs that will be awarded to you is determined by whether you were responsible for the accident. Ohio follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule, which assigns a percentage of fault to each party involved.

The percentage of fault you are given determines how much compensation you can receive. However, if you are found to be at least 50% responsible for the accident, you won’t be allowed to recover any compensation from the other driver.

As a simplified example, let’s say you and another driver get into an accident at an intersection. Your light turns green, and you drive into the intersection while quickly checking the directions on your phone. The other driver doesn’t notice his red light and hits the side of your car in the intersection at 40 MPH. An investigation into the cause of the accident might place 80% of the blame on the driver who ignored a red light. But it might consider you at least 20% responsible for not keeping your eyes on the road.

To simplify our example even further, let’s say all the potential damages that can be awarded for the accident total $10. You would be entitled to 80% of that amount because that’s the other driver’s share of the fault. However, because you are 20% at fault, your $8 would be reduced by $1.60, so your final settlement amount would be $6.40. The other driver wouldn’t be allowed to receive compensation at all because they were more than 50% responsible for the accident.

How Can I Maximize My Car Accident Settlement Amount?

The compensation you can receive after an Ohio car accident depends on the percentage you’re found to be at fault. The best way to improve your chances of a higher settlement is by reducing the amount of blame assigned to you. You can do this by fully understanding your rights and arguing your case with facts and evidence.

Insurance companies often conduct hasty investigations to minimize the time their agents spend on each case. They can overlook evidence proving you were less responsible or ignore evidence that might indicate third parties share some of the blame.

Garretson & Holcomb, LLC can conduct our own investigation on your behalf and negotiate for a higher settlement from insurance companies. We can get you the money you need for your injuries and put you on a more secure road to recovery. Call our West Chester Township office today at (513) 863-6600.

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