Questions From the Average Joe: Auto Accidents IV

by NPHM | July 17th, 2020

Q: I was cited for an accident I was in, but it wasn’t really my fault. Is there anything I can do?

A: When you are involved in an accident a police officer responds to the scene, one of their first priorities is determining what happened and, when possible, assigning an at-fault driver. They then record their findings in an accident report that becomes publicly available. Though an accident report is a strong piece of evidence in a case, it is not the ultimate authority of what happened. It is possible to refute a police report, though it can be challenging. If you don’t believe you were at fault, it will be necessary to collect the names and numbers from all possible witnesses. It also may be possible to collect video evidence if the accident happened in an area with security cameras. Though refuting a police report is an uphill battle, it is not impossible. If you were cited for the accident and are facing a traffic court date, it is important that you discuss the potential impact any decision to resolve that case with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. The outcome of a traffic court case can affect the outcome of any potential civil case you may want to bring against the other driver for your injuries.

If you were hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault though the police report says otherwise, an experienced accident attorney can help you assess a potential claim for your injuries against the other driver. Disputed liability cases are never easy, but you do not have to handle your case alone.

Q: I was involved in a car accident over a year ago—I thought I could handle the claim on my own but now the insurance company won’t make me an acceptable offer. Is it too late to hire an attorney?

A: The longer you wait to hire an attorney, the harder your claim might be to resolve, but in Ohio there is a two-year statute of limitations to file a lawsuit on a car accident claim. If you were seriously injured in a car accident and the insurance company is refusing to resolve your claim in an acceptable manner, it is time to speak with an attorney about your claim. Insurance companies often use your hesitance to hire an attorney against you, knowing they can offer less so long as you’re reluctant to get an attorney involved.

An experienced accident attorney can take the pressure of talking to the insurance company off your shoulders and resolve the claim more efficiently and with a better outcome than you’d likely ever get on your own. If you were involved in a car accident in which you were injured, it’s never too soon to talk to an attorney about your claim. Doing so as soon as possible can alleviate a lot of undue stress and ensure that you get the best possible outcome following your accident.

Q: I was hit by a stolen vehicle. Do I have any options?

A: A car accident is stressful enough even when the facts are straightforward. When the at-fault vehicle was stolen from its owner by the driver, a difficult situation may feel catastrophic. Though the owner’s insurance will not apply because the driver did not have permission to drive the vehicle, this does not mean you are without hope. If you have uninsured motorist coverage on your own policy, it will apply and provide payments for your medical bills and pain and suffering. Additionally, though it may seem like a longshot, it is always possible that the driver also had their own insurance coverage. Though certainly not an ideal situation, you’re not without options. Insurance coverage can be confusing an intimidating, but an experienced accident attorney can help you evaluate the entire situation and investigate every possibility for insurance coverage.

Get to Know

Zachary Belcher joined Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy and ensures that every individual who contacts the firm receives outstanding service and support throughout the intake process.

Zack graduated from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2015 and has handled more than 500 injury cases for clients injured in automobile accidents.  He understands the stressful and life-altering situations clients face before seeking a personal injury attorney. 

Contact Our Cleveland Auto Accident Attorneys

Don’t let an auto accident consume your life. Let our Cleveland auto accident attorneys do the heavy lifting and purse the compensation you are owed for you injuries. Call us today at (216) 230 – 6352 or complete a free initial consultation form online.