Know what to do in the immediate aftermath of a car accident in Ohio.
In 2016, there were over 300,000 car accidents throughout Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Of those car accidents, 77,000 led to injuries and 227,000 caused property damage, most likely to the vehicles involved.
According to the same study, this means that over 500,000 Ohio drivers and 184,000 passengers were in a car accident in Ohio in the last year.
Because car accidents are sometimes caused by the reckless or negligent behavior of another driver, it is important to know what to do in the immediate aftermath of a car accident.
Take the necessary steps
Here are the steps you should take to ensure your legal rights are protected if you are involved in a car accident:
Make sure everyone is safe.
First, and foremost, an Ohio resident involved in a car accident should ensure that no one involved in the car accident requires medical attention. If they do, contact 911 immediately. During these tense moments immediately after a car crash, it is important to not admit fault or otherwise take responsibility for the damages incurred in the car accident.
Call the police.
After making sure everyone involved in the accident is okay, you should contact the police. In many instances, insurance companies will want copies of the police report for their records. Therefore, even if the other driver or drivers do not want the police involved in the accident, it is still a good idea to call the police. Be sure to ask at which Ohio police department you will be able to locate your police report later.
Seek Medical Attention.
If you are injured in a car accident, you must seek medical treatment for your injuries. The insurance company will request medical records to verify any injuries that you may claim from the accident.
If you are physically able, you can gather information about the accident. The most important piece of evidence is the contact information of the other drivers – be sure to write down the driver’s name, license number, the make and model of the vehicle, and the license plate. Be careful in exiting your vehicle, and only do so if it is safe. Do not exit your vehicle on a highway or high traffic area. If you have your smartphone, you can take pictures of the scene of the car accident. If you take pictures at the scene, take them from different angles of any stop signs or lights around the scene of the car accident, or any skid marks. You can take pictures of both vehicles too. The “gathering evidence” phase of a car accident does not stop at the scene of the crash, however. It is important for all car accident victims to keep a record of any personal expenses related to their car accident, including medical bills, or even lost wages due to injuries caused by the car accident.
If there are any witnesses, then ask if they would be willing to provide a recorded statement. Even if they are uncomfortable with being recorded, write down their contact information in case you may need to use them as a witness in an Ohio court.
Contact an Ohio Car Accident Attorney.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Ohio, then you may be able to recoup your losses through the legal system.
To learn more about your legal options, contact an Ohio car accident attorney with knowledge of the law and experience in litigating car accident cases.