Proving fault in your car accident case

You were following your morning routine. You woke up, got ready for work, had breakfast and made your daily stop for coffee. Just as you were making a right turn into the parking lot of the café, you were suddenly t-boned by the car that had been behind you.

It was obviously the other driver's fault. He was following too close and, for some reason, decided to pass you on the right even though you had the correct turn signal engaged. Now you have a broken arm and a very damaged sedan.

It's harder than you might think

Since you were doing everything right and he was doing everything wrong, surely his insurance will cover your medical expenses and the damage to your vehicle, right?

Unless the other driver admits full responsibility, chances are good that the insurance company will do everything it can to deny your claim.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to make your argument stronger.

Get a police report

Be sure that the officer on the scene files a police report. This report will contain critical evidence that can shed light on liability. It will also indicate if the officer issued a citation to the other driver, which can be strong evidence of fault.

Look over the report carefully to make sure there are no mistakes. If you do find an error, contact the police department to have the report amended. Disputed facts (such as fault) are more difficult to amend. If there is a statement regarding fault that you would like to dispute, consult with your attorney on your best course of action.

Beware of immediate settlement

Sometimes the insurance company will attempt to settle the claim as soon as possible. You may be tempted to just get it over with and accept a lump-sum offer.

Be careful. Accepting an offer - and giving up your rights - at this early stage in the game could leave you empty-handed down the road. It's difficult to know the value of your claim until after all medical treatment (including follow-up care) and a thorough investigation have been completed.

Get help

Filing a claim after a car accident may not be as simple as it seems. Before you agree to anything with the other driver's insurance company, it is important to understand your rights and options. Your best bet for protecting your rights is to discuss your case with a knowledgeable Ohio attorney.

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