» Frequently Asked Questions After a Car Accident

What is my injury case worth?

Every case is fact specific. There is no precise formula for determining the value of the case. The factors and variables that determine the settlement value of an injury claim include: the amount of the medical bills incurred, the length of time required to make a recovery, the amount of lost wages incurred, and whether there is a permanent injury or disfigurement. Other less tangible factors that determine case valuation include how the accident occurred, whether liability is clear, whether there are causation issues concerning what injuries are caused by the accident, how your spouse or family has been affected, how your future will be affected, and whether there will be a requirement for future treatment. There is no substitute for the advice of an experienced Ohio auto accident attorney to determine a fair settlement range. If your case is not resolved by settlement, then it will be ultimately up to a jury to put a value on your claim. At Linnen Co., L.P.A. we have over thirty years of experience that goes into each case valuation so that our clients can make informed decisions to reach the best possible outcome.

How will my medical bills get paid after a car accident?

The person who caused the automobile accident has responsibility under the law to pay your medical bills that are related to the injuries. If that person has automobile liability coverage, the insurance carrier likely will not pay your medical bills as they are incurred, but will include an amount representing those bills in the final settlement or the payment of a final judgment. When you have been injured in an auto collision, the medical providers typically will submit your bills to your health insurance carrier, whether it be a private insurance company, Medicare or Medicaid. Those payment sources will seek reimbursement once your case is resolved. Some providers try to bypass your health coverage and seek payment under your auto policy, which tends to give them greater reimbursement than what they would receive from health insurance. Using your med-pay under your auto policy instead of health insurance may not be in your best interests. You should receive all of the medical treatment that you require for your injuries and there are options and strategies that can be utilized to make sure that you receive the necessary medical treatment.

Can I make a recovery if the other driver did not have any insurance?

In Ohio, a person who causes an accident has legal responsibility for the injuries and damages they cause regardless of whether they have insurance. Ohio law requires all automobile drivers to have $25,000 per person and $50,000 per occurrence in liability coverage, but unfortunately there are no comprehensive enforcement mechanisms for that law. However, even if the other driver has no insurance and is uncollectible, there may be a way to make a recovery for your injuries and damages if there is uninsured motorist coverage available to you. This determination depends on the language of the insurance policy and it is important to immediately secure the policy and provide it to an experienced attorney. On some occasions you may have uninsured motorist coverage even though you are not in an automobile or in the car insured under the policy.

Can I make a recovery if I am partially at fault for a car accident?

Yes. In Ohio you can recover for your injuries as long as you are no more than fifty percent at fault for the auto accident. When there is any dispute on how the accident occurred, it is important to seek advice from an attorney experienced in representing clients on vehicular accidents.

How do I get my car repaired after a crash?

You have the right to select a body shop of your choice. You are not required to use a body shop chosen by the insurance carrier. You have the right to have your vehicle restored to the same condition that it was in prior to the accident. If your vehicle is deemed a total loss you have the right to recover the fair market value of your vehicle at the time of the accident. Sometimes it is advantageous to start the repair process or complete the repairs through your own insurance carrier. At Linnen Co., L.P.A. we assist our clients in making sure that the client’s vehicle is promptly repaired and, if it is a total loss, we review the offer on the total loss to make sure it is a reasonable valuation.

What do I do if my doctor refuses to treat injuries caused by an auto accident?

Believe it or not, there are primary care physicians who refuse to provide treatment for a patient, even a long-standing patient, if they have been injured in a vehicular accident. If you experience this, it may be time to find a new primary care physician. Fortunately, there are other avenues that can be taken that should be discussed with experienced legal counsel.

Where should I receive medical treatment after an accident?

It is very important to seek treatment for your injuries as soon as possible, which usually should begin at a local hospital emergency room or at an urgent care. Follow-up treatment should be with a physician that has knowledge of your health history such as your primary care physician or your family doctor. You may be contacted by chiropractors who have obtained the accident report from the public records, but it is important to seek treatment with a medical practitioner who you trust and who is familiar with your medical history.

Is it necessary to hire an attorney after a car accident?

At Linnen Co., L.P.A. we have represented victims of vehicular accidents for over 30 years and the number one goal is to assure that our clients are protected and receive fair compensation for their injuries and damages. Typically, auto collision cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means no attorney fees are paid unless there is a recovery. When deciding whether to hire an attorney you should have an understanding of what you will encounter if you do not have legal counsel. If you are not represented by a personal injury attorney, the insurance company will ask the injured person to sign an authorization to get your medical records directly from your medical providers. This means that the insurance company will have the right to review your personal medical records whether they are related to the accident or not. Statements that you make to an insurance company representative can be used against you and often an adjuster will ask to record your statement. The adjuster assigned to your case is trained to minimize what is paid on your claim. The role of an attorney is to make sure that you are fairly compensated for the injuries and damages that you have experienced and maximize your recovery.