Driving a car seems like a necessary part of daily life for most people, and with so many people on the road, accidents are bound to happen. No matter how diligently a driver follows the rules of the road, there is still a significant chance that they will be involved in a car crash at some point in their life.
If you do find yourself in a car accident – particularly one where you’ve been rear-ended by another driver – often one of the biggest concerns is the substantial stack of medical bills that might be heading your way. But what it comes down to, in the end, is that those bills should fall on the party that caused them initially – but who is that?
In this blog, our team of Ohio personal injury attorneys at Cooper Elliott is going to talk about liability and negligence and what it means for your medical bills and potential personal injury claim.
What Is Negligence?
Before understanding who pays your medical bills after a rear-end crash in Ohio, we should first talk about negligence, what it means to be negligent, and some examples.
First, negligence is failing to act in an ordinary and safe manner. This is often defined as the “reasonable person” standard.
Acting in a negligent manner means that a person lacks reasonable care, and there is an increased likelihood that their actions will result in harm of some sort. It also means that the party acting negligently will be seen as liable for the resulting damage.
Examples of negligence in a car accident could include:
- Texting while driving
- Running a red light
- Driving under the influence
Ohio is an At-Fault State
Ohio is an at-fault state, which means that the person who causes an accident is responsible for paying the resulting damages, such as property damage, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Let’s say that you were rear-ended and didn’t cause the accident, and another driver is determined to be at fault for the damage. In this case, their insurer should make a reasonable offer to compensate you for the injuries you suffered.
After a Rear-End Crash, Your Medical Bills Should Not Be Your Responsibility
If the other driver has no insurance or did not have enough insurance, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage could apply to cover your damages. UM or UIM coverage protects you in the event you’re injured in an accident but the other driver has no insurance or inadequate insurance. Without UM or UIM coverage, you may be left without an avenue to recover the damages caused in the accident.
If the other driver hadinsurance, that insurer is then required to act in good faith when negotiating a resolution – but this doesn’t mean things are going to work out in your favor easily. In many cases, insurance companies make a lowball offer that may cover your vehicle repairs and initial medical expenses but nothing more. Sometimes they will deny the claim altogether. If this is the case, hiring an experienced car accident attorney at Cooper Elliott can be the best way to ensure you recover what you’re entitled to.
Working with an Ohio Car Accident Attorney to Protect Your Rights
No matter who the insurers are, working with an attorney will almost always result in a larger recovery.
They’re also going to be far more experienced at negotiating with the insurance company, giving them additional leverage when advocating for your settlement. On top of all that, they can be a priceless source of information by answering all of your questions about the claims process.
Cooper Elliott is Ready to be Your Advocate
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Ohio, the most important thing is to take care of yourself and seek necessary medical attention. Right after that, reach out to leading personal injury firm Cooper Elliott so we can help guide you through the legal process.