When a motor vehicle accident happens in Cleveland, it is important to understand how to report the accident. Ohio is a fault state. Drivers are required only to buy property damage and bodily injury liability coverage. If you buy only minimum insurance coverage, your auto insurer will pay others injured if you cause a crash, but you won’t get any money for your own losses. You can buy optional additional coverage like uninsured motorist coverage to pay your bills if a driver hits you without insurance or collision coverage to pay for property damage to your car in case you cause an accident.
You need to know what coverage you have and how Ohio laws work for assigning blame after car crashes so you can protect your rights when a collision occurs. Knowing how to report your car accident can mean the difference between getting full and fair compensation and being left with thousands of dollars in medical bills and property damage you can’t pay for.
What to do after a car accident in Cleveland
After a car crash, call your insurance company and tell the insurer you want to report an accident. The telephone number should be on your insurance card. Alert the insurer to the crash even if the other driver was to blame. Your insurer could help you pursue a claim for compensation or could cover you if you have uninsured motorist coverage and you get hurt by a driver without insurance. If you were at fault, your insurer will deal with paying accident victims and will provide any available coverage to you if you’ve purchased collision or injury policies. Notifying your insurer is always the first step.
There are other things you should do to make sure you are able to make a successful case and get compensated for a crash. Insure.com explains what you should do after a car accident. You need to:
- Get complete information from the other parties to the collision, including contact details and insurance policy info.
- Get witness statements. These can help prove how the accident happened.
- Take pictures of the cars, the debris, the roads, and anything else relevant to how the crash happened.
- Inform the police. They may issue citations and will write an accident report.
The other driver should notify his insurer, especially if he was to blame. You should speak with an experienced Cleveland injury attorney before accepting any offers of settlement in the wake of a serious or fatal motor vehicle collision. If the insurer accepts its policyholder was the cause of the crash, the insurance company may offer you a settlement to release the driver and the insurer of liability. Before signing, be sure to talk to an experienced injury attorney. You can also sue if you want to try to recover more compensation and believe the settlement is insufficient to cover your losses.