Scott Bowman Appears on “The Result” Podcast

Scott Bowman of GBM Law recently appeared on Preferred Capital Funding’s podcast The Result to speak about a case early in his career that was resolved with a $750,000 settlement. The case, which many other lawyers had turned down, arose from a devastating wrongful death case involving a motor vehicle accident on a rural Ohio road. The collision involved a passenger vehicle striking a stopped trash truck which was located in a dangerous position at the crest of a hill.

After reviewing the collision report, Scott Bowman contacted a witness, who was able to shed light on the crash. Prior to the collision, the witness had lost control of her own vehicle after nearly hitting the trash truck. Moments later, another individual clipped the trash truck, before the ultimate fatal collision occurred at a high speed. At the heart of the case, were safety policies and procedures established by the trash company that ultimately caused a life-ending collision. In the podcast, Scott discusses the legal issues and challenges that arose in the case, and the key takeaways that still stand out years later.

Listen to the latest episode of The Result here.

Duty to Mitigate: Understanding the Plaintiff’s Duty to Limit Damages in an Ohio Personal Injury Claim

For some personal injury claims, an argument can be made by the insurance company that the injured plaintiff has a legal obligation to minimize the harmful effects and economic loss related to their accident. This is called the Duty to Mitigate. Typically, the opposing party is trying to argue that your claim for financial compensation should be reduced because you didn’t do what was best for yourself. For example, the insurance company may claim that you stopped receiving medical treatment against your doctor’s advice. Conversely, the insurance company may argue that you received too much medical treatment. For example:

Refusing Testing, Treatment, or Surgery

: If your doctor recommends diagnostic testing, physical therapy or surgery after an accident, you have the right to refuse that treatment. However, your decision to not follow medical advice may make it difficult to recover all the damages you are legally entitled to receive. The insurance company may argue that your injuries would have resolved sooner or your symptoms would have been less severe if you had done what your doctor instructed you to do. The test or standard for the Duty to Mitigate is whether a reasonable person would have followed the doctor’s recommendations. Your attorney cannot make the argument that you did everything possible for your health and well-being after your accident if you chose not to follow your doctor’s advice or you engage in activities that are likely to worsen your injuries and symptoms.

Failing to Follow Medical Care Recommendations

If your doctor recommends that you rest during your recovery, but you decide that you can’t — for any reason — the insurance company could argue that your decision impeded your recovery. Similarly, the insurance company may argue that you prolonged your injuries if you return to work against medical advice and suffer an aggravation of your injuries. If you fail to get recommended physical therapy or fail to take certain medications, you may be subject to the other side arguing you didn’t mitigate damages.

Failing to Seek Employment

If you intend to make a claim for lost earnings or wages, the law requires you to return to work or seek employment when your doctor determines that you are physically capable of performing the essential duties of your job or career. Likewise, if you have lost your job or had to pause your search for a new job when you were injured, you have a duty to mitigate your wage loss. Claimants must be able to show their efforts to secure a new job by providing copies of applications, emails, resumes and any other available documentation that demonstrates your efforts. This can be challenging to document. If you are physically able to work and claim damages for lost earnings, the defendant may argue that your damages could have been reduced if you had returned to work, gotten a different job or received training for a different career. If you are unable to work and will be claiming lost earnings, this must be documented by your doctors. It is very important to have discussions about your ability to work during each visit with your doctor staring with the first office visit after the accident.

There are many reasons injury victims may wish to seek alternative solutions to their injuries. For example, some religious beliefs may limit the type of medical treatment a person may receive after a traumatic event. Having the advice of a lawyer can help claimants navigate these situations to preserve their best possible outcome. If you have questions about your duties to mitigate damages, and when this may apply, talk to the Columbus personal injury lawyers at GBM Law by calling us at 614-222-4444.

Four GBM Law Attorneys Named to 2021 Super Lawyers List

An image of the four GBM Law attorneys who were named 2021 Super Lawyers: J. Scott Bowman, Sydney S. McLafferty, Michael K. Geiser, and Matthew E. Ice

GBM Law, a personal injury law firm in Columbus, is pleased to announce four attorneys have been named Ohio Super Lawyers in 2021. GBM Law Attorneys J. Scott Bowman, Sydney S. McLafferty, Michael K. Geiser, and Matthew E. Ice were selected to the Super Lawyers – Ohio 2021 list.

Along with selection to Ohio Super Lawyers list, partners J. Scott Bowman and Sydney S. McLafferty were selected to the Top 50: 2021 Columbus Super Lawyers list. Sydney S. McLafferty was selected to the Top 25: 2021 Women Columbus Super Lawyers list. J. Scott Bowman was selected to the Top 100: 2021 Ohio Super Lawyers list.

Super Lawyers is an attorney rating service owned by Thomson Reuters and represents the top five percent of lawyers in an area. The selection process includes statewide surveys, peer reviews, and independent research. The independent research includes a review of verdicts and settlements, experience, honors and awards, special licenses and certifications, bar and professional activity, pro bono and community service, and other outstanding achievements. Prior to official selection, each candidate’s standing is verified with state licensing authorities.

GBM Law attorneys have received numerous awards and honors statewide and nationally, including many previous inclusions on the Super Lawyers lists. J. Scott Bowman has been selected to Ohio Super Lawyers from 2015 – 2021 and was previously selected to Super Lawyers Rising Stars from 2005-2007. Sydney S. McLafferty has been selected to Ohio Super Lawyers from 2017 – 2021 and was previously selected to Super Lawyers Rising Stars in 2010, and 2014 – 2016. Michael K. Geiser was selected to Ohio Super Lawyers in 2012 – 2021. Matthew E. Ice has been selected to Ohio Super Lawyers from 2018-2021.

The Columbus injury attorneys at Geiser Bowman & McLafferty LLC are dedicated to helping Ohioans injured in accidents and due to the negligence of others. The firm has helped thousands of clients in Ohio and has recovered more than $200 million in verdicts and settlements, with a success rate of more than 98%. For more information, visit protectingohio.com or call GBM Law at 614-222-4444.

Ohio Reports More Fatal Accidents Despite Fewer Cars on Roads

Despite quarantines, curfews, and stay-at-home advisories, fatal accidents are up in Ohio, WSYX News reported earlier this month. Across the state of Ohio, fatal accidents are up more than 5% compared to last year. In Franklin County, fatal accidents are up about 13% over last year.

These numbers are alarming considering the number of people staying home from work and school during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of the first of December, 105 fatal accidents had been reported in Franklin County, up from 92 fatal accidents in the same period in 2019.

The City of Columbus is certainly aware of the magnitude of the problem. On their Vision Zero Columbus website, they monitor vehicle crashes, bicycle crashes, pedestrian crashes, and motorcycle crashes. However, deaths are happening at an alarming rate despite these stay-at-home initiatives.

This is not just a local issue. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that nationally, during the first half of 2020, the number of traffic deaths per mile driven went up, despite Americans driving a lot less in the first six months of the year. The reason for this disturbing rise in fatal accidents is likely due to:

  1. A certain amount of people engaged in their usual careless habits despite stay-at-home orders, and;
  2. Motorists driving at unsafe speeds with fewer vehicles being on the roadways.

The spike in traffic deaths has been a disturbing side-effect of this national pandemic.

Who Is Liable For COVID-Era Car Accidents?

Although every accident has its own unique set of circumstances, many of the car accidents we are seeing in 2020 involve gross negligence and disregard for the rules of the road and the safety of others. Recklessness and negligence may involve driving at high speeds and running red lights or operating a vehicle while distracted by cell phones or while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Protecting Your Rights and Future

Protect yourself and your passengers by knowing and following the speed limits, never driving while impaired or fatigued, and not driving while distracted by cell phones. Taking your eyes or mind off the wheel for even a couple of seconds can result in life-changing tragedies. Also, make sure you have plenty of insurance — not just the minimum required by the state. An estimated 1 out of 8 drivers in Ohio are operating without insurance, and many drivers have just the minimum. Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM) Insurance protects you and your family when injured by someone else who is uninsured or underinsured.

Get Legal Help Following a Columbus Car Accident

GBM Law is here to help and offer offers a free consultation to evaluate your legal rights following an accident. Our Columbus car accident lawyers will answer your questions and explain your legal options to file a personal injury claim. As with every case, if we represent you, we will never charge any legal fees unless we recover money for you. Call us at 614-222-4444 for your free consultation.

Driver v. Trucking Company Liability for Commercial Truck Accidents

Following an injury accident that was caused by the driver of a tractor-trailer, semi-truck, or large commercial truck, it may seem logical that the trucking company is liable for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle. While trucking companies are often liable for the actions of their negligent employees, multiple other parties can be liable, including:

  • The truck driver;
  • Shipping companies that load trucks and trailers; and
  • Truck part manufacturers.

At GBM Law, our team understands how much is at stake when you are seriously injured. Our Columbus personal injury lawyers are serious about recovering maximum damages for our clients, and getting them full and fair compensation for medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you would like to know more about your legal rights following a truck accident, we are here to offer guidance, assistance, and award-winning legal representation, with no fees unless we win your case.

When is the Driver Responsible For a Truck Accident?

semi trucks

As the operator of a large commercial vehicle, the truck driver is responsible for all aspects of safely completing a trip. This requires detailed inspections, trip planning, and constant monitoring of vehicle speeds, other traffic, and road conditions.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation that regulates the trucking industry, has identified drivers as the critical reason in about 87% of accidents. The primary driver factors attributed to a large sampling of trucking accidents include:

  • Traveling too fast for conditions
  • Unfamiliar with roadway
  • Over-the-counter drug use
  • Inadequate surveillance
  • Fatigue
  • Pressure from trucking company/employer
  • Illegal maneuvers
  • Inattention
  • External distraction
  • Internal distraction
  • Following too close
  • Jackknifing
  • Alcohol
  • Illegal drugs

Some truck drivers are owner-operators, meaning they are the driver and also the owner of the vehicle. Comparative negligence laws in Ohio allow multiple parties to share liability for your medical care expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering.

Why Are Trucking Accidents Complex Injury Claims?

Personal injury claims involving commercial trucks are more complex than claims involving passenger vehicles for several reasons:

  • Commercial vehicles are required to have much higher amounts of insurance coverage. Because large amounts of money are at stake, insurance companies will spend large amounts of time and money defending claims.
  • Truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to numerous federal regulations. Violations of federal regulations for hours of service, truck maintenance, and driver training.

Trucking companies and drivers are required to keep detailed records. Following a truck accident, a truck can be towed hundreds of miles away within a few hours. While the trucking company will arrange their own investigation to preserve evidence that will help them, the truck may be quickly repaired, destroying evidence that could help your claim. Hiring an attorney promptly can allow an independent investigation and preservation of relevant documentation like driver training records and maintenance logs.

Get a Free Consultation for Your Truck Accident Case

At GBM Law, our Columbus truck accident attorneys have recovered more than $200 million for victims of serious injury in Ohio. Before you accept a settlement for your injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death in an Ohio trucking accident, call us at 614-222-4444 to discuss your legal rights and options. The consultation is free, and we are only paid if we recover money for you.

How to Proceed with an Ohio Personal Injury Claim Without a Lawyer

Handling a personal injury claim yourself is different than other DIY practices such as using LegalZoom to draft up a will or selling your house “For Sale By Owner” without a realtor. If you are tech-savvy and self-sufficient, you may wonder if you really need a lawyer.

At GBM Law, we believe the answer to that question isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. The best course of action after an injury is to call for a free consultation to see if hiring a lawyer will add value to your case. Depending on your individual concerns and objectives, our lawyers will be able to give you an honest assessment regarding your best options going forward.

Why should I consider legal representation for an Ohio personal injury claim?

Legal representation enables you to identify the types of claims you are eligible for and procure the evidence needed to win these claims.

If your injuries will impact your life going forward or if you’ve lost a loved or are dealing with an insurance company that won’t even fairly resolve the damage to your vehicle, you will very likely need a lawyer to get the maximum compensation available in a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Even after your attorney is paid, you may be eligible to receive substantially more than if you negotiate a settlement on your own. 

Is it possible to resolve an Ohio personal injury claim through insurance without an attorney? 

While it is possible to resolve an insurance claim without an attorney, proceed with caution.

Your insurance adjuster will likely encourage a quick resolution and assure you that they will settle a case quickly and fairly without getting third parties involved. What they will not tell you is that you could be leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

The quicker an insurance company can settle a case, the less likely the injured party has time to know the full extent of their claim or losses. Unfortunately, once a claim is settled, it cannot typically be renegotiated.

The insurance company will take an entirely different approach if a reputable personal injury lawyer is involved. 

What should I know before I try to resolve a personal injury claim on my own?

The auto insurance company does not have a legal duty to protect you, which means the claims adjuster may not tell you everything you need to know about a settlement.

For example, you could be sued by Medicare, Medicaid, or your health plan, if you fail to reimburse those entities from your personal injury settlement. Your health benefits may be cut off if you fail to reimburse your health plan, Medicare or Medicaid. Settlements involving children must be approved by a judge in the probate court.

The claims adjuster may not tell you that you must pay medical bills that have balances with the proceeds of your injury settlement. In some cases, the at-fault party may not have sufficient auto insurance to fully compensate you for your injuries.

You may lose your right to seek additional compensation from your own auto insurance company by signing documents given to you by the claims adjuster

It is always important to talk to a lawyer before you settle an injury case to avoid many of the traps that the auto insurance company will not tell you about. 

Talk to an experienced lawyer before accepting a personal injury settlement on your own

As Ohio personal injury attorneys, we have seen firsthand the tactics that insurance companies use to minimize claims and pay out claims for as little as possible. We’ve also seen the incredible jump in a settlement offer from an initial offer to an eve-of-trial offer.

Unfortunately, insurance companies take advantage of well-meaning, honest people who believe they can trust the insurance company work out a fair settlement without a lawyer.

Insurance companies make money by paying out as little as possible, and they even offer compensation structures to adjusters based on this, paying out bonuses when they resolve claims cheaply.

Don’t make the mistake of believing that an empathetic and caring insurance adjuster is your friend. 

Contact GBM Law for a free consultation

If you’re considering handling a personal injury claim without a lawyer, we are happy to review your offer. You have every right to speak with a lawyer before you accept a settlement.

At GBM Law, we offer a free consultation to review an insurance company settlement offer. Call us at 614-222-4444 for more information.

If we represent you, our Columbus personal injury lawyers can advocate for your rights to recover compensation and maximize the value of your case. Under our contingency fee arrangement, we are only paid if and when we recover money for you.

Reevaluating the Consequences of Damage Caps for Rape and Sexual Assault Survivors in Ohio

Fifteen years ago, the Ohio legislature enacted a law placing a cap on what a jury could determine that a wrongdoer should have to pay to their victim. Since the enactment of that legislation, any time a jury decides the wrongdoer owes the victim more than $250,000 ($350,000 in certain scenarios) in noneconomic damages, the verdict will be reduced by the judge, as required by this law. While there are a few very narrow exceptions to this cap, the majority of civil cases have been significantly impacted by the vise grip that the Ohio legislature has placed on the jury system.

The fairness of this law has been heavily debated, but perhaps even more so when it has been applied to victims of rape and sexual assault.

Back in 2008, Jessica Simpkins was raped twice by her pastor when she was 15 years old. Adding insult to injury, Simpkins found out that her church knew that this pastor had been implicated in two prior incidents with teenage girls but continued to employ him despite his predatory conduct.

Simpkins filed a civil suit against the pastor as wells the church, for allowing this predator to stay in contact with church youth, ultimately exposing her to her rapist. In his criminal case, the pastor, Brian Williams, pled guilty and was sentenced to 8 years in prison. In the civil suit, a jury determined Simpkins was owed $3.6 million in damages.

However, as a result of the damage cap enacted by the Ohio legislature, Simpkins’s verdict was reduced. Simpkins’s lawyers challenged the constitutionality of a law that infringes on a person’s right to a trial by jury as well as whether or not a single cap should be applied to the multiple rapes she endured.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judy French authored the opinion for the court, holding that not only did these caps apply to victims of rape, but also held that Simpkins was not entitled to compensation for each act of rape she endured; she was limited to one recovery, regardless of the number of times she was assaulted.

In January 2020, a jury determined that a woman who was repeatedly raped when she was 11 years old should be paid $20 million dollars. As in the Simpkins case, the court reduced the verdict according to the statutory damage cap.

State Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) recently appeared on NPR to discuss the damage cap bill he worked on and defended the legislation and the goal of limiting the financial accountability of companies, organizations (including churches), and universities that negligently and/or knowingly hired and supervised criminals, saying “the deep pocket” did not commit the sexual assault and was only liable on the theory of negligence.

The case raises an important question about public policy: Is capping damages the right thing to do? Or is a jury, after weighing the testimony and evidence, in a better position to determine what the victim is owed? Secondly, what message does this practice send to abusers or the organizations that knowingly turn a blind eye to the abuser’s behavior?

Many are concerned that affording these defendants civil protection is counterproductive to promoting the change that the civil justice system is designed to affect. Not only does this practice protect wrongdoers, it further victimizes the abused when they are told that they are not entitled to what a jury has valued their trauma to be worth.

Two state legislators recently reintroduced a bill that would remove the caps on damages from cases involving rape and sexual assault. This same bill was introduced during the last legislative session, but leadership in the Ohio House of Representatives refused to give the bill any hearings. Interested individuals should contact their legislators to find out their position on this bill.

Voters will also have a chance to weigh in with their thoughts this November. Justice French, who wrote the decision in Simpkins’s case, is up for re-election to the Ohio Supreme Court. Her challenger, Judge Jennifer Brunner, who is currently sitting on the Tenth District Court of Appeals, has questioned why an abuser could be charged criminally for each rape offense but is only subject to one civil damage amount.

There is no doubt that damages caps, a form of tort reform, have become a political issue. Chambers of commerce and businesses lobby that they need the certainty afforded by jurisdictions that limit their liability for their wrongdoing. Those opposed to damage caps believe that businesses can limit their financial exposure by simply doing the right thing and not enable abusers and rapists an opportunity to offend. Furthermore, when innocent mistakes are made, businesses already have purchased insurance policies to indemnify them for these types of losses.  

If someone you love was abused at work or by a trusted teacher, coach, or leader, would you want to protect the company or organization that employed them, especially if they had knowledge of other victims, and did nothing to stop the abuse? As advocates for victims and as members of the Ohio community, we believe we can do better for victims and need to rethink the consequences of damage caps and how they are applied.

GBM Law Attorneys Investigate Heartburn Drug Cancer Cases

Concern about the link between taking the popular heartburn medication Zantac and cancer has been growing by the day, as manufacturers are recalling their products and retailers are pulling the over the counter medication from shelves. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confused consumers by saying they do not need to stop taking Zantac and said that the cancer-causing chemical N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) was simply an impurity.

On September 13, 2019, the FDA issued a statement alerting consumers that NDMA was found in low levels in the heartburn medication Zantac, also sold under the generic name ranitidine. This statement specifically said, “The FDA is not calling for individuals to stop taking ranitidine at this time,” but then said, “[p]eople taking over the counter ranitidine could consider using other over the counter (OTC) medicines approved for their condition. There are multiple drugs on the market that are approved for the same or similar uses as ranitidine.”

At the time, Zantac maker Sanofi said in a statement that the company “takes patient safety seriously, and we are committed to working with the FDA.”

In an October 2, 2019, statement, the FDA asked manufacturers of ranitidine to send in samples for testing. In their update, the agency said that higher temperatures used in the manufacturing of Zantac had generated high levels of NDMA and, therefore, was a concern.

As of January 2020, the FDA has advised companies to recall ranitidine (Zantac) if manufacturer testing shows levels of NDMA above the acceptable daily intake (96 nanograms per day or 0.32 parts per million for ranitidine).

It is worth noting that numerous other agencies outside the U.S. cautioned consumers against taking Zantac. At GBM Law, we believe the NDMA chemical was not simply an impurity, but a defect that the makers of Zantac and OTC generic medications knew or should have known about.

What is Zantac?

Zantac, chemically known as ranitidine hydrochloride, works to decrease the production of stomach acid and is used to treat common acid reflux, heartburn and gastrointestinal issues, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease, and Zollinger–Ellison syndrome (Z-E syndrome). It’s been available in the U.S. since the early 1980s. Available dosages vary between 75 and 150 mg. A once-daily 300 mg dosage is also available.

What is NDMA?  

The FDA has said NDMA is a “known environmental contaminant and found in water and foods, including meats, dairy products and vegetables.” NDMA used to be an industrial chemical that was once added to rocket fuel and is a yellow liquid that dissolves in water.  It forms during some industrial processes such as tire making and pesticide and dye manufacturing. It is also found in secondhand smoke. It’s been found in levels at over 3,000 times greater than acceptable levels in Zantac.

According to the FDA, consuming as much as one microgram a day of NDMA is “reasonably safe. The NDMA chemical has already been found in blood pressure medicines categorized as angiotensin II receptor blockers (sometimes called ARBs or angiotensin-II inhibitors).

GBM Attorneys Investigating Zantac Cases

The personal injury lawyers at GBM Law are investigating Zantac cancer cases and the link between the heartburn drug and cancer and the actual levels of NDMA that have been in ranitidine. You may have a Zantac cancer case if you took Zantac for a minimum of 4 months prior to being diagnosed with stomach, bladder, kidney, pancreatic, esophageal, intestinal, liver, uterine, testicular, or colon cancer.

We provide free case evaluations to help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact us at 614-222-4444 to speak to a member of our legal team.

What is Impeachment?

The word “impeachment” has been making headlines and showing up in news feeds on a daily basis for weeks now, after President Donald Trump was impeached on December 18, 2019, following an inquiry stage that was initiated on September 24, 2019. The President Trump impeachment trial began on January 16, 2020. In this blog post, we’d like to briefly discuss what impeachment is and the history of presidential impeachment in the United States.

What is impeachment?

Impeachment is the process in which a legislature accuses a government official of a crime and can possibly remove them from their elected position. The process goes back to 14th century England and was adopted by our founding fathers when they put together the Constitution. Typically, these crimes occur while in office, although in some cases, impeachment charges have been brought for crimes committed prior to taking office.

Impeachment is not removal from office. When an official is impeached, they remain in office until an impeachment trial is held. If convicted, the punishment is removal from office. The Constitution limits grounds for impeachment to “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” although high crimes and misdemeanors are not specifically defined.

Which U.S. presidents have been impeached?

Only three U.S. presidents have been impeached: President Andrew Johnson, President Bill Clinton, and President Donald Trump. Although President Nixon resigned from office, he was not impeached. Impeachment articles were prepared against him, but he resigned before he could be impeached or face a trial. Notably, Nixon was the only man ever to resign from the U.S. presidency.

What is President Trump accused of doing?

At the most basic level, President Trump is accused of abusing his power for political gain. This allegedly occurred specifically, on July 25, 2019, in a phone call with the president of Ukraine.  Prior to the call, Trump withheld $391 million in congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine and used it as a bargaining chip to urge President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate allegations against Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Trump asked for an investigation as a favor, specifically saying, “I would like you to do us a favor.”

What is the evidence against President Trump?

On August 12, 2019, an anonymous complaint was filed by a member of the intelligence community, protected by the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act.  President Trump was made aware of the complaint in late August, and the public (and members of Congress) became aware of the complaint on September 9, 2019. A non-verbatim memorandum of Trump’s conversation with Zelensky was released by the White House on September 24, 2019. The next day, the whistleblower complaint was released to Congress.

What’s next for President Trump?

As the trial continues, only time can tell what is next. After the Senate impeachment trial, a vote will be held. President Trump can only be removed from office if more than two-thirds of the Senate vote to convict him. Despite facing possible removal from office, President Trump continues to campaign for the 2020 presidential election.

What Should I Avoid Doing After a Car Accident?

Your actions after a car accident can harm your right to receive a fair settlement for your personal injury case. Car accidents are extremely stressful events, and many accident victims do not realize how important it is to take the proper actions following a crash to protect their rights to compensation. The following is a short list of actions you should NOT take following an accident:

You should not admit fault or partial fault

The law does not require you to admit being liable for a car accident. Aside from recovering money in your claim, admitting fault may invalidate your insurance policy. If you do admit fault, you cannot go back on an admission as this could be considered perjury. It is best to not say anything to other parties in the accident, or their insurance adjustors.

You should not provide a recorded statement to any insurance company, even your own

You need to report the accident to your insurance company. Your claims adjuster will likely ask you to make a recorded statement. You are not required to do this and generally should not. Even if your adjuster is friendly and seems sympathetic to your situation, they are trained to ask questions in such a way that you will downplay your injuries and ultimately reduce the amount of money you receive.

You should not post on social media about the accident or anything else until your claim is resolved

Insurance companies often check accident victims’ social media accounts for evidence that you are not injured, or your injuries are less than you claim. For example, even if you are in a lot of pain, you may go to a concert with friends. An insurance adjuster could find a picture of you at the concert looking happy and make a case that your personal injury claim is a fraud. Even if profiles are set to private, investigators have found ways to gain access to your profiles.

You should not accept a settlement offer without first talking to a lawyer

Insurance companies try to wrap up claims quickly because they know it is their best chance at getting you to accept money and not involve a lawyer. They know that if you hire a lawyer, your lawyer will fight for far more compensation than they initially offer.

For more information about what to do following an Ohio car accident, contact us for a free consultation, call 614-222-4444, or download our FAQ about car accident injuries.