CAR ACCIDENT FAQ

Cincinnati Auto/Car Accident Frequently Asked Questions

Our firm represents individuals who have suffered from injuries to their person or property, resulting from automobile accidents, falls, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, dog bites, and other negligent acts.The most common injuries are those caused by car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents.

We have represented thousands of victims and their families regarding personal injury claims stemming from motor vehicle accidents. The recoveries we seek for our clients include tangible expenses such as medical bills and lost wages, as well as intangible damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and long-term future loss.

If you have been injured in a car accident, you probably have many questions. Will the person at fault pay your medical bills? Will you have to pay your insurance company back after you settle? We offer a free consultation to answer your questions – both over the phone and in person. We will meet with you at our office, in your home, or at the hospital at any time during the day, evening, or on weekends. We will not charge any fees up front. Our legal services cost you nothing unless we make a recovery for you.

The first days and weeks following a car accident are critical for securing a recovery. Insurance company adjusters will visit you and pressure you to settle quickly and ask you to sign documents. It is important for you not to sign any documents without advice from a lawyer.

Our informative article “Don’t Give in to Insurance Adjuster Pressure” gives some good, free advice on how to handle this situation.

During the first days after your accident, we will:

  • Photograph your vehicle
  • Talk to witnesses and record their statements before they forget
  • Get accident reports
  • Resolve property damage claims and rental car issues
  • Handle your medical bills by using your car insurance to pay those bills
  • Deal with your insurance companies
  • Once your immediate concerns are resolved, we help you find medical care so you can get better. We will work with you to obtain the maximum legal recovery for your injuries. Whether you are represented by us or another law firm, you should not make any settlement until you reach maximum medical recovery for your injuries.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I’ve just been involved in an accident. What should I do first?
  • Should we move the cars?
  • What information should I get?
  • Is there anything I should NOT do?
  • What if my accident occurred in a parking lot?
  • Should I call my own insurance company?
  • Am I entitled to a rental car?
  • Where do I get my car repaired?
  • If I have been injured, what should I do?
  • Does the auto insurance company pick the doctor I have to see?
  • Who will pay my medical bills?
  • What should I do with all the bills that come in?
  • What do I do if I have to take time off work?
  • Do I need a lawyer?
  • What is a contingency fee?
  • Do I have to sue someone?
  • What can I expect to get from the insurance company?
  • How do I know what my case is worth?
  • What kind of insurance should I have on my car?
  • I’ve just been involved in an accident. What should I do first?

Whether you drive a car, motorcycle, truck or other type of vehicle, you are subject to being involved in an accident. Knowing your rights and obligations when an accident does occur will help minimize your aggravation and expenses associated with the accident.

The first thing you must do by law if you are involved in an automobile accident is STOP. Accidents happen, but no one has a valid excuse for failing to stop after an accident. In most states, hit and run offenses are felonies, with increased penalties if someone has been injured.

After you stop, check each person in the accident to see if they have been hurt. Call the police. Call an ambulance if necessary. If someone is seriously injured, do not try to move them unless it is absolutely necessary to protect them from further injury.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey & Associates, call 513-898-3785 or 866-526-5929 or send us an e-mail.
Back to Top

Should we move the cars?

Whether you should move the cars depends on the severity of the accident and where it occurred. A serious accident with injured people should be left alone until the police arrive. You may have to direct traffic around the accident, set flares or station someone in a safe position to warn oncoming motorists. A fender-bender during rush-hour that threatens to tie up traffic should probably be moved out of the driving lanes after you have determined that no one is hurt.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

What information should I get?

You and the other driver must exchange information, including name, address, phone numbers, driver’s license number, name of insurance company, policy number, insurance agent’s name and phone number. You should also write down the year, make, model and color of the other vehicle, as well as its license plate number. There is a “Car Wreck Checklist” form on our web site which you can use to record all of this information. Put this form in your glove compartment for future use.

Also try to get the same name, address and phone information from witnesses in all vehicles, as well as bystanders who may have seen the accident. Make note of where they were seated in the vehicles or where they were standing near the scene of the crash. Get a short statement of what each witness saw.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

Is there anything I should NOT do?

Do not admit fault for the accident to anyone. Do not tell anyone how much insurance you carry. Do not sign anything. If you are cited by the police officer, you will have to sign the citation. However, this does not mean you are admitting guilt. You are merely acknowledging that you received the ticket. You still have the opportunity to contest the citation in court.

In fact, even though the police officer may issue a ticket to the other driver, it does not guarantee that he/she will accept blame for the accident. The officer is merely giving his opinion about who caused the crash. The officer still has to convince a judge or jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the other driver is guilty. The other driver’s insurance company could still refuse to pay you if they believe their insured was not at fault.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an email.

Back to Top

What if my accident occurred in a parking lot?

In most states, police will not respond to an accident in a parking lot, unless someone is injured. A parking lot is private property. Even if the police do not come, you should exchange personal, driver’s license and insurance information with the other driver.

If police are not called to the scene, you should still make a report at the local police station within 24 hours. This report will explain the accident and identify the parties involved.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

Should I call my own insurance company?

Yes. You should notify your insurance company or agency as soon as possible that you were involved in a crash. The sooner they can begin processing your claim, the sooner you will get your car repaired and your medical bills paid. If you are not at fault, and your insurance company pays for anything, they will get reimbursed later by the insurance company for the at-fault driver. When you call your insurance company, be prepared to give them all important information about the other driver, the nature of the crash, the police officer, etc.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

Am I entitled to a rental car?

Yes. There are rental car companies that specialize in providing cars to people whose cars are being repaired. Look for them in the phone book or ask your attorney. The insurance adjuster can also recommend a rental car company and authorize the cost to be billed directly to them. However, there are limits on the amount the insurance company will authorize, both in terms of the cost per day and the number of days you can have the rental car. If your car is declared to be a total loss, you may not be entitled to a rental car at all.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

Where do I get my car repaired?

If it your right to choose where you would like your car to be repaired. Do not be bullied by the insurance company into thinking you have to take it to the shop with the lowest bid. You are entitled to have your car repaired to the same condition it was before the wreck.

You should always get your own repair estimate to compare it to that of the insurance company. This allows you to make sure they are treating you fairly. You are not obligated to get more than one estimate. However, you may want to get more than one if you are not sure where you want your car to be repaired and you want to compare different shops. Your attorney can help you by recommending repair shops that have good reputations for doing quality work.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

If I have been injured, what should I do?

For any injury, no matter how slight, you need a qualified medical examination. This exam will help you get the medical assistance you need as soon as possible. Ideally, you should go to the emergency room immediately from the scene of the crash. Otherwise, you should go within 24-48 hours. You can also follow up with your family doctor or other medical provider.

There are many injuries in an automobile accident that are not apparent at the time of the accident. Some injuries take several hours and even days to show up. It is a good idea to get a medical exam immediately after an accident to be sure you have not suffered an injury that will not show up later, and then you wonder why your back hurts or your neck is stiff.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

Does the auto insurance company pick the doctor I have to see?

No. You can see any doctor you choose. No one can tell you what doctor you have to use.

Be wary of chiropractors who call you on the phone the day after your wreck. There are good and bad chiropractors. You do not want to be treated by a chiropractor who over charges or over treats people. Your attorney can tell you which chiropractors have good reputations in the area in which you live.

It is usually best to see the emergency room, then your family doctor. If necessary, your family doctor can refer you to physical therapy or a specialist such as an orthopaedic doctor. Especially, if you have health insurance, this is usually the best way to address your injuries.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

Who will pay my medical bills?

The person who caused the wreck is ultimately responsible for paying your medical bills. However, the at-fault party’s auto insurance typically only issues one settlement check to you at the end of the case, when you are ready to settle your claim. They will not pay one bill at a time as you send them in.

While your claim is pending, you should use your health insurance to pay your bills. They will be reimbursed in full later by the auto insurance company for the at-fault driver. Your health insurance company may try to refuse to pay your bills, saying that they should be paid by auto insurance. This is not true. The law and your health insurance contract require your health insurance company to pay your bills. They will get reimbursed later.

If you have no health insurance, you may have medical payments coverage (Med Pay) under your own auto insurance policy. This means your own auto insurance will pay medical bills (up to a certain dollar limit), then get reimbursed later by the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company.

Sometimes, our office can write a Letter of Protection to your doctors, explaining that you were involved in an auto accident, and that you have a pending case. We will assure them that they will be paid if they will wait until the case is over.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

What should I do with all the bills that come in?

These bills should first be submitted to your health insurance company, Medicare, Medicaid, Careource, Amerigroup or other health insurance provider. Sometimes, your health insurance company will say they do not have to pay your bills because they arose from an auto accident and some auto insurance company should pay them. Your doctors and hospitals sometimes take this same position. THIS IS NOT TRUE. The law and your contract with the health insurance company say they MUST pay these bills and your doctors and hospitals must accept your health insurance. Your health insurance company will be reimbursed in full later. But for now, your health insurance company must pay your bills. Don’t take “no” for an answer. Send the bills into your health insurance company on your own, along with a cover letter that demands they be paid.

As a last resort, you can utilize medical payments coverage (Med Pay), through your own auto insurance. However, this should only be used when you do not have any health insurance coverage, or to cover co-pays, deductibles and other medical bills not covered by health insurance.

When in doubt, send the bills to our office and we will deal with them. The last thing you need is for your credit record to be damaged or to be hassled by phone calls from bill collectors regarding your medical bills.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

What do I do if I have to take time off work?

Keep an accurate record of the time you miss from work and why. Was it because of severe pain or because you had to go to the doctor or therapist? Keep this record even if you have sick pay, vacation time, comp time or other benefits which are paying you while you are off. The at-fault party’s insurance is still responsible for reimbursing you for all of this time off.

If you are self-employed, keep an accurate journal of the jobs and customers that you are losing because of your injuries. If you are a commission-based employee, keep an accurate journal of the money you are losing.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

Do I need a lawyer?

No matter what kind of accident you have been in, you should get a legal opinion of your rights and responsibilities. Insurance companies do not have your best interests at heart. The insurance has lawyers and adjusters who are trained and instructed to settle your claims for property damage and injuries for a little money as possible. You need an experienced attorney to review the facts of your case, explain your legal rights, tell you what to expect, and recommend appropriate action. Then you can decide if you would like us to help you with your claim. The consultation and advice are FREE.

An experienced attorney knows the value of your case and what you are entitled to receive as compensation. Having an experienced attorney on your side tells the insurance company that you are serious about handling your claim and will only accept what is fair.

If we handle your case, you do not have to worry about gathering medical records, bills, lost wage documentation, photographs, etc. We will do all of that for you. You do not have to worry about playing phone tag with an adjuster, saying the wrong thing during a recorded phone conversation or signing the wrong document. We can handle all of that for you, making sure to protect your rights and privacy.

We have handled thousands of insurance claims over the past 20 years, some involving people who were tragically killed in auto accidents, and some involving minor injures. We have recovered millions of dollars for injured victims.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

What is a contingency fee?

A contingency fee means that you agree to pay a percentage of the settlement or verdict amount that your lawyer obtains in exchange for the legal representation and expertise of the attorney. This fee is only paid when the case is over and is deducted from the proceeds of the settlement. You pay nothing up front in order to hire us. You do not pay by the hours. Regardless of how long it takes and how many hours our attorneys and staff put into your case, we only receive a percentage of the settlement, and only when the case is over. If there is no successful recovery, then there is no fee.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

Do I have to sue someone?

In most cases – No. We realize that not everyone wants to immediately file a law suit. Greater than 80% of our cases settle out-of-court without the need to file a law suit. Sometimes a law suit is the only option when the insurance company offers an unfair amount. However, the decision whether to accept a settlement offer or file a law suit is totally up to you. We will calculate the value of your case based upon previously handling of thousands of cases. We will get the best possible offer from the insurance company and tell you exactly what you would receive after fees and medical bills. Finally, we will offer our opinion as to whether you should accept or reject the settlement offer. Then you may decide how you wish to proceed. Although there are risks and costs associated with filing a law suit, sometimes it is the better option.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

What can I expect to get from the insurance company?

The law says that you are entitled to be “made whole”. This means to be put back into the same position after the settlement as you were before the automobile accident. You are entitled to have your car repaired, plus a rental car, for the period of time your car is in the shop. If the cost to repair your vehicle is greater than its fair market value, it is declared a total loss and the insurance company will only pay you the fair market value.

You are also entitled to be fully compensated for your injuries. This includes hospital and doctor bills, physical therapy, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Controversy with the insurance company usually arises when you attempt to put a dollar value on intangible aspects of your claim such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of activities and life, emotional distress, etc. The insurance company can also refuse to pay your medical bills if they believe they are excessive or unrelated to your auto accident. Sometimes, people have injuries to areas of their body which has been injured before. This is always used by the insurance adjuster to de-value your claim.

We fight to protect your rights and get you the most money possible. Our attorneys know which aspects of your claim carry greater weight with the insurance adjusters and later in court. We make sure that each important element of your claim is brought to the attention of the auto insurance company.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

How do I know what my case is worth?

There are dozens of factors that should be considered in determining the value of your claim. These include the severity of the impact and resulting property damage to the vehicles involved, the nature of your injuries, the amount of treatment you received, the amount of your medical bills, the length of your recovery, whether you have any permanent effects from your injuries, etc. Even the insurance company with which you are dealing can affect how much you will get.

Insurance companies count on you not knowing the true value of your claim. They try to tell you what it is worth and settle with you before you have the case reviewed by an experienced attorney. Often, they even come to your home with a checkbook in hopes of getting you to settle the claim quickly.

You should NEVER settle your claim before you are finished treating for your injuries. Once you settle the claim, you can never ask for additional money from the insurance company. We know what cases are worth. We have handled thousands of insurance claims over the past 20 years, some involving people who were tragically killed in auto accidents, and some involving minor injures. We have recovered millions of dollars for injured victims. Call us to find out the true value of your case.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

What kind of insurance should I have on my car?

Many people do not understand what type of insurance coverage is available to them. The terms used by the insurance industry include:

Liability – This is protection for the property damage or injuries you cause when driving your car. In Ohio, you are required to have at least $12,500 in Liability coverage. This is the only type of insurance coverage that you MUST carry.
Medical Payment – This covers medical bills for injuries you sustain in an auto accident, regardless of who was at fault. You can often use this coverage while your case is pending. Your insurance company will get reimbursed after you settle with the other insurance carrier.
Collision – This pays for property damage to your car whether caused by you or someone else. It usually carries a deductible.
Comprehensive – This coverage pays for fire, theft or vandalism of your car and its contents.
Uninsured Motorist – This coverage compensates you for injuries if the other driver has no insurance. This is very important coverage to have, but many people forget to obtain it. It is not very expensive, and can protect you from all those drivers out there who have no insurance at all.
Underinsured Motorist – This pays for your injury claim if the total value of your claim is more than the amount of insurance coverage carried by the other at-fault driver. Again, this is very important coverage to have. It is almost similar to disability and/or life insurance, in that it can provide coverage to you in catastrophic accidents.
Determining the proper insurance to have and in what amount depends on the circumstances of your life. The more wealth you have to protect, the more insurance you should carry. Adequate insurance coverage can pay for damages of an accident, permitting you to devote your time and energy to getting better, knowing you will be able to pay for your medical bills and lost wages. You can speak to an insurance agent about these coverages. Our attorneys can also help you calculate the amount and type of insurance coverages you and your family need to protect yourselves.

For a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Godbey Law, call 513-241-6650 or send us an e-mail.

Back to Top

Serving People in Ohio and Kentucky

It is best to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after the injury so you don’t miss filing deadlines or risk saying the wrong thing to an insurance adjuster. Contact us online or by phone today at (513) 241-6650 to learn about your legal rights and options.

FREE CONSULTATION

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Phone

Brief Description of Your Legal Issue

NEED LEGAL HELP? CALL US TODAY at 513-241-6650  

 Our firm has been serving the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky area since 1989. We are proud to have many clients who come back to the firm for all of their legal needs or who refer others to us for representation.

CONTACT US