Category : Car Accident Injuries

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What Not To Do After A Car Accident

Car accidents happen every day on local and national roadways, whether it is a fender bender or a serious collision. During the moments right after a car accident, there’s a chance you might not be fully aware of what to do and what not to do at the scene of an accident. Here are a few things you do not want to do after a car accident.

Do Not Wait to get medical treatment

If you are involved in a car accident and you wait to receive medical treatment for possible injuries, it will reflect badly on your personal injury claim and give the insurance company leverage for a smaller settlement. By waiting to seek medical attention, the legitimacy of your injury claims has been brought into question. If you are injured, play it safe and see a medical professional after your accident to not only protect your health but also to properly document the injuries sustained.

Do Not Give a Statement Until You Know All the Facts

If there is any question as to who is at fault in causing an accident, do not give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Doing so could not help you, but it can hurt you if you say the wrong thing in the wrong way. Remember the insurance adjusters has a full-time job and that job is to pay you as little as possible, they are not your friends. They have been trained to ask certain questions to get you to answer the wrong way. Through no fault of your own, you could hurt your claim by giving a statement to the insurance company without the advice of a personal injury attorney.

Do Not Settle Your Claim Quickly

While it may seem appealing to obtain the money from your settlement faster, it is not recommended to settle your car accident claim before you have completely recovered from your injuries, or have received a prognosis for the future. Medical treatments for injuries can often last much longer than anticipated, resulting in numerous medical expenses. It is best to wait until you have completed your treatment and are back to normal before you settle, or you may find yourself with medical bills that are above and beyond your settlement amount.  If you do not fully recover, but you receive prognosis for the future, it will enable to the settlement to account for all future expenses brought on by your condition, including future procedures, doctor visits, physical and occupational therapy sessions, and more.

2 Things You Should Do After Your Car Accident

Now that you are aware of the major things you should not do after a car accident, here are two things that you should do – receive medical attention and seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney.

If you have been injured in a car accident, don’t sign or say anything. Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a personal injury accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with personal injury claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.

Vital Evidence in Multi-Car Accidents

When you are involved in a car accident, it’s a traumatic event. When it’s a multi-car accident, it’s even more shocking and you can get lost in the fray without collecting vital evidence if you are able. There are many factors that can play into multi-car accidents including multiple people seeking damages. This can make the claims process very complicated very quickly. In order to successfully make a claim, you need to evidence to establish and prove who is at fault and liable. Here are the types of evidence you need to prove fault in multi-car accident claims.

Witness Accounts

When the evidence and photos at the scene of the accident don’t paint a complete picture of what happened, witness accounts are extremely important to help fill in the gaps. With a witness to corroborate your testimony, it helps to ensure a better understanding of the incident. Witnesses may also have digital evidence as well as their own personal accounts such as video or photos from their cell phones that can be used to help validate what happened at the crash site.

Accident Report

With every accident where the police are called, there will be an official accident report filed. The accident report should include information such as a summary of driver statements, a diagram of the accident area and in some cases, the opinion of the responding officer. Make sure you obtain a copy of the police report as this can be used as a part of your claim.

Evidence in car accident

Evidence that Helps Establish Fault

Establishing who is at fault in a multi-car accident (3 cars or more) is vital in determining how to proceed with a claim. There could be one or more drivers responsible for causing the accident. You need to collect various pieces of evidence to be used as proof of your claim. These include photographs, how far the cars moved in the accident, information of all who were involved, and make sure you write down in detail everything you can remember at the scene of the accident and how the accident occurred. But remember health and safety first. If you are too injured to get out of your car, stay put. If the other drive isn’t able, call 9-1-1 and report that fact and ask 9-1-1 to stay on the phone with you until the police arrive.

Legal Representation

In many multi-car accidents, a personal injury attorney may be necessary. An attorney can help prove who is at fault for the accident and help you file your claim, deal with insurance companies and in some cases court proceedings.

If you have been injured in a multi-car accident, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a car accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with car accident claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.

How Insurance Companies Calculate Accident Settlements

Have you been injured in a car accident and received a settlement offer from the insurance company that is much lower than you expected? This happens to most accident victims and probably gets you thinking about how the insurance company calculates their settlement offers. When it comes to calculating your settlement, insurance companies do not have a specific and precise mathematical formula since every accident claim is different. However, they do use a specific set of factors to determine the worth of your claim.  See below for the 4 main settlement factors that insurance companies rely on.

Car Accident Insurance Settlement

Damaged Vehicles Settlements

When your vehicle is damaged in an accident, the insurance companies will most likely only pay for the cost of the repair or replacement of the damaged item(s). The exception to this rule is if the car is marked as a total loss meaning the repair costs exceed the value of the vehicle. When this happens, the insurance company will usually base their settlements on fair market value. In other words, you could have sold your car for the day of the accident but before the crash, not the cost of a new vehicle.  In most cases, this is not enough to cover the price of a new vehicle.

Injury Settlements

When it comes to your injuries suffered in a car accident and how that gets figured into your settlement, it is negotiated separately from your vehicle damage. If you suffer a broken bone, you would receive extra compensation from the insurance company. The amount is determined by your total medical bills and the extent of your injuries documented in your medical reports, but in Ohio is part of the injury claim which also includes pain and suffering.

Pain and Suffering Settlements

Separate from vehicle damage and part of the injury settlement, there can also be compensation for pain and suffering. This is an amount in addition to your medical bills that will help compensate for the past and future pain and complications from your injury. Also, if your doctor expects you to need more treatment in the future, make sure your settlement includes an estimate to compensate for your future medical treatment as well. Before you accept any settlement offer from the insurance company, consult a personal injury attorney to review your case.

If you have been injured in a car accident, don’t sign or say anything. Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a car accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with car accident claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.

Defensive Driving in the Winter

It’s no secret that driving in the winter can become treacherous in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Ice and snow can make for slippery roads and poor visibility which in turn cause more accidents than in the summer months. Below are the typical types of accidents you will see in winter and how you can adjust your defensive driving style to help avoid them.

defensive driving in the winter

Sliding Through Intersections

Vehicles sliding through an intersection or through a red light are a common cause of accidents in the winter season. While you can blame the ice and slippery roads for an accident, the insurance companies consider the driver liable for the resulting accident. The best way to avoid sliding through an intersection/red light is to approach slowly and with great caution. Start slowing down well before actually stopping. If you have the opportunity and can do it safely, test your braking well before the intersection.

Poor Visibility

Quickly accumulating snow on roadsides as well as blowing snow and blizzard conditions are all major factors to car accidents during winter by poor visibility. Run-ins with inanimate objects hidden by roadside snow banks, such as fire hydrants or mailboxes are very common single vehicle accidents. Another major factor in poor visibility causing winter accidents is blowing snow. Blowing snow can dramatically decrease visibility on the road, especially going into intersections and in the dark. If it is absolutely necessary to drive in these conditions, take driving very slowly and cautiously. Be extra alert and vigilant with your surroundings and watch for vehicles quickly approaching you. Also, put your hazard lights on if you are driving well below the speed limit

Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end accidents are the most common type, especially in the winter months. When the roads are slippery, wet and icy, it is necessary to provide extra distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. If you are forced to brake suddenly as a result of the vehicle in front of you braking, the extra distance could save you from a rear-end collision. Remember to adjust your distance to the conditions of the roads you are traveling on.

Defensive Driving Tips

  • Avoid having to quickly slow down. Keep your distance between the vehicles in front of you and maintain a steady speed.
  • Don’t turn or brake sharply
  • Slow your speed while taking turns or curves and avoid braking in curves
  • Avoid driving beside another vehicle if possible
  • Leave plenty of extra distance between you and the vehicle in front of you
  • Always drive with your headlights on
  • Brush off all snow and ice completely from your vehicle before driving on the roads

If you, a family member or loved one has been injured in an accident during winter weather caused by someone else who was driving irresponsibly, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a car accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with car accident claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.

Available Legal Options for Injured Passengers

If you are a passenger that was injured in a car accident, you may be wondering what legal options are available to you to cover your medical costs. Depending on the severity of the accident, treatment may be needed right away. Some injuries may not fully develop until several days after the accident and should be treated medically at that time. To make sure you are covered, make sure to obtain all the information of the parties involved. If possible, try and take photos of the accident scene, vehicle damage and your own injuries for your own record.

 

Legal Options for Injured Passengers

 

Discovering the Legal Liable Party

Determining who is at fault in certain cases can be tricky. If the driver of the vehicle you were in was at fault, they would be held liable. Other cases may not be so cut and dry. If the other driver was at fault and was on the job at the time, they or their company could be held liable. If the vehicle had a defect, the manufacturer could be liable. Once the liable party is discovered, an attorney can imitate the steps to seek a settlement from those parties.

Examination of the Damage

In order for the insurance companies to determine compensation and for litigation, an examination of the vehicle damage as well as the cause of the accident could be required. An adjuster will be assigned to the claim to determine how the accident occurred and which party is responsible. Some things taken into account are the weather, speed of collision, traffic conditions, and other third party factors. The adjustor may also request to see medical records or receive a recorded statement from the passenger. Retaining legal representation before signing or saying anything is wise to ensure you get treated fairly.

Medical Injuries

Depending on the severity of the injuries obtained during the accident and any long-term effects could mean hefty medical bills. Compensation is usually necessary to pay for all medical bills and future treatments.

Contact an attorney and File an Insurance Claim

Reaching out to a personal injury attorney will help you sort out the details of your accident and claim. Your attorney can also help you handle communication between the insurance companies on your behalf. Attorneys can also help dispute any claims from the insurance companies trying to negate your injuries and handle negotiations between the insurance companies to ensure you receive an equitable settlement.

If you were injured as a passenger in an accident, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a car accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with car accident claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.

 

What To Do After a Hit and Run Accident

Being a victim of a hit and run accident is extremely frightening and stressful. First thing first is try to stay calm and keep your wits about you. Look at your surroundings and see if you are able to get a glimpse of the person who hit you. Here are a few things to never do at the scene of a hit and run accident. Don’t follow the fleeing driver unless you are sure you can get a complete license plate number. Leaving the scene of an accident could put you in a compromising position seeing as the police could question who’s really at fault.

 

Hit and Run Accident

 

Gather information about the accident

Gather as much information from the scene as you can. The biggest piece of information is a license plate number. If you can’t make out the whole number, remember as much as you can. Write down a description of the driver, if possible. Describe the car – make, model, color, if the vehicle is older or newer, etc. It is critical to write down the time and location of the accident as well as the damage to your vehicle and what direction the vehicle who hit you was going.

See if there are witnesses

If you were hit in a populated area and there are witnesses that saw your accident, get names, contact information, and write down details of what they saw. If they are still there when the police arrive, have them give their statement as well.

Call the police

Call the police and report the accident, if they arrive at the scene, give your statement and account of what happened. This report will be essential to your claim. If they are not needed at the scene of the accident, you should drive to the nearest police station and get an accident form to fill out.

Take photos

Take as many photos’s of your vehicle’s damage as possible. If the other driver’s vehicle left some of their paint on your car, point that out. Take photos from every angle and direction on each spot of damage. Documenting everything you see will help bolster your claim.

Hire a personal injury attorney

When you don’t have much information on the car that hit you, filing a claim can be challenging. Hiring a personal injury attorney to help you navigate the claims process to make sure your settlement is appropriate, especially if you suffered injuries as a result of your accident.

If you were injured in a hit and run acciden

t, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a car accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with car accident claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.

Can Social Media Harm A Personal Injury Case?

Social media channels have integrated themselves into the daily lives of most individuals. Everyone loves to share status updates, photos, and videos about what is going on in their life. Sometimes, sharing updates about a car accident can result in consequences in the future. Here is what you can do to protect yourself and your personal injury claim on social media.

social media

Effects of Social Media

Information that is shared on a public social media account can cause complications. Insurance adjusters, lawyers, and others will search profiles on social media scrutinizing any information they can find that they can relate to fraud, conflicting statements as well as additional evidence.

The court rulings on social media are not concrete as it still is fairly new in the eyes of the law. In general, public posts on social media channels will most likely be admissible as evidence. Private posts or person to person posts may be somewhat complex to obtain as evidence.

Here at Contrada & Associates, we believe honesty is the best policy.  If you have a back injury or a neck injury, you should not be out dancing, riding coasters at Cedar Point or driving dirt bikes. Let your body heal up.  Sometimes people at parties do things they are later embarrassed by and when you have an insurance claim you do not want embarrassment in the negotiation of settlement of that claim.

While your personal injury or car accident claim is pending, take the following actions regarding your social media accounts into consideration.

  • Do not post any details, photos, videos or status updates regarding your accident.
  • Tell your friends and family to not comment or make any posts on their own accounts stating any information regarding your accident.
  • Increase the privacy on your account to make sure none of your information is viewable to the public.
  • Remove any past posts, photos or videos that could be damaging to your current claim.

If you were injured in an accident, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a car accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with car accident claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome

Driving Safe in School Zones

It’s that time again – back to school and that means driving in school zones. Millions of children from preschool to seniors in high school are headed back to the classroom which means school buses back on the roads, kids walking and biking on sidewalks to school and new inexperienced teen drivers are on the roads. How do you keep yourself and children safe on their way to school? Here are a few easy tips to remember.

Driving in School Zones

Give the big yellow bus lots of space and respect while driving

When driving to work or dropping your own children off at school, always exercise the utmost caution around school buses carrying hundreds of children to their classes. Never pass a school bus when its lights are flashing and you see children getting on or off the bus. Do not tailgate a school bus as they make frequent stops that you may not be ready for. Don’t forget that when a school bus is trying to merge back into traffic they have the right of way, not you.

Get familiar with your school zones

Speed limits in school zones are reduced to 15-25mph, and with good reason. More children are hit by vehicles in or near school zones than any other location. Watch for children that may dart out in the road without looking. When you slow down, it forces other drivers behind you to slow down making it a safer place for children as they might not see the obstacles you do. Even if it is not in school hours, slow down regardless. You never know if a sports/band practice or after school activity just ended.

Watch crosswalks and sidewalks

Don’t forget about the students that walk and ride their bicycles to school. Double and triple check intersections in school zones when you are driving through to make sure it are safe to proceed. Just when you think the coast is clear, a late student might dart across the road without fully looking to see if any vehicles are coming. Also, pay special attention to students riding bikes. They are often inexperienced, unsteady and can be unpredictable. If you see a student on a bicycle, slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between the bicyclist and your vehicle.

Look out for new/inexperienced drivers

When driving in school zones especially near high schools, be aware that there will be many more drivers on the road who are newly licensed and inexperienced drivers. New drivers, before they become more comfortable on the road can drive overly tentative or make unexpected maneuvers. Be patient and give them extra room.

If you were injured in an accident or a family member was injured in a school zone, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a car accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with car accident claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.

Accidents in a Rental Car

You’re on vacation in your rental car and get in an accident. What happens next? Who is liable? Will my insurance policy cover me? These are just a few of the questions you may ask yourself. The answers will vary depending on what rental car company you rent from and what insurance policy you have.

Female Driver Making Phone Call After Traffic Accident With Head In Hands.

Your Auto Insurance Policy

Most auto insurance policies will travel with you when you’re on the road within the United States. Just in case you should contact your insurance company before driving a rental car to make sure your particular policy will provide the coverage you need. In almost all cases, your insurance policy’s comprehensive and collision coverage will extend to a rental car. If you purchase the rental car company’s insurance, it will be treated as supplemental above your personal insurance policy.

When you get into an accident in a rental car, notify the rental car company and fill out an accident report form. The rental car companies will most likely charge your personal auto insurance before the rental insurance kicks in. If you have sufficient personal liability insurance, the rental car insurance will most likely not be necessary.

The Credit Card You Paid With

Some credit cards offer services for their customers such as offering insurance on rental cars paid for with the credit card. Check with your credit card company to see if this service is offered. Also, check with them before you rent to see what their limitations are on renting a vehicle. Some limitations can be time limits, for example: you have a rental car for 30 days and your credit card will only cover your rental for 2 weeks. If you do go this route, make sure you contact the credit card company immediately after the accident to get your information in their system as they will have a time limitation on claims after the accident.

The Rental Car Company

If you have full coverage for rental cars on your personal insurance and rental insurance on your credit card, you probably will not need the rental car company’s extra insurance coverage. So when is purchasing the rental car company insurance a good idea? There are a few situations where this would be a good idea. If you live in a city and do not have a car or auto insurance, the rental car company insurance is necessary. Before purchasing the rental car company’s extra insurance, make sure you read the contract very carefully and clarify with the rental agent exactly what is covered and what is not.

If you were injured in an accident involving a rental car, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a car accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with car accident claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.

 

3 Ways Sports Equipped Contrada as a Personal Injury Lawyer

Contrada’s experience playing college football, coaching, and leading a recreation center gives him an extra edge as a personal injury lawyer.

On October 14 and November 5, 2015, Tom Cole interviewed Charles V. Contrada, car accident lawyer, on BCSN Sports Flash. The conversations centered around how sports are key to helping youth develop long-term career skills.

Contrada played football at Kenyon College and graduated before completing law school at the University of Toledo. He was President of the Sylvania Recreation Corporation for 5 years and served as a board member for many more.

Three characteristics from Contrada’s sports background directly augment his effectiveness as a personal injury attorney in the courtroom:

1. Competitiveness

As Cole asserts, “Clients all say the same thing: ‘Charlie fights for us.’ You go into the courtroom and, like you’re putting the pads on, you’re playing to win.”

2. Preparation

It is not only what Contrada does in the courtroom that leads to success, but also how he prepares. He explains, “Look at the coaches… they practice every day during the week because they are preparing for that particular game. That’s also true with trials.”

3. Grace Under Pressure

Contrada references great quarterbacks that remain calm and collected regardless of the situations they face. “[In light of the] heavy emotion that might be happening, you’re cool as a cucumber and trying to think ahead of the other side,” says Contrada.

Contrada is braced to go head-to-head with your opponent in the courtroom. If you have been involved in a car accident in Michigan or Ohio, contact attorney Charles V. Contrada at 419.841.4400.

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