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What to Do After a Distracted Driving Accident in Ohio

Several Cars crash at night

We’ve all done it: a quick glance at our phone, fiddling with the radio, or taking our eyes off the road for just a moment. In today’s hyper-connected world, distracted driving has become an all-too-common issue on our roads. That said, being involved in any crash is frightening, and when it involves a distracted driver, emotions and frustrations can run exceptionally high.

Whether you were the distracted driver or the impacted party, here is everything you need to know about what to do after a distracted driving accident in Ohio. 

At the Scene of the Accident

Document the scene

Once you’ve ensured everyone’s safety, start documenting the accident scene. Take photos of the vehicles from different angles, showing the damage sustained and the overall scene, including any skid marks, road signs, and the positions of the cars. 

If there are witnesses, politely ask for their contact information, as their statements could be helpful later.

Exchange information with the other driver—but limit discussion

Ohio law requires that all parties involved in an accident exchange contact and insurance information. However, be cautious about discussing the accident details with the other driver or admitting any fault. These conversations could be used against you later in legal proceedings or insurance claims.

After Leaving the Scene

Seek medical attention

Visiting a healthcare provider can feel like an overreaction when you don’t have any broken bones or visible gashes, but many car accident injuries (such as concussions or whiplash) can have long-term consequences if left untreated.

This visit also serves as an important part of your legal documentation. Delays could be used against you by insurance companies claiming your injuries were not serious or were unrelated to the distracted driving accident.

Notify your insurance

Inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with all the gathered information, including the documented evidence and details of the incident. Be honest and thorough during this step to avoid any complications in your claim process.

If you were the distracted driver involved in the accident, it can be tempting to try and downplay your actions at the time of the crash. However, it’s important to still be upfront with your insurance provider—while it may impact your insurance rates or claim, hiding your role could jeopardize your coverage altogether. 

Your insurance company needs to have an accurate understanding of the circumstances to handle the claim appropriately. Although it’s a difficult conversation, honesty is the best policy in these situations.

Keep detailed records

Start a file to keep all accident-related documents organized, including claim numbers, the contact information of all parties involved, receipts for any expenses incurred (such as medical bills and car repairs), and a detailed account of any communications with your insurance company.

Understand Ohio’s distracted driving laws

Distracted driving includes any non-driving activity that has the potential to distract someone from driving and increase the risk of crashing. This can range from texting, using a smartphone, eating, or even adjusting the radio. 

Ohio follows a traditional fault-based system in car accident cases, where the driver responsible for the accident is liable for any damages.

Hire an Attorney

Dealing with the aftermath of a distracted driving accident can be an emotionally challenging and complex journey. Whether you’re the affected party or the one potentially at fault, it’s essential to have support by your side. 

An experienced car accident lawyer can offer guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. They can help you understand the legal complexities, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if needed, represent you in court. Their expertise safeguards your rights during this difficult time.

When researching car accident lawyers, prioritize finding someone who has a deep understanding of Ohio’s traffic laws and has a proven track record of handling cases similar to yours. Most car accident lawyers—like those at Slater & Zurz—offer free consultations as well, so they can offer insight into how they might assist you in seeking justice and moving forward.

In 32 years, we’ve helped our clients recover over $74 million in car accident compensation. We understand the unique challenges faced by both victims and potentially at-fault parties after a distracted driving accident. Reach out to us today at 330-762-0700 for a free, personalized consultation.