Q: What can I do to help work with my legal representation?
The most important thing you can do is to keep us completely informed. You should openly discuss all aspects of your case and your personal background, both good and bad. Provide us with your accurate medical history. If you have a pre-existing injury or medical condition, it is essential that you tell us.
Keep us informed of all of your medical treatment. Follow all of your doctor's recommendations. If you do not complete your medical treatment, it will impact your recovery. Relay all of your medical complaints to your doctor.
We will need to know of any prior criminal history, prior medical treatment, previous claims or lawsuits, prior accidents or injuries including worker’s compensation claims, and any statements given to insurance companies prior to representation.
Please keep us advised as to any changes of address, marital status, occupation, new doctors or physical therapists, or additional accidents or injuries.
Q: What should I do after a car accident?
- Call the police if you are able. Do not let the at-fault party leave the scene of the accident. However, if they do leave, get their vehicle license plate number.
- If you are injured, your automobile insurance company requires you seek medical attention within 14 days of your accident.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. Failure to report the accident in a timely manner may result in a denial of benefits. Your insurance company will want your recorded statement. It is recommended you hire an attorney before giving your statement.
- If the at-fault driver’s insurance company calls you, it is recommended you only discuss the damage to your vehicle. If they want to discuss how the accident happened or your injuries, it is recommended that an attorney handle this for you. You are under no obligation to give the at-fault party’s insurance company a recorded statement.
- Speak to an attorney as soon as you are able. By waiting or if you do not hire an attorney to protect your rights, you could jeopardize your claim.
Q: Who pays for the repairs to my vehicle?
If the accident was not your fault, the at-fault party’s insurance company is responsible for reasonable repairs or the reasonable value of your vehicle, if it was totaled. The at-fault party’s insurance company is also responsible for reimbursing your tow and rental expenses. Regardless of who caused the accident, you can collect from your own insurance company (less the deductible you selected) if you have collision on your policy.
Q: Should I take photographs of my vehicle?
If you have not hired an attorney to do so, it is highly recommended that you take photographs of the damage to your vehicle.
Q: Do I have a claim?
If you have been injured, you may be entitled to make a claim. There are several complex issues to determine whether you have a claim. It is recommended that you contact an attorney to represent you. The earlier the better.
Q: If the insurance company gives me a release, should I sign it?
No, do not sign any release until you have consulted with an attorney. Once you sign a release, you could be prevented from making a claim in the future.
Q: Should I accept a settlement offer from the insurance company representing the at-fault driver?
Sometimes your injuries might not heal for many months and you might need additional medical treatment. If you settle with an insurance company within a few months after the accident and you need additional medical treatment after you settle your personal injury claim, you could lose the right to seek additional compensation for your injuries.
Because the law in Ohio allows injured victims of an automobile accident to file a lawsuit two (2) years after the accident, you have time to seek additional medical treatment that will help determine the extent of your injuries and whether you need to be off work for any length of time.
Q: I purchased a used car a few months ago, and the dealership told me the car had been inspected and was in excellent condition. Now the engine needs over $1,000 in repairs, and the dealership won’t pay for the repairs. What should I do?
For situations like this,the law in Ohio provides consumers with excellent legal recourse through the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act. The Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act allows consumers to receive up to three (3) times the amount of damages for the repair the vehicle, recover attorney fees, costs and the right to receive up to an additional $5,000. You can also recover for breach of contract for the price of the purchase of the motor vehicle.
Q: After a bad storm, I made a property damage insurance claim to my homeowner’s insurance policy and my claim was turned down. I was told by the insurance claim adjuster that the property damage was not related to the storm. What should I do?
Unfortunately, insurance companies may take advantage of homeowners who do not have the funds to fix a home for property damage that should be covered by homeowner’s insurance. Immediately take photographs of the damaged property, prepare a list of the damaged property, and keep a diary of the communication you have with the insurance company. An excellent way to help prove your claim is to have an expert in the home construction business inspect your property and provide a written opinion to verify the cause of the property damage.
Q: How much would it cost to hire an attorney to represent me in my divorce?
The cost to hire an attorney depends on the issues that need to be decided. If the parties in a divorce can agree on alimony payment, child support, child custody and division of assets and debts, attorney fees should be significantly less than if the attorney must negotiate or litigate these issues in court. Unfortunately, going through a divorce is never easy, especially if there are young children. If the parties can resolve issues without the use of an attorney for every problem, this is best for the children’s emotional well-being and will save a great deal of time, money and aggravation.
Q: I would like to apply for Social Security Disability Benefits. How do I begin?
The first thing to do when applying for Social Security Disability Benefits is to call your local Social Security Administration office to begin processing your claim. Once you provide the Social Security Office with the information requested, it is very important to obtain as much information from your treating medical providers as you can. You will need to establish that you are unable to perform any work for at least twelve (12) months.
Factors that affect your success in obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits include (1) whether you have a medical provider stating you are totally disabled; (2) your age; (3) your education and (4) your job history.
Call Us Today At ♦ (419) 874-2775
Michael D. Portnoy Attorney At Law
810 W South Boundary St.
Perrysburg, OH 43551
Phone: (419) 874-2775
Fax: (419) 874-2777