Voted "Best Law Firms" by U.S. News

Most car accident injury claims end up settling out of court, but good settlements don't happen by accident. From initial investigation through final presentation, our Cleveland car accident attorneys prepare every case to win in front of a jury. That makes a difference when negotiating on your behalf. Car insurance company lawyers know that the cases we bring have been thoroughly prepared and have merit in court.

For our exceptional representation for accident and injury victims, we've been voted "Best Law Firms" by U.S. News. Since 1946, injured motorists and their families have been coming to us for the legal representation they need against some of the largest, most powerful auto insurance companies and auto manufacturers in the world.

Should I Get An Attorney After A Car Accident?

The insurance company responsible for your losses won't be looking out for your interests. They have stockholders to protect. Our Cleveland, Ohio, car accident attorneys have decades of experience preparing winning settlements and trials. Come to us first. We'll show you how knowledge, experience and skill add up to effective and efficient personal injury representation.

We represent clients in all types of automobile accident injury claims, including:

We Prepare Your Case for Trial—Not a Quick Settlement

At Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP, we know that winning a motor vehicle accident injury case takes more than just the right set of circumstances. Our firm is not an insurance settlement mill seeking quick settlement offers. While most cases end up settling out of court, it is only after the insurance lawyers see that we have thoroughly investigated and diligently prepared the case for trial, applying the most sophisticated strategies and professional resources available. We investigate your case before we file, to ensure that every case we bring has merit and our arguments for full and fair compensation are presented clearly. If the insurance company won't pay fair value to settle your claim, we are prepared to try the case.

We Manage Complex Motor Vehicle Accident Cases

Getting a handle on the complex facts isn’t enough. Jurors have prejudices. Judges have biases. The law evolves. This requires a sophisticated understanding of how to explain the law—and how to tell your story—in a persuasive way.

We are selective about the cases we handle. This means you can trust that the experience, skill, and knowledge of our entire trial team of attorneys and staff can be applied to preparing and trying your case. This is the difference you will find between our firm and so many others that say they are experienced trial lawyers. We actually have the jury awards and case results to prove it.

Comparative fault laws in Ohio

In general, if you are injured by another's negligence, you are more than likely eligible for compensation. In order to recover damages in a personal injury case, the supposed victim will need to prove the following:

  • The defendant had a duty of care to the injured person
  • The defendant failed in their duty of care
  • The failure in duty of care caused the injury / damages to the victim

In some cases, however, this breach or failure to care isn't the only cause of the accident. In some cases, both cases may be partially at fault. What happens then?

When it comes to car accident liability states either follow a “fault” system or a “no-fault” system. In fault states, the driver responsible for an accident is the one liable for any resulting damages. In a no-fault state no matter who was at fault, either party is eligible to file a claim with their own insurance to recover compensation for any injuries. Because of this law, drivers in no-fault states are required to carry a special type of insurance called personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. Ohio is a no-fault state, this can be beneficial to injury victims as it allows them to file a personal injury claim against a negligent driver more easily.

What about cases where more than one party is responsible for an accident? Ohio follows a "modified comparative fault" law when it comes to accidents with multiple at-fault parties. This means that as long as you are not more than 50% at fault for an accident you can still pursue compensation. In this case, your percentage of responsibility will be determined, and any compensation recovered will be reduced by the same percentage. If you were injured in a car accident it is best to act quickly. Ohio has a two-year statute of limitations on car accident cases. This means you have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim or you may lose your right to compensation.

    What Damages Are Available After an Accident?

    There are three main categories of damages available in a car accident claim, economic, non-economic and punitive. The first kind is called economic damages and it compensates for financial losses that occur as a result of the injuries you sustained such as missed days at work, medical expense or loss of earning capacity. Non-economic damages also seek to compensate for losses incurred however this type of damages compensate for more abstract losses such as pain and suffering and mental anguish.

    Non-economic damages are sometimes called general damages since the compensation amount is typically a general number instead of an actual cost such as a medical bill. Punitive damages are meant to punish the negligent party after an accident and are therefore not often awarded. Punitive damages are usually only awarded when it is proved the defendant knew their actions would cause harm but did so anyway such as in a drink driving accident.

    How to Determine Damages After Your Car Accident

    Damages available for a car accident are dependent on each case, especially in a comparative fault state. If it is determined that the defendant is strictly liable for the car accident, the extent of liability will also need to be assessed. Most compensatory damages can easily be determined by looking at previous medical bills and the income lost to the victim. Noncompensatory damages, such as pain and suffering, are more difficult, however.

    Some of the questions that will be asked to assess all elements of compensation include:

    • How much did the medical bills cost?

    • What is the projected cost of future medical care?

    • Will the injuries suffered have an impact on the plaintiff’s ability to support himself/herself moving forward?

    • Is the victim disabled or partially disabled as the result of the crash?

    • Has the victim experienced any PTSD, anxiety, sleeplessness or another emotional issue following and as a result of the accident?

    How Do I Claim Damages?

    Keep in mind that the insurance company is not on your team. Your attorney is there to fight for you and help you handle the insurance company in a reasonable manner. The general principle for claiming damages you are entitled to after being involved in an accident is to work with an attorney as soon as possible. This can help protect your rights and prevent you from incriminating yourself.

    Get medical help - First things first, address any injuries that have occured. Call an ambulance to get them medical help at once. Get copies of the treatment as well as the costs involved. This will be needed when determining compensation in the future.

    Document the damage - Take pictures of your car and any other damages suffered. Don’t forget to take photos of the interior as well as the exterior. You can also take pictures of the scene of the accident as a whole. Additionally, write down any of the personal property that was damaged in the vehicle.

    Document what happened from your perspective - It will also be beneficial to jot down a description of the car accident from your point of view. This will be important for the police report. Include details about the accident, such as:

    “On , I drove home from the gym at 6:30pm. While I was driving through an intersection with a green light, I saw a {description of the other vehicle, including make and model} turning left into the carpark, not yielding to my right of way. I braked, but the vehicle collided into the driver-side door.”

    This can be reviewed by your attorney and included in the police report and injury claim.

    Do not apologize or otherwise admit guilt - As much as possible, only interact with your attorney and allow him/her to do the talking. You do not want to say something that could possibly incriminate you.

    Contact the insurance provider - Work with your attorney to report the basic details of the crash to the insurance company. They will need the insurance numbers and contact information of the other drivers in the crash as well as a general description of the damages.

    Schedule a Free Case Review with a Car Accident Attorney in Cleveland

    Speak with a Cleveland auto accident attorney from Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP. Our contingency fee policy allows clients to receive help without worrying about the financial aspect of their cases. No recovery, no fee. Learn more by scheduling a free case evaluation with our legal team.

    Call Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP today at (216) 600-0114 for a free consultation. Our car accident lawyers in Cleveland are here for you.