A Fostoria man was injured in a car accident that occurred in late December just north of Pemberville, Ohio.
Jarod Cooper, 44, was taken via medical helicopter to the University of Toledo Medical Center after his car collided with 19-year-old Michael Rayburn’s vehicle.
Stephanie Durst, a passenger in Cooper’s vehicle, was treated at Wood County Hospital following the accident, while Cooper is listed in critical condition at UTMC.
Michael Rayburn and his two passengers were not injured in the collision.
The car accident is currently under investigation, and citations have yet to be issued to either party.
According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, nearly 1,000 Ohioans die every month in motor vehicle accidents, and an average of 1,000 a month suffer serious and incapacitating driving injuries that require long-term medical care and protracted periods of recovery.
Legal Issues Arising From This Accident
When a serious car accident like this occurs, and passengers suffer significant injuries as a result, there are several issues facing the injured party that may cause confusion. Some of these issues are as follows.
First, there may be a need for an accident reconstructionist to be hired in the case of a liability dispute. To prevent this need, vehicles need to be preserved in their accident state, and pictures need to be taken of the accident scene. In addition, witnesses should be identified and interviewed as soon as possible. Having a witness’s sworn affidavit, or voluntary statement, is critical in proving which party is at fault.
Another issue that must be addressed is the need for a second medical opinion regarding the treatment of the injured party. Often times, the injured party is taken to the nearest hospital for treatment, but not all doctors are created equal. Identifying and getting an opinion from the “best” specialist may make all the difference on receiving the best medical care. This is especially true if the injured person is experiencing unexplained lingering pain.
It is also very important for the injured person to not give any statements to any insurance companies until after they have spoken with an attorney. Insurance company representatives will sound polite, helpful, and friendly on the phone, but they are not an advocate for the injured. In fact, their goal is to use the injured person’s statement against the person and pay the least amount of money possible. Some insurance companies even give adjusters bonuses on how little money they pay out on claims.
After an accident, the injured party should not sign a medical authorization for the other insurance company. Signing an authorization will give the insurance company a “Free pass” to obtain any and all information regarding confidential and private past medical records. They will then attempt to use this information against the injured person, claiming that the injuries were “preexisting” and not caused by the accident.
Finally, the injured person will have to determine the best way to pay medical bills prior to settlement, whether through health insurance, the medical payments provision of an auto policy, direct payment to providers, or other methods that are available in some cases. Choosing the wrong option could literally cost the injured person tens of thousands of dollars.
Free Accident Resources
All of these issues and more are addressed in our FREE book called The Ohio Accident Book. Call us today at 800.637.8170 for your copy. We also offer FREE case evaluations over the phone, and can answer any of the questions you may have regarding an accident you or a loved one has been involved in.