After an Ohio traffic accident, your car may end up in a local impound lot or some other storage lot somewhere. When this happens, many people ask themselves, “Now what?” While every case is different and there are exceptions to every rule, we will try to give you an outline of the basic process below.
Generally speaking, the first step is to open a claim with the at-fault person’s insurance company. Their insurance company will complete an investigation and let you know if your vehicle is totaled or whether it will be repaired.
You have a duty to mitigate the costs associated with the property damage claim process. What this means is that even though the accident was not your fault and you have been inconvenienced by someone else’s negligence, you still have a duty to take action and make sure that the process stays as inexpensive as possible for all of the parties involved, including the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company. If there is an unreasonable delay in reporting, or if the car racks up unnecessary storage charges, you will be responsible for any of the unnecessary storage charges. It is our office’s goal to make sure that does not happen to any of our clients.
In light of the above, if the car runs, one of the first priorities is to get it out of the lot. If the car doesn’t run, efforts need to be made to sell it to the lot (if they will take it) or get someone else to buy it.
If the at-fault insurance company accepts liability, they will pay for the damage to your vehicle (or give you the Actual Cash Value), pay for the towing, pay reasonable storage charges, and pay for a rental while your vehicle is undrivable.
To get the car out from an impound lot you need the car title and proof of insurance. Don’t show up without these things or they will not give you the car and they will not make exceptions!
Dealing with property damage is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Ohio car accident claims. Bodily injuries can be catastrophic and insurance companies will want to pay out as little as possible to the injured victims. That is why so many people turn the matter over to an experienced attorney who will deal with the matter professionally and competently and make sure that the client’s rights are protected and that the maximum amount of money is recovered.
If you have been involved in an Ohio traffic accident, call the attorneys at the Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC at 419-241-1395 or toll-free at 1-800-637-8170. We offer free consultations and would be happy to answer all of your questions.