Car Accident Lawyer Dayton, OH

What Compensation Can Be Recovered After a Car Accident in Dayton

At Cowan & Hilgeman Law, we understand the emotional, physical, and financial toll that a car accident can take on you and your loved ones. The aftermath of an accident in Dayton, OH can be a complex maze of insurance claims, medical bills, and emotional distress. Knowing what compensation you may be entitled to can alleviate some of the burden and guide you on the road to recovery. In Ohio, victims may be eligible for various forms of compensation including but not limited to medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our dedicated team is here to help you navigate this intricate process and fight for the full compensation you deserve.

Two cars that have gotten into an accident

What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents in Ohio

The causes of car accidents can vary widely, but certain factors tend to contribute more commonly to vehicular incidents. In Ohio, as in many other parts of the United States, the following are some of the most prevalent causes of car accidents:

Distracted Driving

With the advent of smartphones and in-car entertainment systems, distracted driving has become a significant issue. Texting, making phone calls, or even adjusting the radio can divert a driver’s attention long enough to cause an accident.


Exceeding the speed limit is not only illegal but also increases the likelihood of an accident. Higher speeds reduce the driver’s ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway, extend the distance necessary to stop a vehicle, and increase the distance a vehicle travels while the driver reacts to a dangerous situation.

Drunk Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a major cause of road accidents in Ohio. Impaired drivers have reduced reaction times, impaired judgment, and compromised motor skills, all of which contribute to the potential for accidents.

Weather Conditions

Ohio’s diverse weather patterns can also contribute to car accidents. Rain, snow, and fog can make roads slippery and visibility poor, increasing the chances of an accident. Drivers may not adjust their driving habits to accommodate these conditions, leading to higher risks.

Running Red Lights and Stop Signs

Ignoring traffic signals and signs is a common cause of accidents that often result in T-bone or side-impact collisions. These types of accidents are particularly dangerous and can lead to severe injuries or fatalities.


Driving while tired or fatigued significantly impairs your ability to drive and is similar in many ways to driving under the influence of alcohol. Lack of sleep can affect your reaction time, your ability to make decisions, and your attention to the road.

Reckless Driving

Actions like tailgating, changing lanes without signaling, and ignoring road signs contribute to reckless driving. Such behavior puts not only the reckless driver at risk but also endangers other road users.

Vehicle Defects

Sometimes, accidents occur due to a defect in one of the cars involved. Faulty brakes, tire blowouts, and engine failures can all contribute to accidents. Manufacturers may be held liable if it is proven that a defect contributed to the accident.

Understanding these common causes can help you be a more attentive and proactive driver. If you do find yourself involved in an accident due to one of these factors, it’s crucial to consult with legal experts like Cowan & Hilgeman Law to guide you through the complexities of Ohio’s accident laws and help you seek the compensation you deserve.

Who is liable in a car accident owner or driver in Ohio

In Ohio, determining liability in a car accident can be a complex issue and may depend on various factors including the circumstances of the accident, the parties involved, and insurance coverage. Generally, the driver who is at fault for the accident is usually considered liable for damages and injuries. However, there are situations where the owner of the vehicle may also be held accountable. For instance, if the owner knowingly lends their car to an unlicensed or impaired driver, they could be considered partially liable. Additionally, if the vehicle is used for employment purposes, the employer could potentially be held responsible under certain conditions. It’s also worth noting that Ohio follows a “comparative negligence” rule, meaning that multiple parties can share liability. Therefore, both the driver and the owner could be found to share responsibility to varying degrees. Given the complexities involved, it’s advisable to consult legal experts, such as those at Cowan & Hilgeman Law, to navigate the nuances of liability following a car accident in Ohio.

What to do if someone sues you for a car accident in Ohio

Being sued for a car accident in Ohio can be a stressful and challenging experience. The legal process is complicated, and the stakes can be high. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s crucial to take the following steps to protect your interests:

  1. Consult an Attorney: The very first step you should take is to consult with a qualified car accident attorney who is familiar with Ohio law. Legal advice is essential for understanding your rights and options.
  2. Do Not Admit Fault: Avoid admitting fault or liability at the scene of the accident, to the other party, or to insurance representatives, as this can be used against you in court.
  3. Gather Evidence: Collect all the available evidence that could help your case. This includes accident reports, medical records, and any correspondence with insurance companies.
  4. Notify Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurance provider about the lawsuit as soon as possible. Your insurance policy may require you to do so within a specific timeframe, and failure to comply could result in the denial of coverage.
  5. Review Insurance Policy: Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy to understand the extent of your coverage, including whether your insurance company will provide legal representation or cover any judgment against you.
  6. File the Official Response: Known as an “Answer,” this document responds to the allegations raised in the lawsuit. Your attorney will help you prepare and file this document.
  7. Engage in Discovery: This is the phase where both parties exchange evidence and information. Your attorney will assist you in answering questions, known as “interrogatories,” and may arrange for depositions to be taken.
  8. Negotiate a Settlement: Your attorney may try to negotiate a settlement with the plaintiff’s attorney to avoid going to court. This could involve mediation or direct negotiations.
  9. Prepare for Trial: If a settlement can’t be reached, your case will go to trial. Your attorney will help you prepare your defense, which may include lining up witnesses and experts to testify on your behalf.
  10. Attend Court Proceedings: You’ll need to be present during all court proceedings, from pre-trial hearings to the trial itself. Your attorney will guide you through the process and represent your interests in court.
  11. Comply with Court Judgments: If you lose the case, you will be required to comply with the court’s judgment, which could involve paying damages or fines.
  12. Appeal if Necessary: If you believe the court’s decision was incorrect, consult with your attorney about the possibility of filing an appeal.

Facing a lawsuit is a serious matter that requires immediate and competent legal attention. Consult with experienced professionals, such as the team at Cowan & Hilgeman Law, to navigate the complexities of being sued for a car accident in Ohio.


How long after an accident can you sue in Ohio?

In Ohio, the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit after a car accident is generally two years from the date of the accident. This means you have a two-year window to initiate legal proceedings for injuries sustained, which also applies to any claims for property damage. If you miss this deadline, you’ll likely lose your opportunity to bring the case to court and seek compensation. Exceptions to this timeline are rare and subject to specific legal conditions, so it’s crucial to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after an accident. Failure to act within the statute of limitations could jeopardize your ability to recover any damages.

How long does an insurance company have to settle a claim in Ohio?

In Ohio, insurance companies generally have a timeframe of 15 business days to acknowledge receipt of your claim after you have reported an accident. Following acknowledgment, they have 21 business days to approve or deny the claim, provided you have submitted all necessary documentation and information. If your claim is approved, Ohio law stipulates that payment should be issued within 10 business days. These timelines may vary based on the complexity of your case or any special circumstances. Delays can occur, especially if there is a dispute about the claim or if additional investigation is required. It’s crucial to consult with an experienced attorney to navigate these deadlines and ensure that your rights are protected.

How long does a not-at-fault accident stay on your record in Ohio?

In Ohio, a not-at-fault accident can stay on your driving record for up to three years. While the accident itself may be documented, being “not-at-fault” typically should not raise your insurance premiums, although insurance companies may take into account other factors as well. However, it’s important to note that each insurance company has its own policies about how long they consider your driving history when determining premiums. While the accident may not have been your fault, multiple not-at-fault accidents within a short period could potentially affect your rates. It’s advisable to check with your insurance provider for their specific practices and consider consulting a legal expert if you feel that a not-at-fault accident is unfairly impacting your insurance rates.

How long does an at-fault accident affect insurance in Ohio?

In Ohio, an at-fault accident can significantly impact your car insurance rates for anywhere from three to five years on average. Insurance companies use your driving record as one of the primary factors in determining your premium, and an at-fault accident is likely to result in a rate increase at your next policy renewal. The extent of the rate increase can vary depending on your insurance provider’s policies, your driving history, and the severity of the accident. Some insurers offer “accident forgiveness” programs that may mitigate the impact of a first-time at-fault accident, but these programs have their own terms and conditions. It’s crucial to consult with your insurance provider to understand how an at-fault accident might affect your premiums specifically.

Why Cowan & Hilgeman Law Should Be Your Go-To Car Accident Lawyers in Dayton, OH

In the wake of a car accident, you need more than just legal assistance; you need a dedicated team that genuinely cares about your well-being and is committed to securing the best possible outcome for you. That’s exactly what you’ll find at Cowan & Hilgeman Law. With our wealth of experience in Ohio car accident laws, proven track record, and client-first approach, we navigate the complexities of your case so you can focus on recovery. Our meticulous attention to detail ensures that all aspects of your claim—medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional trauma—are considered when fighting for your compensation. By choosing Cowan & Hilgeman Law, you’re not just getting an attorney; you’re gaining a partner committed to your justice and peace of mind. Don’t settle for less when it comes to your future—reach out to us and experience firsthand why so many in Dayton, OH trust Cowan & Hilgeman Law for their car accident legal needs.

Cowan & Hilgeman Dayton Law


Dayton Car Accident Lawyer Google Review

“Jack & his team are without a doubt who you want fighting on your side! The attention to detail, amazing communication & constant contact with updates are things your not going to find with another attorney. Jack truly goes the extra mile for his clients and was able to secure nearly x4 the estimated settlement in my case alone. If I could rate higher than 5 stars I would.” – Jon B.

Contact Our Dayton Car Accident Lawyers With Experience

Cowan & Hilgeman has some of the top car accident lawyers Dayton Ohio has to offer.  The legal system can be intimidating and confusing which is why consulting with the respected car accident lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman can help put your mind at ease.  With decades of experience helping thousands of clients, our Dayton Ohio car accident lawyers will handle your case from start to finish.  This includes dealing with insurance companies, filing lawsuits and litigation, and trial.