Chester Law Firm: Dedicated to Your Recovery
Auto Accident Attorney in Cleveland, OH
Car Wreck Attorneys, can they help? If you’re looking to win your lawsuit, an experienced auto accident lawyer can be your lifeline. A car accident can upend your family’s life and lifestyle. A trip that starts as a routine shopping trip or a commute home to your family can end with you sustaining catastrophic injuries and leave you with thousands of dollars in expenses. When your accident has been caused by the negligent or careless actions of another driver or other responsible party, you should not have to bear the expenses and losses of your injuries alone.
A car accident lawsuit is available to those injured in a car accident that was caused by the negligent or reckless behavior of another person or entity. A successful lawsuit will result in the injured party (the “plaintiff”) recovering financial compensation from the at-fault party or parties (the “defendant(s)”).
Merely being injured in a car accident is not enough to entitle you to compensation: you and your auto accident lawyer must demonstrate that the defendant’s behavior was unreasonable such that no reasonable driver under similar circumstances would have acted in the way the defendant acted and that this behavior or these actions are what caused the plaintiff’s injuries. Succeeding in your Cleveland car accident lawsuit, then, can take the assistance and skill of an experienced auto accident lawyer.
Cleveland Car Accident Lawyer – Statistics
Cleveland is one of the four largest cities in Ohio (the other ones being Columbus, Cincinnati, and Toledo). Along with Cleveland’s large population comes a heightened number of car accidents compared with smaller towns. The Ohio Department of Public Safety maintains statistics on the number of car crashes and related fatalities and injuries that occur each year in Ohio’s cities and towns. For Cleveland, in 2014 there were:
- Over 13,000 car crashes of all types:
- Over 3,500 car crashes resulting in 5,470 injuries; and
- Over 16 fatal car crashes resulting in 17 deaths.
Although the Ohio Department of Public Safety does not separate these numbers into “no fault” accidents (in which there is no determination as to the cause of the crash and no assignment of responsibility for the crash) and accidents caused by the actions of one driver or the other, auto accident lawyers know that the vast majority of crashes occur because one or more drivers or persons acted in a careless manner under the circumstances. This occurs, for example, when a driver:
- Drinks alcohol or consumes drugs that impair his or her ability to drive and then gets behind the wheel of a car;
- Sends or receives text messages or e-mails, attempts to dial phone numbers, changes the radio, carries on a conversation with another passenger or with someone on the phone, or has his or her eyes and/or attention distracted from the many tasks associated with driving;
- Disobeys stop signs, yield signs, and traffic lights;
- Speeds too fast for the prevailing road and traffic conditions;
- Violates other well-established traffic laws without just cause;
- Drives a vehicle knowing the vehicle is in a poor state of repair;
- Operates a vehicle that has had maintenance work done to it in a careless manner;
- Drives a vehicle that has a design defect or a manufacturing defect of some sort; and/or
- Drives on a road that has been poorly designed or poorly maintained.
Auto accident lawyers are well aware that there can be any number of causes that contributed to your injuries and any number of individuals responsible for contributing to your injuries. Identifying these causes and individuals is an integral part of your lawsuit. Defendants are only responsible for that portion of the plaintiff’s injuries and losses for which they themselves caused. (So, for instance, a plaintiff who sustains $100,000 in losses and only sues the defendant who is 10% responsible for causing the plaintiff’s injuries will only recover $10,000 from that particular defendant.) Thus, a plaintiff who wishes to recover the maximum amount of compensation available in his or her case must be certain that he or she has brought suit against all responsible parties.
Cleveland Car Wreck Attorney – Injuries
Our expert staff of auto accident lawyers will aggressively pursue compensation for your injuries. The injuries you might sustain in a car accident depend on a variety of factors that can vary with each car accident. The speed at which the vehicle(s) are traveling at the time of impact, the quality of the car itself and its components, the angle at which the vehicles strike one another, and other relevant factors. Common injuries include:
- Cuts and lacerations from glass and sharp metal edges. Some of these cuts may be deep and bleed profusely while others may be more minor. If not properly treated, a deep cut or laceration may become infected, requiring additional treatment in order to heal properly.
- Bruises and internal trauma that may or may not be immediately apparent after a car crash. While some bruising goes away on its own after some time, other internal trauma may require immediate medical care in order to prevent the trauma from causing serious complications.
- Burns, which can also occur as a result of car accidents if flammable or combustible fluids leak from one or more of the cars and these fluids catch fire. Serious burns can be extremely painful and require a significant amount of treatment in order to fully heal. Even when there has been a “complete” recovery from a burn injury, scars and disfigurement may nevertheless still remain.
- Amputation, or the loss of a limb or appendage, which can occur when a finger or hand is severed as it is pressed against a sharp, jagged piece of metal or when an appendage is crushed between two hard surfaces in an accident. Even with a prosthetic limb the plaintiff is likely to find it difficult to fully participate in the workforce and/or return to those activities that he or she previously enjoyed.
- Head, neck, and spine injuries, which can occur due to the sheer size of the forces involved in a car crash. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be some of the most severe head injuries sustainable in a car crash. Depending on the severity of the TBI, a victim with a TBI can require hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical treatment over the course of his or her lifetime. Neck and spine injuries can result in either temporary or permanent paralysis or pain.
Regardless of whether your injuries are minor or are catastrophic, it is important that you seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries and follow your doctor’s treatment plan. A Cleveland auto accident lawyer can help ensure you take the proper steps following your crash to protect your rights.
What Compensation Can I Receive in a Cleveland Car Crash Lawsuit?
Our auto accident lawyers will help ensure you take the proper steps. The compensation available to a successful plaintiff in a Cleveland car accident lawsuit is meant to address economic losses the plaintiff sustained as a result of the crash as well as any noneconomic damages that may have been incurred as well. The overall goal is to put the plaintiff back into the position he or she occupied prior to the crash (this is sometimes referred to as making the plaintiff “whole”).
Experienced auto accident lawyers know that only those losses that are directly attributable to the defendant’s negligence or recklessness can be compensated. If a loss was related to the car crash but not caused by the defendant, the plaintiff cannot obtain payment for that expense from the defendant. Instead, he or she would need to file a separate lawsuit against the person or entity who caused that particular loss. In addition, if the plaintiff’s own negligent conduct contributed to his or her injuries in some manner, then the compensation the plaintiff can receive from the defendant.
Common expenses and losses compensated through successful Cleveland car accident cases include:
- Medical expenses, including ambulance costs, emergency room treatment, hospital stays, necessary surgeries, and any other expense related to the initial diagnosis and treatment of your injury;
- Ongoing treatment costs if your injuries require you to follow up with your doctor, or if you suffer serious injuries that require ongoing medical care or in-home care;
- Lost wages for any time you had to miss from work as a result of your injuries;
- Lost future wages if you are unable to return to your previous position (either temporarily or permanently);
- Attorney’s fees associated with bringing your car accident lawsuit;
- Pain and suffering for any mental pain or anguish associated with your injuries; and/or
- Punitive damages – damages that are designed not to compensate the plaintiff but to punish the defendant – are sometimes available if the actions of the defendant were due to a willful and deliberate action and not mere carelessness.
These damages must be proven with some objective evidence or supporting testimony in order to be compensable. Your medical bills and notes will establish the extent of your past and future medical expenses, and your employment records can help determine how much compensation is needed for your lost wages and lost future earnings. Other compensable items (such as pain and suffering and punitive damages) can be much more difficult to quantify. Your Cleveland auto accident lawyer will work with you to identify those items and losses for which compensation may be available and gathering evidence and testimony that can be used to support your claimed damages.
Do I Need an Auto Accident Lawyer to Represent Me in My Lawsuit?
The decision of whether to hire an auto accident lawyer or proceed pro se (i.e., represent yourself) is a personal and difficult decision. Before you decide to “go it alone” and represent yourself, consider these facts:
- Like any other civil lawsuit, car accident lawsuits involve complex rules of evidence and procedure. If you choose to represent yourself, the court may hold you to the same standard and have the same expectations of you as if you were a licensed auto accident lawyer. This can lead to a waiver of several important rights you may have in your case. Not only this, but neither the judge nor the auto accident lawyer for the opposing side will be able to help you during the pendency of your case or provide you with legal advice.
- Your daily life after a car accident will involve (at least for the short term) calls from insurance adjustors, mandatory doctors’ visits, and other new obligations. An experienced auto accident lawyer can help you handle important aspects of your claim for compensation so that you are free to focus on your health and your family.
- Locating important witnesses and securing evidence needed to help give your lawsuit a fighting chance can consume a significant amount of time and money. Whereas a car accident victim is not likely to have the resources necessary to complete these tasks, an experienced Cleveland car accident law firm should have those resources and the experience to know how to use them efficiently.
The Chester Law Group represents Cleveland residents and those elsewhere throughout Ohio in car accident lawsuit claims. Our clients’ trust is of paramount importance to us: we want our clients to know that we devote ourselves to their cases and to attempting to obtain for them the compensation they need and deserve. Call us at (216) 200-7644 or fill out our online form in order to learn how our staff of auto accident lawyers may be of assistance to you in your car accident case.
Chester Law Group