A car accident lawyer in Columbus, OH at Ohio Car Accident Lawyers wants to help you recover the compensation you deserve. Columbus is the capital of Ohio: as a result, a great number of people commute into and out of the city on a daily basis for work and for leisure. These commuters must often share crowded roads with residents who call Columbus home. All of these individuals sharing the same roadways results in an increased risk of car accidents. Did you know that in 2014, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety:
- There were over 22,000 car crashes in Columbus alone?
- As a result, there were 50 people killed and over 7,500 injured?
- Some of these crashes involved more than one fatality and/or injury?
A person injured in a car accident caused by the negligent actions of another may be entitled to recover compensation for his or her injuries. Experienced Columbus car accident lawyers can review the facts of his or her case and determine what legal rights and remedies are available to the injury victim.
Columbus Car Accident Lawyer – Causes
The majority of Columbus OH car crashes are caused because one or more individuals or entities engaged in careless or reckless behavior. When this occurs and another person is injured thereby, that other person (the injury “plaintiff”) can recover compensation for his or her injuries.
Common causes of Columbus car accidents include:
- Drunk driving/impaired driving;
- Texting while driving;
- Distracted driving;
- Violating traffic laws and signs;
- Defective car parts; and
- Negligent maintenance of roadways.
Discovering the cause of your car accident is an essential step for a car accident lawyer. It is critical to determining whether you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and, if so, from whom you may be able to recover this compensation.
Why do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer?
If you have been involved in a car crash in Columbus, you may qualify for compensatory damages. You can file for damages soon after the crash. Typically, damages cover the medical costs, pain and suffering, unearned wages and other losses caused by the crash. You have to notify your insurance company about the accident and then file for compensation. In some cases, you may have to claim damages from another driver or at-fault party.
When you file for damages, you will face a lot of obstacles. The insurance carrier may not be very willing to pay you damages. Insurance companies have highly paid legal teams at their disposal. So they can easily take apart your claim. In the end, they try to pressure you into expecting a much smaller settlement.
This is why you need a car accident attorney. Your attorney can deal with arranging the paperwork, filing the claim, negotiating with the insurance company and other activities. Our Ohio car accident lawyers have many years of experience in helping crash victims. We make sure that the insurance company or the other driver pays you the compensation you deserve. In doing so, we try to maximize the payout for you. You can file a damages claim on your own. But as mentioned above, your claim may be refused. With a qualified attorney on your side, you have a much better chance of receiving a large payout.
What Should I do after a Car Accident in Columbus?
A car accident is a traumatic experience. In the aftermath of a car crash, you may become unconscious, feel disoriented or suffer multiple injuries. If you are able and conscious, it is important to make the right choices after a crash. The right choices will help you stay safe, recover sooner and be able to get damages for your losses.
Here are some best practices to follow if you have been involved in a car accident:
Assess the situation
Car accidents can range from relatively benign to very serious. After a car crash, the first thing you should do is take stock of the situation. Are any other drivers injured? Is someone in dire need of help? Does the oncoming traffic needs to be warned of the accident? Even if you are perfectly safe, Ohio law requires you to stop and exchange important information with other drivers involved. If the accident has created road obstacles, try to use headlights and hand gestures to warn other vehicles.
If the accident is serious and there are injuries, you must immediately seek help. Call 911 and notify the police authorities as well. Make sure that you provide important details such as the exact site of the accident. These ensure that the rescue authorities reach you in the briefest time.
Seek medical attention
If you are injured, seek medical attention as soon as help arrives. Even if you feel like you have minor injuries, it is a good idea to undergo a quick examination. This is also advisable from a legal perspective. If you refuse immediate medical care, an insurance carrier may use it against you. The company can argue that your injuries weren’t serious enough as you chose not to get medical help.
See a doctor
Sometimes, serious injuries like those of the head or brain are not immediately apparent. The symptoms may take some time to manifest. It is vitally important that you undergo a thorough medical examination at a doctor’s. You may further undergo any medical tests recommended by the doctor.
Note down important details
It is important to note the relevant details of the car accident. These include the registration numbers of the vehicles involved, place and time, drivers involved and eyewitnesses. If you have a pen and paper, make sure you note down these details. These will prove immensely helpful in later creating and supporting your damages claim.
Contact an attorney: We highly recommend contacting an attorney as soon as possible. In fact, make sure you don’t file a claim until you have consulted an attorney. An attorney will advise you on the maximum possible amount of damages you can claim.
How do I Pay a Car Accident Attorney?
You may have to deal with financial pressures after a car accident. Injuries from a car crash require medical care and attention. In some cases, long-term rehabilitation and therapy are also required. The visits to the medical facility, doctors’ fees, costs of medicine and other expenses can quickly add up. To add to it, an injury may prevent you from resuming you work anytime soon. This results in lost wages which only add to your financial woes.
In the middle of all this, we understand that you don’t want to bear legal fees as well. However, we are here to tell you that you do not have to pay anything to hire an attorney. You can hire a car accident attorney in Ohio without paying a single dollar upfront. This is thanks to the contingency fee arrangement that we offer.
What is a contingency fee arrangement?
Our Ohio car accident lawyers work with car victims under a contingency fee arrangement. As per this arrangement, you don’t have to pay anything to your attorney up front. Instead, you pay the attorney only if you receive damages. Once your claim is rewarded and you receive a fair settlement, you pay your attorney a percentage.
This percentage is agreed upon when you hire our lawyers. In general, lawyers across Columbus charge a percentage between 25% and 40%. As each case is unique and different, the contingency fee percentage may also vary. A lawyer may charge you less for a claim that can be easily won. If your claim is complex and there’s a significant chance that it won’t be rewarded, your lawyer may charge a higher percentage. For instance, imagine that you receive $10,000 in compensatory damages. If the contingency fee is 20%, you pay $2,000 to your lawyer. If the arrangement is 30%, you pay your lawyer $3,000.
Benefits of a contingency fee arrangement
A contingency fee arrangement is very convenient for car crash victims. Thanks to this arrangement, you are not required to pay anything to your attorney, at least for the moment. This is convenient because you are likely already inundated with medical bills and other expenses. Another benefit of this arrangement is that it guarantees hard work on the part of your attorney. After all, your attorney will get paid only if your claim is met. So you can be sure that your car accident attorney is going to put every effort into getting damages for your losses.
What is Covered by My Car Accident Claim?
Your car accident claim covers the losses you incur as a result of the accident. These include medical costs, lost wages and lost earning capacity. Following is a quick break-down of these:
If you have suffered injuries in a car crash, you need medical attention. Seeking medical care and attention can cost a significant amount. If the accident has left you temporarily or permanently disabled, this can lead to even steep costs of recovery. A damages claim covers these costs and seeks them on your behalf.
If accident-related injuries have left you unable to resume work, you can file for lost wages as well. If you qualify for this, the insurance company is bound to pay you 60% of your average weekly wage. The company must pay this every two weeks to make sure you remain financially afloat until you can resume work.
Lost earning capacity
If your injury has permanently incapacitated you from performing a task, you can also seek lost earning capacity damages.
What is Comparative Fault?
The state of Ohio uses comparative negligence rule in personal injury cases. This means that the negligence or fault in a car crash is distributed among the involved parties. For instance, if two drivers were involved in a crash, the law will find the at-fault percentage of both. If a driver is 20% responsible for the fault, he will receive 80% of the damages he qualifies for. If the actual amount of damages was $10,000, he is going to get $2,000. However, the comparative rule also states that you must not be above 50% at fault to receive damages. If your fault or negligence percentage is above 50%, then you are not eligible to receive any damages.
Car Accident Statistics For Ohio
According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, 2018 saw 996 fatal crashes across the state. These resulted in 1,068 traffic fatalities. A total of 910 motor vehicle fatalities took place during the year. There were 425 unbelted fatalities with 133 pedestrians killed in crashes.
These figures show that failing to wear a seatbelt significantly contributes to traffic fatalities. Another leading cause of crashes and fatalities is alcohol consumption. Ohio has a drunk driving percentage that is much higher than the national average. Drinking and driving not only puts you at risk but also jeopardizes the safety of others on the road.
Ohio law prohibits drivers from getting behind the wheel when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or above and you are still driving, you are in violation of the law. For younger drivers below the age of 21, BAC of 0.02 is the minimum legal threshold for driving. If they are driving with BAC at 0.02 or above, they are found in violation of the law.
How Much Money Will I Get in Compensatory Damages?
A car crash involves many factors. Every accident is different, with its own set of circumstances, involved parties, the severity of injuries and so on. The testimony of an eyewitness, expert opinions and your own account also play an important role. This is why there’s no set formula to calculate the actual value of your accident claim.
Our Ohio car accident lawyers offer free consultation for car accident victims. You can consult our lawyers and share the details of your case. After reviewing your case, our attorneys are able to provide an estimate of the damages you qualify for. It is vital that you consult an attorney to get an estimate of your claim. An insurance company may try to pay you a much smaller compensation. If you don’t know the actual worth of your claim, you’ll never know if the company has made the right offer. When you hire our attorneys, they ensure that you get the maximum payout you qualify for.
What Do I Need to Win My Columbus Car Crash Lawsuit?
Testimony and evidence – those are the two things that will win a Columbus car crash lawsuit: the right evidence and the right testimony. It is important that you act quickly with your Columbus OH car accident lawyer after a car crash to ensure that the evidence and testimony you need to give yourself the best chance of success in your lawsuit will be available to you at trial:
- Testimony is the sworn statements made at trial or at certain other hearings provided by witnesses. The witnesses can include anyone who saw the accident occur or who has knowledge about the accident. This can include yourself, your passengers, eyewitnesses who saw the accident, and those who spoke with the defendant and perhaps heard incriminating statements. An experienced Columbus OH car accident lawyer knows that witnesses who are considered “experts” may also be necessary, especially if there are too few eyewitnesses available. A “reconstruction expert” can analyze available data surrounding the accident and provide a reasonably accurate picture of how the crash occurred. Engineers may be needed if a defective car part or faulty design, construction, and/or maintenance of a roadway is suspected as a cause for the crash.
- Evidence important to a car accident case includes pictures of the accident scene, your medical records, data from any of the cars’ “black box” onboard computers, cell phone records of the other driver (to see if he or she was on the phone just before the crash), the results of any analyses performed on a sample of the other driver’s blood, and other similar documents. Some of this evidence can make the task of proving negligence easier: however, this evidence can also be easily lost if steps are not taken promptly to preserve the evidence.
Your Columbus OH car accident lawyer will work with you to identify the best witnesses and evidence available in your case and will take steps to make sure the testimony and evidence you need will be available at trial to help you make your case.
Contact an Experienced Columbus OH Car Accident Lawyer Today
Time is not on your side if you have been injured in a Columbus car accident. The law only allows you a certain amount of time within which to investigate your case, attempt to settle your case (if you choose to do so), prepare your petition for filing, and actually file your lawsuit in court. Failing to do this within the time allotted to you by Ohio law can result in you being forever barred from seeking compensation for your car accident injuries.
A knowledgeable and compassionate Columbus OH car accident lawyer at the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers knows and understands that this is a difficult time for you and your family. We want to help you recover the compensation you need so that you can focus on what is important: your health and your family. Contact us today by calling (614) 245-5620 today or contact us through our website to learn how we can be a part of your recovery team.