Chester Law Firm: Dedicated to Your Recovery
Car Accident Lawyer in Columbus, OH
A car accident lawyer in Columbus, OH at Chester Law Group 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’s 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.
What To Do After a Columbus Car Crash
Those moments after a car accident in Columbus, OH can be stressful and frightening, especially if you have never been in a car accident before. You may not know what to do or say, and these feelings of helplessness and confusion are often intensified if there are serious injuries to you, the other driver, or other individuals.
It is important that you attempt to calm yourself and take certain actions as soon as possible after a car crash. Your health and well being and that of any family members that may have been involved in the crash are paramount. However, your car accident lawyer will tell you, there are steps you can take to help build your car accident claim even in those first few minutes and hours.
After a Columbus car accident, if you are able to do so, attempt to:
- Summon medical assistance if injuries are apparent. If you yourself feel injured or see blood or signs of a serious injury on someone else, summon emergency medical assistance to your location right away. If you do not have a phone available to use, ask a bystander to make the call for you. When speaking with first responders about your injuries, be sure to describe in detail what parts of your body hurt, how serious the pain is, and what limitations you have as a result. A car accident lawyer would advise that now is not the time to act tough: be open and honest about your symptoms and limitations.
- If possible, move individuals away from harm’s way. You do not want to move the vehicles without first taking pictures if possible (see below). But if an accident occurs in the middle of downtown Columbus, you will want to remove yourself and others from harm’s way. Move to a sidewalk or other safe space before calling for police to investigate and clean up the accident. Caution: Do not attempt to move someone, including yourself, if you suspect he or she has suffered a spine, neck, or head injury unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. Moving someone with such a catastrophic injury can result in even more damage.
- Take photographs of the scene. If you have a smartphone available to use, take as many photographs as possible. You cannot take too many photographs, but be sure to photograph the cars involved in the crash (including damage), the accident scene itself (photographs that include as much of the scene in one shot as possible), injuries you sustained or others in your car sustained, and traffic signals and signs near the site of the crash. Our car accident lawyers would advise that you be sure to store these photographs in a safe location: it may be worthwhile to back your photographs up in several locations in case they are accidentally deleted from your phone.
- Take down names of witnesses and bystanders. If people have gathered around your crash scene, take a moment to speak with as many as possible. You are looking for individuals who either saw the accident occur, rendered aid to yourself or other drivers, or spoke with other drivers at the scene. Ask if you can take down their name and the best method of contacting them: if time permits, ask them what they saw or heard. If an individual will not consent to allow you to write down their name or contact information, you can either request that the investigating law enforcement officer speak with them or write down as best of a description of the person as possible. You and your car accident lawyer do not want to lose the ability to call an important or essential witness simply because you did not talk to them.
- Be honest with the law enforcement officer and any insurance companies. By being “honest” we mean only provide them with the information they ask and only provide information that you are absolutely certain is true. Do not guess at anything: if you do not know the answer with certainty, simply say that you do not know. If you provide information to your car accident lawyer that later turns out to be contradicted by evidence, your credibility in front of the court – and the manner in which your lawsuit is perceived – can be negatively affected.
- Do not say you are sorry or admit fault. Admitting fault – even by saying something innocuous as “I’m sorry” – can spoil your opportunity for your car accident lawyer to seek full compensation for your injuries. You do not know what, if any, negligent behavior the other driver may have been engaging in and whether that behavior contributed to the accident as well.
- Write down your recollection of the accident. As soon as you can, write down your recollection of what happened in as much detail as possible. Try to remember the weather, the road conditions, how heavy the traffic conditions were, what the accident felt like – as much as you can remember. Set aside a sufficient amount of time to do this exercise properly. Once you have finished, keep the final product in a safe space for future reference. By doing this, you will not be in the unfortunate position of attempting to remember important details about your accident months or years later and having to also be concerned about your version of events remaining consistent.
- Seek medical attention and follow your doctor’s orders. Even if you feel fine or if you believe the accident was minor, you should still make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible after the crash for an evaluation. You may have suffered hidden and unseen injuries that will get worse the longer you go without treatment. If your doctor gives you orders, be sure to follow them precisely. If treatment or medication is not working, speak with your doctor before discontinuing either. An experienced car accident lawyer knows that failing to seek prompt medical treatment for your injuries, or failing to follow your doctor’s advice, can be considered a negligent act on your part and result in a reduction of the compensation you would otherwise be entitled to.
There are other decisions that must be made in the days and weeks after the car crash. It is important to retain a car accident lawyer to assist you as soon as possible as he or she can help you in making decisions that will protect your legal rights and interests throughout your car crash lawsuit.
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 Chester Law Group know and understand 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.
Chester Law Group