SKILLED IN CAR ACCIDENT CASES
Car accidents are a problem in Ohio just as they are in other US states, but you may not appreciate the risk of being involved in a collision until you review the statistics. According to theOhio State Highway Patrol (OHP), there are around 64,000 vehicle collisions annually, and almost one-third of them result in a fatality or injury to at least one victim. Residents of heavily populated and congested Cuyahoga County should be particularly concerned: Almost 34,000 of these incidents occur in this region, representing 53 percent of all traffic crashes in the state. Approximately 9,800 are deadly or injury-causing car accidents, leading to devastating losses for victims and their families.
It may come as some comfort to know that victims of auto collisions have rights under Ohio personal injury laws, so you may qualify to seek compensation for your losses. Our team at Groth & Associates is experienced in dealing with insurance companies and in court, so we are ready to guide you through the legal process. Please contact our firm to set up a no-cost case review with one of ourColumbus car accident lawyers today. We can advise you on the specific issues that apply to your case, but you can also read on for an overview of the basics.
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LIABILITY IN OHIO AUTO CRASH CASES
Vehicle collisions are a type of personal injury case that falls under the legal concept of negligence. Though the term means carelessness when used familiarly, it has a very specific definition under Ohio law. To recover compensation, you must have evidence to support the four essential elements of a negligence case:
- You need proof that the other motorist had a legal duty to drive safely;
- You must how that this person breached the duty of care through unreasonably unsafe actions behind the wheel;
- There must be a causal connection between the breach of duty and the accident which caused your injuries, such that you would not have been hurt but from the at-fault driver’s breach; and
- You must prove that you suffered losses because of your injuries.
In addition, while not an element of the cause of action, you must comply with Ohio’s deadline on personal injury cases. Under the statute of limitations, you have two years to file a lawsuit in court. The clock starts to run on the date of the collision, and it does not stop while you are discussing settlement. If you do not initiate litigation within this time frame, you are forever barred from recovering compensation.
OTHER PRACTICE AREA CASES
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COMMON CAUSES AND COMPLICATIONS IN CAR ACCIDENT CLAIMS
To better understand how negligence works, some examples may be useful. You may have a claim against a driver who caused a collision by:
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol;
- Running red lights or stop signs;
- Failure to comply with other signage, lane markings, and traffic controls;
- Distracted driving, including texting, talking on the phone, surfing the internet, and posting to social media; and
- Non-cell phone distracted driving, such as eating, using a GPS, or playing music.
There is one point to note about negligence in a car accident, and it relates to your own conduct. Ohio follows the rule of contributory negligence, which focuses on how your actions might have contributed to the collision. If you were at fault, your compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you.
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HOW AN ATTORNEY SUPPORTS YOUR INTERESTS
There are numerous steps in the legal process after an Ohio auto crash, and Groth & Associates will be at your side to handle all requirements. Our Columbus car accident lawyers will diligently support your rights and perform necessary tasks at different stages, such as:
- Investigation and Gathering Evidence: You will need solid proof for the four essential elements described above, and we can assist by getting copies of medical records, police reports, and information from other sources. Our team may also work with medical experts, accident reconstruction specialists, and related professionals to support our efforts. You might also help by taking pictures and reaching out to witnesses in the immediate aftermath of a crash.
- Filing an Insurance Claim: Victims of car accidents will file a claim for compensation with the insurance company that provides coverage for the at-fault motorist, at which point the insurer will conduct its own investigation. The company is typically looking for reasons to deny your claim or make a lowball counteroffer.
- Settlement Negotiations: In some cases, you may be able to resolve your claim by agreement, and our attorneys will advocate on your behalf during settlement discussions. We will not settle for an amount less than what is fair as compensation for your losses.
- Litigation in a Car Accident Case: If the insurer refuses to pay a reasonable amount of damages, our lawyers will file a lawsuit in court to protect your rights. Our litigation tasks include drafting the complaint, handling motions, discovery, and proving your case at trial.
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COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS OF VEHICLE COLLISIONS
Through these efforts and others, our Columbus car accident attorneys at Groth & Associates will strive to recover all monetary damages available in your case. Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to obtain amounts for:
- Medical costs, including hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, pain medications, and other treatment;
- Lost wages, if you were unable to work because of your car accident injuries;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional anguish;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Losses based upon how your injuries affect your relationships with your spouse, children, and other loved ones; and
- Diminished quality of life and related implications from serious injuries.
SET UP A CONSULTATION WITH OUR COLUMBUS CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS TODAY
While a summary of the laws and legal concepts is helpful, it is wise to rely on skilled legal counsel for assistance with a real-life auto crash case. Groth & Associates will take on all essential tasks, reducing some of the stress during this difficult time. Please contact us today to speak to a Columbus car accidentlawyer who can advise you on your rights. You can call us now to set up a no-cost consultation.