SKILLED IN CAR ACCIDENTS
CAR ACCIDENTS CAN HAPPEN AT ANYTIME AND WHEN THEY DO THE DAMAGES CAN BE SEVERE.
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, around 500 people are killed every year in the 67,000 total crashes that occur across the state. Wood County is largely spared much of the tragedy, where there’s a three-year average of just 13 fatalities. Still, many more victims suffer serious and catastrophic injuries in these incidents, leading to extensive losses even beyond the physical pain. Ohio law does provide you with rights if you were hurt or lost a loved one in an auto crash, but you may not know where to begin with enforcing them.
You can rely on our attorneys at Groth & Associates to help recover the monetary damages you deserve as a victim. We’re ready to tackle the legal challenges involved with filing an insurance claim, and we’re equally prepared to take the battle to court as necessary to protect your interests. Please contact our firm to schedule a free case evaluation with a North Baltimore personal injury lawyer. An overview of the relevant legal concepts may also be informative.
COMMON CAUSES OF OHIO AUTO CRASHES
Though every case is different, there are certain types of accidents that occur more frequently than others. Motor vehicle collisions are often tied to a motorist:
- Speeding in excess of the posted limit or driving too fast for conditions;
- Drunk or drugged driving;
- Failing to yield to others on the road;
- Erratic lane changes;
- Weaving through traffic;
- Running a red light or stop sign;
- Not using a turn signal when making a traffic maneuver; or,
- Improperly passing.
Plus, though cell phone use behind the wheel is strictly prohibited in Ohio, many drivers ignore the law. They may cause car accidents by texting, talking on the phone, taking pictures, responding to emails, surfing the internet, or interacting on social media. These forms of distracted driving are dangerous since they divert the motorist’s attention from the primary task at hand: Safe operating of the vehicle. There are other types of distracted driving that are not against the law, and which also present considerable risks. Examples include:
- Eating or drinking;
- Using a GPS, radio, or other systems;
- Grooming or applying makeup;
- Holding a pet on their lap; and,
- Many other activities that interfere with the driver’s attention span.
For a free legal consultation with a car accident lawyer serving North Baltimore, call (419) 930-3030
LIABILITY IN CAR ACCIDENT CASES
Regardless of the specific causes of your auto crash, accidents generally happen because of careless actions. In legal terminology, this misconduct is called negligence. To prove your right to compensation under the legal theory of liability of negligence, you must prove four sets of facts:
- You need to show that the responsible motorist had a duty to drive reasonably safely, a duty which applies to everyone who operates a vehicle;
- You must demonstrate that this person breached the legal duty of care, through any of the actions mentioned above or any other form of carelessness;
- You have to show that there’s a causal connection between the breach of duty and the injury-causing accident, i.e., that the incident wouldn’t have happened had the other driver exercised reasonable caution; and,
- You need to prove that you sustained losses because of being injured in the crash.
Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me (419) 930-3030
RECOVER THE COMPENSATION YOU DESERVE
In most Ohio auto collisions, your first step in seeking monetary damages is filing an injury claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. Motorists are required to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance to cover the losses of victims like you. Even if you believe you don’t need an attorney to handle the claims process, it’s important to understand how insurers work.
Insurance companies are businesses that are motivated to protect their own interests, so the number one goal is to find a way to avoid paying you. The claims adjuster assigned to your matter may accuse you of being at fault in the collision, or could contest the severity of your injuries. Any amount the insurer offers is likely to be far too low to cover your losses. If the insurer won’t resolve your claim through a fair settlement, you may need to go to court to get the compensation you deserve.
Whether through settlement or litigation, there’s a wide range of monetary damages available in a motor vehicle accident case. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to recover:
- Medical costs, including expenses for surgery, emergency care, physical therapy, pain medications, ongoing treatment, and related costs;
- Lost wages, if you cannot work or are limited in your capabilities because of your injuries;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Diminished quality of life; and,
- Losses based upon how your injuries affect your relationships with a spouse, children, and others.
BEWARE OF LEGAL LIMITATIONS IN YOUR CASE
While you may have sufficient proof to establish your rights in a negligence case, there are two laws in Ohio that could affect your rights to compensation. You should talk to your car accident attorney about:
- Ohio’s Statute of Limitations: The state places a time restriction on how long you have to file a lawsuit if you don’t reach a settlement agreement with the responsible driver’s insurance company. The statute of limitations is two years, and the clock starts to run on the date of the crash. If you don’t initiate litigation by the time the statute expires, you’re forever barred from obtaining monetary damages.
- The Rule of Contributory Negligence: Ohio is one of many US states that follows this law, which holds you accountable for your own negligent conduct. Under the statute on contributory fault, your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault. If you’re 20 percent blameworthy for the collision that led to your injuries, your total award of $10,000 could be lowered to $8,000.
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SCHEDULE A NO-COST CONSULTATION WITH A NORTH BALTIMORE, OH CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
To learn more about your rights and remedies after an auto crash, please contact Groth & Associates right away. You can set up your free appointment by calling 419.482.1176 or visiting our website. We advocate on behalf of injury victims throughout Northwest Ohio, and we’re happy to assist with your claim.