SKILLED IN CAR ACCIDENTS
CAR ACCIDENTS CAN HAPPEN AT ANYTIME AND WHEN THEY DO THE DAMAGES CAN BE SEVERE.
Though you might have a general idea of the frequency of car accidents in Ohio, the actual figures may surprise you. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there are almost 67,000 total crashes every year, causing more than 500 deaths and 19,000 injuries. A closer look at local data reveals that there have been seven fatal crashes in Wyandot County already in 2019. That number may seem low in the bigger picture until you realize that this is more than double the number of total crashes in 2018 and 2017 combined.
Fortunately, Ohio law provides you with legal remedies if you were hurt or a loved one died as a result of a motor vehicle crash. It’s possible to recover compensation for your devastating losses, and our experienced attorneys at Groth & Associates can help. We’re dedicated to fighting on behalf of injured victims, so please contact our firm to schedule a complimentary case evaluation. An Upper Sandusky, OH car accident lawyer can explain your options, but some important information about these claims may also be useful.
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OVERVIEW OF OHIO CAR CRASH CASES
Many auto collisions are entirely preventable, and they only occur because the responsible motorist was careless in driving. In legal terms, this misconduct is called negligence. When you seek monetary damages under a negligence theory of liability, you must prove four essential elements:
- You must establish that the other driver had a duty to exercise reasonable care in operating the vehicle, so as to not cause a risk of harm to others on the road.
- You need to present facts showing how the motorist breached this duty of care through risky, unsafe actions.
- There must be a causal link between the carelessness and the accident in which you were injured.
- You must prove that you sustained losses as a result of your injuries.
Typically, you’ll pursue the negligent driver through his or her insurance company. Even if you have solid proof of each element described above, you can expect some pushback from the claims adjuster assigned to your case. Insurance companies are businesses that are driven to turn a profit, and your claim is a threat to their financial interests. Your claim may result in a lowball offer for settlement, or it may be rejected entirely.
In such a situation, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit in court to get fair, reasonable compensation for your losses. Litigation is complicated, so it’s critical to retain legal counsel to represent you. A lawyer can assist with all necessary tasks, including filing the complaint, attending court hearings, conducting discovery, and – possibly – your trial.
OTHER PRACTICE AREA CASES
EXAMPLES OF NEGLIGENCE IN AUTO ACCIDENTS
Negligence is a complicated legal concept, so you may find it useful to review some scenarios that could lead to liability for a careless driver. A motorist may be negligent by:
- Driving while drunk or after using drugs;
- Speeding above the posted limit;
- Failure to yield;
- Improper lane changes;
- Taking curves too quickly;
- Driving while fatigued; or,
- Violating any Ohio traffic law.
In addition, distracted driving may be considered negligent where the motorist engages in activities that demonstrate a failure to exercise reasonable care. The most common examples deal with cell phone use because of media attention. In recent years, there’s been an explosion of auto crashes due to a driver texting, talking on the phone, scrolling through social media, taking video, and other risky acts. However, there are additional forms of distracted driving that are just as dangerous behind the wheel, such as:
- Adjusting the radio;
- Using a GPS;
- Talking to other passengers; and,
YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO MONETARY DAMAGES
Compensation in car accident claims is intended to put a victim in the same position as if the incident never happened, to the extent that this is possible. By meeting the requirements of a case based upon negligence, you may be able to recover two types of monetary damages:
- Economic Damages: These represent your losses as expressed in a dollar value. One example is the medical costs you incur, such as emergency care, surgery, treatment from specialists, physical therapy, and any other amounts you expend as part of your recovery. In addition, you could be entitled to recover compensation for lost wages you sustain because of your injuries.
- Non-Economic Damages: This category is losses that are less concrete, but you definitely endure hardship as the victim of an auto collision. Even if you can’t provide a receipt or invoice, you could still be able to obtain amounts for:
- Pain and suffering;
- Scarring and disfigurement;
- Emotional anguish;
- Losses based upon how your injuries affect your relationships with loved ones; and,
- Many others depending on your circumstances.
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LIMITATIONS ON CLAIMS IN OHIO
In some negligence cases, state laws may affect your rights or how much you can obtain as damages. One potential issue is Ohio’s statute of limitations, which is two years. You must file a lawsuit in court before the time period expires, or you may recover nothing for your losses. The statute starts on the date of the accident and it continues to run during any settlement negotiations you may go through with the negligent driver’s insurance company.
Another possible limitation on your claim is Ohio’s law on contributory fault. Your own negligence could reduce your monetary damages if your actions were a contributing factor in the crash that caused your injuries. You’re not barred from recovering compensation, but the amount may be reduced by the amount of fault attributable to you. For example, your damages may fall from $10,000 to $6,000 if you’re 40 percent blameworthy.
TRUST AN UPPER SANDUSKY, OH CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS
If your life has been turned upside down by an auto crash, legal representation is critical to getting the compensation you deserve. To learn more about our legal services for accident victims throughout Northwest Ohio, please contact Groth & Associates. You can set up a no-cost consultation by calling 419.482.1176 or visiting us online.
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