Ohio Car Accident Injuries
People who have been involved in car accidents often suffer severe injuries. These injuries are often devastating and can alter the course of your life forever. Some of the more common types of car accident injuries seen in Ohio include:
- Broken bones
- Bone fractures
- Traumatic brain damage
- Third-degree burns
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Organ failure
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
With injuries this severe, you could expect a lengthy recovery process. This can be difficult not only physically and emotionally but financially as well. Medical expenses will continue to be a problem until you no longer require treatment.
It’s crucial to consider your long-term needs when calculating the value of your claim.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Many car crash survivors aren’t sure whether they have grounds for a case. You might think you can file a claim with the insurance company, take whatever they offer you, and move on with your life. And you could.
But You Deserve Better
There are two key ways you can tell that you might have a lawsuit on your hands:
- Someone else is at fault for your accident
- Your life has been negatively affected by the accident
It may not be clear initially who is at fault. But if there is even a chance that another party’s negligence hurt you, you should hold them accountable.
While you’re recovering from your injuries, your Ohio car accident lawyer can handle the legal details. You should focus your energy on healing and rebuilding your life. While you do, we’ll be working tirelessly on:
- Figuring out who is at fault
- Gathering evidence to support your case
- Calculating the value of your claim
- Negotiating with the insurance company
- Preparing your case for trial
- Representing your interests in court
When you have an experienced lawyer working for you, you can breathe easier. With decades of experience and a record of success, we’ll walk you through every step.
Finding Fault for Your Ohio Car Accident
One of the most important elements of any car accident claim is figuring out who is at fault. In many cases, multiple parties share fault for a car accident.
Driver negligence is arguably the most common cause of car accidents across Ohio. Any type of unsafe driving can be considered negligent. Some of the more common types of unsafe driving include:
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Failure to stop
- Making an illegal turn
- Following too closely
- Road rage
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Ohio Drunk Driver Accidents
Several of these traffic offenses can also be criminal charges. In drunk driving cases, the driver could be charged with a DUI, for example. You might also be able to file a claim against a restaurant or bar if the drunk driver was overserved.
Design flaws, product malfunctions, and other motor vehicle defects are also hazardous.
When this happens, you’ll often see these parts recalled. Drivers can then go and get the parts replaced or repaired before an accident occurs.
But when defective products cause your car accident, many people and entities could be at fault, such as:
- Auto mechanics
- Auto parts producers
- Motor vehicle designers
- Motor vehicle producers
- Safety inspectors
- Other relevant parties
We Prove Fault With Evidence
Your Ohio car accident lawyer will conduct an in-depth review of your case. We will uncover the truth about who is at fault for your car accident. We’ll also gather the evidence we need to support your claim.
Evidence in your car accident case could include:
- Video footage
- Surveillance footage
- Security videos
- Police reports
- Accident reports
- Safety reports
- Medical records
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
What if You Share Some Blame?
The good news is you can still be awarded compensation. This is because Ohio is a modified comparative negligence state.
Here, you can recover your losses – but only as long as your portion of fault doesn’t exceed 50%.
You still need to be held accountable for your portion of the fault. The courts do this by reducing the amount of your injury settlement. Say you were 10% at fault for your injuries because you were going five miles per hour over the limit yourself when you were t-boned at an intersection. The courts will then reduce your award by 10%.
The Ohio Car Insurance Claim Process
Dealing with the insurance company is an unfortunate but necessary part of the claims process. Ohio drivers are required to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Alternatively, they can provide proof of financial responsibility. Most drivers opt for car insurance.
Those who do will need to carry at least:
- $25,000 per person in bodily injury coverage
- $50,000 per accident in bodily injury coverage
- $25,000 per accident in property damage coverage
Drivers do not need to carry any of the following types of coverage:
- Gap insurance
- Rental car coverage
- Personal injury protection
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage
- Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage
- Uninsured motorist property damage coverage
- Underinsured motorist property damage coverage
Understanding your car insurance obligations is important. This is because Ohio is a fault state for car accidents and insurance. When you are involved in an accident, you will need to file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
File a Claim or Car Accident Lawsuit?
Insurance companies are only obligated to the highest amount of the policy. So, if the at-fault party only carries $25,000 in bodily injury coverage but your medical expenses are five times higher, the insurer still only needs to cover $25,000.
So how do you get the rest covered? As mentioned, you could file a claim with your auto insurer. But that could increase the cost of your insurance policy.
Your next option may be to file a claim in civil court. Insurance companies aren’t only obligated to the dollar amount. They also only compensate victims for medical expenses and property damage. The other losses you have suffered are just as valuable. But you can only be compensated for them if you pursue a car accident lawsuit.
A Ohio car accident lawyer will have years of experience in negotiating with money-hungry auto insurance companies. We will protect your injury settlement and ensure that you are not taken advantage of.
You have been through so much already. When another party is at fault for your injuries, you have the right to be made whole. This means you should be compensated for all of the ways your life has been damaged by the car accident and your injuries.
As part of this process, your lawyer will need to figure out how much your claim is worth. To do this, we need to separate the ways your life has been affected into separate categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages consist of the ways your life has been affected financially.
These are the most commonly thought of types of losses and include:
- Property damage
- Medical expenses and equipment
- Household maintenance costs
- Childcare expenses
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Lost benefits
- Increased insurance premiums
Once your attorney has determined the value of your economic damages, we can get a sense of what you may be entitled to.
Non-economic damages are a broad category of losses. It includes every way your life has been affected that does not include money.
Assessing a value can feel subjective, but some of the commonly sought non-economic damages are:
- Physical pain
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of closeness and love
- Diminished quality of life
- Damage to your reputation
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of society and support
This list does not include everything you lost or will miss out on. Your Ohio car accident lawyer will help explore the various ways your life has been or might be affected. This ensures that you can get the most out of your claim.
Although punitive damages are seldom awarded, they could significantly increase the amount of your final award.
Punitive damages are awarded by the court to punish the at-fault party further.
But the courts don’t punish just anyone. They want to send a message that egregious or reprehensible actions will not be tolerated. Someone distracted while driving likely won’t be ordered to pay punitive damages. But an auto parts manufacturer that knowingly sold faulty and dangerous parts might.
Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical Costs
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Consortium
- Punitive Damages