Hamilton County Car Accident Lawyers
Thanks to significant advances in safety technology, like anti-lock brakes, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking, todays’ motor vehicles are safer than ever. However, despite the accident prevention technologies, car accidents continue to occur with great frequency in Ohio and across the country.
Depending on the nature and severity of the crash, a car accident can cause significant property damage and severe, often fatal injuries. Many accidents are caused by motorists who were not following the rules of the road or were engaging in unsafe driving behaviors, like distracted driving or speeding.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accidents?
Accidents happen, and even the most responsible driver can make a mistake. However, most car accidents are preventable if motorists make safety a top priority and avoid the following types of unsafe driving:
- Distracted driving, including talking or texting while driving.
- Drunk driving.
- Reckless driving, including tailgating and unsafe lane changes.
- Drowsy driving.
- Failure to obey the rules of the road.
What Steps Should I Take After a Car Accident?
Being involved in a car accident can be a jarring and traumatic experience, particularly if the crash results in serious injuries. The experience can be much less stressful if you can remain calm and keep the following tips in mind:
- Check for injuries: Even a seemingly minor car accident can cause catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). If you are physically able to do so, assess your injuries as well as those of other passengers in the vehicle. Do not try to move anyone who has been injured, as this could aggravate a serious injury.
- Call 911: Even if the accident did not cause life-threatening injuries, you should always call 911 to report the accident. Let dispatch know if there are serious injuries so that they can send an ambulance to the crash scene. The responding officer will fill out an accident report, which you can obtain a copy of when filing a personal injury claim.
- Exchange information: If you can move freely and safely get out of your vehicle, exchange information with the other driver involved in the accident, including contact information, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information. Keep the conversation limited to the basic exchange of information. Never apologize for the accident. This can be used against you and have a negative impact on your claim.
- Collect evidence: While you are waiting for police to arrive, take pictures of the accident scene, including the damage to your vehicle, your injuries, the position of the other vehicle, any debris on the road, and any other evidence that can help prove that the other driver caused the accident. If there are surveillance cameras on the traffic light or in any homes or businesses in the vicinity, ask for copies of the footage. If there were witnesses who saw the accident happen, ask if they would be willing to provide an official statement, and ask for their contact information.
- Seek immediate medical attention: Even if you do not feel any pain or symptoms of injuries right away, it is extremely important that you are examined by a medical professional as soon as possible. Oftentimes, the pain from an injury may be masked by the adrenaline that is coursing through the body after an accident. Your doctor will be able to identify any injuries, even if you are not yet experiencing any symptoms. If you decide against medical treatment, the insurance company may argue that your injuries must not be very serious if you did not find it necessary to get medical attention. Ultimately, this could have a negative impact on your claim.
- Contact your insurance company: You will need to let your insurance company know that you were injured in a car accident. However, do not provide any information beyond the basic details of the crash. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and they will try to twist your words and use other tactics to avoid paying a large settlement.
- Contact a car accident lawyer: It is highly recommended that you seek legal representation if you suffered injuries. An experienced Hamilton County car accident lawyer will protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive the financial compensation to which you are entitled.
What Types of Injuries Do Car Accidents Cause?
While serious collisions often cause devastating injuries and fatalities, even minor accidents can cause catastrophic injuries. The following are examples of common car accident-related injuries:
- Cuts and lacerations.
- Broken bones, including arms, legs, ribs, and spine.
- Neck and back injuries.
- Burn and scar injuries.
- Organ damage.
- Spinal cord injuries.
What Compensation Can I Possibly Collect if I am Injured in a Car Accident?
If you suffered serious injuries in a car accident that was caused by another motorist’s negligent driving behavior, you may be eligible for substantial financial compensation by filing a personal injury claim. A dedicated Hamilton County car accident lawyer will work tirelessly to recover the damages that you are entitled to receive, including the following:
- All medical expenses related to the injury, including hospitalization, surgeries, follow-up doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, and prescription medications.
- Lost wages.
- Loss of future earning capacity.
- Psychologist bills.
- Home health care expenses.
- Property damage.
- Pain and suffering.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
What Is Modified Comparative Fault?
Even if you were partially responsible for causing the accident, you will still be eligible to recover damages. However, Ohio recognizes the legal principle known as modified comparative fault, which means that you can hold the at-fault driver liable for your injuries, provided your own fault does not exceed 50 percent. It also means that your total recoverable amount will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you. For example, if you are 20 percent at fault and the total damages are $10,000, you will be eligible for $8,000 if you win your case.
What if a Car Accident Causes a Fatality?
If a car accident results in a tragic loss of a loved one, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver. The surviving family members may be eligible to collect the following compensation:
- Funeral and burial costs.
- Medical bills associated with your loved one’s care before they passed away.
- Loss of income.
- Loss of benefits.
- Loss of companionship.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Car Accident Claim in Ohio?
In Ohio, if you wish to file a personal injury claim after being injured in a car accident, you must do so within two years of the date of the accident. This may seem like a significant amount of time, but there are a number of reasons why it is important that you act quickly. If you do not preserve the key physical evidence from the accident scene, including speaking to witnesses, it can be difficult to obtain this evidence weeks or months after the accident. In addition, if you do not initiate the claims process, you could go into debt trying to pay your medical bills for the injuries you sustained.
If you wait too long and you miss the deadline, your claim will most likely be denied and you will no longer be eligible to recover any damages. A Hamilton County car accident lawyer will work closely with you and ensure that your claim is filed well before the statute of limitations runs out.
Hamilton County Car Accident Lawyers at the Wolterman Law Office Advocate for Those Severely Injured in Crashes
If you have been seriously injured in a crash, you are urged to contact one of our seasoned Hamilton County car accident lawyers at the Wolterman Law Office at your earliest convenience. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 513-488-1135 or contact us online. Located in Loveland Ohio, we proudly serve clients throughout Hamilton County, Fairfield, Norwood, and Forest Park.