Maineville Car Accident Lawyers
A car accident can happen in an instant but leave you with life-threatening injuries and potential lifelong complications. Thousands of car accidents happen every day across the country, including in Ohio, and though there have been significant advances in vehicle safety features, car accidents continue to cause property damage and severe, or even fatal, injuries.
What Are Common Causes of Car Accidents in Maineville?
Car accidents happen in every town in Ohio, small or large, and Maineville is no exception. No matter how careful you are, an accident can happen at any time for a myriad of reasons, the most common causes being the following:
- Driving under the influence: Substances such as alcohol and certain drugs impair vision, slow reaction time, and inhibit concentration and thought processing abilities. Drivers under the influence are some of the most dangerous on the road and increase the very real risk of serious of catastrophic car accidents.
- Speeding: Driving over the speed limit is one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States. Drivers who ignore posted speed limits endanger all other motorists on the road. Speeding is a persistent problem in the Buckeye State. Ohio’s rate of annual speeding tickets is 35 percent higher than the combined national average, according to Insurify.
- Distracted driving: Taking your eyes off the road even for a few seconds can result in a serious accident, and distracted driving accident rates have been climbing over the past decade with the development of new cellphone technology. While driving, do not text, read or send emails, apply makeup, eat, play with children, or any other activity that diverts your eyes and attention from the road. In Ohio, texting while driving is against the law, and drivers under the age of 18 years old are banned from using any electronic wireless communication devices entirely while behind the wheel.
- Reckless driving: Drivers who ignore or disobey speed limits, traffic lights, signs, tailgate, and dart in and out of lanes put all others at risk with their behavior.
What Should I Do if I am in a Car Accident?
Car accidents are frightening and often life-altering, leaving you with serious injuries, potential disabilities, or permanent medical conditions. Car accidents, especially those that result in injuries, are costly as well, leading to medical care, vehicle repairs or replacements, lost wages, and more. The moments immediately following the accident have a significant impact on the insurance claim you will file. Knowing what to do and what information to gather ahead of time is key to a successful claim, such as:
- Contact 911: Call and request law enforcement and emergency medical responders if there are serious injuries among the parties involved.
- Seek medical attention: If you have serious injuries, the arriving emergency medical team will treat you immediately and transport you to the nearest emergency room for further evaluation and treatment. In all other cases, seek a medical evaluation within the first 48 hours following the accident, preferably immediately following the accident, regardless of whether you have symptoms or not. Many serious medical conditions do not present symptoms for hours or days after the accident, which can be life-threatening if left undiagnosed and untreated. Additionally, a doctor’s report is a crucial element of an insurance claim. Without one, your claim will almost certainly be denied.
- Document the scene: Take photos of the scene, including the location and damage of both vehicles and other property, road conditions, signage, weather conditions, debris, road or sign obstructions, and anything else that may have contributed to the accident. Photograph or take note of all traffic lights and nearby buildings with a vantage point of the accident, as there may be traffic or security cameras at any of those locations that may have recorded the accident. Noting their location will make it easier for you or your attorney to request the footage. Also, once police arrive, the officer’s body camera will record everything, including witness statements, and you can request that footage later as well.
- Limit contact: Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver but limit any contact or conversation to only those items. No matter how the other driver is behaving, do not argue, yell, or be goaded into a physical altercation with the other driver, do not apologize, and do not agree to downplay the accident to the police. You do not want to be filmed or recorded making statements and accusations that could be used against you later.
- Gather witness statements: If you are comfortable doing so, gather contact information and statements from witnesses about what they saw. Ask them to share any photos or videos they may have taken during or after the accident. If you are not comfortable doing this, the police will also be taking their statements and footage that will be included in the police report, and you are entitled to a copy of the report.
- Avoid social media: As with not being recorded saying something incriminating, do not post photos or videos of the accident or post comments related to it, as these things can be used against you to disprove your claim.
- Hire an attorney: A personal injury claim can be complex, depending on the circumstances of the accident, and insurance companies do not like having to pay large settlements. You are not required to hire an attorney, but having legal representation not only increases your chances of receiving compensation, but the lawsuit also lets the insurance company know that you are serious about your claim. Insurance companies tend to find a way to throw out claims or offer a meager settlement to claimants. Hiring a skilled attorney increases the likelihood that you will receive the maximum compensation that you are owed.
Compensation for Car Accident Injuries
If another driver’s negligent behavior caused a car accident resulting in your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for all medical expenses associated with your injuries, such as hospitalization, surgeries, testing, laboratory analysis, follow-up appointments and care, rehabilitation, and physical therapy, along with:
- Loss of income and future earning capacity.
- Home health care expenses.
- Home modifications.
- Property damage.
- Mental health care costs.
- Pain and suffering.
- Loss of quality of life.
When a car accident results in a fatality, the deceased family may be entitled to:
- Medical care associated with the deceased prior to death.
- Funeral and burial costs.
- Loss of income and benefits.
- Loss of companionship.
Ohio applies modified comparative fault, which assigns a percentage of fault on each driver. You can sue for damages if you are determined to have less than 51 percent responsibility for the accident. However, your percentage of fault will be reduced from the overall compensation award. For example, if you are found to be 20 percent at fault for the accident, then you are only entitled to 80 percent of the final award.
Additionally, Ohio also has a two-year statute of limitations regarding the time you have to file a car accident claim. This statute is another reason to seek medical evaluation immediately following the accident. An injury or condition that is minor at the time of the accident, but is degenerative in nature, will get worse over time and require additional medical treatment. If you are not fully symptomatic until three years later, your window of opportunity to seek compensation for further care related to the accident may have ended.
Claims filed after the two-year deadline will likely be denied. However, if the condition is discovered during a post-accident medical evaluation, any future care beyond two years would be included if your claim is filed before the deadline.
Maineville Car Accident Lawyers at the Wolterman Law Office Represent Clients Who Have Been Severely Injured in Collisions
If you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by a negligent, careless driver, one of our dedicated Maineville car accident lawyers at the Wolterman Law Office will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you are entitled to receive. Call us at 513-488-1135 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Loveland, Ohio, we proudly serve clients throughout Hamilton County, Fairfield, Norwood, and Forest Park.