Auto accidents can cause devastating injuries, leading to missed work and extensive medical bills. You may have to fight hard to ensure an insurance company pays what’s due. Filing a claim can be stressful. A Cincinnati car accident lawyer from our law firm can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Negligent drivers must be held accountable for recklessly endangering others’ lives on Cincinnati, OH roads. Filing a claim helps send a message about the gravity of their behavior and deters them from repeating the same poor decision. Compensation can provide you with the financial means to pay for past and future medical care and other accident-related losses.
As the injured party, you’re probably receiving many calls from your own insurance company and that of the other driver. You can count on your Thomas Law Offices attorney to guide you on how to handle those calls. Our lawyers have years of experience analyzing car accident scenes, gathering evidence, and crafting convincing, strong cases for their clients and will advocate for your best interests.
Common Types of Cincinnati Car Accidents
There are multiple types of car accidents, spanning in severity. Ohio State Highway Patrol data shows 1,244 fatal car accident cases occurred in 2021.
Auto accidents aren’t just isolated to passenger cars but can also involve another motor vehicle like a large truck or motorcycle and even bicycles and pedestrians.
Being aware of common traffic accidents like the following can help you avoid a similarly dangerous situation:
These are among the most dangerous car crashes because drivers face one another when they collide. These often occur when someone is driving the wrong way or loses control of their vehicle and commonly result in catastrophic injuries or death.
These accidents frequently occur when motorists aren’t paying attention or recklessly driving. Speeding or distracted drivers may not brake fast enough, causing them to hit the car in front of them. Vehicle occupants’ injuries depend on a driver’s speed.
Single Vehicle Wreck
Drivers can hit pedestrians or run off the road and strike inanimate objects like houses, signs, and telephone poles. Pedestrians often sustain major injuries because they lack protection. Intoxication and distractions play a big role in single-vehicle accidents.
Multiple Vehicle Crash
These incidents involve more than two vehicles and can cause many injuries. These crashes often result from a driver making a mistake on a busy highway and other motorists not being able to take evasive action to avoid becoming entangled in the crash.
Side Impact Collision
These wrecks, also known as “T-bone” or broadside collisions, often occur during motorists’ lefthand turns. These crashes often cause serious injuries—especially if vehicle occupants receive the full force of the impact.
A Car Accident Attorney Identifies the Causes of Car Crashes in Ohio
Negligence refers to an accident that could have been prevented had a motorist acted more responsibly. Even the safest drivers may not be able to avoid collisions caused by negligent motorists. Common causes of car wrecks include:
Multitasking doesn’t allow drivers to fully focus on their surroundings and maintain control over their vehicle. Distractions can take drivers’ hands off the wheel and their eyes and minds off the road.
Cell phone use may cause a motorist not to notice that they’re drifting out of their lane or when cars ahead have stopped. A crash may be unavoidable once a driver realizes this has happened.
Other distractions include changing the radio station, eating and drinking, or reaching for something in the car.
Ignoring Traffic Laws
A reckless motorist who speeds, runs red lights, doesn’t abide by stop signs, or fails to yield to another driver’s right of way increases their crash risk. A negligent driver who fails to stop at an intersection may cause a crash when pulling into traffic.
Drivers who engage in road rage, such as tailgating other motorists, weaving in and out of traffic, or cutting in close on someone, may also cause an injury accident.
Driving While Intoxicated
Motorists’ abilities to drive safely may be severely compromised if they have been drinking alcohol or taking drugs. Although Ohio motorists face operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) charges for driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol, this doesn’t deter some drivers. The latest statistics show that 351 alcohol-impaired fatalities occurred in Ohio in 2019.
Issues With a Vehicle
Sometimes a crash isn’t a driver’s fault. Negligent car manufacturers produce defective products. Issues with a car’s brakes, steering wheel, or engine could affect a motorist’s ability to control their vehicle.
Drivers have a responsibility to exercise a duty of care, including obeying traffic laws and remaining alert while driving. Their failure to do so increases their risk of causing an auto accident. Negligent drivers can be held liable for breaches of their duty of care.
Determining the cause of your accident can provide crucial insight into how the at-fault motorist acted negligently. Any car accident lawyer on our Cincinnati team is prepared to investigate your crash and consult with experts, including accident reconstructionists, to determine how the accident occurred. Our attorneys will use their findings to strengthen your injury claim.
Consequences Car Accident Victims Face
While some people only think about the physical impairments associated with car accidents, crash victims often experience psychological trauma and deal with financial burdens post-collision.
Crash-related injuries, whether minor or severe, can significantly interrupt a person’s life. This is why it’s important to always see a doctor for an evaluation after an accident. Symptoms often take hours, days, or weeks to appear.
Not seeing a doctor after an auto wreck could affect your chances of getting full and fair compensation. It could also leave you with a lifetime of chronic pain.
Common car accident injuries include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Head and brain injuries can adversely impact a person’s communication abilities and memory and make them more irritable. Severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can limit a person’s use of their arms and legs.
Spinal Cord Injuries
While there are varying types of spinal cord injuries, many can result in permanent consequences such as limited mobility or paralysis.
Sudden stopping can make someone’s neck rapidly jerk back and forth, leaving the person with symptoms like dizziness, headaches, a stiff neck, and more.
A vehicle collision’s impact can be strong enough to shatter bones.
Lacerations or Loss of Limb
Car wrecks can cause major cuts and bruises, some of which may result in amputation.
Motorists often wrongfully assume that they’re uninjured because they feel okay when they’re actually hurt. Adrenaline and other shock-related hormones can mask injury symptoms, causing them to take time to become noticeable to you.
Car crash injuries may send you to the hospital, where you’ll have to undergo tests and procedures or take prescription medicine. Injuries can also leave individuals with chronic pain or a permanent disability to adjust to. It can be frustrating relearning everyday tasks or not being able to do things you once enjoyed—especially if someone else’s negligence caused these issues.
Although seldom spoken about, a car accident can also adversely impact your emotional state. Mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common after crashes. Seek guidance from a mental health professional if you experience the following symptoms post-crash:
- Persistent fatigue
- Social withdrawal
- Difficulty focusing
Accident-related expenses can be difficult to manage, depending on the severity of the crash. Medical bills can quickly pile up, plus there are costs to repair or replace your vehicle and lost wages.
What To Do After a Vehicle Wreck in Cincinnati
Steps you take after a crash can impact your claim. Taking the right ones protects your rights and gives insurance companies few reasons to deny you fair compensation.
After an auto collision, you should:
- Remain Calm. You’ll likely be traumatized, panicked, or in shock post-crash. You should take some deep breaths and remain calm and focus on gathering evidence that could help your car accident case.
- Provide Help to Others. Check to see if anyone else involved in the accident needs help. Call 911 if they do. Also, allow emergency responders to evaluate you and transport you to the hospital if necessary.
- Contact Authorities. Call law enforcement even if there isn’t a medical emergency to make a report. This police report can be crucial to liability determinations in your Cincinnati car accident case.
- Give an Accurate Report. You should tell the police the truth when speaking with them. Don’t guess about details you don’t know or remember.
- Get Driver Information. Exchange your name and contact information, insurance company policy numbers, and details about the make and models of your vehicles with the other driver.
- Don’t Apologize. Almost any Cincinnati car accident attorney would discourage you from saying that you’re okay or you’re sorry to the other motorist after a crash. An insurance company adjuster may view such statements as an admission of guilt. Don’t blame another motorist either as a third party, i.e., an auto manufacturer, could be liable instead.
How Cincinnati Car Accident Lawyers Ensure You Receive Maximum Compensation After a Wreck
Maximizing your compensation should be your goal when filing a car accident claim. Doing this without a Cincinnati attorney from Thomas Law Offices by your side can be challenging. Insurance companies often try to get claimants to settle for less than they deserve.
Consider the following when seeking a fair settlement in your case:
- Seek Medical Treatment. Always seek medical attention immediately– even if you feel fine. You may have unnoticed, severe injuries. Doing this also provides insurance companies with proof of injuries and associated medical expenses that the car accident caused. Waiting to receive treatment or not following your doctor’s treatment plan could exacerbate your condition and affect your settlement offer.
- Avoid Social Media. While you may feel tempted to inform others about your collision and related injuries on social media, don’t. Adjusters could look at your posts and use it to decrease your settlement offer. Make your social media accounts private until your case is settled.
- Preserve Evidence. Document everything about your accident, including what, where, when, and why it happened. Take time-stamped photographs of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, road conditions, the weather, and road debris. Also, document your lost wages.
- Speak with Eyewitnesses. Get any witnesses’ contact information so they can share what they saw.
- Don’t Wait to File. Statutes of limitations apply when litigating personal injury claims. Ohio law gives personal injury victims two years to recover compensation post-crash, or they forever lose their right to do so.
- Don’t Forget About Future Damages. Account for future expenses, like medical costs, when demanding an insurance company’s settlement offer.
Your Thomas Law Offices attorney can guide you through the claims process to obtain compensation for financial damages. Knowing Ohio car insurance laws will help protect your best interests.
How Car Insurance Laws Work in Ohio
Ohio is an at-fault state, meaning you can hold other motorists financially liable for any suffered injuries or car crash damages if it wasn’t your fault. Minimum coverage amounts are:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident.
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people in an accident.
- $25,000 for property damage in an accident.
Another important factor is the comparative negligence rule. It allows the motorist who was less at fault to seek compensation for damages from the driver with greater responsibility for the crash. The compensation that any one party is eligible for would be reduced by their percentage of fault for the crash. For example, if one motorist is deemed 80% at fault and the other 20% and damages are $100,000, then the latter party’s settlement would be reduced by 20% and thus be $80,000.
At-fault motorists often try to shift some liability for the car crash to others to avoid having to compensate others. Our Cincinnati car accident lawyers will use compiled evidence to deny liability to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Another way your claim could also be reduced is if insurance companies send out adjusters to speak with you about your accident. They do this to get an official statement and persuade you to settle your case early, saving them money.
If an adjuster asks you about the severity of your car wreck injuries, giving them accurate information about what’s wrong can be challenging. You may ultimately find your injuries are worse than when initially speaking with the insurance company. Adjusters may use this information in denying your claim. Insurance companies could even take your “I’m okay” response to the question “How are you feeling today?” to discount the severity of your injuries.
Dealing with insurance companies can be stressful. Our Cincinnati auto accident lawyers here at Thomas Law Offices can handle harassing phone calls from insurers on your behalf so you don’t have to worry what you say to them.
Seek the Legal Representation You Deserve
Auto accident attorneys advocate for those hurt by others’ negligent actions. Healing from your injury, visiting doctors, and dealing with the expenses can be a lot to handle by yourself. Our auto accident attorneys can help you get your life back on track.
Our personal injury attorneys are ready to fight for your rights, even if it means representing you in court. Our Cincinnati car accident attorneys will highlight case facts showing the other party caused your injuries.
The quicker you file your claim, the sooner you’ll receive the relief you need. Schedule a free consultation with a Cincinnati car accident attorney from our law firm to discuss your case. Contact Thomas Law Offices today for a free case evaluation to protect your best interests.