If you’ve been injured in a traffic accident, you may be able to file a claim to recover compensation for your losses. A Columbus car accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can evaluate your situation and help you take legal action.
The steps you take immediately following a car accident will play an important role in the final outcome of your personal injury claim. In addition to seeking medical attention, preserving evidence through photographs and eyewitness accounts, and filing a police report, you’ll want to get in touch with a Columbus car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Successful negligence claims are built on strong evidence and backed by Ohio state law. As Columbus car accident attorneys, it’s our job to guide our clients through legal situations so they have a comprehensive understanding of their rights and options.
When you work with Thomas Law Offices, we’ll help you build a Columbus car accident case that proves you were wronged and shows just exactly what you’re rightfully owed for your injuries and damages.
Columbus Car Accident Statistics
The Ohio State Highway Patrol compiles statistics regarding traffic safety for every county in our state. Those Ohio State Highway Patrol statistics show that Franklin County, which houses Columbus, saw 34,205 auto accidents in 2019 alone. Data from 2021 shows that there were 22,758 motor vehicle accidents.
Those statistics show that the majority of those Columbus, Ohio accidents that occurred in 2019, or a number that equates to approximately 20,000, were related to youth or senior citizen driving.
Other common Columbus car accident cases were attributed to:
- Failure to yield properly
- Alcohol consumption
Of those 34,205 motor vehicle accidents in 2019, the majority only resulted in property damage. However, more than 10,000 of those car accidents resulted in an injury. Another 101 of those crashes were fatal.
Most of the motor vehicle accident cases reported in Columbus, Ohio in 2019 occurred between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm during the months of October, May, and August.
Common Car Accidents That Occur in Columbus, Ohio
While Columbus car accidents can happen for any number of reasons, the majority of our clients come to us after becoming involved in one of the following types of collisions:
Distracted Driving Accidents
These types of preventable car accidents happen when a driver isn’t completely focused on the road. It takes less than a second for a motorist engaged in distracted driving to lose control of their vehicle. Common distractions resulting in car accidents include:
- The radio
- Food (eating)
- Texting and driving
- Conversations with passengers
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of rear-end collisions because when the following driver isn’t paying attention, they don’t have enough time to brake to avoid causing a car accident.
Drunk Driving Crashes
When a person is under the influence of alcohol (engages in drunk driving), their ability to make good driving decisions and focus their attention on the road is severely compromised. An intoxicated motorist may operate their vehicle recklessly by speeding, swerving in between lanes, or disregarding traffic signals.
It’s not uncommon for drunk motorists to leave their lane and travel into oncoming traffic, causing a head-on collision, often resulting in the other vehicle operator’s wrongful death. Additionally, intoxicated motorists may have difficulty recognizing pedestrians who enter their path and crash into them, causing them significant harm, such as a traumatic brain injury or costing them their life.
Car Accidents Caused by Defective Auto Parts or Automobiles
Sometimes, car accidents are the fault of a vehicle manufacturer. Any crashes that occur may be attributable to a design or manufacturing flaw.
If a car’s steering mechanism or brake system malfunctions and a driver loses control of their vehicle, a crash resulting in injuries or a wrongful death can occur. Our auto accident lawyers in Columbus, Ohio can determine what went wrong during the design or manufacturing process that resulted in the vehicle’s defects and point you in the right direction of how you might want to file auto accident claims.
Reckless Driving Accidents
Our Columbus car accident lawyers handle our fair share of cases in which reckless driving results in a crash. Reckless driving, such as the following, is frequently responsible for these preventable crashes:
- Improper lane changes
- Failures to yield to other motorists’ right of ways
- Tailgating (following too closely)
Our Columbus car accident lawyers here at Thomas Law Offices have, unfortunately, handled our fair share of hit-and-run crash cases in which our clients’ cars were damaged in the collision, and many also have suffered a permanent injury. In cases like these, our car accident attorneys will request documentation from your insurance company to verify whether you have uninsured motorist coverage that can cover your crash-related expenses.
Another type of wreck that our Columbus car accident attorneys often handle is a rear-end crash. You might not think that this type of wreck poses such a significant personal injury risk until you have the misfortune of becoming involved in such a crash yourself.
Speed, the weight of the pursuing driver’s vehicle, and the size and design of the two vehicles involved in the crash are just some of the many factors that determine how significant the resulting damages and injuries may be.
No matter what type of incident resulted in your motor vehicle accident, the attorneys at our law firm can determine if negligence played a role in causing your car wreck. If our Columbus car accident lawyers determine that’s the case, we can advise you of your legal options and how we can help you obtain the compensation you need to pay for medical treatment you’ve already received or may require, as well as other expenses you’ve accumulated.
Meeting with a Columbus car accident attorney for a free consultation to discuss your case doesn’t cost you anything. Our Ohio law firm also takes on personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you won’t have to pay for an experienced car accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices to represent you unless we reach a settlement with an insurance company.
Common Car Accident Injuries Our Car Accident Lawyers Help With
Car accident injuries vary significantly. While many people often discuss physical injuries someone might suffer in a crash, our Columbus auto accident attorneys, in our extensive experience helping car accident victims, have found that our clients often suffer from mental health concerns too.
Physical Injuries Car Crash Victims Often Suffer
Car accident victims often consider themselves lucky if they walk away with only cuts and bruises following a crash. While it’s likely they’ll be sore and fatigued for a while, motorists with relatively minor injuries usually recover within a matter of weeks.
Unfortunately, not all car accidents result in minor injuries. Common, more serious injuries car accident victims suffer include:
- Broken bones
- Knee trauma
- Herniated discs
- Soft tissue injuries
Depending on the degree of their injury, accident victims could be looking at months of recovery time and changes in their ability to work until they’ve fully healed.
Head trauma or a traumatic brain injury, internal organ damage, and spinal cord injuries are among the most severe physical damage people sustain in car accidents. In some instances, impairments as debilitating as spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries may be fatal or result in debilitating, life-long conditions.
Mental Health Concerns Car Accident Victims Often Deal With
In addition to physical injuries, you could be dealing with emotional trauma. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, who was involved, and what you’re dealing with now, you could be suffering from some of the following mental health (emotional or behavioral) concerns:
- Mood swings
- Appetite changes
- Sleep disturbances
With a car accident claim in Columbus, you can take the steps you need to manage your emotional trauma—which could include therapy, counseling, or medication.
Once you’re on track with managing your injuries, you’ll most likely need to figure out what to do about your car. Property damage costs can rack up quickly—especially when vehicles are involved. Depending on the insurance company policies and the severity of the crash, your vehicle could be labeled totaled—meaning it’s no longer roadworthy. If that happens and you need to figure out how to get a new vehicle, our car accident lawyers can help you work through that process too.
Steps You Need To Take After a Car Accident in Columbus
The aftermath of car or truck accidents can evoke a lot of confusion. The most important step to take after any collision in Ohio is making note of certain details at the crash scene, which includes:
- Taking photographs
- Documenting the details you remember leading up to the car accident
- Collecting contact information from potential witnesses
You’ll also need to obtain a copy of the crash report. This will include official information like:
- The date, time, and location of the motor vehicle accident
- Contact information for everyone involved in the car crash
- Witness accounts of what happened
- Weather and lighting conditions at the time the auto accident occurred
- Whether any citations were issued at the crash scene
Even if you feel fine after the crash, you’ll need to seek medical care. You could have injuries that haven’t manifested symptoms yet.
You’ll want to safeguard any medical records your health care providers give you and turn them over to your Columbus car accident attorney at our law firm for further review when you initially meet. This will aid your car accident lawyer as they look to calculate your damages and prepare a demand letter to send to the insurance company representing the at-fault motorist so that you can obtain compensation.
In addition to all the steps above, it’s also important to have an accurate account of the physical damage you incurred. Photographs and auto body shop quotes for repairs can provide your car accident lawyer at Thomas Law Offices with added insight into how your crash occurred and also help with damages calculations to ensure your monetary award we negotiate with an insurance adjuster is accurate.
If you’re wondering when is a good time to reach out to Columbus car accident lawyers, then after you’ve been checked out by a doctor is best. Knowing the extent of your injuries allows your accident lawyer to better assess for negligent drivers’ liability and to give you a ballpark estimate as to what your case may be worth.
Understanding Your Rights After an Ohio Car Crash
As previously discussed, if negligence played a role in your car accident in Columbus, you have the right to seek full and fair compensation for your losses. This could include money for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, future medical expenses, or missed income. What you are entitled to will depend on your situation and the severity of the car crash.
Determining Fault for a Columbus Car Accident
Any insurance settlement you recover may be able to be applied to any losses associated with your car accident, including medical bills, lost wages, and more. If you lose a loved one in a wreck, you can file a wrongful death claim on their behalf to recover maximum compensation that can additionally be used to pay for funeral and burial costs.
For your insurance claim to be successful, you’ll need to be able to prove the other driver was at fault for the crash. Most personal injury claims are built on the concept of negligence.
Regarding a car accident, proving negligence involves establishing that:
- The other driver owed you a duty of care
- The other motorist breached the duty of care that they owed you
- You sustained injuries
- You suffered losses (like medical bills or lost income) from your car accident injuries
Understanding Ohio’s Modified Comparative Negligence Statute
Ohio is considered a modified comparative negligence state. This means that you can recover compensation against any party who was more at fault than you. In the event, however, you are deemed liable for a portion of the auto accident, your damages will be reduced by the percentage that corresponds with your liability. For example, if you are awarded $20,000 but are found to be 10% at fault, you’ll only be eligible for $18,000.
It’s important to note that the compensation you’re eligible for cannot exceed the insurance coverage limits of the negligent driver. In Ohio, the minimum liability insurance coverage is set at $25,000 for personal injury or death per person and event, $50,000 for the personal injury or death of two or more people per event, and $25,000 for property damage per event.
If you’re looking to recover more compensation, you’ll need to file a car accident lawsuit with the insurance company the at-fault driver has coverage with. Thomas Law Offices can guide you through that process and help you maneuver your way through trial so you get a fair verdict for your losses from a judge or jury in Franklin County or any other one in or around Columbus.
Seek Legal Representation From Our Columbus Car Accident Lawyers
If your life has been upended in a car accident that someone else caused, you deserve the opportunity to hold them accountable and seek maximum compensation for your losses. Trying to do that on your own could jeopardize your award amount, which is why it’s best to seek guidance from a Columbus car accident lawyer.
At Thomas Law Offices, we have extensive experience helping car crash victims recover financially from an auto accident—which allows them to focus on healing physically and emotionally. We understand that pursuing a personal injury claim can seem intimidating, especially if you have serious injuries and have missed time away from work. However, when you work with us, we’ll do what it takes to manage your claim and fight on your behalf to ensure you receive a full and fair settlement offer.
It’s important to note that while most car accident claims settle outside of court through negotiations, we won’t hesitate to take your case to trial if a lawsuit is the only way to ensure success.
Contact us today to learn more about personal injury law and how a car accident claim can help you recover and secure your future. We’ll schedule a case evaluation and help you determine how best to proceed based on your unique circumstances.