A car accident can leave you with life-altering injuries and financial losses. Learn what a Columbus, OH, car accident lawyer can do for you and more.
There is a high likelihood that you would be in a car accident once in your lifetime. It will probably happen no matter how careful you are, as being in a traffic collision is not always up to you. Several factors could cause an accident, but human negligence is top of the list.
When the negligent actions of another driver on the road result in a vehicle collision, Ohio fault system rules allow a victim to get financial compensation for their losses. However, the best way to get fair compensation is by working with an accident attorney.
Accident victims stand a better chance of winning against insurance companies when they have personal injury attorneys. If you find yourself in an auto accident that is not your fault, contact the experienced auto accident lawyers at Babin Law. We offer excellent legal advice and representation.
What Are the Types of Car Accidents in Columbus, Ohio?
Car accidents occur daily, causing minor, severe, or fatal injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 38,000 people die yearly from motor vehicle traffic crashes. These accidents could involve a single vehicle, two vehicles, or multiple vehicles.
Below are some of the common types of vehicle accidents.
A rear-end accident happens when a vehicle traveling from behind strikes the car in front of it. This accident occurs because of tailgating and speeding. It results in common injuries like whiplash, back injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Most times, the rear driver is often to blame for rear-end collisions.
But there are times when the driver in front can be responsible. One such instance is where the driver in front suddenly stops their vehicle. Liability, therefore, would be between both drivers or that of the one in front if the rear driver broke no traffic rules.
A head-on collision happens when two vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide. This accident type is common when a negligent driver drives the wrong way and at intersections. Head-on collisions are usually high-impact crashes because of the speed involved. They often result in catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.
A T-bone accident occurs mainly at intersections. It happens when one vehicle strikes one at the side in a way that forms a T shape. Drivers and passengers are highly at risk when this accident happens, depending on the side struck. In most T-bone collisions, the fault party failed to obey a stop sign or ran a red light. Thus, accident victims can file a personal claim against the negligent driver to recover damages.
This accident type occurs due to aggressive driving or driver's inattention. It is common where drivers are merging lanes and can lead to a chain-reaction crash. The latter is when a car crashes into another, and the vehicle goes on to cause multiple vehicles to collide. Sideswipe accidents can cause minor to severe injuries. Hence, victims can hold the fault party accountable for their accident injuries and get compensation.
Unlike the above accident types that involve two or more vehicles, rollover crashes are mostly single-car accidents. A rollover accident could be because of driver's error or mechanical errors. For example, a vehicle's defective part can cause the driver to lose control and the car to roll over.
Tire blowouts, malfunctioning brakes, airbag deployment, can also cause this accident. If any preceding causes an accident, the personal injury claim would be against the vehicle's manufacturer or auto mechanic. An experienced lawyer can help you determine the proper party in an injury claim or personal injury lawsuit.
What Are the Common Causes of Car Accidents?
The CDC notes that road traffic collisions are the leading cause of non-natural death for people aged between 1 and 54 in the United States. Some of the top causes of automobile accidents are:
A driver who speeds has less reaction time and can hardly brake in time to avoid a collision. Therefore, Columbus prohibits drivers from speeding on highways and residential neighborhoods. A speeding driver who causes a crash will pay accident compensation to the victim.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Most fatal car accidents are the result of drunk driving. Ohio laws mandate drivers to keep their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) below 0.08%. A driver whose BAC is at that number or above is legally impaired and will answer for the damages caused in an accident resulting from the impairment.
It takes only about three seconds for a distracted driver to crash. Distractions here could be mental, visual, or manual. Examples of the preceding include texting, eating, searching for items in the car, or occupying your mind with thoughts other than driving. Crash victims can claim damages from an at-fault distracted driver.
Other known causes of car accidents include:
- Reckless driving
- Drowsy driving
- Mechanical errors
- Road rage
- Driving within blind spots
- Animal sighting
- Bad roads
- Adverse weather conditions
- Running red lights or stop signs
What Types of Injuries Occur in Car Accidents?
An automobile accident can leave you with permanent injuries that are life-altering, or minor injuries that won't impact your life. These injuries are:
- Broken bones
- Strains and sprains
- Neck injuries
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
What Should You Do After a Car Accident in Columbus?
Following an auto accident, there are steps you must take to ensure you properly document the accident, your injuries, and your losses.
- Call 911: The first thing to do after a motor vehicle accident is calling 911. This call achieves two purposes; the first is to get paramedics to the scene to assess the injured and convey them to the hospital. The second is to inform the police of the crash and get them to the location. The police would make an accident report of the occurrence and get accident reconstructionists to the scene to determine how the accident happened.
- Get Medical Treatment: Allow paramedics to check you for injuries and get treatment. Even if you feel fine after the crash, ensure you visit your physician or a hospital to get checked out. Some wounds like internal bleeding or whiplash do not manifest immediately, so ensure you get a medical examination.
- Gather Evidence: If you are not severely injured, the next thing to do is gather evidence. Take clear pictures of the vehicles at the point of contact and try to get video evidence, if any. Speak with witnesses and get their information if you need them to testify at a personal injury trial. If you are severely injured and unable to do this, get a copy of the police report as soon as you can, or hire an experienced car accident lawyer to help you.
- Get Contact Details: Again, if you are not severely injured, gather contact information from the other driver or drivers involved. The information should include name, phone number, home or office address, vehicle registration number, and insurance policy number. All this information would help you commence an accident claim timeously.
- Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer: The time to contact a lawyer is not when the insurance company denies your claim or offers you a low settlement. Get a law firm involved in your case immediately after the crash. It is more advantageous to do so and will save time too.
What Compensation Can You Get as an Auto Accident Victim?
As a personal injury victim, you can get compensatory damages (economic and non-economic damages) and punitive damages. Compensatory damages cover:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Loss income
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress or mental anguish
- Property damage
- Wrongful death damages like loss of consortium, loss of companionship, funeral and burial expenses, etc.
Punitive damages are not compensatory but are awarded by courts to punish fault parties who were grossly negligent. To get compensation for your injuries and losses, file an insurance claim with the fault party's insurance representative. An experienced attorney can help you commence the claim process.
What Will a Columbus Car Accident Lawyer Do for You?
It is not unusual for accident victims to shy away from hiring auto accident attorneys. Unfortunately, in doing this, they shortchange themselves and mostly end up getting bullied by insurance adjusters. To avoid this, it is best to get an auto accident lawyer at the earliest possible time.
A crash attorney will do the following for you:
- Commence the claims process
- Carry out an extensive investigation on the crash and get experts witnesses, if need
- Advice you on the legal process and the chances of your claim succeeding
- Negotiate with the fault driver's insurance carrier
- If the negotiation fails, the lawyer will file a personal injury lawsuit
- Represent you during the trial
- File an appeal if you lose the lawsuit
How Much Do Vehicle Accident Attorneys Charge?
Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. It means that they will take a percentage of your fees, usually between 25% to 40%. You can agree on the ratio in the contingency fee agreement (CFA). This payment method is contingent on the accident law firm winning your case, meaning you don't pay them until they succeed.
Contact Our Experienced Columbus, OH, Car Accident Lawyers Today!
At Babin Law, our car accident attorneys have decades of experience representing car accident victims. We will bring this wealth of knowledge to bear on your case and get you the maximum compensation. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.