Motor vehicle injuries can change your life in an instant. Accidents happen daily on Ohio roadways. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, an average of 1,106 fatal crashes happen annually. There were 8,046 injuries from Columbus auto accidents in 2021.
Motor vehicle accidents often cause catastrophic injuries. The CDC estimates that Americans spend over a million days in the hospital annually from auto-accident injuries. While some injuries may resolve naturally, others require costly medical attention and procedures like surgeries.
Some accident injury victims never recover fully. If you are the victim of a car accident, contact an experienced Columbus car wreck attorney to evaluate your case and seek compensation from responsible parties.
Keep reading to learn what to expect physically and psychologically after a car accident in Colombus, Ohio.
Common Types of Injuries in Columbus Car Accidents
Although you may initially feel okay after an accident, some crashes can cause a lifetime of pain and anguish. Serious motor vehicle accidents usually cause severe injuries with lasting impacts. Others lead to lifelong disabilities.
Accident victims may suffer from two broad categories of injuries: impact or penetrating injuries. Impact injuries from blunt force usually happen after your body strikes your car's interior, while penetrating injuries result from sharp objects like a shattered windshield.
Here are some of the most common motor vehicle injuries in Columbus:
It is crucial to seek medical attention immediately after an accident. Internal bleeding is common after a traffic accident, especially when not treated promptly. Seeing a doctor quickly ensures any internal injuries are detected and treated.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are the trauma of the skin, muscle, or ligaments. They can affect victims of minor or serious accidents. Soft tissue injuries can cause pain and limit range of motion.
Whiplash is the most common soft tissue injury after a car collision. Whiplash refers to the stretching of neck and head muscles and ligaments. Other examples of soft tissue injuries include muscle sprains and abrasions.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Car crashes are among the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the United States. During accidents, victims may hit their heads, making the brain collide with the skull with substantial force. This impact can injure the brain tissue and cause a TBI.
TBI victims may experience swelling, concussions, or skull fractures. Brain and head injuries can take a long time to heal or even last for life. A Columbus car wreck attorney can help you recover damages like medical expenses.
Fractures and broken bones are common in vehicle accidents. They range from minor hairline fractures to displaced and open fractures.
Vehicle crashes place unnatural amounts of force on your body. When the force is more than your bones can tolerate, you may experience a painful fracture. Fractures that break the skin may require surgery and assisted devices to heal. Suffering from a complex fracture often leads to missed time from work and medical bills.
The spinal cord facilitates essential body functions like movement. When the spine gets injured, it may cause partial or permanent paralysis. Many spinal cord injuries require surgery and continued rehabilitation.
Herniated discs can happen when one or more of your spine's vertebrae rapture or slip out of place. If you or a loved one sustained a spinal injury from a car crash, seek legal representation to file a claim.
Facial injuries can occur when the face comes into forceful contact with the dashboard, windshield, or steering wheel. Minor facial injuries like scrapes and bruises often heal easily. But serious ones such as fractures or broken jaws have a lasting impact on your appearance.
For persons working in audience-related careers, facial disfigurement may limit their future earning ability. Consult a Columbus car wreck attorney to build a compensation claim.
Not all injuries from car accidents are physical. Some, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are mental or emotional. When suffering from PTSD, routine activities may become impossible to do.
You can also suffer other psychological injuries, such as flashbacks or guilt after an accident. It is essential to get help for physical and psychological injuries.
How to Avoid Motor Vehicle Injuries
While no one can control the actions of other drivers on the road, you can take some preventive measures to avoid injuries.
First, always fasten your seatbelt. Safety belts help avoid serious injuries during accidents. Also, follow all road safety rules and observe speed limits. Maintain your vehicle in good shape to avoid accident injuries caused by equipment failure.
Seeking medical treatment promptly after an accident helps prevent your injuries from worsening. Some injuries take time to show, making it necessary to get an evaluation from a medical practitioner. Documenting your injuries helps build your case for a fair recovery.
Steps to Take After a Car Accident in Columbus, OH
Accidents are traumatic and confusing events. The shock may leave you distressed without knowing what to do next. Taking care of yourself is the top priority after a motor vehicle accident.
Below is a step-by-step guide to what to do after an accident:
- Call 911 to get paramedics to the scene and notify the police.
- Check yourself, then others, for injuries and allow paramedics to check you for injuries.
- Exchange insurance information with all involved parties.
- Gather evidence and take notes on how the accident occurred.
- Take clear photos of injuries and property damages.
- Notify your insurance company about the accident.
- Contact Ohio car accident attorneys.
An accident lawyer will guide you through the accident claim process.
How a Columbus Car Wreck Attorney Can Help
While you may settle without an attorney, seeking maximum compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident can be overwhelming. Handle all aspects yourself instead of taking the time to heal.
Hiring a car accident lawyer increases your chance of a successful claim. An experienced attorney will cover all your case aspects, including:
- Collecting documentation like police reports, medical records, and bills.
- Gathering evidence and witnesses.
- Talking to insurance adjusters.
- Looking for automobile defects that may have caused your accident.
Your Columbus car wreck attorney will navigate negotiations adeptly, leading to fair compensation.
Avoid Costly Mistakes
Mistakes are easy after a motor vehicle crash, especially when navigating the complex legal system. Errors that may seem small can be costly, preventing you from recovering fair compensation. Having an experienced attorney on your legal team protects you from such mistakes.
Level the Playing Field
Insurance companies usually have extensive financial muscle and an army of lawyers. So, it is best to avoid talking to them without legal representation. Even the playing field by hiring an accident lawyer in Columbus.
Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims in Ohio
The statute of limitations for car accident claims in Ohio is two years. You also have two years to file a civil action for wrongful death in Columbus. Two years may seem like a lot of time to assert your legal rights. But delaying your claim may lead to loss of evidence, complicating the recovery process.
Fault in Ohio Car Accidents
Fault is a legal term referring to the person or party responsible for the accident. Parties that may be held at fault or liable for damages in motor vehicle accidents include:
- Drivers of other vehicles.
- Employers of commercial drivers.
- Manufacturers of defective vehicles.
- Government agencies.
Ohio is a contributory negligence jurisdiction. The contributory negligence statute allows plaintiffs to recover damages from defendants if the fault to the plaintiff is not greater than the negligence of the defendants. If you are partly at fault for the accident, your compensation amount will be reduced by a proportional amount.
Compensation for Motor Vehicle Injuries in Columbus
Ohio is an at-fault insurance state, meaning that all persons who cause an accident handle all accident-related expenses. If you sustained injuries in an accident caused by another person, the at-fault party or their insurance company pays compensation.
To start the compensation recovery process, you must file a claim directly with the at-fault party's insurance company. If your medical costs exceed the limits of the at-fault party's insurance cover, the person who caused the crash must pay you damages.
While you don't need a car accident lawyer to file a personal injury claim, doing so privately may limit your chance of getting the compensation you deserve. Insurers will try to entice you to settle for fewer amounts than you are entitled to.
Local and federal laws allow you to seek compensatory damages for:
- Physical injuries
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of income
- Lost earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
- Loss of companionship
The damages above cover economic and non-economic damages. Courts may also award punitive damages to punish gross negligence.
Call a Columbus Car Wreck Attorney
Personal injury lawyers usually work on a contingency fee basis. Meaning you don't have to pay any upfront legal fees. The attorneys will take a percentage of your financial compensation if they win the case. If the law firm loses in court, you owe them no legal fees.
Contact a Columbus car wreck attorney today if you or a loved one sustained motor vehicle injuries in a crash. Working with a car accident lawyer may help you maximize your settlement.
Get a free review for your case today to determine your claim's worth.