A car accident, in so many ways, is a chain-reaction event. It starts with one thing and results in so many other consequences. For instance, a crash that begins with two vehicles causes injuries, deaths, property damages, etc. This would, in turn, result in financial losses on the part of everyone involved. The fault party loses money dealing with their losses and paying compensation, and the victim may also lose money if the fault driver doesn't have the means to settle.
Beyond the financial losses, the accident injuries may result in permanent disabilities. Hence, in most cases, accident victims file an accident claim to receive compensation for the hurt they suffered. A successful claim depends mostly on several factors. A personal injury attorney may be able to tell you if your claim has a good chance of being successful. But sadly, most injury victims do not hire legal counsel or know when to hire one.
This article looks at when to contact Columbus car accident lawyers. At Babin Law, we have experienced accident attorneys who help our clients get the compensation they deserve. If you've been injured in an accident, contact us to learn about your rights and legal options.
What Is a Car Accident?
A car accident, also known as a traffic collision, happens when a car collides with another vehicle (truck, motorcycle, bicycle), stationary object, or pedestrian. Auto crashes are one of the leading causes of unnatural deaths in the United States. They happen primarily due to the negligence of road users and often have devastating consequences.
Some of the most common causes of automobile accidents are:
- Drunk driving
- Drowsy driving
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
- Tire blowouts
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Defective vehicle parts, etc.
There are equally different types of crashes, namely:
- Single-car accidents
- Two-vehicle accidents and
- Multiple-vehicle accidents where there are several vehicles involved
These accident types also extend to rollover accidents, side-impact collisions, T-bone accidents, rear-end collisions, head-on collisions, etc. Either of the preceding could lead to severe consequences depending on the crash impact. Thus, drivers should obey traffic laws and drive carefully to prevent accidents.
What Injury Can You Sustain in an Auto Accident?
A motor vehicle accident ends in one of three ways. It could result in minor injuries, severe injuries, or fatal injuries. When an injury is fatal, it means the demise of a person. Common physical injuries sustained in traffic crashes include:
- Broken bones/fractures
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries
- Cuts, bruises, or lacerations
- Sprains and strains, etc.
Aside from a physical injury, accident victims also sustain emotional wounds like post-traumatic stress disorder. This is why Ohio law allows crash victims to get non-economic damages when they file a compensation claim. This settlement has no fixed dollar amount, so an insurance company or court uses a multiplication method to arrive at the sum.
What Should You Do After a Car Accident?
An accident claim is only as good as the quality of evidence you have to prove your assertions. It is not enough to say that the other driver caused the accident. You must show how and what they did to cause the crash and the damages you sustained. Below are some critical steps to take following an accident.
- Make a Police Report: Never leave an accident scene without making an accident report to the police or other relevant law enforcement agency. Even if it was a minor crash, you should still make the report.
- Gather Evidence: If you did not suffer severe injuries in the crash, you should gather evidence from the crash scene. This involves photographs, video footage, witness statements, etc. If you can't do this yourself, the injury law firm you hire can help you gather the evidence you need. They will also obtain an accident reconstruction report from the police's analysis of the crash scene.
- Get Medical Treatment: If your injury is severe, you have no choice but to get medical care. However, you should also get treatment even if you feel fine. If you have no record of your treatment, you cannot demand financial compensation for medical bills. At worse, you may suffer a permanent injury by failing to get treated on time. This is common in cases of internal bleeding.
- Get a Lawyer: You might want to consider hiring an experienced attorney for your personal injury claim. Not only do they have experience negotiating with an insurance representative, they know when to commence a personal injury lawsuit and how to win.
When Should You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Indeed, not everyone who was involved in a crash needs legal representation. This is more true in accident cases with minor injuries or damages like a fender bender. However, there are times when a crash victim may benefit from the knowledge and expertise of personal injury lawyers. Below, our auto accident attorneys discuss when you should consider contacting a lawyer after a car crash.
Significant or Catastrophic Injury
When you suffer life-altering injuries, your attorney will ensure your doctor properly documents your treatment in your medical record. This is helpful if you want to get maximum compensation from the negligent driver. In addition, legal beneficiaries should think about contacting a wrongful death lawyer immediately after a fatal car accident.
Fault Is Not Clear
There can be different liable parties in multiple vehicle crashes, and you need to identify all of them. Alone, this would be an arduous task as you do not know what to look out for or the questions to ask. This is where a legal team is helpful. Law offices have several tools at their disposal to identify the liable parties and get you fair compensation.
An Uninsured Driver Is Involved
An uninsured motorist is one without insurance coverage. It means that it would be hard to get compensated for your injuries and losses because they do not have good liability coverage. An experienced car accident lawyer might be able to get you fair settlements from an uninsured driver.
When the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim
Even if your injury resulted in severe injuries, you might choose to commence an insurance claim without the help of an attorney. The fault party's insurer will either approve your claim or deny it. They could also offer you a lowball settlement. When it's the latter or denial, you should consider speaking with an experienced car accident attorney.
In addition to the above, you might want to consider reaching out to an accident law firm if you want to get punitive damages. The latter is the compensation plaintiffs in an accident lawsuit get where there's evidence of gross negligence. Furthermore, the best time to contact a lawyer irrespective of the above is immediately after the collision. This is because if you delay and the insurance negotiation drags, you might lose your right to sue because of the Statute of Limitations.
How Do You Pay Auto Accident Lawyers?
Legal fees are why injury victims shy away from hiring an attorney. But you do not have to deny yourself expert legal services due to attorney fees. Auto accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they do not demand any upfront fees. It also means that you don't have to pay until they win the personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Contact Babin Law Today!
At Babin Law, we have experience and knowledge, and we want to help with your personal injury claim. Our goal is to get our clients fair compensation. In addition, our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don't have to worry about our fees until we win. Contact us today for a free case review with one of our attorneys.