On average, the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) investigates more than 60,000 vehicle accidents in Ohio each year, resulting in more than 1,100 fatalities annually. According to the 2017 OSHP Operational Report, there were a total of 75,432 injuries reported in car accidents in 2017 in Ohio. If you are involved in a crash in Ohio, you are not alone. Dozens of collisions occur every single day in Ohio. At GBM Law, we understand that simply because accidents are common, they are not easy or simple to deal with. If you’re involved in an accident, you have one opportunity to recover compensation in a personal injury claim (or wrongful death claim if a family member passed away). This opportunity to negotiate a settlement in a lawsuit will likely come at an extremely stressful time, as you recover from injuries, help a loved one recover, or grieve a devastating loss.
Causes of Ohio Car Accidents
The number one cause of car accidents nationwide is distracted driving. Using a smartphone or tablet to call, text or use apps can be a huge distraction, leading to collisions when drivers take their eyes off the road for too long. Other common distractions include putting on makeup, reaching for an object, and eating, drinking, smoking or vaping. After distracted driving, top causes of Ohio car accidents include:
Driving under the influence (DUI)
Less common causes of Ohio car accidents are unsafe roadway maintenance or vehicle mechanical defect. When these are contributing factors to a collision, the police or highway patrol may not report this in their initial investigation report. If you suspect a roadway defect or a vehicle design flaw, manufacturing defect or improper maintenance caused an accident, talk to an attorney right away.
Understanding Time Limits to File a Claim
Ohio, like every state, has a Statute of Limitations or deadline for filing a lawsuit. In a personal injury case, this is a specific period of time to file a lawsuit following an accident. In Ohio, this period of time is two years (Title 23, Ch. 5, Sec. 2305.10). If more than two years pass from your accident, it is unlikely that you will be able to collect damages for your injuries. Following an accident, it is advisable to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. In the immediate days and weeks following an accident, it will be easiest to preserve evidence and witness recollections.
Types of Car Accident Injuries
Even with a seatbelt and modern safety technology, car accidents cause very serious injuries. Common types of car accident injuries include:
Bruises, cuts and lacerations
Traumatic brain injuries / concussions
Spinal cord injuries.
Seeking prompt medical attention is important following an accident, both for your care and treatment as well as documenting the severity of your injuries. Although you may feel okay, or that you have just a slight neck or head pain, is possible that your injuries may be more severe than you realize. Do not sign any documents from your insurance company or provide a recorded statement to your attorney without first talking to a lawyer. There is no law requiring you to give a statement, recorded or not, to your insurance company following an accident.
Why should you hire a lawyer?
Car accidents are stressful events for all of us. For insurance companies, they are business transactions, with a simple goal of negotiating a settlement and paying out as little as possible in damages. Insurance is big business, and insurance companies will do everything in their power to minimize claims. For a single policyholder, it is difficult to take on a a deep-pocketed insurance company without a lawyer. For example, industry giant GEICO (fourth largest insurance company in US) which has more than 17 million policies insuring more than 28 million vehicles, has $27 billion in admitted assets, and pays its CEO $230,000 per year. The company spends more than $1 billion annually in advertising. They are successful because they save money on insurance payouts.
Insurance companies have multiple tactics in challenging insurance claims, both in validity and in value. Their seemingly compassionate claims adjustors who befriend accident victims are trained to convince victims they are on their side while getting them to downplay and minimize their injuries, and ultimately accept as small of a claim settlement as possible. Adjustors will promise to get the victim paid fast and get a claim wrapped up quickly, possibly even same day, because they know the victim will be anxious for even a small sum of money. They also know, the longer time passes after an accident, the more likely it is that the victim will rethink the offer and consider getting a lawyer.
If you have serious injuries, every dollar paid out in an insurance payout matters for your future. Fortunately, a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer can level the playing field. At GBM law, your Ohio car accident lawyer can advocate for your rights to recover compensation, and the value of your case. We work with medical experts and accident reconstructionists who can establish the seriousness of your injuries and demonstrate who was responsible for a collision. We can prepare paperwork for you and handle communications regarding your claim. Our goal is always to make the process as simple as possible for our clients, while working hard to recover full and fair compensation.
Damages in a personal injury claim include your medical expenses, future medical care, lost earnings and wages, and pain and suffering. Before you accept any offer from any insurance company for a car accident in Ohio, talk to an attorney with trial experience handling cases similar to yours. The team at GBM Law is happy to answer your questions and discuss your case. We’ve handled cases for 30 years in Ohio and recovered more than $200 million in settlements and verdicts. All consultations are free and we are only paid if we recover compensation for you.
Types of accidents handled by GBM Law Attorneys;
Accidents involving Trucks and big rigs
Accidents involving bicycles
Accidents involving school buses
Accidents involving motorcycles
Accidents involving drunk drivers
For more information feel free to call us at (614) 222-4444 or fill out a case evaluation form.