Columbus Car Accident Lawyer
Do I Need a Columbus Car Accident Lawyer?
If you have been in a wreck and believe you may need a Columbus car accident lawyer, you are not alone. Our GBM attorney Sydney McLafferty answers common questions about what you should do if you’ve been injured in a car accident.
FAQ Video Guide
- The required information you need to determine if you or someone you know has a personal injury case after being in a car accident. (1:22)
- Advice on how to proceed with insurance companies after you’ve been in a car accident. (2:11)
- How should you proceed with your medical treatment after being injured in a car accident? (3:01)
- What type of claims can you be compensated for after being injured in a car wreck? (3:48)
- Why you should you call GBM Law after a car accident. (4:27)
Collisions occur every single day in Ohio. The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) investigates an average of over 60,000 vehicle accidents in Ohio each year, with nearly 1,100 accidents resulting in fatalities.
The OSHP Crash Dashboard reports the following injury statistics for Ohio car crashes in 2021:
- 6,393 suspected serious injuries
- 35,131 suspected minor injuries
- 28,156 possible injuries
When added up, these numbers make a combined total of 69,670 potential injuries in car crashes across the state of Ohio.
At GBM Law, we understand that accidents are common. That does not mean they are easy to deal with.
If you’re involved in a Columbus car accident, you have one opportunity to recover compensation in a personal injury claim (or wrongful death claim if a family member passed away). The 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.
During this difficult time, you should have a highly experienced Columbus car accident attorney at your side.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney After a Car Accident in Columbus, Ohio?
Car accidents are stressful events for all of us, but for insurance companies, they are business transactions, with the simple goal of negotiating a settlement and paying out as little as possible in damages. Insurance is a 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 deep-pocketed insurance company without a lawyer. For example, industry giant GEICO, the fourth-largest insurance company in the US, has more than 17 million policies insuring more than 28 million vehicles, $27 billion in admitted assets, and pays its CEO $230,000 per year. The company spends more than $1 billion annually on advertising. They are successful because they save money on insurance payouts.
Insurance companies have multiple tactics for challenging insurance claims, both in validity and value. Their seemingly compassionate claims adjusters 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.
Adjusters will promise to get the victim paid fast and get a claim wrapped up quickly, possibly even on the same day, because they know the victim will be anxious for even a small sum of money. They also know that the more 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 by insurance companies matters for your future.
Fortunately, a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer can level the playing field. At GBM Law, our Columbus car accident lawyers can advocate for your rights to recover compensation and the value of your case.
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 Columbus car accident, talk to an attorney with trial experience handling cases similar to yours.
How We Investigate Columbus Car Accidents
When it comes to investigating the cause of a car accident, the experienced attorneys at GBM Law order the crash report and immediately get to work on calling and getting sworn statements from important witnesses to secure testimony beneficial to our clients.
If we cannot find witnesses on the crash report, the attorneys at GBM Law will go the extra mile and order all 911 calls which often leads to witnesses not listed on crash reports. If that does not work, GBM Law has experienced private investigators who will track down important witnesses.
Sometimes, even with witnesses, it is difficult to determine the cause of a car crash due to the stress and trauma experienced by car crash victims and witnesses.
If this is the case, the attorneys at GBM Law will retain accident reconstructionists who are licensed engineers who specialize in reviewing evidence such as crash scene photographs, the damage to the vehicles involved, and witness statements, to determine what happened.
When it comes to the injuries caused by car crashes, we work with an injured person’s doctors to gather medical records and medical bills. We then work with the accident victim’s doctors to draft reports that establish the seriousness of your injuries and treatment expenses.
If an injury is permanent, the attorneys at GBM Law will work with those doctors to come up with a future treatment plan that covers future medical expenses.
If a car accident victim’s doctors are not willing to aid in the case, the attorneys at GBM Law have several medical experts we work with who can review all of the medical records, medical bills, and medical literature to draft medical reports establishing the seriousness of injuries and future care.
If someone’s injuries are so serious that they not only lose their job but can not return to work, the attorneys at GBM Law work with vocational experts and economists to establish not only past lost wages, but future lost wages as well.
Our goal is always to make the process as simple as possible for our clients while working hard to recover full and fair compensation.
Causes of Columbus Car Accidents in Columbus, Ohio
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, eating, drinking, smoking, or vaping.
Following distracted driving, the top causes of Columbus car accidents include:
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Reckless driving
Less common causes of Columbus car accidents are unsafe roadway maintenance or mechanical defects.
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, vehicle design flaw, manufacturing defect, or improper maintenance caused an accident, talk to one of GBM Law’s Columbus car accident attorneys right away.
What Types of Injuries Occur in Types of Car Accidents?
Even with seatbelts and modern safety technology, car accidents cause very serious injuries. Common types of car accident injuries include:
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Bruises, cuts, and lacerations
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries and/or concussions
- Spinal cord injuries
Seeking prompt medical attention is important following an accident, both for your care and treatment as well as for documenting the severity of your injuries. Although you may feel okay or just have slight neck or head pain, it 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 talking to one of our Columbus car accident lawyers first.
There is no law requiring you to give a statement, recorded or not, to your insurance company following an accident.
Types of Columbus Car Accidents Handled by GBM Law Attorneys
- Automobile accidents
- Accidents involving trucks and big rigs
- Accidents involving bicycles
- Accidents involving school buses
- Accidents involving motorcycles
- Accidents involving drunk drivers
How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Columbus, Ohio?
Ohio, like every state, has a statute of limitations, or a 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 after your accident, it is unlikely that you will be able to collect damages for your injuries.
In the immediate days and weeks following an accident, it will be easiest to preserve evidence and witness recollections.
Don’t Wait — Call Us Now To Start Filing Your Columbus Car Accident Claim
GBM Law has helped Columbus car accident victims in a wide variety of situations and circumstances receive full and fair compensation, regardless of the causes of the crash or types of injuries.
We are happy to answer your questions and discuss your case. We’ve handled cases for over 40 years in Columbus and recovered more than $200 million in settlements and verdicts.
Columbus Car Accident FAQs
What Steps Should I Take After a Car Accident?
Make sure everyone is OK, then call 911. If you have a cell phone, take pictures of the scene and the cars, including the license plate of all vehicles involved.
Exchange information and make sure you get the other driver’s insurance information. If you can, take a picture of the other driver and the other driver’s license.
Should I Give a Recorded Statement to an Insurance Company?
Whether you provide a recorded statement to an insurance company may depend on which insurance company you are speaking with. If speaking with your insurance carrier, due to the terms of your insurance policy, you likely have to provide a recorded statement.
If you are speaking with the other driver’s insurance carrier, you do not have to provide a recorded statement.
If the Other Driver is At Fault for the Accident, Can I Go Through My Auto Insurance Company for Property Damage?
Yes, if your auto insurance policy provides coverage for your property damage, you can go through your auto insurance carrier. Keep in mind that if you go through your auto insurance carrier to resolve your property damage claim, you may have a deductible.
What Kind of Damages Am I Owed Due to the Other Driver’s Negligence?
The person at-fault for the accident is responsible for your property damage, medical bills, and lost income, along with your pain and suffering. Additionally, if you have a permanent injury and/or require future treatment, the responsible party may owe for those as well.
Should My Bills be Submitted to My Health Insurance Plan?
Typically, the auto insurance carrier for the person responsible for the accident will not immediately pay your medical bills. Usually they won’t even consider paying those bills until you are ready to settle your bodily injury claim.
Therefore, you may want to have your bills submitted to your health insurance carrier so that they don’t get sent to collections. Another option may be to submit your medical bills to your auto insurance carrier if you have medical payments coverage.
What are Your Fees and Costs?
At GBM Law, consultations are free and we are only paid if we recover compensation for you.