You undoubtedly have more important things on your mind than money if you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one in a car accident in Columbus. Any accident, though, has the potential to be very expensive financially as well as physically, harming your capacity to lead a healthy, active life. Filing a lawsuit can lessen that load and allow you to concentrate on getting healthier.
A knowledgeable Columbus car accident lawyer can assist. The Fitch Law Firm will work to see that you get the compensation you are due. After a catastrophic accident, our Columbus personal injury lawyers recognize how crucial it is for you and your family to rebuild your lives.
What Should I Do After A Car Accident in Columbus?
After an auto accident, there are things you can do—and need to do—to increase your chances of winning a larger personal injury settlement. If you just got into an auto wreck and you haven’t contacted a lawyer yet, here’s a checklist of what you should do after an accident, according to our auto accident lawyers:
- Seek medical attention immediately. Even if your injury looks minor, a doctor can professionally assess the full extent of the injury, preventing potentially bigger problems from arising in the future. In addition, medical statements can support your car accident claim.
- Gather important information at the scene. Get information about the vehicles involved, as well as the drivers’ names, addresses, telephone numbers, and insurance information. Also, be sure to request any witnesses’ names, addresses, and phone numbers. You’ll also want to file an accident report. Having a police report about your accident can support your injury claim later on.
- Notify your insurance company about the accident. Document the scene as well as you can. Take photographs of all vehicles involved, any injuries suffered, and the accident location. Also take pictures of the possible contributing factors to the accident, such as beer bottles lying around or traffic signs obscured by tree branches.
- Exercise caution when speaking about the accident: Anything you say after a wreck can be used to devalue your claim. Even a simple “I’m okay” can be used to discount your injuries. It’s better to say very little than have your words used against your claim later. Decline answering questions by saying you need to talk to your lawyer first.
Hiring a Columbus Car Accident Lawyer May Increase the Worth of Your Settlement
You might be asking why you need to hire a Columbus car accident lawyer. After all, you will get to keep every penny you recover if you handle the settlement directly with the at-fault party’s insurer. The truth is that insurance companies have strategies they employ to reduce the value of your settlement or perhaps avoid paying you at all.
You will be able to maximize your compensation if you have a lawyer fighting for your rights. You can still receive more money after paying a lawyer’s costs. To help you understand your legal choices, our attorneys have created a list of frequently asked questions by clients who have won large sums of money following a car accident:
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What Is the Standard Amount Awarded for a Car Accident Injury in Columbus?
There is no hard and fast rule as to how much you may be entitled to because your compensation depends on various factors, such as the severity of your injuries and several other factors. Some of the damages you may be able to claim for your injuries include:
- Medical bills
- Therapy or long-term care expenses
- Lost wages
- Losing the ability to earn in the future
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages (in some instances)
Our firm has handled cases where life-altering injuries entitled the victims to millions of dollars. Rest assured that we will properly assess your case to determine how much it is truly worth.
Can I Still Collect Compensation If I am at Fault?
Ohio has a “fault”-based auto insurance system, like many other states. Under this approach, the driver who caused your collision is responsible for paying damages to you and any other affected parties. The fault system in Ohio also includes comparative negligence.
Comparative negligence, also known as comparative fault, quantifies the degree to which each party contributed to the accident. The amount the accident victim receives from the at-fault driver is then adjusted based on that figure.
For instance, if you were found to be 25% at fault, your settlement sum would be reduced by 25%. However, you won’t receive anything if you were at least 51% at fault. To adequately evaluate the extent to which your fault played a role in the car accident, you should ask a local car accident attorney in Columbus, OH, to review your case as soon as possible.
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What Can a Car Accident Lawyer Do for Your Car Accident Claim?
Your Columbus car accident lawyer will handle the bulk of your claim so you can focus on your recovery. They can take the burden off of your family by providing these services:
- Handle complex claims
- Fight claims denial
- Negotiate on your behalf
- Advocate for your interests
- Help you avoid making mistakes
One of the most important things a lawyer will do for you is show the at-fault party’s insurers that you are serious about protecting your rights. Once they see that you aren’t representing yourself in the claim, they will know it won’t be easy to get you to settle for less than you deserve.
How Will My Columbus Car Accident Lawyer Prove Liability After an Accident?
Who is determined to be at fault in a Columbus car accident, and what percentage of fault each party shares is critical because it will directly impact your claim? To prove your percentage of fault or that you weren’t at fault at all, your lawyer will provide proof of the following:
The Driver Had a Duty to Exercise Reasonable Care Toward You
Drivers have a duty to use caution when they’re on the road. They are legally obligated to follow the laws so other drivers can stay safe.
The Driver Was Negligent in Exercising That Duty of Care
Your car accident attorney will provide evidence that the at-fault driver was negligent when they failed to use caution on the road. This could be through reckless driving, distracted driving, or even drunk driving. Drivers understand that they may cause an accident when they take these risks, so they assume responsibility for the consequences.
The Driver’s Negligence Was the Cause of the Accident
Next, your Columbus attorney will prove that the driver’s negligence was the cause of your accident. We may use eyewitness testimony, accident reconstruction, police reports, medical records, and other evidence to prove fault.
You Were Physically Injured by the Driver’s Negligence
Finally, your attorney will prove that the driver’s negligent act was the cause of your injury. The other party’s insurers may try to get your medical record so they can use all health conditions you have against you. They will claim that you were already injured before the accident. We will make a strong case to prove that your injuries never had to happen.
How Can an Accident Lawyer Determine Negligence to Win a Personal Injury Case?
One of the most crucial things your Columbus, OH, car accident attorney will do is determine negligence. This means figuring out who failed to uphold their duties and was responsible for causing the crash. Negligence in accidents may be the result of:
- Failure to yield
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Driving while impaired or intoxicated
- Distracted driving
- Operating a recalled vehicle
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Manufacturing defective vehicles
Remember, if you were partially responsible for the accident, Ohio has “modified comparative negligence” rules that will reduce the amount you can recover based on your percentage of fault.
Is it Hard to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Ohio?
You and your family might have a wrongful death claim if a car accident contributed to the fatal injuries suffered by your loved one. We understand that it might be challenging to understand Ohio’s wrongful death laws on your own, especially while you’re also trying to come to terms with losing a loved one.
If you need assistance comprehending the legal options that the state of Ohio provides, our Columbus wrongful death lawyers can help you navigate through your legal alternatives. While you concentrate on your recovery, your attorney will fight for a fair settlement on behalf of your family. Wrongful death settlement amounts typically cover:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of inheritance
- Emotional and mental distress of family
- Loss of consortium
There are restrictions on who can file. Seeking the legal counsel of a local lawyer in Columbus will help you determine if you fall inside the category that permits you to file a wrongful death claim.
How Soon Should I Contact a Columbus Car Accident Lawyer?
Waste no time if you want to take any legal action. The laws called “statutes of limitations” impact your ability to pursue financial compensation. These laws set time limits for you to bring up a lawsuit. According to §2305.11(a); 2305.10; 2305.111, for personal injury cases and wrongful death cases in Ohio, victims have two years after the injury or death occurred to file.
After this time has passed, your attempt to sue may likely be dismissed by the court. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Even if the statute of limitations has expired, your Columbus car accident attorney can still tell you if your case qualifies as an exception.
How to Choose the Right Columbus Car Accident Lawyer
In Ohio, you have numerous options when you need a personal injury attorney or a wrongful death lawyer. A simple Google search gives you hundreds of results, and you may even have received referrals from friends. Here is a checklist to help you choose the right attorney for your accident case:
- Does the lawyer have many years of personal injury law experience?
- Does the lawyer deal with multiple areas of law or does their practice focus only on personal injury cases such as vehicle accidents?
- Has the lawyer succeeded in handling accident cases like yours?
- Do previous clients have good things to say about the lawyer or firm?
- Is the lawyer or firm available and approachable when you need to talk to them?
- Does the lawyer charge reasonable fees?
- Do you feel comfortable working with this lawyer or firm?
- Are there any ethical complaints reported against the attorney?
While finding a lawyer may not be a problem, choosing the right one can be if you don’t know what to look for. You don’t want to spend your time, money, and effort with a lawyer who does not give you the best chance at getting the best result for your case.
Car Accident Cases That Our Ohio Injury Lawyers Represent
The type of car crash is one factor affecting an accident’s severity, and it tells a lot about how the accident happened in the first place. These are some common types of car crashes our car accident lawyers in Columbus, OH, handle:
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Side-impact collisions
- Single-car accidents
- Multi-vehicle pile-ups
- Rollover accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
In cases that involve complicated accident types and injuries, extensive legal skills and experience are necessary to win. No matter how messy or tough your accident may seem, you can call our law firm for the legal service you need.
Facing The Insurance Company Without a Car Accident Lawyer
Some individuals deal directly with insurance providers, but regrettably, these accident victims frequently receive far less than they should. There are many benefits to hiring legal counsel rather than representing yourself.
An attorney can thoroughly evaluate the value of your claim because they are aware of the entire scope of your rights. It is common knowledge that insurance companies will use defense, delay, and denial strategies to undermine an accident victim’s claim. We know how to keep you safe.
The fight for your maximum compensation requires a thorough investigation, the strategic building of your case, and fearless representation, even in the face of large insurers. Our expert lawyers do all of these competently, backed by three decades of experience in handling accident insurance claims.
Choose a Trustworthy Lawyer After a Car Accident
The Fitch Law Firm provides legal services trusted by many Ohioans for car accident cases. Our Columbus car accident attorneys’ compassionate but determined legal support is unmatched. Here are some of the reasons our clients have chosen us to represent their claims:
- Successful and proven background
- 30+ years of experience in personal injury law
- Received millions for clients
- Recognized by legal organizations and the media
- No upfront or hourly fees
- You pay no fee unless we win your case
- Your consultation is free
- Compassionate and dedicated
- We will travel to you as needed
We are here to take your case, fight for your rights, and help you get the justice you deserve. Call or fill out our online consultation form to schedule a free consultation. Use our extensive knowledge to your advantage today.
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