Hiring a lawyer isn’t always necessary after a car accident. That said, handling a claim on your own can be difficult when you are also trying to focus on recovering from your injuries and getting on with your life.
It is important to consider contacting an attorney if you have been injured in a car crash. An attorney can take on many important roles on your behalf, including:
- Investigating the cause of the car crash
- Gathering evidence to show the other driver was at fault
- Calculating the damages you have sustained
- Negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company
- If necessary, taking your case to trial
You shouldn’t have to deal with the complicated aspects of a car accident claim while you cope with your injuries. You and your family need to heal, especially if you lost a loved one in the crash or suffered a permanent disability. The car accident lawyers at Colombo Law can handle your claim so you can focus on what’s essential for your health.
Who Was at Fault for the Accident?
Ohio is a “modified comparative negligence” state, which means that your recoverable damages are reduced by the percentage you are believed to be at fault for the car crash. If your share of the blame exceeds 50 percent, you can’t recover compensation.
It is important to be aware of the issues of comparative negligence. After all, if the insurance adjuster can get you to admit fault, your ability to recover compensation will be severely compromised.
Having a car accident lawyer do the talking for you is the best way to avoid saying or doing something against your interest. Furthermore, your attorney will collect and examine the evidence to establish the fault of the other driver and counter allegations that you were at fault.
The police report, the damage to vehicles, and witness testimony can all help paint a picture of who caused the car accident. Photos and video of the scene can help to establish fault as well.
Most victims are frazzled and in pain after a car crash. It is easy to overlook key evidence when you can’t think clearly. A car accident lawyer can fill this important role on your behalf, looking not only at the actions of the other driver but additional parties that may be at fault.
Were You Seriously Injured?
Some car accidents lead to minor injuries or no injuries at all. If you only suffer a few scrapes and bruises, you likely don’t need an attorney to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
However, it is essential to go to the emergency room after being involved in a car crash. Traumatic brain injuries, injuries to the neck and back, and damage to internal organs can occur in even a minor car accident. Prompt diagnosis is crucial to avoid life-threatening harm.
The more serious the injury, the more complicated it is to treat. Naturally, the expenses involved increase with the complexity of treatment.
If you are seriously injured in a car accident caused by someone else, you should be represented by an attorney. Victims who try to handle these accident claims on their own are unlikely to account for the full extent of damages related to their injuries. A car accident lawyer can fully account for the seriousness of your injuries and the damages involved and fight for full compensation on your behalf.
What Damages Did You Suffer as a Result of the Crash?
In personal injury law, damages are the losses you sustain as a result of a defendant’s negligence. Damages can be economic or non-economic in nature.
Victims of car crashes often suffer the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income from missed days of work
- Loss of earning capacity, if the injury prevents the victim from returning to the workforce
- Property damage or loss
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish, including anxiety, fear, and insomnia
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If a loved one is killed in a car crash, surviving family members may be entitled to wrongful death damages. For example, a spouse may be able to recover damages for loss of consortium, support, and services, while children may be entitled to recovery for loss of parental guidance.
Without knowledgeable legal guidance, you may be unaware of the totality of compensation you and your family may be due. An experienced car crash lawyer can calculate your current damages as well as the losses you are likely to experience in the future.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Now is the time when you and your family need to recover from the car accident and make sure your medical needs are being met. A car accident lawyer handles your case so you can focus on your recovery.
Another important reason to speak to an attorney promptly after a car crash is the limited time you have to file a claim. Ohio Revised Code § 2305.10 sets the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for personal injury.
In Ohio, you have 2 years to bring an injury or wrongful death claim after a car accident. This is a legal requirement which is separate from the time limit to report the accident to your insurance company; generally, you have no more than 30 days to notify the insurer of an accident.
A car accident lawyer will make sure that all legal and insurance deadlines are met. In addition, your attorney can negotiate with the insurance carriers with the goal of achieving a fair settlement. Finally, in the event that a settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer can file a claim with the appropriate court, prepare for trial, and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve in a courtroom setting.
Even a so-called “minor” car accident can be a traumatic event. In the majority of cases, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney as soon as possible.
Colombo Law has extensive experience representing clients in car accident claims. We have achieved significant verdicts and settlements on behalf of victims and their families, and we will use the full force of our knowledge, resources, and results to achieve a fair outcome on your behalf.
Please call Colombo Law at (614) 362-7000 today for a free consultation. Our car accident lawyers serve clients in Columbus and throughout Ohio.