Representing Motor Vehicle Accident Victims in Columbus
A serious car accident can change your world in an instant. At Ross, Midian & Breitmayer, LLC, we understand how such an incident can affect your physical health, your finances, your relationships, your ability to work and care for yourself, and many other aspects of your life. As experienced car accident lawyers, we can help you seek the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Call for a consultation with a Columbus car accident lawyer today at (614) 228-4488.
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Common Causes of Car Accidents in Columbus
About 65,000 traffic accidents happen on Ohio roads every year. Negligence is often at the root of these accidents, but negligence can take many forms. Without a doubt, the most common cause of car accidents is distracted driving.
Our auto accident lawyers can investigate your car accident case to determine what type of negligence the other driver was exhibiting. Proving that they were negligent or reckless can greatly strengthen your claim’s validity and hurt their arguments.
Common forms of driver negligence include:
- Distracted driving: Driving while distracted is quickly becoming one of the most common causes of traffic accidents. Drivers can get distracted while texting, viewing their GPS, or talking to passengers.
- Reckless driving: Anything from inattentive driving, zoning out, or speeding could be considered reckless driving. Street racing is one of the most egregious forms of reckless driving, though.
- Drunk driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is always dangerous and never acceptable. It slows reaction time and reflexes, alters a person’s ability to make decisions, and is one of the top causes of fatal accidents.
- Drowsy driving: Studies have shown that driving while drowsy is just as dangerous as driving drunk. Drowsy drivers have lowered reaction times and could fall asleep or zone out behind the wheel, putting other drivers at serious risk.
- Overcorrection: When a driver notices a hazard on the road – like a reckless driver – and does too much to try to stay out of harm’s way, they can inadvertently cause an accident due to overcorrection.
- Bad weather: Snow, rain, and ice can make driving conditions dangerous. It is always important to drive carefully, but some reckless drivers may not adjust their driving to suit the weather.
- Auto defects: There are some accidents in which the other driver may not be at fault. Auto defects, such as faulty brakes or bad tires, can also cause serious traffic accidents. Additionally, defective road design or construction can play a role in serious collisions.
Different Types of Car Accidents in Columbus
No matter what type of car accident you were in, you can trust our team of car accident lawyers to help you navigate the legal steps that follow. Thanks to our many years of collective practice experience, we have seen all sorts of car accident cases brought to us by people from all walks of life. Our familiarity with these case types allows us to better handle your case and represent you because we know what to expect. However, we also insist on taking each case to heart, which means we don’t use any premanufactured solutions. Every client and case gets individualized attention.
Let us know if you’ve been in any of these types of car accidents or another:
- Hit-and-run accidents: If you get hit by a driver who immediately flees the scene before they can be identified, then your first thought might be that you lost all chances of getting compensation for your damages. Our team is here to tell you that hope isn’t gone yet. We can discuss the ways you can pursue fair compensation after a hit-and-run accident.
- Rideshare accidents: When you’re riding in an Uber or Lyft, you should be able to expect that you will get to your destination safely. But if your rideshare driver crashes or gets hit, and you’re among the injured, then you’ll have to get a rideshare accident claim rolling. Leave the details of these complex case types up to us.
- T-bone accidents: If the front of one car strikes the side of the other, it is called a T-bone accident. Because most vehicles have the least built-in protection on their sides, T-bone accidents tend to cause severe injuries that require emergency medical attention. The value of a T-bone accident claim can be steep for this reason, which causes insurance companies to heighten their efforts to defeat them.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist accidents: Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance is a policy that can be added to your auto insurance policy for a small monthly premium. It is usually well worth the cost because it can be used to pay for your damages if you get hit by a driver who has no insurance or whose insurance caps out before all of your damages are covered.
- Single-car accidents: Were you in a car accident but no other driver was? If you were in a single-car accident, our auto accident attorneys can be called upon to help with your first-party claim that is filed against your auto insurance provider for damages. We might also be able to identify other liable parties for your wreck that you didn’t notice at first. For example, if a defective auto part caused you to lose control of your vehicle, we might be able to file against that part manufacturer.
- Multicar accidents: A car accident claim can get complicated quickly if multiple drivers caused the wreck. How do you know which party is responsible for what portion of your damages? Allow our auto accident attorneys to guide and represent you throughout your multivehicle accident claim, so you don’t need to worry about the details.
- Rollover accidents: Severe injuries can occur in rollover accidents, which tend to happen to SUVs more often than other vehicle types. We can work with medical experts to get a full understanding of your injuries and what they will cost you across your lifetime.
Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
Car accidents occur in all sorts of different ways, which leads to all types of different injuries. The common thread is that most car accident injuries are serious. Even collisions at low speeds have the potential to cause life-changing injuries.
Some of the most common injuries reported after a car accident are:
- Whiplash injury to the neck or upper back
- Lower back injury
- Traumatic brain injury or concussion
- Broken bones
- Scarring and lacerations
- Burns from airbag deployment
No matter the type of injury you have suffered in a crash, you should be compensated for the medical care costs required to treat you. When working on a car accident claim, we always think about the damages our client has experienced already and what costs will need to be paid in the far future.
Drunk Driving Accidents in Columbus
Were you hit by a drunk driver while driving through Columbus, Ohio? You should be paid fair compensation from them, and Ross, Midian & Breitmayer, LLC can help you pursue those damages. Our team is familiar with all sorts of car accident cases, especially those caused by intoxicated motorists who responsibility thought they could drive safely after drinking alcohol.
In the average year, about 10,000 people in the United States will lose their lives due to drunk driving. We want to help bring that number down by holding drunk drivers in our communities and cities accountable for what they have done. Losing a lawsuit and paying higher monthly premiums are sometimes the only ways to make a drunk driver change their ways. If you are ready to seek compensation and benefit your community as a whole, then please call us at (614) 228-4488 today.
Who is Liable for in a Drunk Driving Accident?
When you have been hurt by a drunk driver, you should hold them liable for your damages to the full extent of your abilities, which might mean the full extent of our abilities as experienced Columbus drunk driving accident attorneys. Could there be another party who is liable for your injuries, though? What about the people who provided the drunk driver with the alcohol they consumed before driving
Ohio’s dram shop law is extremely limited. It does not allow you to sue a social host for intoxicating a driver who later causes a crash. You might be able to sue an alcohol vendor, but the chances are slim due to the narrowness of the law.
You can sue an alcohol vendor if they:
- Negligently allowed a patron to get intoxicated on their property before causing a drunk driving accident on that same property.
- Knowingly sold alcohol to a minor under 21 or to a visibly intoxicated person who later caused a drunk driving accident.
Both of these situations are uncommon, and they are also both difficult to prove. However, you shouldn’t automatically assume that you can’t hold additional parties liable for your injuries. Leave that investigation and determination up to our insightful team of auto accident attorneys.
Auto Accident Attorneys that Come to You
Criminal Vs. Civil Actions After a Drunk Driving Accident
It is illegal for any driver in Ohio to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 or higher. It is also illegal to drive with a BAC level above 0.00 if that driver begins to drive dangerously due to the influence of alcohol. When a drunk driver is pulled over, arrested, charged, and convicted, they can face a variety of penalties imposed by the criminal justice system, including paying high fines and serving time behind bars. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) can also suspend or revoke their driver’s license.
However, it is important that you know that the criminal justice system is separate from any civil actions you can take against the drunk driver who hit you. If they are convicted of drunk driving, then the court will more than likely take zero interest in your damages and injuries. To get those matters resolved, you will need to take civil action, which means filing an injury claim against them.
Important elements of a drunk driving accident claim are:
- Liability determinations
- Evidence that proves liability
- Damage calculations
- Arguments that show why those damages should be paid
Our auto accident attorneys can help you work on all aspects of your drunk driving accident claim. If the drunk driver who hit you was convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or operating a vehicle impaired (OVI), then we can use that conviction as further evidence for your arguments in your civil claim.
Act Quickly After A Car Accident
Act promptly to preserve evidence and get medical care. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident of any kind, it is important that you act quickly. First and foremost, make sure that you see a medical professional. Even if you believe you were not seriously injured, you could have underlying injuries or injuries that are actually more serious than they first seem. Only a skilled medical professional will be able to accurately evaluate your symptoms. What you think is minor whiplash, for instance, could turn out to be something much more serious. Moreover, having medical documentation is critical to developing your personal injury claim.
After making sure your health and well-being are stable, the next step is to contact an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you contact our Columbus car accident lawyers at Ross, Midian & Breitmayer, LLC, the sooner we can start preserving any available evidence, such as skid marks on the road or black box data from semi-trucks.
It’s also important to act quickly because there is a two-year statute of limitations on car accident claims in Ohio. This means that, by law, you only have two years from the date of the accident to bring your claim. If you fail to file your claim within that two-year time period, you will most likely be barred from recovering any compensation and any claims you file after that point will be thrown out by the court except in extremely rare circumstances.
We’re happy to help.
If you have any further questions related to the details of your accident, please give our firm a call.
We’re happy to help.
If you have any further questions related to the details of your accident, please give our firm a call.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accidents in Columbus
We often receive the same type of questions from our clients, so we have put together a shortlist of the most commonly asked questions.
If you were injured in a car accident and you believe someone else was to blame, you could have grounds to file a claim. This is true even if you were partially at fault for the accident. Under Ohio’s rule of comparative negligence, injured motorists can still seek compensation for injuries caused by accidents that they were partly to blame for, as long as they were less than 50% at fault. If you are found to share some percentage of the blame for the accident, as long as it’s less than 50%, your total recovery will be reduced by the same percentage of fault you had in causing the accident.
For example, if you were hit by someone who ran a red light, but you were traveling at 7 mph over the posted speed limit at the time of the accident, a jury might decide you share 20% of the fault for the accident because you were speeding. If you suffer $10,000 in damages, you will only be able to recover up to 80% of this amount, or $8,000. Our experienced Columbus car accident lawyers can help you determine if you have a claim and how much compensation you may be eligible for.
Even the best and most defensive drivers in the world can be hit by a reckless or negligent driver. In case you’re ever in a crash, despite your best efforts to keep the roads safe, it is best to be prepared ahead of time and know now what to do.
Keep these steps in mind, in case of an accident:
- Call for emergency help: Emergency responders should always be called to an accident that causes an injury or significant vehicular damage. The reports that police officers, firefighters, and EMTs make can be useful sources of evidence for our attorneys to use. Even if you get into a minor car accident with no immediately apparent injuries, law enforcement should be called so that a police report can be filed.
- Check on all passengers: If someone needs immediate medical attention, then take the proper steps to help as best you can until emergency personnel arrive on the scene. Be careful not to attempt any first aid you are not certified to complete, as good intentions could cause more harm.
- Get yourself and uninjured passengers to safety: After a minor car accident, it is advisable to move your car to the side of the road to prevent any further accidents. The last thing you want is to get hit again by adjacent traffic. If the accident is serious and your vehicle is no longer drivable, get yourself and all uninjured passengers safely to the side of the road, preferably at least 20 feet away.
- Exchange important information with the other driver: Be sure to collect the other driver’s license and car insurance information. This will help you file a claim against the right person and with the right insurance company.
- Take photographs and document: Tangible evidence is crucial to making a point in a car accident claim. Since most of us now carry a camera in our pocket, i.e., our smartphones, it is easier than ever to gather immediate, untampered evidence. Take a picture of any and all damage to your vehicle and personal belongings, bodily injuries, skid marks on the road, landmarks, position of the cars, and even the time on the clock. Every little bit of evidence helps to build a solid injury claim.
- Go to the doctor: Even if you don’t feel injured, it is important to be evaluated by a medical provider as soon as possible after a car accident. Insurance companies will jump at the chance to say your injuries are exaggerated if you take too long to see a doctor. A secondary follow-up with a doctor may be helpful as well since some injuries may present themselves after the shock and adrenaline of the accident wear off.
In some ways, Uber and Lyft accidents are similar to any other auto accident in that they are often the result of negligent or reckless driving. However, rideshare accidents are often much more complicated than other motor vehicle crashes due to a variety of complicating factors.
Some of the many factors that make Uber and Lyft accident claims so complex include:
- The drivers are independent contractors, not employees. This means that the company the driver works for has a lot of protection when it comes to liability. Businesses are generally liable for the actions of their employees but not for the actions of independent contractors. Therefore, it can be difficult to hold Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare business accountable for a crash, even when their driver is clearly at fault.
- The companies have large insurance policies on their side. Their insurers will often use their extensive resources, including their access to large legal teams, to dispute, devalue, or even deny claims. Just like any other insurance company, a ridesharing company’s insurer is in the business of making money—not paying out claims. They are not there to help you, no matter how nice or informative they may seem.
- Ohio laws are still catching up with the rideshare industry. And, because these types of accident claims are fairly new, many attorneys are not aware of or highly knowledgeable of the many nuances in the law. While the newness of these cases can present a number of challenges, it can also open the doors, in some cases, to favor injured victims.
If your car accident claim is successful, then the other driver’s insurance company should be the one paying for your compensation. The money does not come directly from that other driver. However, you should know that you will not be paid anything from the other insurer until the case closes, which means you might need to pay for certain damages on your own for the time being. Your own insurance company might step in and pay for some damages, though, depending on the policy you purchased from them.
You know you need a car accident lawyer, but you might not know if you can afford one to represent you. Do not worry – most people have this same conundrum after a crash. Thankfully, you do not need to have a large savings account to hire a car accident attorney, especially if you come to Ross, Midian & Breitmayer, LLC.
Our Columbus car accident lawyers offer free no-obligation consultations to discuss your case in more detail without charging you anything upfront. If we do work on your case, then we can offer contingency fees that do not require you to pay any of our attorney fees unless we end your claim or lawsuit with a settlement or verdict in your favor. Basically, you can pursue a claim against the other driver at no risk to your finances because you only pay us if we win! Furthermore, if we do win your case, then we are paid a fair percentage of the total award, so you never have to worry about paying more than you can afford.