A car accident can cause you to suffer from more than just physical injuries. The aftermath of an accident can damage victims emotionally, mentally, and financially, leaving a family to struggle for years to come. Many victims are understandably overwhelmed after a serious wreck.
If you’re in this situation, you should know that legal aid may be available to you and your loved ones. With the help of a Cincinnati car accident lawyer from Bey & Associates, you may be able to recover compensation that can go towards medical bills, recovery costs, loss of wage costs, pain and suffering costs, and more.
Our personal injury firm has more than 20 combined years of experience helping victims of accidents throughout the United States. Our attorneys have the experience and resources to make a full recovery possible.
Ohio Car Wreck Statistics and Facts
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 1,094 fatal traffic accidents were reported in Ohio in 2017. In those accidents, 1,179 people died. Both numbers were higher than in any other previous year. The total number of fatalities saw a large increase of 16% from 2013.
There’s no denying the fact that Ohio has some of the busiest interstates and highways in the nation. The I-71 is the most obvious example, which is one of the most dangerous highways in all of the U.S. Anyone who’s ever gotten behind the wheel with a child in the back seat knows, however, that safety must be prioritized when driving.
On a nationwide level, the statistics look even worse. According to national crash statistics from 2016, fatalities caused by the following factors increased during the past year:
- Fatalities caused by speeding
- Fatalities caused by drunk driving
- Fatalities to victims who were not wearing seatbelts
- Motorcyclist, pedestrian, and bicyclist deaths
Any time a driver makes a careless decision, acts recklessly, or drives aggressively, they are risking their own life as well as the lives of those around them. In the legal profession, we call these actions acts of negligence. All drivers have a responsibility to sensibly prioritize the health and safety of others.
What Causes Most Auto Accidents?
On a nationwide level, and here in Ohio and around Cincinnati, negligence is one of the leading causes of car wrecks. Many accidents can be prevented if drivers remember to approach the task of driving seriously.
Below is a list of some of the most common factors that lead to car accidents nationwide:
- Distracted Driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 3,500 people died nationwide in auto collisions in 2016 that were caused by drivers who were distracted. All forms of being distracted count—from talking on the phone to texting, eating behind the wheel, checking a GPS monitor, or bending over to pick up a dropped item.
- Drowsy Driving. It’s estimated that drivers who fell asleep at the wheel or were drowsy caused more than 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 fatalities in 2013. According to the CDC, these numbers are an underestimate.
- Speeding/Reckless Driving. Over 9,000 auto wrecks involved drivers who were speeding in 2016. Speeding is just one example of reckless driving behavior that can potentially place others at risk.
- Failure to Check Blind Spots. Every vehicle has a blind spot that motorists need to be aware of before they change their lanes, merge on the highway, or make a turn. A driver that either forgets, assumes no one is behind them, or just doesn’t check the blind spots could potentially run into a vehicle next to them and cause a collision.
- Aggressive Driving. This is related to speeding and reckless driving. Aggressive drivers tend to tailgate those in front of them, weave through traffic, and are more prone to road rage. They have less time to react to emergency situations on the road and can easily cause auto wrecks.
- Drunk Driving. In 2016, 10,497 individuals died in motor vehicle collisions involving alcohol. This statistic is an increase from 2015 and one we can absolutely prevent. Driving under the influence of drugs is also a major factor in many accidents.
- Failing to Follow the Rules of Traffic. When a driver fails to signal when making a turn or disobeys a traffic sign or signal, they may potentially cause an accident. Failing to notice a potential road or weather hazard is also dangerous.
- Unfamiliarity with Roads. For people driving long-distance, they may be on unfamiliar roads. They may not know if the road is notorious for its dangerous blind turns or if it’s riddled with potholes and cracks. These factors can increase the chances of an auto wreck.
- Inclement Weather. Ice and snow make the roads dangerous and the car’s wheels can lose their grip on the road. Drivers may not think they have to slow down to match driving conditions and lose control of their vehicle if they’re not cautious.
As you can see, all the above factors can be prevented to at least some degree. If every driver was more cautious and tried their best to avoid the above situations, our roads would be much safer.
Breaking Down the Types of Auto Wrecks
There are different kinds of accidents that can affect you. The more detail you are able to provide to your lawyers, the better they can get an idea of what happened to you and how the wreck occurred.
- Head-On Collision. This is one of the most dangerous accidents because the front end of two vehicles collide with one another. If the driver or passenger in the front seat isn’t wearing a seatbelt, they’re in danger of being ejected through the windshield.
- Single-Vehicle Crash. Car wrecks don’t always need two or more vehicles. A reckless driver can collide with a fixed object.
- Multiple Vehicle Crash. Vehicle pileups are common crashes on the highway when there are clusters of cars together. These are dangerous because there can be more than one collision.
- Side-Impact. This is also known as a “T-bone” crash, which is when the broadside of the vehicle is hit by another. Intersections are usually the place where these occur, and they put passengers in the car especially at risk.
- Side Swipe. When cars are traveling parallel to each other, they may drift together and collide. At low speeds, the damage may be cosmetic, but at higher speeds, the collision may make one or both vehicles spin out of control.
- Rear-End. When a driver is distracted or doesn’t brake in time, they can hit the rear-end of the vehicle in front of them. Unfortunately, this is a common issue because of cellphone-related distracted driving and the impact can cause whiplash.
- Vehicle Rollover. Taller vehicles with a higher center of gravity are more at risk for rollovers if the driver is speeding and takes a turn too quickly. The driver will have no control of the vehicle and could get seriously injured.
- Hit-and-Run. Drivers are supposed to stop, provide medical assistance if needed, and exchange insurance and contact information after an accident. Failure to remain at the scene is a crime called a hit-and-run.
- Parking Lot Accidents. Drivers that are speeding or not paying attention in parking lots could potentially hit the parked vehicles. Someone driving on a compact street with cars parked on the sides may hit the vehicles on the side of the road.
- Dooring. Someone getting out of a vehicle who isn’t paying attention could open their door as a car is passing and cause a collision.
What Are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?
A serious car wreck can affect an entire family in multiple ways and require lengthy hospital stays, surgeries, expensive medical treatment plans, medication, home nursing care, physical therapy, and more. Due to the fast speeds at which cars travel at, even a minor accident can result in serious injuries.
Some of the most common types of injuries after an auto accident include the following:
- Back injuries, including those that can potentially damage the spinal cord
- Neck injuries, including whiplash (which often has a delayed effect)
- Head injuries, including those that cause symptoms of a traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Lacerations, bruises, and abrasions
- Internal bleeding and other injuries
- Emotional trauma
An accident victim’s recovery time will vary depending on the specific injuries, whether they are permanent, and the type of care they receive following the crash. It’s vital for all victims to get proper medical care immediately following an accident. Failing to do so can not only jeopardize your insurance/personal injury claim, it can set back your recovery time considerably.
Catastrophic Injuries and Their Consequences
Sometimes, the injuries a person sustains from the wreck are catastrophic. They can prevent people from returning to their job and being able to be gainfully employed. These injuries will change a person’s life and total recovery isn’t a guarantee. Those with catastrophic injuries may have permanent health issues.
Examples of catastrophic injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of limb
- Burn injuries
Severe injuries like those listed above may require continual medical care, which means the person will have ongoing costs. Some examples are:
- Visiting nursing care
- Medical equipment
- Therapy (physical, occupational, counseling)
These expenses are added to the fact that the person most likely cannot work, which can put them under a lot of strain. You need a dependable lawyer who will stand by your side during these times. The skilled lawyers from Bey & Associates will do everything to get you a fair settlement, so questions about finances won’t burden you.
Tips for Recovering After a Car Accident
If you’ve been involved in an auto accident in Ohio or elsewhere, follow these steps to have the best chances of getting the compensation you need while prioritizing your wellbeing:
- Prioritize Your Health. See a doctor as soon as possible after the accident. Even if you go to the E.R. right after the crash, follow up by visiting your primary doctor soon after. Go to any follow-up appointments that are advised by the E.R. staff. Everything else can wait—your own wellbeing must come first.
- Report the Accident. In most states, a police report will automatically be made following a car accident. If one isn’t made, make sure you report the accident and request a copy of the report. If you’re curious how auto accident investigations work in Ohio or what your best options are regarding making a police report in Cincinnati, here are some tips offered by the city.
- Be Careful When Speaking to Insurers. If the other driver caused the accident, their insurance company may rush in to try and get you to settle quickly. This may seem like a good option because you’ll have the matter handled. But this may result in them trying to give you less compensation than you deserve. They may claim it’s the “best they can do.” This is untrue. By law, a victim of an accident is entitled to the costs they need to medically, financially, and emotionally recover. Don’t rush into a low settlement offer. Also, insurers may ask you questions and use your answers against you. For example, they may ask you how you’re feeling. If you respond that you’re fine, which is a natural response to a conversation, they may use it as evidence that you’re feeling okay after the accident.
- Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Ohio. If you’re worried you won’t get enough compensation to recover from your injuries or feel the insurance claim may be denied or has been denied, you should get in touch with an injury attorney as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can turn a complex claim into one that makes complete recovery possible.
The Dangers of Returning to Work Too Early After an Auto Accident
The question of returning to work will probably be at the forefront of your mind after an auto wreck. You need to know that there isn’t a standard time before going back to work because each case is unique. Your doctor will evaluate your injuries and tell you when you can safely return to work.
It’s imperative that you consult with your doctor before going back to work. If you go back too early, you may re-injure yourself or make your injuries worse. While at first, you had treatable injuries that would have recovered if you had taken the proper time to recover, you may now have an injury that will give you chronic pain. Compensation for these injuries may not be given because you didn’t listen to what your doctor said. It’s more expensive and detrimental to your health to go back to work too early.
Often, people believe they’re fine for a few days after an auto collision. The shock of the event, however, can mask symptoms of injuries. Someone may feel that they’re fine, but they could have injuries that haven’t presented themselves yet. Unfortunately, these people may decide to go back to work and unknowingly worsen their injuries. This is why getting a medical evaluation from a doctor after an accident is vital.
Some may feel unnecessary pressure to get back to work. They may think that their boss or colleagues are judging them for not being in the office. They may also worry about the amount of work they’re missing. These thoughts are likely a result of anxiety and overthinking. People understand that you need to take time to rest and recover, and you’ll come back when you’re able to.
It’s also common that a person’s financial situation may push them to return to work because they want to pay off bills. Your car accident lawyer in Cincinnati can help you get the compensation you deserve so you will be able to financially recover and let your injuries heal.
On the other side of the issue, people may believe that going back to work while their claim is still unsettled could potentially ruin it. This is not the case. While many think this will signal that you’re fully recovered, it actually means that you’re healthy enough to return to work but can still be in the recovery process. This is something you need to discuss with your doctor. When they say you can safely go back to work, then you can do so without worrying about your claim.
One major part of your settlement may be seeking damages for lost wages. You can still fight to get compensation for the time you had to miss work. It also shows that you’re communicating with your doctor and listening to them. It may hurt you if it’s discovered that you could have returned to work and decided to keep staying home, all while you’re seeking compensation for that time.
You may find that getting back to a familiar routine of feeling productive and starting to move on from your accident may help boost your spirits. There’s also the sense of relief from the regular financial security.
How Social Media Could Affect Your Claim
Nearly everyone has social media accounts. It’s regular to post about life updates. However, when you’re dealing with a personal injury claim, you should refrain from putting anything online. It’s unwise to post angry or hateful comments geared toward the person responsible for the accident because it doesn’t help the situation. On the other side of that, you may not want to post anything about your crash because insurers can use your posts against you. If you post photos or constant status updates about your day, it may convey a sense that you’re not as injured as you claim to be.
Since your posts could show that perhaps your injuries aren’t that severe, this could result in you getting less compensation than you deserve, regardless of how your injuries have affected you. Your personal injury attorney will be able to help you avoid any actions that will prevent you from getting you a fair settlement.
Find the Road to Recovery
At Bey & Associates, we understand how stressful dealing with insurance claims and medical bills after a car accident can be. We know how to settle complex lawsuits in the favor of our clients and we’re familiar with the loopholes insurance companies often use to try and talk victims into an unfair offer. We can get you the compensation you deserve.
To learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch today. We can pair you with an Ohio car accident attorney who can answer any questions you may have and offer you a zero-obligation case consultation.