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. As a result, a family could be left to struggle for years to come. Many victims are 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 can 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. We help 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, 1,041 fatal traffic accidents were reported in Ohio in 2019. In those auto accidents, 1,155 people died. Both numbers were higher than in any other previous year.
There’s no denying the fact that Ohio has some of the busiest interstates and highways in the nation. As a result, accidents happen often. The I-71 is the most obvious example. This is one of the most dangerous highways in the country.
Any time a driver makes a careless decision 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. In other words, all drivers have a responsibility to sensibly prioritize the health and safety of others.
When they do not do this, serious accidents can occur. The aftermath of a car wreck often involves extensive treatment, time away from work, and significant medical bills. That’s where our lawyers step in to help.
Bey & Associates is here to help car accident victims. We’ll first start to investigate how your accident occurred. Let’s go over the main causes of collisions.
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 are preventable if drivers remember to approach the task of driving seriously.
Below is a list of some of the most common factors that lead to auto collisions nationwide:
- Distracted Driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 2,841 people died nationwide in auto collisions in 2018 that were caused by distracted drivers. All distractions count—from talking on the phone to texting, eating behind the wheel, checking a GPS monitor, or reaching to the passenger seat or into the back to pick up a dropped item.
- Drowsy Driving. When a driver is fatigued, they are less alert and slower to react. This could mean not braking in time or failing to signal a turn. The NHTSA states drowsy driving caused 795 fatalities in 2017. Unfortunately, drivers may not realize they’re too tired to be driving or believe that playing music, drinking caffeine, or rolling down the window for fresh air will help them. These methods will not fix drowsiness.
- Speeding. Speeding caused 9,378 fatalities in 2018. When a driver is going above the speed limit, they have less control of their vehicle, will need more distance to come to a complete stop, can increase the severity of the crash, and can make their protective equipment in the car less effective. If a speeding driver caused your accident, our attorneys will help you get justice.
- Drunk Driving. In 2018, 10,511 individuals died in motor vehicle collisions involving alcohol. Alcohol impairs the driver in so many ways. Their ability to make judgements, muscle coordination, alertness, detecting danger, and quick thinking are all affected. Driving under the influence of drugs is also a major factor in auto collisions.
While these are some of the most common reasons why the accident can occur, your collision may have had a different cause. Our lawyers have experience in dealing with all types of car wrecks and understand the many ways that collisions occur.
Other Causes of Auto Accidents in Ohio
- 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 run into a vehicle next to them and cause a collision.
- Aggressive or Reckless Driving. This is related to speeding and reckless driving. Aggressive drivers, for instance, 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.
- Failing to Follow the Rules of Traffic. When a driver fails to signal when making a turn or disobeys a traffic sign or signal, for example, they may potentially cause a car 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.
- Inexperienced Drivers. When those who don’t have as much driving experience are behind the wheel, they may not think to anticipate accidents. New drivers may still be getting used to driving at night, in heavy traffic, or adjusting their driving for the weather. For new teenage drivers, having friends in the car or playing loud music can cause a significant distraction that could cause accidents. If a driver is inexperienced, they need to remember to drive cautiously.
As you can see, all the above factors are preventable 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.
When we investigate your case, we’ll examine all the details to find out what happened. The negligent driver could have been on their phone and ran through a stop sign or was following you too closely when you had to brake and they hit your vehicle.
Another aspect of your crash that our attorneys will examine if the type of accident you were involved in. This can also provide more evidence on the extent of your injuries and damages.
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 types of crashes 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 ejection 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 a car hits the broadside of another vehicle. 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 as a result. 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 distracted driver 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. Whiplash is a possibility.
- 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. When this happens the driver has no control over their vehicles. Serious injuries are possible.
- Hit-and-Run. Drivers should 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 who 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.
Our Cincinnati car accident lawyers are familiar with the many types of collisions. When we have the details of how and why your accident occurred, then we can look into how it injured you. We’ll fight for you to receive compensation for your injuries so you can begin to move forward.
What Are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?
A serious car wreck can affect an entire family in multiple ways. Lengthy hospital stays, surgeries, expensive medical treatment plans, medication, and more are possible. Due to the fast speeds at which cars travel, even a minor car accident can result in serious injuries. Some of the most common types of injuries after an auto accident include the following:
- Back Injuries. If the back sustains significant damages, it can potentially damage the spinal cord.
- Neck Injuries. One common neck injury is whiplash, which can cause headaches, neck pain, and shoulder pain. Neck injuries, along with other sprain and strain injuries, can have a delayed effect.
- Head Injuries. Minor head injuries can include concussions, but more severe injuries can result in a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Lacerations, Bruises, and Abrasions. Debris from the accident can cause these types of injuries. If debris causes cuts, then you may need professional medical treatment to remove it, clean the injury, and bandage it.
- Internal Bleeding and Other Injuries. If internal organs are damaged, the person may not realize it at first because there aren’t obvious signs. However, these injuries need immediate medical care or the person’s life could be in danger.
It’s also important to note that car wrecks can result in more than physical injuries. Significant emotional trauma can be done as well. While it’s normal to feel shaken up after an accident, persistent feelings of anxiety, fear, and depression can signal there’s more happening.
If you’ve been in an accident and are constantly replaying the crash, cannot sleep, and are scared of getting in a car or going near where the accident occurred, you may want to consider seeking mental health services.
Unfortunately, many people may think they need to only focus on the physical injuries. They may worry about being able to afford the health care they need and will prioritize treating physical injuries. But persistent mental health issues can be overwhelming and having a professional to provide treatment may be what you need to process what happened.
The lawyers at Bey & Associates understand that you deserve compensation that will help you get the financial security you need for your recovery. This can include seeing mental health professionals.
An accident victim’s recovery time will vary depending on the specific injuries. This includes 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. This is how you’ll find the extent of your injuries and what you will need for your recovery so you can heal. However, sometimes a full recovery isn’t guaranteed. Let’s go over what permanent injuries are and how our lawyers can help.
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). Permanent brain damage can result in loss of function, like having issues with memory or speech.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. If the spinal cord is damaged, the person may lose feeling or function below the injury site. This could result in paralysis.
- Loss of Limb. A limb could be lost in the accident or later had to be removed because of the extensive damage.
- Burn Injuries. If the accident causes a fire, the person in the car could suffer from significant burn injuries. This can cause permanent scarring and disfigurement.
Severe injuries like those listed above, for example, may require continual medical care. This means the person will have ongoing costs. Some examples are:
- Visiting Nursing Care
- Medical Equipment
- Therapy (physical, occupational, counseling)
Adjusting to an injury, along with the costs of them, can be a lot for someone to deal with on their own. These expenses are added to the fact that the person most likely cannot work, which can put them under a lot of strain. If you’re used to supporting other people financially, this strain can become even stronger. You deserve to have someone who will fight for you to get the compensation you deserve so you can maintain a high quality of life.
You need a dependable lawyer who will stand by your side during these times. The skilled car accident lawyers from Bey & Associates will do everything to get you a fair settlement, so questions about finances won’t burden you.
The Components of Compensation in a Personal Injury Claim
When you’re seeking compensation for your injuries and damages, you may not know what the compensation consists of. Let’s break down the different damages you can recover in your claim.
One of the components will be economic damages, or the monetary losses of your accident. These can be calculated by looking at bills and missing days of work. They include:
- Medical Expenses. Your lawyers will look at the costs of your past and future treatment to determine what you can recover with medical expenses.
- Lost Wages. If your recovery will result in missing work, you can recover those days of pay.
- Loss of Earnings. If you’ve lost a loved one in a car wreck, your lawyer may be able to fight for the income your loved one would have made had they been able to continue to work.
- Property Damage. The wreck may have damaged your car. We’ll look into the cost of repairs when determining your compensation.
The other aspect of your compensation will be the non-monetary consequences of the collision, or the noneconomic damages.
- Pain and Suffering. Suffering from car accident injuries is a lot to deal with, especially when they resulted from someone else’s negligence. The pain you’ve endured won’t be ignored. Our lawyers will fight for you to recover damages for this.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life. Your injuries can prevent you from doing certain activities and seem to put your life on hold. Loss of enjoyment of life can come from not being able to attend certain events or live your life as you did before the accident.
- Emotional Distress. If you’ve suffered from a permanent injury, it can be a lot to make this adjustment. This may cause you to experience emotional distress or mental anguish.
Your Cincinnati car accident lawyer will analyze each aspect of your accident to find out how you’ve been affected. We’ll make sure to calculate a compensation amount that accurately reflects the injuries and damages you’ve suffered.
What Should You Do After an Accident?
The moments after an auto accident are often confusing. However, there are several important steps you can take to protect your health and help your claim in the future.
- Assess Yourself for Injuries. The first step is to see if you’re injured and if you can or cannot move. If you’re able to move, you can assist others in the crash as well.
- Call for Help. Calling emergency services will get the police and medical professionals at the scene. You will be able to get first aid and speak with police about what happened.
- Go to Safe Spot. While you’re waiting for emergency services to arrive, you may consider moving your car out of the road so it doesn’t cause a major traffic jam. However, you should only do this if you’re able and if it’s safe. If you notice fluid leaking or smoke coming out of a vehicle, make sure you and the others involved in the accident move far away from the vehicle, as it could be a fire hazard.
- Don’t Apologize. Do not apologize for the accident to the other party, because this could be used as evidence of you admitting guilt and could reduce your compensation. It’s normal to want to apologize for the situation happening in the first place, but it’s best to not engage with the other person until the authorities arrive.
- Speak with Police. When you’re giving the police your statement, be sure to only relay the facts as you remember them. If you try to fill in details and get something wrong, it could call your credibility into question, which could damage your claim. It’s also important to not blame the other driver, as it’s possible neither of you were at fault for the accident.
- Exchange Information. There are some pieces of information you and the other driver will have to exchange. You’ll need their name, contact information, driver’s license and license plate number, and insurance policy. Additional details that could help is taking note of the vehicle’s make and model as well as where and when the accident happened.
- Gather Evidence. Evidence from the scene can help your claim in the future. One of the best ways to preserve evidence is to take photographs. You can include the damage done to your car, damage on the other car, and the entire accident scene. Take multiple photos and more than you think is necessary, you never know what could help your case. The photos will also help capture the road and weather conditions when the accident occurred. If there are any eyewitnesses at the scene, ask if they’d be willing to provide their contact information and an account of what happened.
When you’ve done all you can at the scene of the accident, then it’s time to focus on how you’re going to recover. This includes more than getting treatment for your injuries. Let’s go over how you’ll be able to get the recovery you deserve.
Tips for Recovering After a Motor Vehicle Accident
If you’ve been in an auto accident in Ohio or elsewhere, follow these steps. This will ensure you 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. Everything else can wait—your own wellbeing must come first. Sometimes, injuries take a few days to present symptoms. This means that you may be feeling fine after the crash and don’t start to feel symptoms until hours or days following the accident. This is why it’s so important to get to a doctor to assess your injuries.
- Obtain Copy of Medical Record. You will also be able to use your medical records to show that your injuries were severe enough that you needed to see a doctor. They’ll be able to take note of the injuries you sustained and what it will take to treat your injuries. This can be used to help your claim.
- Get a Copy of the Police Report. In most states, a police report is automatically made following the 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. You’ll likely have an insurance adjuster reach out to you following the accident. They 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, which can harm your claim. It’s important to not give any official statements until you have a Cincinnati car accident attorney on your side.
- Don’t Accept the First Settlement Offer. The insurance company may offer you a settlement. 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. Don’t rush into a low settlement offer. 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.
- Contact a 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 Cincinnati car accident attorney can turn a complex claim into one that makes complete recovery possible.
While there are seemingly many things to get through after an accident, it’s important to do everything you can to protect your claim and your future. When you’re finding the right car accident lawyer for you, know that you need someone you can depend on and trust with your claim. We’ll go over what you should consider when you’re seeking legal representation.
Choosing the Right Car Accident Attorney for You
When you’re seeking representation for your case, it’s important to have the best lawyer possible. There are a few things you can look for when you’re meeting with an attorney.
The first step is to make sure they deal with your type of cases. Some personal injury lawyers may not have as much experience in car collisions, or they could practice different law from personal injury. Make sure they have experience in your case type.
You can also review testimony from past clients. If they talk about how they were happy with their representation, from how they were treated and how their lawyer handled your case, then you’ll likely have an attorney who will handle your case with the respect it deserves. If many of the reviews are negative, you may want to look elsewhere for representation.
When you meet with an attorney, pay attention to their demeanor and their office. If they’re polite, keep their appointments, are on time, and their office is organized, then you can likely trust these characteristics to be the same after you hire them. Some red flags you should watch out for include:
- Constant Rescheduling
A lawyer who interrupts you, speaks in heavy legal jargon without offering an explanation to what it means, cancels appointments at the last minute, or has a disorganized office will likely not have your best interests at heart. You may not want to trust this person with your claim and your future.
Another major red flag to look for is if an attorney guarantees results. They haven’t looked into your case, so they don’t know the details, who was involved, or how you were injured, so how can they promise results? If this occurs, it’s probably best for you to search elsewhere for representation.
The lawyers at Bey & Associates understand how overwhelmed and anxious you may feel when you’re meeting with a lawyer. You want to find someone who will protect your best interests, fight for your rights, and be someone you can depend on throughout the legal process.
Our car accident lawyers value protecting those who have been injured because of negligent actions. We will do everything we can to make your claim as strong as possible and we will be at your side every step of the way. You won’t have to worry about not knowing the status of your case and will receive prompt responses to your questions. We’re dedicated to standing up for our clients.
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. This could result in chronic pain. If you don’t listen to your doctor, you’ll be ineligible for compensation. 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 Cincinnati car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. 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 doesn’t do that, either. 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. Your lawyer can fight to get compensation for the missed work hours. 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 lawyer 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 crash can be. Our lawyers know how to settle complex lawsuits in 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.
We’re here to fight for you. Our lawyers aren’t going to be intimidated by insurance companies or accept a settlement offer that’s less than you deserve. We’re going to fiercely advocate for you to get justice. If your case needs to proceed to court, we’re prepared to fight for you in the courtroom. We’ll be at your side each step of the way.
To learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch today. We can pair you with a car accident lawyer who can answer any questions you may have and offer you a zero-obligation case consultation.