Car accidents happen. In the United States, they happen more than 6 million times per year and cost the American economy over $230 billion. The human toll is far greater. Every 13 minutes another person will die as the result of a Columbus car accident and each year nearly 3 million people will suffer serious injuries.
The cause is negligence. Some form of driver error, moving violation, distraction or intoxication accounts for more than 90% or all accidents. When drivers fail to operate vehicles safely, they are legally “negligent” and are responsible for injuries and other losses resulting from the accident.
Proving negligence depends on the specific circumstances of the accident. For example, maintaining a highway speed of 55 mph may be reasonable on a clear spring day, but keeping the same speed in heavy rain may be negligent. Conversely, an abrupt lane change is ordinarily dangerous, but in a sudden emergency may be a necessary evasive maneuver.
Since each case turns on specific facts, your attorney must carefully investigate what caused the accident to see who may be liable for your injuries and damages.
Car Accidents involving large trucks are potentially devastating. Laws and regulations that apply to commercial tractor trailers and their employers are different from those in typical car accidents. John Alton’s knowledge of federal trucking regulations allows him to provide a strong voice for those seriously injured or killed in commercial trucking accidents.
Just because you have been hurt in a car accident, don’t expect the other driver or his insurance company to write a check to compensate you for your injuries. In some cases, such as a rear end collision caused by an inattentive or intoxicated driver, the question of who is at fault is easily resolved. In many cases the other side may deny liability altogether on one or more of the following grounds.
Auto Accident Lawyer
An experienced Columbus auto accident lawyer will be able to help you find a physician who will provide detailed information about your injuries. Many people don’t realize until much later that they have a serious injury after a car accident. They are usually so scared and stressed out that they go home and “sleep it off” and try to return to their normal activities the next day. When people are in pain they typically seek the advice of family and friends who often tell them not to worry, that it is just neck pain that will go away with time. This is all really bad advice. There could be internal injuries that may become worse after time. Your auto accident lawyer will help you find a doctor who will help you treat and document your injuries.
A skilled auto accident lawyer will also be able to counsel you regarding your rights and if the case should go to court, argue in your best interests. When you bring a lawsuit against someone who has injured you in an automobile accident you need a qualified attorney to lead you through the litigation process. Your lawyer will help you make sure that your settlement covers any hospital bills you may have incurred, wages that you lost due to your injury and the legal fees you will owe.
An Experienced Columbus, Ohio auto accident lawyer will also know how to stand up for your rights against the insurance companies and get you the maximum possible recovery.
In Ohio, the law of comparative negligence has existed for 30 years. If the defense proves that you were more than 50% at fault, you are not entitled to recover. If you are less than 50% at fault, the amount of your damages is reduced by the percentage of your fault.
When the driver of a car is faced with a sudden and real emergency which was not created by the driver’s own conduct, the driver must exercise reasonable care for his or her own safety and for the safety of others. The reasonableness of the driver’s actions must be measured by the standard of the acts of other drivers of ordinary skill and judgment faced with the same situation. The driver need not need the same coolness or accuracy of judgment which is required of a person who has an ample opportunity to fully exercise judgment.
Lack of Insurance Coverage
If the negligent party has no insurance, you are entitled to make a claim against your own insurance company if you purchased uninsured motorists’ coverage. Similarly, if your damages exceed the amount of the negligent party’s liability insurance and you purchased underinsured motorists’ coverage in an amount greater than the negligent party’s liability coverage, you are entitled to make a claim against your own insurance company for the difference between the limits of the negligent party’s liability coverage and those of your underinsured motorists’ coverage.
There is no charge clients for an initial consultation or fee for handling your case unless money is recovered for you. If you have been the victim of a car or truck accident, contact John Alton to discuss your rights.