If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in a car accident in Columbus, you probably have more important things than money on your mind. However, any crash can be extremely financially costly. Taking legal action can ease that burden and help you focus on getting better.
An experienced car accident lawyer in Ohio can help. Fitch Law Firm will help ensure that you receive any compensation that is owed to you. We understand how important it is for you and your family to get back on your feet after a serious wreck.
Columbus, OH, Car Accident Lawyer FAQs
If you’ve been in a car accident in Columbus and you’re thinking about filing a claim, you probably have many questions you want to ask before you make any decisions. Here are the answers to our clients’ most commonly asked questions about car wreck lawsuits:
Why Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Columbus?
You may be wondering why you should hire a car accident lawyer in Columbus. After all, if you handle the settlement directly with the at-fault party’s insurer, you will get to keep all of the money you recover.
The truth is, the insurers have tricks they use to make your settlement worth less or even to get out of paying you at all. With an attorney representing your interests, you will be able to make the most of your settlement. Even after paying a lawyer’s fees, you may still end up with more.
What Does a Car Accident Lawyer Do?
Your Columbus car accident lawyer will handle the bulk of your claim so you can focus on your recovery. They can take the burden off of your family by providing these services:
- Handle complex claims
- Fight claims denial
- Negotiate on your behalf
- Advocate for your interests
- Help you avoid making mistakes
One of the most important things a lawyer will do for you is show the at-fault party’s insurers that you are serious about protecting your rights. Once they see that you aren’t representing yourself in the claim, they will know it won’t be easy to get you to settle for less than you deserve.
How Much Will I Get if I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
There is no hard and fast rule as to how much you may be entitled to, because your compensation depends on various factors such as the severity of your injuries and several other factors. Some of the damages you may be able to claim for your injuries include:
- Medical bills
- Therapy or long-term care expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost ability to earn
- Pain and suffering
The Fitch Law Firm has handled cases where life-altering injuries entitled the victims to millions of dollars. Rest assured that we will properly assess your case to determine how much it is truly worth.
How Will My Lawyer Prove Liability After a Car Accident?
Who is determined to be at fault in a Columbus car accident and what percentage of fault each party shares is critical, because it will directly impact your claim. To prove your percentage of fault — or that you weren’t at fault at all — your lawyer will provide proof of the following:
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The Driver Had a Duty to Exercise Reasonable Care Toward You
Drivers have a duty to use caution when they’re on the road. They are legally obligated to follow the laws so other drivers can stay safe.
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The Driver Was Negligent in Exercising That Duty of Care
Your car accident attorney will provide evidence that the at-fault driver was negligent when they failed to use caution on the road. This could be through reckless driving, distracted driving, or even drunk driving. Drivers understand that they may cause an accident when they take these risks, so they assume the responsibility for the consequences.
The Driver’s Negligence Was the Cause of the Accident
Next, your Columbus lawyer for car accidents will prove that the driver’s negligence was the cause of your accident. We may use eyewitness testimony, accident reconstruction, police reports, medical records, and other evidence to prove fault.
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You Were Physically Injured By the Driver’s Negligence
Finally, your attorney will prove that the driver’s negligent act was the cause of your injury. The other party’s insurers may try to get your medical record so they can use any and all health conditions you have against you. They will claim that you were already injured before the accident. We will make a strong case to prove that your injuries never had to happen.
How a Lawyer Determines Negligence to Win Your Case
One of the most crucial things your Columbus car accident attorney will do is determine negligence. This means figuring out who failed to uphold their duties and was therefore responsible for causing the crash. Negligence in accidents may be the result of:
- Failure to yield
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Traveling too fast for conditions
- Driving while impaired or intoxicated
- Distracted driving
- Operating a recalled vehicle
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Manufacturing defective vehicles
If you were partially responsible in the accident, Ohio has “modified comparative negligence” rules that will reduce the amount you can recover based on your percentage of fault.
What To Do After a Car Accident in Columbus, Ohio
After an accident there are things you can do – and need to do – to help improve your situation. Taking these steps will give you a better chance of getting compensation. Here’s what we recommend:
Get Medical Attention as Soon as Possible
Even if your injury looks minor, a doctor can professionally assess the full extent of the injury, preventing potentially bigger problems from arising in the future. In addition, medical statements can support your car accident claim.
Gather as Much Information as You Can
Get information about the vehicles involved, as well as the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and insurance information of the drivers. Also, be sure to request the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses. You’ll also want to file an accident report. Having a police report about your accident can support your injury claim later on.
Notify Your Insurance Company About the Accident
Document the scene as well as you can. Take photographs of all vehicles involved, any injuries suffered, and the accident location. Also take pictures of the possible contributing factors to the accident, such as beer bottles lying around or traffic signs obscured by tree branches.
Exercise Caution When Speaking About the Accident
Anything you say after a wreck can be used to devalue your claim. Even a simple “I’m okay” can be used to discount your injuries. It’s better to say very little than to have your words used against your claim later on. You may politely decline answering questions by saying you need to talk to your lawyer first.
When Should You Contact a Lawyer After a Car Accident?
Waste no time if you want to take any legal action. There are laws called “statutes of limitations.” These laws set time limits for you to bring up a lawsuit. According to §2305.11(a); 2305.10; 2305.111, for personal injury cases and wrongful death cases in Ohio, the statute of limitations is generally two years after the injury or death occurred.
You have to file within this time period to have a valid case. After this time has passed, your attempt to sue may likely be dismissed by the court. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Even if the statute of limitations has expired, your Columbus car accident attorney can still tell you if your case qualifies as an exception.
What Kind of Car Accident Cases Our Lawyers Represent
The type of car crash is one of the factors affecting the severity of an accident, and it tells a lot about how the car accident happened in the first place. These are some common types of car crashes our car accident lawyers in Columbus, OH, handle:
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on collisions
- Hit and run accidents
- Side-impact collisions
- Single-car accidents
- Multi-vehicle pile-ups
- Rollover accidents
- Car vs truck accidents
- Car vs motorcycle accidents
In cases that involve complicated accident types and injuries, extensive legal skills and experience are necessary to win. No matter how messy or tough your accident may seem, you can call on the Fitch Law Firm for the legal service you need.
Facing The Insurance Company Without a Car Accident Lawyer
Some people indeed negotiate with insurance companies by themselves – but sadly, these accident victims often end up receiving much less than they deserve. There many reasons you should let a lawyer represent you instead of just going it alone.
An attorney understands the full extent of your rights and thus can comprehensively assess what your claim is truly worth. Insurance companies are known to employ delay, deny and defend tactics that weaken an accident victim’s claim. We know how to protect you.
The fight for your maximum compensation requires a thorough investigation, strategic building of your case, and fearless representation even in the face of large insurers. The Fitch Law Firm does all of these competently, backed by three decades of experience in handling accident insurance claims.
How to Choose the Right Car Accident Lawyer
In Ohio, you have numerous options when you need a personal injury attorney or a wrongful death lawyer. A simple Google search gives you hundreds of results, and you may even have received referrals from friends. Here is a checklist to help you choose the right attorney for your accident case:
- Does the lawyer have many years of personal injury law experience?
- Does the lawyer deal with multiple areas of law or does their practice focus only on personal injury cases such as vehicle accidents?
- Has the lawyer succeeded in handling accident cases like yours?
- Do previous clients have good things to say about the lawyer or firm?
- Is the lawyer or firm available and approachable when you need to talk to them?
- Does the lawyer charge reasonable fees?
- Do you feel comfortable working with this lawyer or firm?
While finding a lawyer may not be a problem, choosing the right one can be, if you don’t know what to look for. You don’t want to spend your time, money, and effort with a lawyer who does not give you the best chance at getting the best result for your case.
Why You Should Choose Fitch Law After a Car Accident
The Fitch Law Firm provides legal service trusted by many Ohioans for their car accident cases. Here are some of the reasons our clients have chosen us to represent their claims:
- Successful and proven background
- 30+ years of experience in personal injury law
- Received millions for clients
- Recognized by legal organizations and the media
- No upfront or hourly fees
- You pay no fee unless we win your case
- Your consultation is free
- Compassionate and dedicated
- We will travel to you as needed
We are here to take your case, fight for your rights, and help you get the justice you deserve. Call today or fill out our online consultation form to schedule a free consultation. Let us put our 30+ years of experience to work for you.