Legal Options in Car Crash Claims

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Legal Options in Car Crash Claims

Every year, car crashes in the United States kill or seriously injure millions of people. These serious injuries are usually permanent. Broken bones are a good example. Even after surgeons and physical therapists finish their work, lingering injury remains, like lost range of motion in a formerly broken shoulder. These lingering injuries also increase the risk of future serious injury.

The medical bills associated with a serious car wreck usually exceed $50,000. A Columbus personal injury attorney obtains the compensation these victims need to pay medical bills and other accident-related expenses. Compensation in a car crash claim also includes money for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Money doesn’t alter the chain of events that lead to a crash. However, money helps victims pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.

Ordinary Negligence

This principle is loosely based on the story of the Good Samaritan. He was the guy who went out of his way to help an injured traveler. Over the years, courts and lawmakers have modified this story into four legal principles:

  • Duty: Most drivers have a duty of reasonable care in most situations. They must avoid accidents whenever possible and always drive defensively. A higher or lower duty of care could apply in a few situations.
  • Breach: Aggressive driving, like speeding, and impaired driving, like driving under the influence of a drug, are the most common breaches of duty in Ohio. Usually, the degree matters. Speeding 15mph over the limit is probably a breach of duty. Speeding 5mph over the limit probably isn’t a breach of duty.
  • Cause: Basically, cause is a connection between the breach and the damages. Speeding and drug-impaired motorists often cannot control their vehicles. Rain, snow, and other bad weather often contributes to these wrecks, but such environmental circumstances never “cause” wrecks.
  • Damage: A Columbus personal injury attorney can obtain compensation for victims if they sustained a tangible injury. There’s a difference between tangible and visible. For example, PTSD is a tangible injury, but it’s not always a visible injury.

Victim/plaintiffs must establish every element of an ordinary negligence claim by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not). That’s one of the lowest proof requirements in Ohio.

Minimum effort usually produces minimum results. At best, a bare-bones case only obtains minimum compensation. Attorneys must work extra hard to obtain maximum compensation for car accident victims.

Negligence Per Se

In Ohio, tortfeasors (negligent drivers) who violate safety laws and cause wrecks could be responsible for damages as a matter of law. There’s no need to prove duty and breach. This time-saving shortcut is available if one driver, and only one driver, received a citation.

That often doesn’t happen. Many first responders believe car crashes are civil disputes. Therefore, they don’t want to write tickets and get involved in them.

Attorneys must prove cause and damages in negligence per se cases. Additionally, in both kinds of negligence actions, an independent doctor may need to testify that the victim’s medical bills were reasonable under the circumstances.

Count on a Diligent Franklin County Lawyer

Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Columbus, contact 614-220-9100 at the Oliver Law Office. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.

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