Despite recent economic hardships, this southwest Ohio village continues to thrive. A large auto manufacturing plant, which provided hundreds of jobs, closed in 2009. A branch of the University of Cincinnati, UC Clermont East, occupied the vacant factory shortly thereafter. But due to declining enrollment, officials soon closed UC Clermont East. Nevertheless, the population of this important railroad junction and transportation hub increased sharply between 2010 and 2020.
Batavia has overcome challenges to thrive, and a dedicated Batavia, OH, car accident lawyer from Kruger & Hodges can overcome legal and logistical obstacles to obtain maximum compensation for car crash victims. Attorneys overcome legal obstacles, like pretrial motions, with hard work. Students who do their homework usually do well on tests. Logistical obstacles include the difficulty of negotiating with stingy insurance companies. Our attorneys are capable negotiators who know when to compromise and when to stand firm. Over the years, these legal and logistical skills have enabled us to obtain millions of dollars for families just like yours.
What Causes Car Crashes
Many media outlets, including the New York Times, no longer refer to these incidents as accidents, at least in most cases. This A-word simply is not very descriptive. People accidentally leave the lights on. They do not accidentally cause vehicle collisions.
Some form of driver error causes over 98% of car crashes in Ohio. The two largest categories of driver error are:
Operator Impairment: Many people make mistakes before they get behind the wheel. They choose to drive even though they’re under the influence of a substance, they have a serious medical condition that could cause a sudden loss of consciousness, they do not watch the road, or they are very tired.
Aggressive Driving: Other drivers make mistakes after they put their vehicles in gear. Examples of aggressive driving include tailgating, turning unsafely, and speeding. Any level of fatigue or substance impairment is dangerous. But aggressive driving is often a matter of degree. Speeding 5 mph over the limit might not be a breach of care. Speeding 10 mph over the limit is different.
Unexpected natural events, along with defective products, cause most other car crashes in Ohio. These unexpected natural events include lightning strikes, sudden wind gusts, and earthquakes. Defective tires, which cause tens of thousands of wrecks per year, are the most common defective product collision cause.
A Batavia, OH, car crash lawyer can usually force a tortfeasor (negligent driver), or technically the tortfeasor’s insurance company, to pay compensation after driver error crashes. The same thing might be possible following an unexpected natural event-related wreck. More on these things below.
Manufacturers are generally strictly liable for any injuries their defective products cause, whether the issue was a manufacturing or design defect.
Why You Need a Batavia, OH, Car Accident Lawyer
In TV commercials, when insurance companies receive potential claim notices, they cut checks. But in the real world, when they receive such notice, they contact attorneys. Many large insurance companies have lawyers on standby who get to work before the victim’s ambulance arrives at the hospital.
Individuals cannot possibly go toe-to-toe against insurance company lawyers in court. Such a conflict is like the Batavia High School Bulldogs against the Cincinnati Bengals. Even in a down year, the Bengals would run all over the Bulldogs.
A personal injury lawyer against an insurance company is like David against Goliath. The Goliath insurance company has almost limitless financial resources. But like David, a lawyer from Kruger & Hodges has right on their side. In court, that usually makes all the difference.
Most car crash claims settle out of court. Nonlawyer/lawyer settlement negotiations are like bad credit buyer and dealership auto purchase negotiations. The dealer, or in this case, the insurance company, holds all the cards.
Personal injury lawyers are highly skilled negotiators as well as skilled litigators. Our thorough lawyers don’t back down during settlement negotiations.
Evidence in Car Crash Claims
Successful claims, whether they are resolved in court or out of court, have the same makeup. Victims/plaintiffs must prove negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not.
Some lawyers zero in on a responsible party, like an employer, and find evidence to support their claims. In our experience, the opposite approach is more effective. We gather evidence and let that proof serve as a roadmap to maximum compensation.
The evidence in a car crash claim usually includes witness statements, the police accident report, and medical bills. Usually, this evidence is sufficient to obtain maximum compensation, especially if a Batavia, OH, car accident lawyer reinforces it when needed.
Witness statements are a good example. Very few people deliberately lie in court. But all witnesses remember events subjectively. Our eyes and ears are not cameras and tape recorders. In some cases, the difference between the events recorded independently, like in a police report, and a witness’ recollection are so extreme that the witness is not legally competent to testify. That’s especially true if the witness was impaired or biased.
Attorneys often use surveillance camera footage to supplement witness statements. Cameras, unlike human memories, do not make mistakes in perception or errors in judgment. Therefore, such evidence is almost bulletproof in court. Furthermore, the old saying is frequently true. Typically, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Surveillance video footage often isn’t immediately available. Lawyers must work to find it. Moreover, in court, attorneys must lay the proper foundation in these situations, or else the evidence is inadmissible.
First Party Liability
Ordinary negligence is the most common legal claim in car crash cases. In Ohio, an ordinary negligence claim has four basic elements:
Duty: Most drivers have a duty of reasonable care in most situations. They must obey the rules of the road and drive defensively. Commercial drivers, like taxi drivers and Uber drivers, have a higher duty of care since they are professional drivers.
Breach: Impaired operation and aggressive driving are the two most common breaches of care. Alcohol misuse is the most common form of driver impairment, and speeding is the most common form of aggressive driving. Alcohol impairment begins with the first drink, and the danger of speed begins at 1 mph over the limit.
Cause: Ohio is a proximate cause state. The breach must proximately cause, a Legalese term that basically means substantially cause damage. Victims/plaintiffs must also prove foreseeability. Medical mistakes are not foreseeable injuries to negligent drivers. Therefore, tortfeasors are not responsible for them, even though the crash put the victim in the hospital.
Damage: If the victim sustained a physical injury, compensation is available for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages are available as well, in some extreme cases.
Another doctrine, negligence per se, may be available as well. If a tortfeasor violated a safety law, like the DUI law, the tortfeasor might be liable for damages as a matter of law. This doctrine only applies if an emergency responder issues a citation to the tortfeasor and only to the tortfeasor.
Tortfeasors are individually responsible for the car crashes they cause. Third parties are often financially responsible for the damages these wrecks inflict.
Alcohol is the most common form of driver impairment. Therefore, dram shop liability claims are very common in Ohio. Bars, restaurants, and other commercial providers are liable for damages if they illegally sell alcohol to persons who later cause car crashes.
Sales to intoxicated individuals are the most common illegal sales in Ohio. Most bars know they shouldn’t sell these people alcohol, but frequently, they cannot resist the opportunity to make additional cash. Evidence of intoxication at the time of sale includes physical symptoms, such as bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, previous sales at that establishment, and the tortfeasor’s statements about excessive alcohol consumption.
Other illegal sales include underage sales and unlicensed sales. The old “they looked older” defense rarely holds up in court in underage sale cases. Unlicensed sales are common when a provider’s liquor license is suspended.
Respondeat superior employer liability often applies in aggressive driving cases. Many bosses pressure their drivers to deliver goods as quickly as possible, even if they must disregard the safety of other motorists.
This doctrine applies if the tortfeasor was an employee working in the course and scope of employment at the time. Ohio law defines all these keywords and phrases in broad, victim-friendly terms.
Rely on a Detail-Oriented Clermont County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Batavia, OH, car accident lawyer contact Kruger & Hodges, Attorneys at Law, by going online or calling 513-894-3333. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.