Perhaps you were headed to work one morning, taking the route you usually take and driving safely and responsibly. Unfortunately, just because you are a safe driver, that is no guarantee that other drivers will be equally conscientious about following traffic laws and the rules of the road. Another driver looking at her phone, suddenly crosses the yellow line, slamming into you head-on. What began as a typical day has now turned into a traumatic event. As you are extracted from the car, you realize you cannot feel your lower limbs, and cold fear clutches your heart. You are transported to the Ohio State East Hospital, where you undergo emergency treatments and tests to determine the extent of your injuries.
Thankfully, the doctors believe you will not be permanently paralyzed, but expect that you will have many months—perhaps even years—of medical interventions and rehabilitative therapies. Of course, you cannot return to work—and are unsure of when or if you will ever be able to return to your chosen career. You see your medical expenses mounting alarmingly and have constant pain from your injuries. The at-fault driver should be held responsible for your damages, yet when you file a claim against his insurer, you are offered a meager settlement. The settlement provided will not even begin to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages, yet the insurer is pressuring you to take the settlement. What should you do?
What you shouldn’t do is continue trying to handle this matter on your own. Insurers gain instant respect for accident victims who have a strong, highly skilled law firm representing them. Once they know you are well-defined, they will know they cannot get away with paying you a quick, inadequate settlement. The Kruger & Hodges Ashville, OH, car accident lawyers are ready to be the strong advocate you need and deserve. After a comprehensive assessment of your injuries and a thorough investigation, we will show that your quality of life has significantly diminished due to the other driver’s negligence. We will then negotiate for a full, fair settlement on your behalf.
Local Car Accident Statistics
Although the NHTSA found that car accident fatalities decreased in 2022 over 2021, our nation continues to face a crisis of traffic deaths on our roadways. According to Insurify, Ohio ranked third in the country for the most car accidents. About 11.4 percent of Ohio drivers have an at-fault accident on their record, compared to the national average of about 8 percent. There are 1.19 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, with about 9,615 people killed in Ohio car accidents each year.
Preventative Measures for Avoiding a Car Accident
If you want to reduce your risk of a car accident (the “average” driver has a car accident every 17.9 years), you should consider the following tips:
Never drive when you are overly fatigued. According to Bankrate, quoting the National Safety Council, drowsy or fatigued driving is estimated to cause as many as 100,000 crashes yearly, 71,000 injuries from those accidents, and 1,550 fatalities.
Always follow traffic laws, signals, and the “rules of the road.” This means not tailgating, driving over the speed limit, or weaving in and out of traffic, to name a few.
Pay attention to your surroundings. Most of us were taught to constantly monitor the cars behind us by using the rearview mirror, the cars and road in front of us, and our own instrument panel in a continuous loop.
Always use your turn signals and headlights when appropriate
Be extra cautious in adverse weather conditions
Keep your vehicle in good repair
Never drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol
Keep distractions to a minimum. Don’t talk on your cell phone, text, eat, fiddle with car controls, or turn around to see what the children and dogs are doing in the back seat while driving. Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road, pulling over when you need to deal with something.
What Should You Do Following an Ashville, OH Car Accident?
If you are involved in an Ashville, OH, car accident, several things you can do will help preserve a future car accident claim. These include:
Always call 911 for the police and emergency medical services. Ask the officer when you can pick up the accident report.
Seek immediate medical treatment, even if you don’t think you are hurt that badly. Many injuries manifest later, over hours, or even days, after your adrenaline rush has worn off.
Exchange information with the other driver.
If there were witnesses, obtain witness contact information.
Take photographs of the accident scene with your cell phone if you are medically able.
Once you are home, write down anything you can remember about the accident.
Contact experienced Ashville, OH, car accident lawyers to discuss your case.
What is the Claim Process Following a Car Accident?
Once you have an attorney on board, your damages will be determined. Your attorney will then begin negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If the insurer refuses to pay a fair settlement, your attorney will file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver’s insurer, and the case will go to court, where a jury will determine damages. Once a settlement is reached, or there is a jury verdict, you should receive a check for your damages in approximately six weeks.
How Do I Know If I Have a Car Accident Case?
Only experienced Ashville, OH, car accident lawyers can help you determine whether or not you have a valid car accident claim. Most car accident cases rest on liability, so it must be clear that the other driver was either entirely liable for your car accident or primarily liable, depending on the state. In the state of Ohio, car accident claims fall under the standard of comparative negligence. This means that the injured party who is not more than 50 percent responsible for the accident is usually entitled to compensation—but the compensation will be reduced based on the injured person’s degree of fault.
For example, suppose you are going through an intersection when another driver runs a red light and hits you from the side. The other driver is clearly at fault, yet if it is found that you were exceeding the speed limit at the time, your compensation might be decreased by your assessed degree of fault. If you were found to be 10 percent at fault, your settlement of $50,000 would be reduced by ten percent so that you would receive $45,000. Your attorney can accurately determine your damages once liability is firmly established.
What is My Claim Worth?
Every claim is different in one way or another. When assessing what your claim is worth, the Kruger & Hodges attorneys will look at the following:
The extent of your injuries
Whether your injuries have adversely affected your quality of life
The level of medical treatments you have undergone—and will experience in the future
Whether your injuries have left you partially or fully disabled
Any lost wages, along with lost future wages
Whether your pain and suffering have affected your day-to-day life
If your injuries included disfiguring injuries
We will accurately calculate exactly what your claim is worth and then work hard to secure that amount from the insurer. If we need to go to court to ensure your settlement fully covers your damages, we have the experience and resources.
How to Choose Ashville, OH Car Accident Lawyers
When you’ve been injured, and in pain, the prospect of hiring a lawyer may feel overwhelming. However, there are several crucial aspects to ponder when enlisting the services of a car accident lawyer, along with essential questions to ask before finalizing any agreement. These inquiries include:
How extensive is their experience in handling car accident cases in Ohio?
Have they previously dealt with cases involving similar injuries?
What is the attorney’s track record in terms of depositions and trials?
What proportion of their law firm is dedicated to motor vehicle accident litigation?
What about personal injury litigation?
When and how do I incur financial obligations, and how is the calculation determined?
At Kruger & Hodges, we know you have choices, and we believe that once you speak to an attorney at our law firm, your choice will be clear. We fight for our clients, never backing down from a big insurance company that refuses to pay what your claim is worth. We will thoroughly investigate your car accident to definitively prove liability, then assess what your damages are worth financially.
How Can a Kruger & Hodges Lawyer Help Me Following an Ashville, OH, Car Accident?
The Ashville, OH, car accident lawyers from Kruger & Hodges are ready to assist you during this difficult time. Our attorneys have a wide range of legal experiences; one has years of daily courtroom experience, while the other began his career at one of the most prestigious law firms in Ohio, assisting in the defense of large corporations and governmental entities. This level of experience, both in and out of the courtroom, really sets our firm apart from many others—and benefits you and your current car accident claim. We offer experience, knowledge, compassion, and a wide-ranging skill set. Contact Kruger & Hodges today.