A car accident may be a minor inconvenience that makes you late for work and requires a small repair — or it can be a life-altering incident. After a serious automobile crash, you may face a long recovery period, the need for rehabilitation, or even permanent disability. Often, the trauma of a severe injury is aggravated by concerns about large medical bills and the difficulty of supporting yourself and your family while you recover.
The attorneys at Plevin & Gallucci have devoted decades to helping people who have suffered serious injuries or lost loved ones. We have recovered more than $100 million in compensation for our clients, including millions of dollars for victims of car and truck accidents. We understand how important it is for Ohio car accident victims to have knowledgeable guidance from the outset. That’s why we offer free, no-obligation consultations. You can schedule yours right now by calling 855-4PLEVIN or filling out the contact form on this page.
The insurance industry has ingrained in all of us that these are auto accidents, car accidents, or the like. The reality is they are no accident. They are car crashes that occur to an innocent person when another person is speeding, drinking, texting, following too closely or doing something they should not be doing. While we do not call it a matter of car negligence, we should not be calling it a car accident either.– Frank Gallucci
Motor Vehicle Accidents in Ohio
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were nearly 300,000 traffic accidents in Ohio in 2019. The actual number is somewhat higher, since many minor collisions go unreported.
Those traffic crashes aren’t evenly distributed across the state. The two areas with the largest number of motor vehicle accidents are Cuyahoga County (which includes the city of Cleveland) and Franklin County (which includes the city of Columbus). Franklin and Cuyahoga counties respectively reported 34,194 and 33,956 traffic accidents during the calendar year. Together, these two counties account for nearly one-quarter of accidents statewide.
That’s about 93 traffic crashes per day in each of these two counties. While a small percentage of these accidents involve commercial trucks, buses, or motorcycles, the vast majority involve passenger vehicles such as cars, light trucks, and SUVs.
Most of these accidents are relatively minor. Nearly 75% involve property damage only. Unfortunately, some are quite serious. In 2019, more than 1,000 fatal car crashes took place on Ohio roads. And nearly 6,000 others are believed to have resulted in serious injury to at least one person.
Automobile Accident Risk Factors
Car accidents happen around the clock, year-round, in rural, urban, and residential settings. But some times and places are more dangerous than others. In Ohio, the largest concentration of traffic crashes happens during the evening rush hour. There are more crashes on weekdays than weekends, and more on Fridays than any other day of the week.
An earlier report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that fatal car crashes more often occurred in urban areas. In Ohio, 54% of fatal accidents took place in urban settings versus 44% in rural ones.
Why Do Ohio Car Accidents Happen?
Nearly always, motor vehicle accidents happen–at least in part–because a driver was negligent. Many factors can contribute to a car accident, including:
- Wet or icy roads;
- Low visibility due to weather or poor lighting;
- Poorly constructed or marked roadways, intersections, and ramps;
- Equipment failure;
- Debris in the roadway;
- An animal, pedestrian, or object suddenly entering the road.
However, in each of these circumstances, driver attentiveness plays a significant role. For example, when the road is slippery or visibility is poor, a driver should reduce speed and increase following distance. Similarly, the ability to avoid an accident when there is an object in the road or something unexpected happens like an animal darting out depends in large part on the driver.
In other words, a responsible driver will often be able to avoid an accident or reduce the seriousness of a collision. But that ability is reduced when a driver:
- Is distracted by texting or some other diversion;
- Is under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Is speeding;
- Fails to maintain a safe distance between vehicles;
- Has failed to properly maintain the vehicle;
- Is driving too fast for conditions;
- Is driving while fatigued.
So, even when it seems like an accident was caused by winter weather or some other outside factor, it often turns out that one or more of the drivers involved was at least partially responsible.
Liability in Ohio Car Accident Cases
When a driver contributes to a traffic crash through negligence, he or she may be partly or wholly responsible for any damages caused by that accident. Damages differ from case to case, but typically include things like:
- Medical expenses;
- Costs of rehabilitation;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering.
The best source of information about whether you may have a valid car accident claim is an experienced local car accident lawyer. No personal injury lawyer can guarantee a particular settlement or verdict–and you should be very wary of any who makes such a claim. However, an attorney who is experienced with car accident cases and with the local court system can explain the variables that will impact the strength of your case and your possible damages and tell you how local courts usually treat similar cases.
Consult an Ohio Car Accident Lawyer Today
Right after a serious injury, it’s hard to think about things like insurance paperwork and legal processes. You probably just want to rest and recover. But it’s to your advantage to get the ball rolling early. When you’re represented by a seasoned car accident attorney:
- You can hand off communications with insurance companies and other parties, reducing stress and minimizing the opportunity to make mistakes that could harm your claim;
- You give the attorney the best possible opportunity to investigate the crash, locate witnesses, and build a strong case for you;
- You can focus on your recovery while the attorney takes responsibility for managing deadlines and procedural requirements;
- You’ll move one step closer to securing the compensation you deserve.
To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney at Plevin & Gallucci, just call 855-4PLEVIN. Or if you prefer, fill out the contact form on this page and we’ll contact you.
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