Auto and truck accidents occur every day on roadways across the nation – and Ohio is no exception. In fact, the Ohio Department of Public Safety’s 2013 Ohio Traffic Crash Facts Book revealed that there were 269,082 total traffic crashes were recorded in the Buckeye State in 2013. Sadly, nearly 1,000 people died on Ohio roadways.
At The Robenalt Law Firm, Inc., we understand that car accidents occur for a variety of reasons including drunk driving, speeding/reckless driving, distracted driving, drowsy driving, faulty auto parts, weather conditions, construction work zones and more:
- Drunk Driving. Driving under the influence (DUI) or operating a vehicle under the influence as it is known in Ohio, accounted for nearly 30 percent of all Ohio traffic fatalities in 2013. Ohio’s DUI / OVI laws make it illegal for those over 21 years of age to drive with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08% or more. Those under 21 cannot drive with a BAC of .02% or more and commercial truck drivers cannot drive with a BAC of over .04%. DUI /OVI offenses not only result in jail time and fines, but can also cause serious personal injury, property damage and death.
- Speeding / Reckless Driving. Speeding and reckless driving are sure ways to increase the likelihood of serious injury and death. However, many drivers ignore speed limits, act recklessly and end up injuring or killing innocent drivers, passengers, pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Distracted Driving. Distracted driving offenses – including texting, emailing and using phones, navigation devices, DVD players and radios while behind the wheel – are becoming more frequent causes of serious injury and death. According to the National Safety Council, 23 percent of all crashes each year involve cell phone use, resulting in 1.3 million crashes nationally. Sadly, research indicates that not even hands-free driving is any safer as the overall cognitive distraction is what causes accidents.
- Drowsy Driving. Many drivers fail to pull over to the side of the road or stop at rest areas when they become too tired to drive. Needless to say, drowsy driving is dangerous – especially when large trucks are involved. Yet, many truck drivers push the limits in order to make deliveries and endanger others in the process. Luckily, newer laws restrict how long truckers can drive and make it possible to find out how long they were at the wheel without a break.
- Faulty Parts. Faulty auto and truck parts can cause serious injury or death – even when drivers are acting responsibly. Unfortunately, car manufacturers don’t always act as responsibly as the record number of car recalls (nearly 60 million in 2014) shows.
- Weather Conditions. Snow, ice, sleet, hail, rain and fog can make driving treacherous – especially during Ohio’s cold winter months. Sadly, many drivers do not act responsibly when weather conditions suggest driving more cautiously.
- Construction Work Zones. Roadway and construction work zones can be hazardous as drivers navigate their way through lane changes and maneuver through a maze of signs, barrels and barriers. Sometimes drivers don’t pay attention and sometimes construction zones themselves are inherently unsafe.
Regardless of how an auto accident occurs, rest assured that the insurance company involved will have a team attorneys representing its best interests. Those interests equate to paying you as little as possible – if nothing at all. Make sure you’ve got someone to represent yours.
Uninsured Motorist and Underinsured Motorist Claims
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by a motorist who did not have insurance or were injured while riding as a passenger (even if the driver of that car was at fault), you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries under your own insurance policy.
Unfortunately, a significant portion of our population operates a motor vehicle without adequate insurance coverage. If you or a family member have been injured by a motorist that does not have full insurance coverage, you may be entitled to compensation from your own auto insurance company as long as you paid insurance premiums for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This is often referred to as UM/UIM coverage.
Some people worry that if they submit a claim for UM/UIM coverage, their rates will go up. Fortunately, states like Ohio have laws that prohibit insurance companies from raising auto rates if you make a claim under the UM/UIM policy. This makes sense because the injuries you sustained were not caused by your own negligence, so why should your rates go up?
We have handled UM/UIM claims in the following types of cases where injury was:
- sustained by an individual who was a passenger in a car, even if the driver of that car was at fault;
- caused by vehicles that we're operated by motorists who did not have adequate insurance to cover the damages;
- sustained by pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists where the negligent and at fault driver didn't have adequate insurance coverage
If you been injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by someone who did not have adequate insurance or no insurance at all, call us. An auto accident lawyer can help.
Should You Settle Your Auto Accident Claim By Yourself?
The answer to that question might be yes when injuries are minimal and little or no medical treatment was involved. If medical benefits have been paid by a health insurance company or your own auto insurance company, you'll have to make sure that they get reimbursed out of the settlement.
However, most often an injured party will be more fairly compensated with the assistance of an attorney – even after paying legal fees and expenses. This is especially true if you have significant medical bills. Your attorney has a better chance of obtaining adequate compensation and being able to negotiate with your health or auto insurance carrier to reduce subrogation claims that will be asserted.
When injuries are significant, your attorney will work with your medical providers to ensure that the insurance company knows of any and all injuries, permanent limitations and/or permanent injuries. You might also be entitled to compensation from your own auto insurance carrier – something that is often overlooked by a person when settling the case on their own.
Dealing with a sophisticated auto insurance carrier in the settlement of a personal injury claim is not something that should be taken lightly. Consultation with an attorney is highly recommended. Insurance adjusters are trained to resolve cases quickly and for small sums of money even when the accident was significant. Insurance companies like to settle claims quickly because often times these cases are settled before the person knows the extent of their injuries.
You May Be Entitled To Compensation – Let Us Fight For You
Anyone who has been injured in, or had a loved one die from, a car or truck accident may be entitled to compensation in the form of medical expenses, lost wages, potential loss of future earnings, physical pain and suffering, emotional pain and suffering, loss of consortium and more.
At Robenalt Law, we understand how insurance companies operate first hand. In fact, attorney Tom Robenalt worked for insurance companies until he decided that helping victims was what he wanted to do. That experience can help you at the bargaining table – and at trial if it comes to that. Let us fight for you.
Keep in mind that Ohio law requires the filing of an auto injury lawsuit within two years after the accident or death, so contacting an experienced Ohio auto accident lawyer as soon as possible is always in your best interests.
Cleveland Auto Accident Lawyer
Call Us: For a free consultation: call (216) 223-7535, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or use our online form.
The Robenalt Law Firm, Inc. represent clients in Cleveland, throughout Ohio, and elsewhere. In most cases, there is no fee unless we win. Contact a Cleveland auto accident lawyer today!