Ohio Car Accident Laws, Lawsuits & Lawyers Overview
The great State of Ohio is home to several past presidents and several unique points of interest. Five of the larger cities in Ohio include Cleveland, Toledo, Akron, Cincinnati, and Columbus (the capital), and between these cities and the other cities and towns in Ohio about 11.5 million people can be found within the state’s boundaries. Ohio is also home to several major highways, including the east-west traveling Interstate 70 and the north-south traveling Interstate 75. The population of Ohio combined with the presence of these major thoroughfares of interstate travel and commerce make conditions ripe for car crashes to occur in the Buckeye State.
If you or a loved one find yourself injured or killed in an Ohio car accident, it is important that you obtain prompt medical attention and that you consult with an experienced car crash attorney as soon as possible. You may be able to preserve your life and health and obtain compensation for your injuries.
Ohio Traffic Accident Statistics
Statistics regarding Ohio traffic crashes can be found at the website for the Ohio State Highway Patrol. These statistics show that 1,100 people lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2015. Almost 500 of these deaths were individuals who were not wearing their seatbelt at the time of the crash. There were also 401 people who were killed in a crash involving a driver suspected of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or some other intoxicating substance.
Many Ohio crashes can be prevented if drivers and passengers alike exercised reasonable care and caution while on the road. This can include (for example):
- Not consuming alcohol, drugs, or other impairing substances before driving;
- Obeying all traffic laws and driving defensively;
- Not looking at a cell phone or other distractions while driving but instead keeping one’s eyes and attention on the road;
- Making sure one’s vehicle is in good repair before each and every drive.
These may seem like simple steps, but many car crashes in Ohio and throughout the United States are caused because drivers violate one or more of these actions. When they do, they can cause car accidents that leave themselves and others dead or in a serious medical condition. At-fault drivers who cause injury to others may be held responsible for the economic and noneconomic costs of those injuries.
Ohio Is a “Fault Based” Insurance State
Ohio drivers must have an auto insurance policy with sufficient coverage before they can legally drive a vehicle. Ohio follows a “fault based” pattern that holds that the insurance company that insures a driver responsible for causing a crash should bear the burden of paying the expenses of the injury victims. If a driver does not have sufficient coverage to compensate the injury victims fully, or if the driver has no insurance policy at all, the injured party or parties may pursue a claim for compensation against the at-fault driver directly.
The fact that an injury victim may have contributed to the accident or to his or her own injuries is usually not a barrier to recovery unless the injury victim is determined to be more at fault than the other party by a judge or by a jury. If the injury victim was partially responsible for the accident and/or his or her own injuries, but the other party is determined to be more at fault, the compensation award given to the injury victim will be lowered to reflect the fact that the injury victim’s own carelessness played a role in the accident.
Ohio Car Crash Statute of Limitations
After your Ohio car crash, state law only gives you two years within which to file your claim for compensation in court. If you fail to file your lawsuit during this period of time, you may be foreclosed from ever obtaining compensation for your car crash-related injuries and losses. The two-year period begins to run on the day of your car crash (in most cases) and stops when either you file your case in court or when two years have elapsed. (Note that there are some exceptions to this general two-year timeline, but the exceptions only apply in very fact-specific circumstances. You should contact an attorney if you believe there are facts and circumstances in your case that made it impossible for you to have filed your lawsuit within two years.)
Contact Stern Law, PLLC to Discuss Your Case
Discovering the viability of your claim and preparing and filing your case are the two most important things you can do (from a legal vantage point) following a car crash. Stern Law, PLLC can help you accomplish both in an efficient manner. Call our office at (844) 808-7529 and discuss your car accident circumstances with us. We will honestly and vigorously help you determine and protect your rights to compensation.