What Should I Do After a Rear-End Collision in Cincinnati?
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Cincinnati Rear-End Collision Lawyer
It can happen anywhere.
From a car idling at a stoplight to getting struck while trying to find a parking space at a crowded grocery store parking lot, rear-end collisions represent one of the most common types of auto accidents. The physical consequences of a rear-end car accident range from minor headaches to severe damage to the spinal cord. Like most other vehicle collisions, the severity of the injuries sustained because of a rear-end accident is a function of the speed the moving car made upon impact.
Read-end collisions in Cincinnati happen most often downtown, where there is the greatest concentration of traffic signals, as well as bustling social venues where large crowds congregate. However, rear-end accidents also occur frequently in suburbs such as White Oak and across the Ohio River in Covington, Kentucky. If you sustained one or more injuries as a result of a rear-end car accident in Cincinnati, you should be proactive and contact an Ohio-licensed personal injury attorney.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide you with the legal support to file a claim that receives prompt approval from your car insurance company. A personal injury litigator can also conduct a thorough review of your case to determine whether the motorist who rear-ended you committed one or more acts of negligence. If your attorney discovers negligence played a role in causing you harm, you might have a strong enough case to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
At Morgan & Morgan, we have provided legal support for car accident victims Since 1988. Our team of personal injury lawyers understands how a car accident can turn your life upside down. Our goal is to get you the compensation that you deserve, without you having to wait a considerable amount of time to get paid. Morgan & Morgan has recovered more than $14 billion in monetary damages for our clients since we opened our first office more than 30 years ago.
Schedule a free case evaluation with one of the highly-skilled personal injury attorneys at Morgan & Morgan.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions?
One of the first items on your personal injury lawyer’s to-do list during the free case evaluation is to determine the cause of the rear-end car accident. You should provide your attorney with a copy of the official police report that includes a determination by law enforcement about what caused your injuries.
Let’s review the three most common causes of rear-end accidents.
Distracted driving is a common cause of any type of car collision, but it is especially relevant when discussing the causes of rear-end accidents. A motorist who looks down at a text message has lost control of the vehicle. Distracted driving can lead to rear-end accidents at traffic lights, in crowded parking lots, and throughout quick-service drive-through lanes. Texting is not the only form of distracted driving. Old-school eating and applying makeup while driving remains a serious threat to public safety.
Drivers that follow too close to a car in front of them while not accurately accounting for speed commit a negligent act called tailgating. When a car in front of a tailgater applies the brakes, the tailgater does not have enough time to come to a stop before colliding with the vehicle that has stopped. Rear-end collisions caused by tailgating can occur on just about any type of road. When a tailgating accident happens on a highway where the speed limit is at least 55 miles per hour, the injuries sustained by the victims of the accident can be severe, even life-threatening.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol impairs judgments, as well as slows down reaction times. Both impaired judgment and slower reaction times combine to form the perfect storm for causing a rear-end auto collision. A driver who hit your car from behind while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol has committed an act of negligence. Hiring one of the experienced personal injury attorneys from Morgan & Morgan can help you recover just compensation for the injuries you have sustained.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Caused by a Rear-End Collision in Cincinnati?
Think of the physics involved in a rear-end car accident. One driver remains stationary, while a second motorist is moving at a speed ranging from under 10 miles per hour to more than 70 miles an hour. The stationary driver is highly vulnerable to sustaining severe injuries that are commonly associated with rear-end collisions in Cincinnati.
Whiplash, which refers to the head snapping back fast before thrusting forward at a similar rate, can cause neck and shoulder injuries that can take years to rehabilitate. The strongest types of whiplash can force the head to strike the dashboard or steering wheel to produce lingering headaches, some of which might reach migraine status. Symptoms can develop on the spot or take a few hours to appear.
The amount of time it takes for you to sneeze and blink your eyes is about the amount of time it takes for a standard car airbag to deploy. However, the most forceful rear-end collision can cause your head to move forward at a speed that beats the deployment of an airbag. The result is some form of brain trauma, from a mild concussion to a loss of consciousness. Moreover, a rear-end accident can force your head to hit hard on the side door or the front seat headrest.
Spinal Cord Damage
The spine is structured to bend in certain ways. When a violent impact caused by a rear-end collision reaches the spine, it can bend in ways that cause serious structural damage. Other types of spinal cord damage include fractures and herniated discs. Overcoming severe spinal damage can take a lifetime of intensive physical therapy sessions.
What Are the Car Accident Laws in Ohio?
Cincinnati creates and enforces most of the traffic laws that cover drivers that move throughout the Queen City. State laws that impact drivers concern the legal principles involved when litigating a rear-end car accident case.
Statute of Limitations in Ohio
The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time you have to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. Ohio gives plaintiffs two years to file a civil lawsuit. The statute of limitations in Ohio of two years starts on the day of a rear-end collision. If you fail to meet the deadline for filing a civil lawsuit against the driver who rear-ended your vehicle, the court clerk processing your lawsuit will dismiss it.
Although you have two years to file a civil lawsuit, you should take legal action as quickly as possible after a rear-end collision in Cincinnati. Your attorney should interview witnesses right after a car accident to receive the most reliable accounts of what transpired when the other driver rear-ended you. If you and your attorney believe you will receive compensation from an approved insurance claim, this does not mean you should stop the litigation process. Your injuries, as well as the damage done to your car, might require a much higher payout than the one offered by your insurance company.
Comparative Fault in Ohio
Comparative fault represents a legal principle in which more than one party assumes at least part of the blame for causing a car accident. States have the option to follow different approaches to applying the comparative fault legal principle. In Ohio, a victim of a rear-end collision in Cincinnati who also shares some of the blame for causing the accident can collect monetary damages. However, the monetary damages awarded by a judge decline by a percentage of the blame assigned to the victim of the auto collision.
For example, if another motorist hit you while you idled your car at a red light, a judge hearing your case might assign you 20 percent of the blame for causing the accident because your brake lights did not work at the time of the accident. This means that if the judge hearing your case awarded $50,000 in monetary damages, you receive just $40,000 of the award because the judge assigned you 20 percent of the blame for causing the rear-end collision.
How Should I Handle a Rear-End Auto Collision?
Getting involved in a rear-end collision in Cincinnati can overwhelm you with negative emotions that prevent you from remaining calm and making the best decisions. Following a few steps that apply to all types of car accidents should help you build a strong case for your insurance company and the judge hearing your civil lawsuit.
Contact Law Enforcement
Unless a rear-end collision is nothing more than a fender bender, you should call the nearest police station to request assistance. One or more members of a law enforcement agency conduct a comprehensive investigation that includes collecting evidence and determining the cause of the collision. The formal police report released for your attorney to review represents one of the most influential documents for resolving civil lawsuits and insurance claims.
Get Medical Care
Regardless of how much pain you feel right after a rear-end accident, you should receive medical care to ensure you do not develop delayed symptoms. Getting medical care also provides you with records that prove the extent of your injuries, as well as how much medical care has cost you and what your physician decides for your short-term and long-term health prognosis.
Images of your injuries should be a part of the medical records submitted by your doctor to your attorney and the lawyer representing the other party. If you feel up to it, take photos of the accident scene, with a focus on traffic signs and devices such as signals and speed limit signs. Images that depict the damage done to your car also should be handed over to your personal injury attorney.
Information From Witnesses
The law enforcement agency responding to the rear-end accident should interview witnesses that saw what transpired before, during, and after the rear-end collision in Cincinnati. However, your personal injury lawyer will want the names and contact information of each witness before conducting interviews that can support the physical evidence gathered at the scene of the rear-end collision.
If you sustained one or more injuries that resulted from a rear-end car accident, act with a sense of urgency by scheduling a free case evaluation with one of the highly-rated personal injury attorneys at Morgan & Morgan.