Columbus Car Accident Lawyers

Car and motorcycle accidents are an unfortunate and scary reality of our roadways.  According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, in Ohio, there were 295,000 car crashes in 2019.  Automobile accidents can have life-changing consequences.  In the aftermath of a crash, the last thing that you need to have on your mind are the legal implications of the accident.  Thankfully, the trusted Columbus car accident attorneys at Katz, Pryor & DiCuccio, LLP are here to handle these potential legal issues on your behalf.  Insurance companies have attorneys on their side, and so should you. 

There are a number of causes of automobile accidents, and each will carry with it their own legal and factual complications and issues.  We handle motor vehicle accidents involving:

  • Distracted Driving
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs
  • Defective car manufacturing
  • Hit and Runs
  • Violation of traffic laws
  • And much more

Our Columbus Car Accident Attorneys are on your side 

To recover damages from an automobile accident, the damaged party will assert a claim of negligence.  To recover damages for an injury resulting from an automobile accident on a theory of negligence, the victim must prove the following elements:

  1. That the other party owed them a duty;
  2. That the other party breached its duty;
  3. That the breach of duty was an actual and proximate cause of the victim’s injury; and
  4. That the victim suffered harm or injuries.

Under the element of duty, the victim must show that the opposing party owed the victim a duty to act, or refrain from acting in a certain way.  This is typically a duty of reasonable care, in other words, to drive in a way that does not result in injury to the other driver.  Breach of duty simply means that the party failed to meet the standard of care or duty that they owed to the victim.  In automobile injury cases, this typically means that the driver’s conduct was not of the quality of a reasonable driver in that situation.  Next, to prove causation, the victim must prove what is known as proximate cause.  Proximate cause can be difficult to define and difficult to understand.  Proximate cause looks to whether the injury suffered was a reasonably foreseeable result of the conduct or the natural and probable result of the conduct.  Thus, damages from injuries that were foreign and remote to the actor’s conduct may not be recoverable.  All of the aforementioned elements have numerous sub-rules and exceptions, and a number of legal arguments and issues may arise in bringing and successfully proving a negligence claim.

One sub-category of negligence that frequently applies in automobile accidents is that of negligence per se.  Negligence per se applies when the duty/standard of care is established by statute.  When an individual fails to comply with that statute, they breach the duty imposed by that statute.  Therefore, in an automobile injury case, if the victim can show that the other party failed to comply with a traffic law which requires drivers to comply with a certain standard of care, the theory of negligence per se treats the elements of duty and breach to be proven.  However, the victim must still prove the element of causation.

In an automobile accident, there are even ways that a party who was not driving the vehicle, or even involved at all in the crash, may be liable for the victim’s injuries.  One such way is through the doctrine of negligent entrustment.  This doctrine states that an injured party may sue the owner of the automobile for damages if that owner knowingly, through actual knowledge or knowledge which can be inferred from the circumstances, permitted an incompetent or otherwise inexperienced driver to operate that vehicle, and his or her negligent operation caused the injury.  Another common way that a party other than the driver of the vehicle may be liable is through employer liability.  Generally, an employer is liable for the conduct of their employees when the employee is acting within the scope of his or her employment.  However, determining whether an employee was acting in the scope of his or her employment is a highly fact-specific inquiry and will depend largely on the specific circumstances of each case.  In addition, there are numerous statutes that limit liability in such situations, so employer liability is likely to be a highly litigated and highly complicated issue in any automobile injury case. 

An experienced and trusted Columbus car accident lawyer will help you make legal claims in a timely manner

Finally, it is always important to keep in mind the statute of limitations in any legal claim – the point at which an individual may no longer assert a legal claim simply because too much time has passed since the injury. In Ohio, this is governed by Ohio Revised Code § 2305.10a9(A), which reads “An action for bodily injury… shall be brought within two years after the cause of action accrues.” Thus, a claimant injured in an automobile accident has two years from the accident causing their injury in which to file their claims. Beyond this two-year time frame, the statute of limitations will bar their claim.

Columbus Car Accident Insurance Claims

Additionally, after an accident, you will need to process a claim with your insurance company, but this can sometimes be a challenging process. Processing auto accident claims is not just about recovering your property damage and present medical bills but also is also about working with the insurance companies to ensure compensation for ongoing and unresolved symptoms, disability, time off work, pain and suffering. Other complicated issues will arise if you are in an accident with an uninsured motorist. Thankfully, our experienced and highly skilled attorneys can help you in processing these claims, and resolving any disputes which may arise in the process.

Have you been involved in or injured in a car accident?  The experienced Columbus attorneys at Katz, Pryor, and DiCuccio, LLP can help. Please contact us at (614) 363-3500 or to schedule your consultation now.