Were You In A Car Accident?
Columbus Car Accident Victims Need an Experienced Lawyer
Car accidents last only a few seconds, but often change the lives of the victims and their families forever. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a car accident in Columbus, do not rely on the anecdotal advice of well-meaning relatives or friends and certainly do not take on the impossible task of dealing with insurance companies on your own. Talk to an experienced car accident attorney.
The Smith Law Office has been providing car accident victims throughout central Ohio with outstanding legal representation for more than 30 years.You're not simply hiring a car accident lawyer; you are working with a tireless advocate. The sooner we begin working for you, the sooner we can help you restore your life to normal. Call 614-846-1700 or contact us online. To make your life even easier, we work on a contingency fee basis. In other words, we don't collect a penny from you in fees until we make a recovery in your case.
Attorney Scott Elliot Smith is prepared to go head-to-head with the insurance companies and pursue maximum compensation for clients. He knows your case is not just about the money. It's about getting closure. It's about putting your life back to the way it was prior to the injury. Attorney Scott Elliot Smith has the experience and resources to get clients the results they need and deserve. Call 614-846-1700.
If you've been hurt in a car accident, you probably have many questions. The legal team at the Smith Law Office has helped thousands of victims in Columbus and throughout central Ohio move forward. Here are some of the most common questions we're often asked after car crashes:
What do I do after a car accident?
Follow these steps if you are involved in a car accident:
- Stay calm. When auto accidents occur, it’s normal for people involved to feel anxious and upset. When you’re agitated, you may forget to seek necessary information that could help you in the long run. Accidents are traumatic, especially if you sustain injuries. Try to keep a cool head.
- Get medical help. Call 911 and request an ambulance if someone is injured, or if you think someone may be injured.
- Call the police. The police will make a report of the facts of the accident. Cooperate and be polite with law enforcement, but do not admit fault, even if you think you caused the accident. Tell them if you think someone was driving under the influence or was otherwise distracted while driving. Stay at the scene until they give you permission to leave.
- Gather information. Obtain information from those involved in the accident, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and witnesses. You need each person’s name, address, and phone number, as well as the license plate number, make and model, and insurance information on each vehicle.
- Get statements from witnesses. Look around the accident scene and gather information from people who may have witnessed the accident. Don’t discuss the accident with the witnesses; ask them questions and write down what they tell you. Be sure to ask for the witnesses’ names, addresses, and phone numbers.
- Take photos of the accident scene. If you have a camera (or can take pictures with your phone), photograph the accident scene, including street signs, skid marks, and damage to vehicles.
- Take notes about the accident. You were there, you were involved, and you know what happened. Write down what you remember so that you can refer to your notes if you’re later challenged by an insurance company.
- Don't admit fault. Don’t apologize or tell anyone, including the police, that you were at fault for the accident. Stick to the facts of what happened. You are not in a position to determine fault at the scene.
- Notify your insurance company – carefully. You do need to notify your insurance company of an accident in a timely manner but keep your comments brief and stick to the facts. Any insurance company, even your own, can use your statements against you.
- Don’t talk to the other driver’s insurance company. They may seem friendly, but they’re not on your side. Refer their inquiries to your lawyer.
- Don’t give a recorded statement. Any recorded statement can be taken out of context or even altered to use against you. If an insurance company needs a statement from you, sit down with your attorney to draft a written statement that accurately tells your side of the story and protects your rights.
- Don’t sign anything from an insurance company without talking to an attorney first. Remember, once you’ve taken an insurance company’s money, that’s it. You can’t go back for more. Review any settlement offer with your lawyer before you sign.
- Call a car accident lawyer. The decisions you make after an accident can have a huge effect on your life. Don’t make those decisions alone. Get a free consultation with an experienced attorney who can explain your legal rights.
For most drivers, a car accident is something that happens to someone else. Even the most cautious drivers can get into a car accident, though, even if it’s through no fault of their own. It's important for all drivers to be prepared and know what to do after an accident.
How long do I have to report an accident to police in Ohio?
If you or a passenger were injured in a car accident, don’t delay taking action. Your right to compensation may be impacted by the statute of limitations, which limits the amount of time you have to file a claim. You only have two years to take legal action in Ohio after an accident. This might seem like a long time, but building a legal case often takes longer than you might realize. The longer you wait, the harder it often becomes to gather the evidence you need to win your case.
Is Ohio a no-fault state for car accidents?
Ohio is a “fault” car insurance state. This means the person at fault for the accident is generally considered liable for paying the damages, which is financial compensation. Damages can include medical expenses for anyone injured in the accident, as well as property damage. Getting compensation isn’t easy because the system isn’t as simple as it sounds, especially if your accident involves an uninsured or underinsured driver.
How much is my car accident worth?
That depends on the circumstances of your accident and the extent of your injuries. In general, after a car accident where somebody gets hurt, you may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, replacement services (yard work, housekeeping, childcare) and non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering
Is it worth getting a lawyer for my car accident?
You may think you can handle insurance companies alone, but we strongly encourage you to at least speak to a lawyer. Remember, insurance companies have legal representation, and you should, too. Studies have shown that victims who even meet with an attorney recover substantially more than those who don’t – and people who actually retain an attorney recover several times as much.
We know you may be worried about whether you can afford an attorney. That’s why we help injury victims on a contingency fee basis. Our law firm will advance all costs related to moving your case forward, and if you don’t recover any money, you don’t owe us a cent. That means you have nothing to lose and potentially much to gain.
How an Experienced Columbus Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
To lessen your worries, Scott Elliot Smith will stand by your side during every step of the lawsuit process. You're not hiring just a lawyer; you are working with a tireless advocate whose own best interests are the exact same as your own. If you've been injured in a hit and run accident, a drunk driving accident, a rear-end accident, or by someone who was too busy using their cell phone or texting to pay attention to the road, our three decades of experience will prove invaluable to securing both justice and fair financial compensation for you and your loved ones. We also represent families of people killed in fatal crashes.
Scott Elliot Smith does his own investigation of your accident to find out what really happened. He knows where to look for evidence of negligence. He'll review all relevant documentation, including accident reports and medical records. He'll identify and interview all witnesses to the accident. If needed, he'll consult an accident reconstruction expert. He knows how to build a strong case that proves the negligence of a car or truck driver, or trucking company, was responsible for the accident that left you hurt.
Recovering financially from an accident is much more than just receiving compensation for the damage or replacement of your car. Based on our extensive background, we will know almost immediately if you or your loved ones are entitled to compensation for hospitalization and other medical bills, pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages, disfigurement or physical therapy. We will explore all your legal options. Visit our Car Accident FAQ page to learn more about how we handle these cases.
Car Accident Injuries Require Real-Life Legal Experience
One of the many traits that make Scott Smith stand out as a Columbus car accident attorney is that he has decades of experience and continues to learn about the latest laws and legal issues. In addition to his law school education, he pursues ongoing training necessary to keep up to date with the latest laws. He also knows you need a compassionate advocate if you've suffered some of the more common car accident injuries:
- Broken bones
- Neck and back pain
- Concussion or other traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord injury or paralysis
- Internal injuries requiring surgery
- Facial and other head injuries
- Burn injuries
Recovering from an accident is a series of challenges. You need to know what to do after an accident to protect your rights. You need to seek the best health care. You may be dealing with insurance companies who are more interested in minimizing your settlement to protect their bottom line than watching out for your interests. Sadly, this even holds true for your own insurance company. Yes, that same one you've paid thousands of dollars in premiums over the years without ever filing a claim until now.
Building Winning Cases For Real People
Beating car insurance companies isn't easy, but it is possible. Scott Elliot Smith has been doing just that for decades. Building a winning case starts with a thorough investigation. We interview witnesses, pore over crash reports, and consult medical experts to get the full picture of your injuries and their impact on your life. They're conducting their own investigation, and we'll take care of yours to level the playing field.
Armed with those facts, Scott Elliot Smith and his team will face the insurance company on your behalf. He'll negotiate for a settlement that meets all of your financial needs, and if they aren't willing to pay, he'll take them to trial. With dozens of jury trials under his belt and a stellar 95 percent success rate, he's the lawyer you want in your corner when facing the insurance company.
Scott Elliot Smith has seen it all before, and he's ready to use that experience to drive your case. Schedule a free consultation by calling 614-846-1700 or contacting us online.