Car Accident Attorney Cleveland, Ohio
Helping Victims Navigate the Claims and Legal Process
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, in 2019, there were 209,237 crashes in the state. Of those, 1,041 resulted in death, and 5,983 in serious injury. Sadly, many car accidents are caused by drivers who act recklessly or negligently, meaning that several collisions could have been prevented. Fortunately, personal injury law allows victims of accidents caused by others to take legal action. Pursuing a claim or lawsuit is a way to hold the at-fault party financially responsible for the harm they caused. That means if you or a loved one was injured in a car crash, you may have legal recourse and can seek monetary recovery for accident-related expenses and losses.
The laws concerning your rights after a traffic collision can be difficult to interpret, especially if you don't have a legal background and when you are recovering from your injuries. At Henderson, Mokhtari & Weatherly, we understand the challenges you might face when trying to pursue a claim, which is why we can provide the representation you need to navigate your case. Our car accident attorneys in Cleveland have over 75 years of combined experience and a thorough understanding of the processes you must go through to resolve your case. With 24/7 availability and a commitment to communicate effectively with our clients, we will be responsive and ready to help when you need us.
Common Causes of Car Accidents
Many factors are at play when you're traveling on the road. As such, several things can go wrong, which can result in a crash. The causes of car accidents vary widely and can arise from driver error, product defects, and environmental conditions, among others.
The most common causes of car accidents include:
- Distracted driving: This is when motorists are not paying attention to the road. Their hands may be off the wheel, their eyes off the highway, or their mind off the task at hand. Distracted driving behaviors include but are not limited to eating, fiddling with the radio, and looking at passengers while talking to them. One of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving is texting while driving, as it requires the driver to disengage fully from operating their vehicle. Recently, it has become one of the leading causes of auto accidents.
- Drunk driving: Although state law prohibits getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, some people still engage in this dangerous behavior. When they do, they endanger the lives of others, as they are unable to operate their cars safely.
- Speeding: When a person speeds down the highway, their ability to react to unexpected hazards and safely control their vehicle is severely hampered. One wrong, wrong move while speeding can result in an accident that severely alters another person's life.
- Reckless driving: When people are on the road, they're expected to adhere to traffic laws. That means they must obey speed limits, traffic control devices, and road signs, among other things. If they violate a law or drive aggressively, they have breached their duty of care and may be liable for damages resulting from accidents they caused.
- Mechanical defects: Some accidents may be caused by the failure of car parts. For instance, a tire can blow out and cause a driver to lose control of their vehicle. If the mechanical failure was the result of a defective design or a manufacturing error, the company may be held responsible for the crash.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Most people driving on the roads will be involved in a car accident at least once during their lifetime. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 43,000 people die a year in vehicle accidents, and another 2.9 million sustain injuries. This damage, depending on the severity, will need to be treated by a medical professional. The following injuries are the most commonly sustained in car accidents.
Head injury was one of the biggest reasons airbags were installed in all vehicles manufactured after 1998 and seatbelt use became mandatory in most states. Studies show airbags reduce the risk of death in a head-on collision by 30% and head injury was lowest among people who used airbags and seatbelts. Without these two precautions, people sustained skull fractures and brain injury. While brain injury might sometimes be mild, individuals who do suffer from such damage can experience memory problems, depression, and cognitive difficulties for 6 months or longer after the accident occurred.
Even small collisions to the back of your car can jerk your head forward in an injury called whiplash. The damage from whiplash may go away in 24 hours, but other people can experience the following symptoms for a few days after the injury:
- Neck pain/stiffness
- Pain between the shoulder blades
- Lower back pain
- Pain/numbness in arm and/or hand
- Difficulty recollecting information
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleeping problems
In more dangerous accidents, however, people can experience debilitating injury as a result of spinal damage. Severe whiplash is called a flexion distraction fracture and could require surgery. In some cases, complications from this injury led to scoliosis, a flat back, or the development of spinal cysts (which can result in chronic pain, respiratory failure, or death). Other spinal injuries include soft tissue bruising/tearing, herniated discs, compression fractures, transverse process fractures, and dislocation fractures.
While seatbelts can protect you from severe brain damage, it may also cause trauma to the chest area. Depending on how severe the car accident was, the impact from an accident may cause a seatbelt to bruise or even fracture ribs and sternum. Likewise, the straps across the abdomen and chest could cause internal trauma, such as damage to the intestines, liver, spleen, lungs, or trachea. Internal bleeding is extremely dangerous and must be treated as soon as possible by a medical professional.
Damage to limbs may not seem as severe as injury to the head or internal organs, but it can lead to extended stays in the hospital, surgery, and physical therapy. It shouldn’t be overlooked that car accidents are occasionally extremely grisly. In addition to broken bones, fractures, lacerations, and bruising, car accidents can cause amputations in cases where the limb is so badly damaged it can’t be rescued.
Car accidents can be extremely traumatic, both physically and mentally. Although most people come out of car accidents no more psychologically unsound than they were before, studies have found some people develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, or anxiety disorders. About 9% of people involved in car accidents develop PTSD. Those who seek mental-health treatment show higher numbers—between 14% and 100% of auto accident survivors have PTSD. In that percentage group, 3%–53% of survivors also have a mood disorder. In another study of survivors seeking treatment, 27% had an anxiety disorder, and 15% had a phobia of driving in addition to the PTSD. Development of a driving phobia can be debilitating in any city requiring the use of a vehicle to get to and from work.
Call Today for Help with Your Case
If you were involved in a traffic collision, speak with our Cleveland car accident attorneys today. We can investigate your case, identify the cause and responsible party, and help you file a claim. At Henderson, Mokhtari & Weatherly, we can fight for you every step of the way, protecting your rights and seeking just compensation for the harm you suffered.
- 75+ Years of Combined Experience
- A Team-Oriented Approach
- Available 24/7 for Our Clients
- Unmatched Work Ethic & Passion for Winning