High-Speed Impact Crashes
In 2013, the Ohio General Assembly passed a bill that increased speed limits on rural stretches of federal and state routes throughout the Buckeye State. Speed limits on rural freeways—the sections of major highways that pass through sparsely populated areas—rose to 70 miles per hour, and speed limits on rural divided highways increased to 60 miles per hour.
While higher speed limits in Ohio lessened drivers’ concerns of being issued tickets by police, it also increased the likelihood of more motorists being involved in a high-speed impact collision. Accidents involving vehicles traveling at high speeds are far more likely to be fatal or result in catastrophic injuries.
Lawyer for High-Speed Impact Crashes in Cincinnati, Ohio
Were you seriously injured or was your loved one killed in a high-speed accident caused by another party’s negligence? You should avoid making any kind of statement to insurance company representatives until you have legal counsel.
The Cincinnati personal injury attorneys at Steiden Law Offices pursue justice for clients injured in car accidents in Kenton County, Boone County, and Campbell County in Kentucky as well as Warren County, Butler County, Hamilton County, and Clermont County in Ohio. We can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call to take advantage of a free, no obligation consultation.
Overview of High-Speed Impact Accidents in Kentucky
- What kinds of injuries do people sustain in high-speed collisions?
- How much compensation can crash victims recover in these cases?
- Where can I find more information about high-speed car crashes in Cincinnati?
The nature of the injuries that car accident victims suffer depends on a multitude of factors. The speeds that the vehicles were traveling, the point of impact, and the number of automobiles involved can all contribute to the severity of the injuries people sustain.
In most high-speed collisions, accident victims will have lengthy hospital stays and may be unable to return to work for several weeks or months—if they are able to work again at all. Some of the most serious cases can result in such injuries as:
- Spinal Cord Injuries;
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs);
- Fractures / Broken Bones;
- Internal Organ Injuries;
- Eye Injuries;
- Nerve Damage;
- Burn Injuries;
- Facial Disfigurement of Deformities;
- Concussions; or
- Wrongful Deaths.
In many cases, insurance companies will attempt to settle with accident victims instead of having cases go to trial. Victims who agree to settle will be paid a lump sum amount that typically covers all of the damages associated with their claim.
When an accident victim and an insurance company cannot agree on a settlement amount, then the case could go to trial. If a jury rules in favor a car accident victim, the amount that a jury awards the victim is referred to as “damages.”
The types of damages that a person may be awarded include compensatory damages and punitive damages (also called exemplary damages). Essentially, there are two types of compensatory damages:
- Economic Damages — Economic losses include all tangible financial losses a victim suffers as a result of the accident. Examples of economic damages include wages, salaries, or other compensation lost as a result of an injury and all expenditures for medical care or treatment, rehabilitation services, or other care, treatment, services, products, or accommodations as a result of an injury. Under Ohio Revised Code § 2315.18(B)(1), there is no limitation on the amount of economic damages that can be awarded in a personal injury case.
- Noneconomic Damages —Intangible types of harm such as pain and suffering or loss of consortium are considered noneconomic losses. Under Ohio Revised Code § 2315.18(B)(2), noneconomic damages are limited to $250,000 or three times the economic damages—whichever is greater—up to $350,000 per plaintiff and $500,000 for each occurrence. Ohio Revised Code § 2315.18(B)(3), however, stipulates that damage caps do not apply if the victim’s damages are for permanent and substantial physical deformity, loss of use of a limb, or loss of a bodily organ system; or permanent physical functional injury that permanently prevents the injured person from being able to independently care for self and perform life-sustaining activities.
Punitive damages are only awarded in cases in which the alleged offender’s conduct was especially egregious or malicious. Punitive damages are typically awarded to punish the alleged offender and discourage other people from engaging in similar conduct.
Similar to noneconomic damages, punitive damages are also subject to damage caps. Under Ohio Revised Code § 2315.21, punitive damages are limited to two times the amount of the compensatory damages. If the defendant is a small employer or individual, punitive cannot exceed the lesser of two times the compensatory damages or 10 percent of the employer's or individual's net worth, up to a maximum of $350,000.
Rise in crashes linked to higher speed limits on Ohio roads — In April 2016, WLWT 5 reported that the Ohio Highway Patrol said there was a 21 percent increase in crashes on interstate highways where the speed limit was raised to 70 miles per hour since 2013. From 2011 through 2015, fatalities did decrease slightly from 48 to 43. "Motorists have to understand that as speed (of the car) increases, the reaction time decreases to adjust to conditions such as changing lanes, an object in the road, something falling off a truck or a deer crossing the road," Lieutenant Craig Cvetan, the Ohio Highway Patrol's public affairs commander, told WLWT.
Synthesis of Safety Research Related to Speed and Speed Management — One year after the National Maximum Speed Limits (NMSLs) was repealed in 1995, half of the states in the country raised speed limits on rural interstates. In 1998, the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Safety and Traffic Operations R&D and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Traffic Injury Control Programs sponsored this report which found:
In general, changing speed limits on low and moderate speed roads appears to have little or no effect on speed and thus little or no effect on crashes. This suggests that drivers travel at speeds they feel are reasonable and safe for the road and traffic regardless of the posted limit. However, on freeways and other high-speed roads, speed limit increases generally lead to higher speeds and crashes.
The relation between speed and crashes — Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Verkeersveiligheid (SWOV) translates to the Foundation for Road Safety Research. It is an independent Dutch scientific research institute in the field of road safety, and this fact sheet addresses the role of speed in crashes and the relationship between speed and crash severity. You can find multiple graphs, diagrams, and statistics.
Steiden Law Offices | Cincinnati High-Speed Impact Crash Lawyer
If you sustained catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed in a high-speed automobile accident caused by another party’s negligence, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Steiden Law Offices helps clients in communities throughout Clermont County, Warren County, Butler County, and Hamilton County in Ohio in addition to Campbell County, Kenton County, and Boone County in Kentucky.
Our Cincinnati personal injury attorneys represent accident victims on a contingency fee basis, which means that if we don’t get you a monetary award, you don’t pay us one cent. Let us review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free consultation. Call or submit an online contact form today.