Semi Truck Accidents: When are Ohio Trucking Companies Liable?

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Sadly, tractor trailer accidents occur all too frequently .  Truck accidents are caused by various issues including; fatigue, mechanical failure, and distraction just to name a few.  Often, a truck driver is at fault for the accident however, that doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is liable.

To determine who is liable for a trucking accident, i.e. the truck driver or the trucking company, the following must be considered:

  • Was the accident caused by speeding, distracted driving, or driver fatigue?
  • Was the truck driver speeding, distracted, or tired as the result of unreasonable quotas and productivity requirements?
  • Does the trucking company pay the driver by the mile, causing them to push normal safety requirements?
  • Was the truck driver adequately trained and in good standing with the state licensing body?
  • Was the truck maintained properly, and who is responsible for vehicle maintenance?
  • Who is responsible for insuring the truck and/or its driver?

Trucking companies will try to avoid liability whenever possible. Below are some of the ways a trucking company tries to limit their involvement, and thus avoid being found negligent for trucking accidents:

  • Require drivers to be classified as independent contractors.
  • Avoid ownership of potentially harmful cargo.
  • Avoid ownership of the trucks being used.
  • Create policies on paper that they fail to maintain in practice.

The above examples may help a trucking company protect itself against liability because they place liability on the truck driver personally; this would mean an injured victim would not be able to sue the trucking company.

Federal law however, states that any truck or trailer featuring a company’s placard or name, ties that company to the truck and its operator. Therefore, if the trucking company displays its name anywhere on the truck or trailer, the company will have to assume liability in any accident.

If you or your loved one were involved in a trucking accident, call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373. I will protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

As your semi truck accident lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

 

Ohio Truck Accidents: Does Truck Driver Distraction Lead to Unsafe Roads?

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Distracted driving, specifically texting while driving, causes nearly 20% of all accident fatalities. Truck drivers spend day after day on the road, away from their family and friends, thus texting and driving is a well documented issue.

If texting and  driving isn’t bad enough, texting while behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound tractor trailer magnifies the risk for catastrophic truck accidents in Ohio and throughout the country.  Some truck drivers are even required (company policy) to communicate via text message regarding arrival times, load information, and other miscellaneous work information.

Distracted truck drivers, who use a dashboard-mounted dispatch system to communicate to their superiors, may be one of the greatest causes of trucking accidents in the United States.

These systems are mounted at eye level, near the driver’s steering wheel so drivers are able to read and send text messages while they drive! The length of these text messages can be as long as several paragraphs, causing drivers to be distracted for a dangerously long time.

While these devices are marketed to improve a trucking company’s efficiency and profitability, the true cost of lost lives may actually result in far greater financial cost.

Truck drivers spend their lives on the road, which means they are faced with many other forms of distraction, including:

  • Cellphone use
  • GPS system, radio or road maps
  • Daydreaming.
  • Eating, drinking, or smoking
  • Reading
  • Fatigue

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) studies reveal some scary statistics among distracted truck drivers and the risk for truck accidents:

  • When a truck driver dials a cell phone, they are 5.9 times more likely to cause a truck accident.
  • When a truck driver reaches for a cell phone, they are 6.7 times more likely to cause a truck accident.
  • When a truck driver uses a dispatch device, they are 8.9 times more likely to cause an accident.
  • When a truck driver looks at a map or GPS, they are 7 times more likely to cause an accident.

Don’t let yourself or someone you love become the victim of a distracted truck driver.  If you’ve been involved in a truck accident, you have to call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373. As your Ohio truck accident lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

 

 

Deadly Tractor Trailer Accidents: What makes them so dangerous?

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Truck drivers are a valuable resource to the United States economy, but they pose a high risk of danger to other drivers on the road.  Annually, over 1.5 million tractor-trailer accidents lead to injury and/or death in our country.

There are four main reasons why tractor trailers are so dangerous:

1.  Lack of Maneuverability.  Because of their size, tractor trailer drivers have a hard time avoiding road hazards.  A semi-truck needs more time and space than the average vehicle to change its course.

2.  Poor Ability to Brake. A tractor trailer needs at least 350 feet to come to a complete stop from a travel speed of 60 mph.

3.  Size. Tractor Trailers with full loads can weight around 80,000 pounds.  This is 16 times heavier than a car. With that much weight, impact of a tractor trailer is devastating.

4.  Dangerous Cargo. Tractor trailers carry a variety of dangerous cargo, such as flammable, toxic, and/or explosive items. This type of cargo can turn a minor accident into a catastrophic event.

Truck drivers and trucking companies contribute to many of these safety problems in the following ways:

  • Driver fatigue. The Federal Motors Carrier Safety Administration puts a limit of 70 hours per week on truck drivers. Those drivers are also required to take sufficient breaks. However, economic concerns encourage drivers to ignore these rules.
  • Excessive Speed. Truck drives tend to drive at unsafe speeds, in order to meet quotas, delivery deadlines, and bonuses.
  • Improper Training. Learning to drive an 80,000 pound tractor trailer requires special training, and it isn’t uncommon for the importance of this training to go unappreciated.
  • Driver Distraction. Truck drivers spend many hours away from home and in their vehicles causing them to engage in unsafe behavior, including texting and driving.
  • Poor Maintenance. Tractor trailers are required by Federal Law to receive routine maintenance checks.  Ignoring this requirement can lead to preventable and deadly accidents.

Injuries caused by tractor trailer accidents are much more complex than an ordinary car accident case, and negligence in these types of cases doesn’t just fall on the truck driver.  Trucking companies may be held liable if unsafe practices and procedures are found to be the cause of the accident.

If you or your loved one was involved in a trucking accident, call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373. I will protect your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

As your Ohio truck accident lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

Recognizing the Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury After a Car Accident

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Automobile accidents are the leading cause of brain injury. What is even more frightening is many people who suffer from brain injuries after a car accident fail to recognize those injuries, and emergency rooms often fail to diagnose them, as well. A delay in the treatment of a brain injury can result in permanent damage and even death.

The following are the top 3 misconceptions associated with brain injuries:

1. Symptoms will show up immediately after your accident. While some brain injuries show up immediately, some take days, weeks or even months to develop.

2. You have to hit to your head to have a brain injury. The force of your brain hitting the inside of your skull can cause a brain injury without your head ever coming in contact with another object or surface.

3. Suffering a brain injury means you will lose consciousness. Some people are able to walk and talk after a brain injury, as if nothing happened, even though their injury is severe.

If you even suspect that you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury, seek medical treatment immediately. Being knowledgeable of the symptoms associated with serious brain injury could help prevent long-term damage.

Traumatic brain injury symptoms are not always visibly apparent. It is important that you learn to recognize these dangerous symptoms:

  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Off-balance
  • Slurred speech

If you are released from the hospital after being treated for a serious head injury, and you still don’t feel right, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.  Emergency room doctors are quick to treat the most visible injuries and may ignore the less apparent ones. Recognizing a traumatic brain injury and getting the treatment necessary could help you prevent permanent brain damage and even death.

If you or a loved one was a victim of traumatic brain injury, you have to call me right away 1 (877) 944-4373. If your injury was the result of someone else’s negligence, I can help you get the compensation you deserve.

As your Ohio catastrophic injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

Medical Malpractice Settlement Reached by Family of Ebola Patient

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A man named Thomas Duncan returned home to the United States after traveling to West Africa; however, he didn’t travel alone. Before leaving Africa he acquired Ebola, a rare and often deadly disease. After developing symptoms, Duncan was admitted to a Texas hospital, where he eventually died from the virus.

Duncan’s death caused quite a stir in the United States.  Talk of negligent care swept the media and concern over the disease spreading was rampant.  Not only did the hospital fail to adequately isolate the patient, but questions arose about whether Duncan’s death could have been prevented.

Thomas Duncan’s family, and the Texas hospital where he was treated, have reached a settlement regarding his death.

The hospital agreed to cover all of Duncan’s medical expenses, the cost to care for his four children, and will set up a charitable trust in Duncan’s honor. This settlement agreement has put a halt to any potential lawsuit Duncan’s family may have against the hospital for medical malpractice.

The settlement is a good deal for the family.  It is far more than any amount they would have gotten in Texas courts.

Texas medical malpractice law places a $250,000 limit on non-economic damages and gives extra protection to emergency room doctors.  Furthermore, the family would have had to prove the doctors were absolutely aware of the harm they were causing.

Duncan was sent home from his first visit to the hospital even though he had a high temperature, and told health care workers about his travel history to West Africa. His Ebola diagnosis came only after he returned to the hospital two days later with more severe symptoms.

The Texas hospital admitted they were wrong and decided to do the right thing by moving quickly on a settlement offer. The hospital also apologized and admitted the failure to recognize the importance of his travel history was an oversight.

This quick resolution will benefit the hospital, which faced weeks of negative publicity because of the way the case was handled. Visits to the hospital’s emergency room decreased by 50% during the month of October, 2014.

If you or someone you love was injured as the result of a preventable medical error in an Ohio hospital, you need to call me immediately at 1 (877) 944-4373.

I can help you get the answers you deserve and the compensation you need. As your Medical Malpractice lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Four Types of Cerebral Palsy

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Cerebral Palsy is caused by trauma during critical brain development stages. Often, this happens during labor and delivery. For example, if a baby becomes distressed during delivery, and doctors fail to recognize and/or respond to that distress, the child may not get enough oxygen, which can cause Cerebral Palsy. When this happens, the doctor may be held negligent and responsible for the permanent injury.

There are four types of Cerebral Palsy:

1. Ataxic – A rare form of Cerebral palsy (only affects 5-10% of people)

2. Athetoid – Slow and uncontrolled movements (affects 10-20% of Cerebral Palsy patients)

3. Spastic – Muscles stay in constant involuntary reflex (most common form, affecting 70-80% of patients)

4. Mixed – A combination of Spastic and athetoid cerebral palsy

Anytime there is a complicated delivery, cerebral palsy should be suspected. Infants will undergo a test immediately after birth, testing for potential problems. A low score on the APGAR test could be indicative of Cerebral Palsy.

Treatment for cerebral palsy is difficult, and there is currently no cure. Physical therapy, drug therapy, and surgery are the only options.  Cerebral Palsy patients will also need speech, psychological, and occupational therapy. Children suffering from this disorder will face a lifetime of developmental problems.

Cerebral Palsy may be caused by negligence when:

  • Doctors fail to detect infections in the mother during pregnancy
  • Doctors fail to plan a cesarean delivery even though vaginal birth may be difficult (for example, because the baby is too large)
  • Mistakes are made using delivery instruments
  • Doctors fail to monitor fetal heart rate
  • There is a delay in performing a c-section

Most children affected by Cerebral Palsy have it from birth, but aren’t officially diagnosed until they are a few years old. In every 1000 births, between 2-4 children will have Cerebral Palsy and the lasting effects that come with it.

If your child was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy or any other birth injuries as the result of negligence, you shouldn’t have to tackle this financial burden alone. Call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373. As your Ohio birth injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For more than 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Day Care Negligence – Facilities have a Duty to Keep our Children Safe

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A New Jersey day care facility is closed for investigation after a 15-month old toddler was found dead near on pond on the property. The child drowned in a one foot deep goldfish pond while the facility’s owner was attending to another child.

This is only one of many accidents and deaths that occur at day care centers across nation. These facilities must protect children from harm, and a failure to meet the appropriate standard of care may result in lawsuits for negligence.

When parents leave their children in the care of professionals, they expect that all reasonable precautions will be taken to insure the safety and well-being of their children.  While day care facilities are expected to take every step possible to keep children safe, they cannot guarantee  a child will not get hurt while under their supervision.

Day Care Standard of Care Includes:

  • Standard of care is appropriate for the age of the children
  • Proper staff training
  • Implementation of appropriate policies and procedures
  • Appropriate ratios of staff/child
  • Background checks of all employees
  • Properly secured facilities
  • Current licensing for all staff and employees

When serious accidents occur at day care facilities, the courts apply a duty/risk analysis to determine if the standard of care was met.  The courts’ number one consideration is whether the child’s injury was foreseeable. For example, if playground equipment was broken and the owner of the day care was aware of the problem but did nothing to correct the problem, then the day care facility could be found negligent, as it was foreseeable that a child would likely get injured.

Most daycare injuries are not the fault of the facilities. The facility will not be held liable if an injury was the result of ordinary childhood play. Typically, if the day care is diligent about inspecting all toys, equipment, and supplies, and always maintains a good child/supervisor ratio then the possibility of serious injury greatly declines.

In a day care setting, the standard of care can usually be met through knowledge, experience, good judgement, adequate perception of risk, and the skill of the employees and/or owners. However, if your child suffered an injury at a day care facility, and you think it could have been prevented, you have to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373.

As your personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

Medical Malpractice is No ‘Joke’ – Joan Rivers is the Latest Victim

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I watched CBS This Morning earlier today, and the hot topic discussed by Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Nora O’Donnell was the Joan Rivers medical malpractice case brought by Melissa Rivers on behalf of her late mother.

As you may recall, Joan Rivers, went to Yorkville Endoscopy Clinic in Manhattan on August 28, 2014 for a simple vocal cord procedure. During the procedure, numerous instances of negligence occurred and were reported by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services including failure to:

  • “identify deteriorating vital signs and provide timely intervention”
  • “record Rivers’ weight, prior to the administration of medication for sedation”
  • “consistently document the dose of Propofol administered”
  • “get Rivers’ informed consent for each procedure performed”
  • “ensure that she was cared for only by physicians granted privilege in accordance with the clinic’s bylaws”

These reported medical errors resulted in a lack of oxygen, causing brain damage and ultimately the death of Joan Rivers.

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Serve to Prevent Future Medical Errors

Melissa Rivers was quoted as saying the reason she is bringing this case is because she does not want this to happen to anyone else.

What Melissa said is entirely true. In my 34 years of representing victims of medical malpractice, I can tell you that in each and every case, the sole motivating factor for my client to bring a claim was to ensure the tragedy that befell their family, would never happen to anyone ever again.

By bringing a medical malpractice claim, we change the way healthcare providers do business. We expose their shortcomings, and the medical professionals change policy.

It is my job to hold accountable those who expose us to unnecessary harm and danger. I do that by “Making Them Pay!” Representing families victimized by medical malpractice, I have learned that we all have a social responsibility to bring medical errors to light and demand change.

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/10/showbiz/joan-rivers-death/index.html

Alarmingly High Fatality Rate on Construction Sites

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There are 12 workplace fatalities everyday in the United States. While that number has greatly decreased in the last 40 years (38 worker deaths per day in 1970) due to strict OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards, the fact that 12 people per day leave for work and never return home to their families is incredibly alarming.

One area in particular is likely increasing the fatality statistic, and that is the construction industry. OSHA reports that almost 6.5 million people work on over 250,000 construction sites in the United States. This means that millions of people are subjected to hazardous conditions, heavy/lethal machinery, and an overall dangerous environment everyday.

People working on construction sites are subjected to the following dangerous conditions daily, resulting in a large number of workplace injuries:

  • Asbestos, solvents, chemical burns
  • Manual labor, including carrying heavy loads
  • Collapsing of trenches/scaffolding
  • Electric shock, excessive noise
  • Falls from extreme heights, being struck by objects
  • Injury associated with the use of equipment such as cranes and forklifts
  • Injury from failure to maintain safety precautions or failure to wear the correct safety equipment
  • Injuries from repetitive motion
  • Traumatic brain injury resulting from head injuries

Workplace injuries are handled strictly through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

This means that an injured worker is only able to collect a certain amount as compensation for his or her injury. Often, that amount of money is not as much as the victim would have been entitled to under an ordinary negligence claim. However, the workers’ compensation process is much more streamlined and efficient than filing a personal injury claim.

If your injury was a result of the negligence of someone other than your employer (a third party), you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and compensation from the third party through a personal injury claim.

Every case is different, so you if you or someone you love was hurt at work, you need to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373. I will help you navigate this complicated process, get the compensation you need, and the answers you deserve about your injury. As your Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Ohio Dog Bite Claims on the Rise

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Dog bite claims account for one-third of all homeowners’ liability claims. The rate of dog bite occurrence has stayed relatively the same over the years; however, the amount of claims filed in response to dog bites has increased dramatically.

The increase in the amount of dog bite claims filed may be specifically related to the continuous increase in the value of dog bite claims, as shown in the following statistics:

  • From 2003-2012 dog bite claim values increased by 51%.
  • In 2012, dog bite claims accounted for $489.70 million in payouts.

Dog owners should be aware of the responsibility involved with dog ownership and should take the following steps to keep others safe from their animals and to protect themselves from liability:

  • Do not let your dogs run free. Always have them contained either by a leash or a fence.
  • Neutering male dogs can help with aggression.
  • Getting your dog professional pet training can better prepare them for interaction.
  • Dogs should never be left alone with young children.

Remember, dog bite liability differs from state to state. Many states have a “one free bite” rule, which means that a dog owner must have prior knowledge of the dog’s aggression to be held liable, but Ohio does not follow that same rule.

Under Ohio law, a dog owner is held strictly liable if their dog bites someone regardless of the dog’s prior history.

If you or a loved one was injured as the result of a dog bite in Ohio, you need to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373. I can help you understand what you’re entitled to and get you the compensation you deserve.

As your personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.