Ohio’s Deadly Winter Weather

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Dangerous Car Accidents: Why Ohio is one of the Deadliest States for Winter Driving

While Mother Nature may be at bay for the time being, there is no doubt that we have seen some deadly Winter weather here in Ohio this year and in year’s past. From headline news to tragic social media vigils, Northeast Ohio has no shortage of scary tales to tell. A combination of elevation and snow belt lake effect can often lead to a deadly one-two punch.

As a lifetime Cleveland resident, I have witnessed some wicked weather and serious accidents!  This means our roadways and our safety are at stake.  With car accidents killing more individuals in the US each year than any other weather hazard, it’s time to start looking at the facts.

Deadly Winter Weather in Numbers

  • In the last 5 years, roughly 4,000 individuals in the US have died as a result of Winter weather related accidents
  • For the 4 – year period from 2011-15, nearly 800 deaths were caused as a result of snow, ice or sleet on the roadways
  • Ohio alone has seen more than 420 Winter fatalities since 2012
  • The average number of Winter weather related deaths in Ohio is 86 per year

With these staggering numbers,  it is hard to deny the seriousness and risk involved with driving in Winter!

Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones on the Roads

Driving defensively and staying focused are the two best ways to keep yourself safe in any weather condition.  Unfortunately, Winter weather is just one dangerous element!  Distracted driving, folks who think they have more control on the road than they do, speed, texting and just plain dangerous conditions can all lead to deadly accidents.

Whenever possible, avoid driving during dangerous storms and allow ample time for street crews to clear the roads.  Many employers will extend forgiveness and work from home days, or at the very least a delayed start to the work day!

The statistics also show that historically, Friday and Saturday are the two deadliest days in Winter related accidents – This means if you are on the road for leisure, it could be be a deadly gamble.

If you or someone you love was involved in a Winter weather accident, call my offices immediately.  Insurance companies can be quick to blame the elements when other factors need to be taken into consideration.  As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

2017 Car Accident Fatalities in Ohio Already Averaging Two Deaths a Day

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The state of Ohio recorded a total of 1,132 traffic deaths in the year 2016—this is an average of 3 fatalities per day.

These numbers are unsettling and unacceptable, but when I found out how many Ohio car accident fatalities have occurred already this month and in 2017, I was absolutely stunned and appalled.

As of January 25, 2017 there have been 57 traffic fatalities in Ohio.

This number is averaging two deaths a day and it is only January.

I have been a practicing attorney for 36 years and seeing these high fatality numbers in one month tells me that serious change is needed. Recently, the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and the Ohio Department of Transportation decreased the speed limit in a high-accident prone region for the winter in hopes of decreasing the number of car accidents there.

Police and ODOT are also making a stronger push in enforcing Ohio’s Move Over Law after several tragic deaths in the last 6 months. Although the police can have a powerful effect by enforcing traffic laws for drivers, the rest must be up to us in order to reduce traffic deaths in our state.

Last week one of our own Cleveland police officers was killed in a hit-and-run accident.

Cleveland police officer David Fahey was directing traffic early last Tuesday after a motor vehicle collision on I-90. When Officer Fahey was setting up flares, a vehicle struck him and fled the scene.

Officer Fahey passed away, leaving behind a family, friends, and his fellow officers. The suspect was caught and arrested, but the loss of an officer and a good man remains.

I cannot stress enough the importance of moving over any time drivers see work vehicles, safety workers, or pedestrians.

If you see work vehicles such as construction, police, fire, or ambulatory vehicles, please do the following:

  • Use your turn signal to move over a full lane as soon as possible
  • If you cannot move over a lane, immediately slow your speed
  • Proceed past the safety vehicle/workers with caution and checking your surroundings for pedestrians
  • If you are going through a construction zone with workers, remain at the posted speed until you are safely out of the work zone

Although these tips may seem to be common sense, a split second of not following them can be fatal.

Call me today if you or a loved one was injured in a car accident due to another driver’s negligence. I will fight for the compensation you deserve.

As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I will Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 855.800.0384.

Umbrella Insurance Coverage: Why You Should Call Your Insurance Agent Today

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In my 36 years as a personal injury lawyer, I cannot emphasize how many car accident victims are left high and dry by low insurance limits or uninsured drivers. That is why I stress one significant topic: umbrella insurance coverage.

I recently had the opportunity to meet with several television networks to talk in-depth about this type of insurance coverage. Take a look at my visit with WKYC’s Live On Lakeside and Fox 8’s New Day Cleveland.

What is it and how could it benefit you and your family?

Umbrella coverage is additional liability insurance added to your current policy.

This extra coverage can be significantly beneficial for automobile insurance policies.

Typical auto policies have limits up to $100,000 per person and $300,000 in total aggregate. However, if you or a family member is severely injured in a car accident, medical bills can quickly exceed the policy limit.

What umbrella coverage does is provide up to $1,000,000 limit for you, family members on your policy, or anyone with permission to drive your vehicle. If injuries require extensive medical treatment (surgeries, therapy, facility rehabilitation, long-term care, etc.) your umbrella coverage will kick in.

This coverage can be used whether you are at-fault or a negligent-free driver.

Whatever the situation may be, this coverage can be a savior in a worst-case scenario. Many of the calls I receive from car accident victims have negative circumstances:

  • Hit by a drunk driver with no insurance
  • A driver flees the scene of a car accident
  • An at-fault party is under insured, or has liability-only insurance

Do yourself and your family a favor and take my advice: contact your insurance agent today and ask about adding umbrella coverage to your car insurance policy!

All the scenarios above can be defied if you have this insurance coverage.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call me today for a free consultation. As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I will Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

New Laws for Ohio Motorists in 2017

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The New Year is a time for us to reflect on what we’d like to improve for ourselves—the same goes for our state laws.

There are several new laws effective this year and, whether you’re a seasoned driver or a new driver, everyone should be aware of these before getting behind the wheel. Specifically, there are 2 motorist laws in effect.

House Bill 154

This House Bill has two major changes to it:

  1. Ohio drivers must give bicyclists going in the same direction 3 feet or more when passing them on the roadway. Those who violate this law will be charged with a mild misdemeanor.This law is meant to protect pedestrians and remind motorists they must share the roadway. Please remember to always proceed with caution when driving near pedestrians and bicyclists!
  2. In certain cases, it is now legal for Ohio drivers to go through red lights. This will only apply in a situation where the traffic safety light is malfunction. If a driver goes through a red late, they must proceed with caution and make sure the intersection is clear of oncoming traffic.It is extremely important that drivers understand they have the burden to prove the light was malfunctioning if a car collision occurs. If you find that a traffic light is malfunctioning, contact the local police to let them know.

 Police ask that all Ohio motorists understand the time and place to utilize this law.

Several concerns authorities have for the red light law is that drivers will not be patient and will not be cautious. If, for example, someone decides to run the red light and causes a motor vehicle accident but the light is proven to be working properly, that person will be put at-fault for the collision.

With this new law in place, always be careful when going through intersections. Whether you are the one running the red light, or proceeding through a green light, be aware of what vehicles are near you.

If you or a loved one was severely injured in a car accident, don’t wait—call me immediately for a free consultation.

As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I will Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

The Difference Between Full Coverage Car Insurance and Liability Car Insurance

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Most states have some type of car insurance policy requirement for all licensed drivers. In the state of Ohio, it is illegal for drivers to operate a vehicle that is not covered by insurance.

Unfortunately, this law does not require that Ohio drivers attain full coverage policies on their vehicles. With that being said, a large number of drivers choose the cheaper option: liability car insurance.

What is the difference between full coverage and liability car insurance?

The state of Ohio requires a minimum of liability car insurance, so why should drivers get anything more than liability coverage? Here are the differences between the two:

Liability car insurance: This policy helps pay a certain amount towards property damage or injuries from a motor vehicle accident caused by you.

  • Minimum of $50,000 total for injuries or death to 2+ people in any one accident
  • Minimum of $25,000 for injuries or death per person
  • Minimum of $25,000 for property damage

Full coverage car insurance: Any additional coverage beyond liability is considered optional coverage. Typically this type of insurance will protect you if an accident happens from no wrong doing of your own.

  • Collision (covers car collision-related damages to your vehicle)
  • Uninsured/underinsured (coverage that helps with damages in a car accident caused by a driver with no insurance or minimum insurance)
  • Comprehensive ( coverage that helps with non-accident related damages like vandalism or theft)
  • Towing

While liability coverage seems to be the best short-term money saver, it will not protect you in the event an uninsured driver seriously injures you or loved ones.

I can tell you from experience that there are many drivers on the road without insurance.

In my 34 years of practicing law, I have seen one too many car accidents that left victims seriously injured or worse—dead— at no fault of their own. And in the worst instance possible, there were no repercussions because the at-fault party had no insurance or a lapsed policy!

Always do your research on car insurance coverage before getting behind the wheel. If you or a family member were seriously injured due to a negligent driver, call me today and I will fight for the justice you deserve.

As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I will Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

Drugged Driving: Driving High Breaks a New High in Ohio Accident Numbers

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There has been a severe drug epidemic in the state of Ohio within the past year. Last year alone there were 3,050 deaths due to heroin overdose.

As this drug epidemic continues to hold a grip on Ohio, the number of drugged driving incidents rises as well.

There have been 3,574 drugged driving accidents in 2016 so far in the state of Ohio. This accounts for 33% of impaired driving accidents!

The Ohio State Highway Patrol states that the number of drugged driving activity has increased an overall 25% since 2012. Illegal drugs play a large role in this, but statistics show prescription drugs are just as much a suspect in these numbers.

Both OSHP and ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) are working together to address this dangerous crisis on our roads, but it will take more than state and local authorities to fight the rise of drugged driving.

Young adults are impressionable; it is significant that parents start the conversation at home about the dangers of impaired driving before their children even get behind the wheel.

It is not enough to rely solely on authoritative officials to educate drivers. It all starts at home with the parents or guardians. Here are several tips for parents in dealing with the rise in drugged driving:

  • Talk to your children about the dangers and consequences of using drugs or alcohol, especially while behind the wheel.
  • Enroll your child in driving school and any other informative courses you feel necessary. The more your young driver learns before getting on the road, the better.
  • Be strict on car rules and nighttime driving—although drugged drivers may be impaired at various times of the day, nighttime is a high-risk time to be on the road. Even as a seasoned driver, you should always be cautious when driving late at night.
  • If you know of someone struggling with drug addiction, seek help through various Ohio rehabilitation sources or call the hotline for immediate help.

Impaired driving is one of the top causes in motor vehicle accidents. Though numbers may be high, it is an issue that people can change by educating one person at a time.

If you or a loved one was seriously hurt by an impaired driver, you need to call me immediately and get the help necessary to fight for justice. As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I will Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

How Autonomous Vehicles Can Change the Car Insurance Industry

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If you asked any licensed driver 10 years ago about the possibility of self-driven vehicles, they most likely would look at you like you had two heads.

The evolution of technology in the last 10 years—even in the last several years—is astonishing. The human race has made incredible strides; whether it is in the medical field, consumer goods, or the auto industry, change is inevitable.

The future of self-driven cars is not an unfathomable idea to auto companies like Ford and Tesla Motors.

Both companies have been working to improve and complete autonomous vehicles. Autonomous vehicles are self-driven vehicles that remove any need for human conduction. With that idea in mind, what will this mean for car insurance policies and car accident claims?

Numerous states in the U.S. have already begun creating legal guidelines for manufactures. In the state of Ohio, several lawmakers created House Bill 608 in an attempt to regulate autonomous vehicles on Ohio roadways.

This new bill will regulate autonomous vehicles by banning private owners from operating them on roadways until vehicle safety can be fully determined.

The goal is to enforce vehicle safety and find a liability medium for the manufacturers and other drivers.

“Financial responsibility requirements” would include discussing the manufacturers’ compliance on liability coverage (proof of insurance), vehicle operation safety requirements, and additional legislative actions if necessary.

If these steps are not taken, the possibility of higher accidents and more people without insurance coverage can have severe consequences.

Change is inevitable. Rather than fighting this technological advance, it’s time to embrace it by setting up legislative actions and safety guidelines that will benefit both drivers and the industry’s future advances.

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

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

4 Tips on Safe Driving in Ohio Winter Weather

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Ohio is an unpredictable state when it comes to the weather. On this very day in mid-November, the sun is shining and temperatures have been remaining at a study 45-50 degrees.

However, the Ohio Department of Transportation and Ohio drivers know it’s better to prepare sooner rather than later.

Rather than waiting for winter to hit, here are 4 tips on preparing for driving in winter weather:

  1. Consider putting snow tires on your vehicles. Depending on where you live and what kind of car you drive, it could be beneficial to get snow tires on your vehicle before the snow comes.
  2. Keep a safe distance from snow plow trucks. Many drivers think they’ll be safest following a snow plow, but oftentimes they tail too closely resulting in a rear-end collision.
  3. If your windshield wipers need to be on, so should your headlights. Snowfall can often make it darker and less visible for drivers so turning your headlights on in heavy snowfall can reduce risk of an accident. If the weather is severe, drive with hazards on or pull to the side of the road.
  4. Always travel with safety equipment in case your car breaks down in a snow storm. If case of an emergency, it’s important to keep the following in your vehicle: emergency first aid kit, blanket(s), flashlight, and water.

In 2015 there were 302,307 car accidents—out of the total number, 110,550 motor vehicle accidents occurred in the months of November, December, January and February.

Nearly half of Ohio accidents in 2015 occurred in a 4-month span.

Winter driving is nothing to joke about. Whether you’re a seasoned driver, a teen driver, or new to snow regions; follow these 4 tips to keep yourself and other drivers safe this winter.

The cold months have a higher average of car collisions in Ohio and a high number of accident fatalities than any other month of the year. When you get behind the wheel during those winter months, always be aware and drive with caution. If you or a loved one was injured due to a negligent driver, don’t hesitate and call me today.

As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I will Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Teen Driving—How to Keep Our Kids Safe Behind the Wheel

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Did you know the state of Ohio is 7th in most licensed drivers in the United States?

There are 7.5 million licensed drivers in Ohio and out of those 7.5 million there are approximately 537,000 licensed drivers under 21 years old.

As the numbers climb for teen drivers on the road, it is our duty to make sure we provide our children the proper training and education to keep them safe. Practicing proper driving skills is necessary, but the vehicle parents provide them can be just as effective in keeping them safe.

Important tips for teaching teens safe driving include: Practicing daily with a parent in the car, parents setting a good example of safe driving by using proper safety techniques, enrolling teens in driver’s education courses, and finding the safest vehicle for young drivers.

Parents should always research vehicle safety by following several suggested guidelines:

  • Research insurance company studies on safest vehicles for drivers under 21. Many companies provide their own list of what vehicles protect drivers best in case of a motor vehicle accident.
  • Use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (also known as NHTSA)’s rating system to examine each vehicle you are interested in. Ratings range from Five Stars (0-10% chance of serious injury/death) to One Star (46%+ chance of serious injury/death).
  • Heavier vehicles typically provide better protection in the case of a crash. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests midsize sedans or SUVs as safer vehicles.
  • Safety technology is always on the climb in the automotive industry. Companies like AAA suggest vehicles with technology like back-up cameras, blind spot detection, forward collision warning system, or electronic stability control. All of these features can make the difference in keeping your child safe on the road.

I have been a personal injury attorney for over 34 years now but I can tell you that my priorities as a parent come first and, oftentimes, have an impact on my principles as a lawyer. As both a parent and a lawyer, all of these recommendations will be beneficial in keeping our young drivers out of harm’s way.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, call me immediately for a free consultation. As your Ohio catastrophic injury attorney, I will be there for you and I’ll Make Them Pay!® 

 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Top 10 Dangerous Intersections for Car Accidents in Ohio’s Capital

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Any time you drive through a state capital you probably expect there to be a great deal of traffic congestion. If you live there, you know which routes to take and which areas to avoid.

For those who are not fully familiar with our capital’s roadways, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) has compiled statistics that rank the highest car accident zones in the Columbus region.

MORPC, the Ohio Department of Transportation, and the Ohio Department of Public Safety revealed the top 10 high-crash areas in central Ohio:

  1. Broad St / SR 16 at James Rd
  2. E Livingston Ave at Hamilton Rd / SR 317
  3. Dublin Granville Rd / SR 161 at Maple Canyon Dr
  4. Cleveland Ave at Morse Rd – Columbus
  5. Broad St / SR 16 at Lancaster Ave /Reynoldsburg-New Albany Rd
  6. Oakland Park Ave at Westerville Rd /SR 3
  7. Morse Rd at Northtowne Blvd / Walford St
  8. Cleveland Ave at Innis Rd
  9. Cleveland Ave at Dublin Granville Rd / SR 161
  10. Hilliard Rome Rd at Roberts Rd

MORPC and ODOT researched car crash statistics from 2013 to 2015 and, out of those two years, the number one high-crash intersection—Broad St at James Rd—had 172 car crashes and 1 fatal crash.

One major issue the study discovered was that many of these crashes were due to drivers running red lights or not yielding to yellow lights.

Whether you are a new driver or a seasoned driver, you should always drive with care and caution—especially in high-traffic regions like the ones listed above. If you or a family member has been injured in a motor vehicle accident due to another driver’s negligence, please call me immediately.

As your Ohio car accident attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I will Make Them Pay!® 

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.