Plow Truck Driver Safety and Liability

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During the winter months it is hard to miss the abundance of plow trucks on our Cleveland roadways! We all enjoy a clear parking spot, a safe driveway and a dry sidewalk , but plow accidents occur more frequently than you know.

For those of us driving or utilizing a store parking lot, it is essential to give a plow truck driver plenty of room to operate his truck. As with emergency vehicles, a city plow truck must have ample space to pass. The size and nature of the plow equipment is no match for our cars and SUVs.  Serious and sometimes fatal events occur from impact with a large municipal or county plow truck.

Plow Truck Driver Safety

For plow truck drivers the winter season can be a great opportunity to earn a significant income. Long-lasting snow storms can mean long hours behind the wheel of a plow truck driver with little to no rest.

The nature of the business and the demanding schedule can often lead to operator safety concerns. Exhaustion is a very real safety concern for plow truck drivers, and in some cases, substance abuse issues can also enter the equation. Whether it is the quick schedule changes or the need to stay awake and alert for long periods – drivers may look to unsafe supplements to get them through a shift.   As with any truck, a plow can quickly become a killing machine when the driver is negligent and operating at high speeds in busy spaces.

Plow Truck Safety

For snow removal companies, equipment upkeep is certainly important since the trucks endure a regular beating. This doesn’t mean companies adhere to a strict maintenance program. Rushed maintenance, temporary repairs and ignored mechanical issues are all too common.

Failure to properly repair and maintain a fleet of trucks can cost the business owner a lot money in the long run. One collision with a plow truck can quickly lead to a life changing injury.  If the accident was a direct result of equipment failure, it could cost the business owner his business!

If you or a loved one was injured as a result of a plow truck driver’s negligence or faulty equipment, it is critical that you contact me as soon as possible.  Never settle with the insurance agency!

As your Ohio accident lawyer, 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 birth injury, medical 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.

Holding Responsible Parties Accountable: Police Pursuit

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Officer Involved Auto Accident

An Ohio couple involved in a car accident has filed suit against two townships and several officers. Following a calculated traffic stop, a chain of events unfolded leaving this couple severely injured at no fault of their own. The accident in and of itself involved a fleeing suspect, but the question is, could the officers have prevented this tragedy?

The innocent couple reportedly suffered injuries resulting in over $200,000 in medical bills, as well as tremendous pain and suffering.  The injured couple’s car was just one of several vehicles hit by the fleeing suspect, but their injuries were particularly catastrophic. The township responded to the lawsuit by saying the couple was partly to blame, and that emergency response laws protect the officers.

Wrong Place, Wrong Time

The events leading up to this accident reportedly involved a calculated drug bust with an unpredictable criminal. The suspect was to be stopped in his vehicle and apprehended, as it was thought easier/better than t conduct a home raid due to the propensity for danger and outbursts from the suspect. If the suspect fled, officers were instructed not to pursue. Unfortunately on this particular day, the suspect did in fact flee and police did in fact pursue, resulting in injury to several innocent people.

While the brave police men and women deserve the utmost respect and admiration, it is still important to recognize that careless behavior leading to avoidable consequences is simply unacceptable. Had the officers planned and handled the situation differently as directed, the 107 mile-per-hour race through town could have been avoided. By pursuing the suspect against orders, and placing the spike strips that ultimately sent the vehicle careening, the officers and the township seem to have some explaining to do.

In today’s day and age, technology coupled with advanced police skills make it virtually impossible to disappear. The assailant could have been easily apprehended after the fact! In this particular case, based on the available information in the news, it seems this couple is entitled to fair compensation.

As your Ohio 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 birth injury, medical 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.

School Bus Accidents

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As a licensed driver it is imperative to understand traffic laws. In particular, the laws that relate to the safety and operation of a vehicle in or around a school bus stop or child loading area.

An estimated 23 million students ride buses on a daily basis.

Shockingly, more than 70, 000 drivers pass school buses illegally on a daily basis! That means 70,000 chances  a child could be hit getting on or off of a school bus. As a parent and as a legal professional, I find this deplorable.

Traffic laws in all 50 states make it illegal to pass a school bus while children are loading onto or off of a bus. Flashing lights, stopped traffic, and young children in their path are not enough to deter careless, negligent drivers.

Holding Reckless Drivers Accountable and Keeping Kids Safe

Despite continued efforts, the staggering number of drivers who have total disregard for the safety of children continues to rise. As a parent and as an attorney I think it is abhorrent to behave recklessly at any time, but particularly near schools, in school zones or anywhere in the vicinity of a school bus; especially during the loading and unloading process.

If your child suffered an injury due to driver’s negligence –  call me today!  I will meet with you any time and any place that is convenient for you.

Prevention of reckless behavior is a must, and those that injure our children must not go unpunished.

As your Ohio accident lawyer, 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 birth injury, medical 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.

 

Personal Injury – Ohio Shared Fault Law

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In Ohio, there are laws in place to determine legal culpability in personal injury cases where more than one party is at fault.. As a personal injury attorney, I advise my clients on the law, but I also ensure they fully understand that they can still file an injury claim even if they share in the fault of their injury.

Shared fault; contributory and comparative negligence.

The first thing I typically hear in shared-fault scenarios is that my client feels they are not able to pursue an injury claim because they may have had a part in the injury that occurred. This can be as simple as getting into a car accident and your turn signal was inoperable at the time of the accident.  The other party can claim you are partially at fault because of a faulty turn signal on your vehicle. This doesn’t mean you are not entitled to a personal injury claim, it means I need to do my job as a legal expert to gain you the justice you deserve!

In cases of contributory negligence, where for example a person runs a red light and is injured in the resulting car accident, many states consider this grounds to prevent any legal recourse. Comparative negligence is very different and very complex, and in Ohio, we operate under a modified comparative negligence law.This means that if a person shares some burden of liability in the accident or injury, it can effect the amount of monetary compensation awarded. However if a person shares more than 50% of the liability, no injury claim can be filed.

Comparative Negligence Math

Using the previous example, if it is found that the faulty turn signal played a 5% role in the accident that occurred, the settlement/award would be reduced by 5%. This means the claimant would still receive 95% of the award value. The percentage breakdown is determined based on a variety of factors, including factual information from police reports, insurance reports, traffic and safety laws and more. This is obviously a very simplified example, and as we know, most cases are not this cut and dry. As your personal injury attorney, I will fight to prove that the other negligent party bares the burden of fault.

Ohio comparative negligence laws have been in place for almost 40 years, and have served to provide my clients a way to gain compensation and justice that is well deserved. Prior to these laws, and similar to contributive negligence, if you played any role in your injury then the negligent party could make the case that prevented the suit from ever being filed. It is important to understand your rights as the injured victim, and a large part of my job is to educate you and your loved ones.

As your Ohio accident lawyer,  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 birth injury, medical 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.

 

Scary Accident Statistics for 2015

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Recently, while driving home from a family trip, I noticed flashing road signs about Ohio fatality statistics for 2015.   When I arrived at home I decided to do some additional digging only to find that the 2015 national traffic statistics are frightening, to say the least.

The National Safety Council Releases Scary 2015 Results

Year to date in 2015 (through June) the National Safety Council reported traffic deaths and injuries are at unprecedented highs. Whether this is attributable to a better economy, lower gas prices or distractions in the drivers seat, one thing is for certain, none of us are exempt. Even the most cautious, defensive drivers can fall victim to reckless, careless drivers.

In the first half of 2015, traffic fatalities have risen 14% nationally. Traffic injuries alone are up 33%! These numbers could put the US at record highs for the first time in almost a decade.

Protect Yourself

After an accident it is important to take the proper steps to protect yourself! Be on the lookout for careless or distracted drivers, and ensure loved ones understand the importance of safe driving.

It is also a great idea to have a solid understanding of all of the safety features on your vehicle!

As your Ohio accident lawyer, 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 birth injury, medical 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.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents – Share the Roadway!

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Summer = Surge of Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents

In the beautiful weather we all want to be outside walking or riding our bicycles and enjoying the warm air and sunshine! Unfortunately, this can also mean a rise is accidents and injuries due to careless drivers. As a pedestrian or a bicyclist, it is your right to use the road with the expectation of safety. Abiding by traffic laws may not always be enough to keep you or your loved ones safe on the roads.

Bicycle Safety Basics

If available, bicyclists should always utilize bicycle paths or bike lanes when riding. A bicycle rider is far less visible to a distracted driver and far more likely to get hit.  As with motor vehicles, bicyclists can be stopped and ticketed for not following traffic and safety laws set forth in the Ohio Revised Code. Ensure that you have the proper safety equipment and are well versed in the laws and rules that govern bicycles in the area in which you are riding. Always be cautious of approaching vehicles, and take the extra precautions to ensure a safe traveling distance.

Pedestrian Safety

While the common belief is that pedestrians ‘always have the right away’ it is important to be aware of your surroundings and to utilize posted cross walks, signals and pedestrian paths. Stay in the driver’s line of site and ensure there is adequate room between you and the car lane; especially if you have young children or pets accompanying you. While it is your right to travel on city roads and streets on foot, it may be safer and more enjoyable to stick to neighborhoods with sidewalks or trails. Always be mindful of traffic patterns around you, and take care to pay extra caution in parking lots and busy intersections.

In the case of an accident or injury, contact me immediately

Pedestrians and bicyclists will commonly fall victim to careless drivers. Whether failure to maintain a safe distance, or distracted driving caused the accident – The negligent driver should be held responsible. If you are able, seek immediate medical attention and contact police.  Be aware, an injury may not present itself immediately so it is very important get checked out.

As your Ohio personal injury lawyer,  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 birth injury, medical 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.

Emergency Vehicle Accidents and Safety – A Free Pass From Traffic Laws?

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Emergency Crews Are Not Exempt From Traffic Safety

We’ve all been on the road when emergency response vehicles are in action.  Police, EMS and fire vehicles are well equipped with the proper identifiers, and are often larger in size than the average vehicle on the road. Lights, sirens and automated traffic signals typically provide ample time for individuals to identify the source and direction of the emergency vehicle, thus allowing motorists to safely yield.  However, there are times when emergency responders must yield to motorists to gain safe passing distance – regardless of the crisis situation they are dealing with.

Responders are Governed by a Unique Set of Laws

While fire and EMS responders may not have to abide by posted speed limits, light signals and other general traffic rules, they are mandated to adhere to a  “duty to drive with due regard for the safety of all persons and property on the highway.” Unfortunately, across the state of Ohio, innocent motorists have crossed paths with responders resulting in dangerous or deadly consequences. Pursuing legal and financial reimbursement is not disrespectful of the services performed by these individuals, but rather necessary to compensate and provide care and the means to adequately handle the ramifications of an accident.
Emergency responders have special rules and regulations they must follow on the road during a run:
  • While stopping at posted signs or light signals is not required, responders must yield to uphold the safety of all on the road
  • Emergency responders must stop for school buses actively loading or unloading children
  • If appropriate, emergency vehicles can cross the yellow double line, and travel the wrong way down a one way street – so long as the safety of others on the road is minded

In the case of an accident involving a motorist and an emergency vehicle, it is possible for a township or city to be held liable if the emergency response driver was found to be driving negligently. If the driver was found to be operating the fire, police or EMS vehicle recklessly, the victim can pursue a legal claim for compensation from the employing party.  In certain scenarios, the driver may also be held responsible if they are found to have been operating the vehicle in such a manner that there was proof of willful or wanton misconduct.

As your Ohio personal injury lawyer, 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 birth injury, medical 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.

Car Accidents Increase During Wet Months in Cleveland

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In Cleveland, you can expect one thing in Spring and early Summer and that is rain. After dealing with Winter driving conditions for several months, wet pavement doesn’t seem too bad.

However, according to the Federal Highway Administration, wet roads were responsible or 74% of weather-related accidents in the last decade, while snow and sleet caused only 17% of weather-related accidents.

The following are 4 specific reasons wet-weather driving is incredibly dangerous:

1. Water isn’t the only thing on the roads

Oil and other fluids from automobiles constantly drip onto the roads. Mixed with rain water, these lubricants create a thin, slippery film that reduces traction and can cause even the most experienced drivers to skid.

2. Flash flooding is an unexpected danger

Even a simple continuous rain can cause flooding in certain locations. Poorly maintained roads, or uneven payment can cause pools of water that can be difficult to see and navigate.

3. Drivers aren’t as cautious of wet conditions as they should be

Cleveland drivers are used to harsh weather conditions, so used to harsh weather conditions that we often take for granted how dangerous weather conditions can be. While we may slow down and drive more cautiously when there’s snow on the ground, we usually don’t feel like we need to slow down for wet pavement.

4. Certain driving features don’t work as well in the rain.

Using cruise control on a wet surface can be incredibly dangerous. Cruise control on wet pavement can make your car accelerate to a high speeds, so skidding and/or hydroplaning while in cruise control can cause serious damage.

As much as we’d like to, we can’t avoid the rain these next few months in Cleveland. All you can do is protect yourself from the dangers of taking the road in the middle of a rain storm.

These wet-weather driving tips will keep you safe as the rain continues to fall:

  • Check the tire tread depth and pressure in your tires frequently.
  • Make sure you always have working windshield wipers.
  • Replace all headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and taillights regularly.
  • Always make sure your headlights are on when they should be.
  • Drive slower and always make sure you leave room between you and the car in front of you.
  • Watch out for puddles and uneven pavement, as well as potential flash flood areas.
  • If your car skids, don’t panic. Release the gas, and steer the car in the direction you want the front of the car to go. Whatever you do, don’t slam on the brakes.
  • If you hydroplane, don’t panic. Ease off the gas until you feel traction in your car. Don’t brake or turn suddenly.

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, call me at 1 (877) 944-4373, and we can discuss your case. As your personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Can Insomnia Causes Fatal Car Accidents?

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New research shows that insomnia is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents. It may be easy to understand how fatigue could be linked to car accidents, but insomnia is defined as the inability to sleep, so how can that affect your driving? It’s been proven that a lack of sleep causes impaired concentration, judgement and performance.

Recent studies show that people suffering from the following three symptoms of insomnia were almost 3X more likely to die in a fatal car accident:

  • Experiencing sleep that is not restful
  • Having difficulty staying asleep
  • Inability to fall asleep at all

Of the symptoms listed above, the “inability to fall asleep” showed the strongest correlation with accident fatalities. Individuals that had trouble falling asleep were 2X more likely to die from a motor vehicle accident than those who never had problems falling asleep. In fact, the study showed that 34% of car accident deaths were caused by people who had difficulty falling asleep.

Understanding that insomnia is linked to car accident deaths may encourage those suffering from the problem to seek treatment.

Realizing that insomnia is a problem with real life consequences should be an incentive to get help. If you or someone you love suffers from insomnia, you could be putting yourself and others in danger.

Public awareness, understanding of the symptoms, and the quality treatment for those who suffer from  insomnia will go a long way to help prevent fatal car accidents and unintentional injuries..

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, call me at 1 (877) 944-4373, and we can discuss your case. As your personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Motorcycle Safety Tips for Summer Riding in Cleveland

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When the weather warms up in Cleveland the highways see a surge of motorcycles activity. Motorcyclists are thrilled to bring their bikes out, so thrilled they often overlook the risks associated with riding a motorcycle.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcycles make up just 3% of all vehicles registered in the United States. Shockingly, though, motorcycles are involved in 14% of all traffic fatalities. Motorcyclists are 30X more likely to die in an accident than passengers in a car, and 5X more likely to be seriously injured.

Despite these alarming statistics, you can ride a motorcycle and still keep yourself safe, but you must read and understand the following motorcycle safety tips before hitting the road:

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Use your turn signals.
  • Be aware of the blind spots of other drivers.
  • Avoid riding in poor weather conditions.
  • Don’t share a lane with another motorcyclist.
  • Show extra caution at intersections.
  • Allow a great distance when following another motorcycle.
  • Always ride sober.

Motorcyclists who show the utmost caution when riding can still find themselves in danger because they have to worry about the other drivers. Other drivers have a hard time seeing motorcycles. Furthermore, even the most minor motorcycle accident can be deadly because of a motorcyclists lack of protection.

If you or someone you care about is involved in a motorcycle accident, you have to call me right away at 1 (877) 944-4373.

I will help you put the pieces of your life back together after your accident, doing everything I can to get you the compensation you need and deserve. As your personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at tmisny@misnylaw.com or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.