Ohio Move Over Law – Accident Avoidance

Share Button

Ohio Move Over Law Penalties May Change

The Ohio Move Over Law is simple: if you approach or are approached by an emergency vehicle on a state highway with emergency lights on, you must move over and/or slow down. In instances where it is not safe to move over, such as heavy traffic or poor weather, you must slow down to safely allow the emergency vehicle to pass, or complete your pass to move over.

Recent news headlines detail the tragedy of two officers struck and killed in separate accidents while on duty in construction work areas on the same stretch of Northeast Ohio highway. Many argue the Move Over Law should extend to ALL emergency vehicles, construction crews and anyone in a disabled vehicle on highway road sides.

Risks for crashing into emergency vehicles or someone on the side of the road run the gamut

  • Distracted driving
  • Impaired driving
  • Visual limitations
  • Failure to control
  • Unsafe speeds
  • Unsafe passing
  • Weather conditions

New penalties proposed for violators include up to 6 months in jail, and a $1,000 fine – But is that enough? We have to start valuing human life on the roads. The only way to change this is to hold guilty individuals accountable, and change the way we think about and handle careless behavior.

Move Over to Save Lives

Statistics in the US are horrific.  Each year, hundreds of people are killed or seriously injured after being struck on the side of the road.

  • 1 tow truck driver is killed nationally every six days
  • 1 police office is killed per month
  • 23 highway workers are killed on average each month

These numbers don’t even take into account pedestrians, or accidents with moving emergency vehicles, as a result of driver negligence!

The rising accident counts, and increased rear end vehicle accidents are no mystery.  There are more people driving than ever before, and we are more distracted then we could have ever imagined. Checking a text message or fidgeting with your Pandora channel can cost someone a life!

If you or a loved on was injured as a result of a negligent driver, call me immediately. 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 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.

Motorcycle Accidents – National Motorcycle Awareness Month

Share Button

May is National Motorcycle Awareness Month

Motorcyclists in Ohio cannot wait to get back on the roads when the weather starts to warm up. As I’m sure you’ve noticed with the warm weather approaching, the motorcycles’ roar is more and more prevalent around town.  Unfortunately, despite being a small fraction of ‘vehicles’ on the roadway, motorcycle accidents account for over 14% of traffic fatalities. The National Safety Council reports that in 2015 alone, 4,976 motorcycle riders died as a result of crash – and another 88,000 were injured!

This month is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and it is important to understand the risks that motorcyclists take when sharing the highways.  

During the warm months of spring, summer and fall, motorcycles will be a popular form of transportation on the roadways.  Gas is cheaper, transportation is fun and traffic is a breeze – all while enjoying the open air and great weather. This also means there will be an increase in motorcycle accidents and deaths.

Motorcycle riding comes with risks because of lack of surrounding metal and airbags for protection.  Motorcycles are also not seen as well as cars and trucks.  Use of helmets and protective clothing offer some safety for riders but even with the proper gear the risks of serious injury or death are much higher than riding in a passenger vehicle.

The most common factors in motorcycle accidents are:

  • Drugs and alcohol (Roughly 30% of accidents were drug or alcohol related)
  • Weather
  • Speeding (About 30% of accidents contributed to speed)
  • Inexperience
  • Age  (Estimated to be a factor in 35% of accidents)
  • Road Hazards
  • Colliding with other vehicles

Because of the lack of protection, motorcyclists are often severely injured.  They are usually thrown from the bike and suffer impact injuries from the ground or another vehicle, and many times these injuries are catastrophic and can lead to death.

The most common motorcycle accident injuries are:

  • Neck, back and spinal injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Cuts, contusions and abrasions
  • Road rash
  • Loss of limbs

When you are injured in a motorcycle accident because of someone else’s negligence it is important to speak to a personal injury lawyer.  Often injuries from a motorcycle accident will result in extensive medical care that can continue for a lifetime.

As your Ohio motorcycle 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.

Accidents with Uhauls, Rental Trucks or Camper Vans

Share Button

Bigger Vehicles, Bigger Dangers

Many of us have that instinctual drive to keep away from, or quickly pass, semis on the road. That feeling where the hair stands up on your arms and visions of news coverage or “Final Destination-esque” scenes play out in our head.

What about other large vehicles, driven by inexperienced drivers?  We seem to have a reverse-logic, false sense of security. Tractor trailers and semis are professionally driven, requiring a CDL license endorsement, strict time laws and other guidelines. While truck accidents do happen, campers, U-hauls and other large transportation modes on the highways can pose significant risk, and are not governed by any of the aforementioned. Would you be surprised if I told you Ohio drivers need a special license to safely operate a motorcycle, but not to drive a large RV or rental truck?

Driving a large vehicle is complicated.

  • Increased risk
  • Inexperienced driving
  • Emergency response ineptitude
  • Lack of insurance
  • Lack of operational experience

Dangers of Rental Vehicles – Accidents in Uhauls and More

Any adult with a valid license can rent a 16 or 26 foot (or similar size) box truck from local dealers across the area.  This means any individual can grab keys and hop behind the wheel – With little to no instruction involved.  In addition to the sheer size of the vehicle, many of us are not even sure how to properly start or operate it! A typical truck rented for moving is about 4 times the size and weight of a normal everyday car. EMPTY!

Factor in the stress of moving, weather related threats, other drivers and other factors, it can be a recipe for disaster. From the simple time it takes to stop, to the distance needed to change lanes, rental vehicles are a dangerous road hazard.

A 2014 study prepared for Congress stated that over a five year period from 2005-2010, 134 rental trucks crashes were reported. While this seems small by count, these crashes caused over 163 individual serious injury, and resulted in over 170 deaths. Driver errors and varying inspection standards and loop holes are partially to blame. Uhauls and other rental trucks have a long history of shady, negligent maintenance practices that can extend the danger.

 

Campers and Motor Homes

RVS, motor homes and campers add an entirely different element into the mix! While it may be a dream come true for some, campers and RVs can be a true nightmare.  Distracted and inexperienced driving coupled with slower reaction times and maintenance issues, weather or traffic conditions, can make your RV hell on wheels.

Aside from additional registration fees, most campers and RVs do not require any additional training or licensing to operate! And aside from general insurance, most are not covered by more than a normal policy.

Even in perfect weather conditions, driving large or oversize vehicles can pose serious dangers.

  • Assured distance
  • Clear and wide turning
  • Parking
  • Difficulty maneuvering
  • Maintenance issues
  • Distracted driving
  • Tired driving
  • Speeding and stop distance
  • Overloading / imbalance
  • Improper towing

A FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) report released sited that in 2012 alone, over 75000 people were injured nationwide in RV or motor home accidents.

Large vehicles driven by inexperienced drivers are a serious hazard on our roads. If you or someone you love was injured or killed in an accident with a Uhaul, rental truck, RV or motor home – You must contact my offices immediately.

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.

Uber Accidents Claims

Share Button

A New Type Of Accident Claim in an Uber World

Ride sharing is on the rise, and unfortunately so are related accidents.  While Uber, Lyft and other ride sharing, taxi or carpool services fill a need in today’s society – we also need to ensure our laws change to keep up with the times!

There are several ways individuals can be involved in Uber accidents;

  1. You were in an Uber or car from a ride share app, and an accident occurred
  2. You were in another vehicle, and you were hit by an Uber driver
  3. You were a pedestrian struck by an Uber driver

In the case of Uber and other similar ride apps, we have unlimited options at our fingertips.  Unfortunately, for drivers and passengers, this can be a dangerous game.  Drivers are actually independent contractors who use their personal vehicles for financial gain.. This can be contrary to their insurance policies in many cases.  Further, whether or not an active Uber ride is occurring can also impact the situation.

To combat this, Uber has a $1 million dollar umbrella-type liability policy, that extends beyond the drivers’ coverage. There is also coverage in place for when the driver is not actively transporting a passenger, as a result of tragic cases in California and New York.

Now your accident and injury has become increasingly more complicated.  What do you do next?

If you were involved in an Uber accident, start with these 4 steps.

  1. Get immediate medical attention
  2. Document everything as best as possible, or ask a loved one for help
  3. Call a lawyer. If you were injured in the accident in any way, it is best to consult a lawyer immediately
  4. Do not accept any offers or make any declarations.  Follow the user recommended instructions as provided by Uber.

“Who’s Driving You” a self proclaimed public awareness campaign, highlights the dangers and extreme incidents that have resulted from Uber and Lyft drivers around the globe. Although not much different than the individual we trusted to drive our limos, buses and taxi cabs – The Uber world certainly brings another element to the table.

Uber and similar ride sharing apps have absolutely changed the landscape.  It is not often that technology of this magnitude is released and scales so quickly!  This can further complicate the situation.  Uber has no claim or report number and doesn’t even call themselves a taxi or transportation service.

If you or someone you love was involved in an Uber car accident, call my offices immediately.  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.

 

 

Alcohol Fueled Accidents in Ohio

Share Button

A Look into Ohio Alcohol-Related Car Accidents

Alcohol consumption is widely accepted in a variety of social and professional settings. We have everything from restaurants to sporting events, networking soirees and parties serving cocktails morning, noon and night. Many argue that buzzed driving is drunk driving and champion other anti-alcohol campaigns.  Large highway billboards are purchased to warn us of the potential of devastating consequences, yet we continue to have higher rates of alcohol related accidents in Ohio when compared to the national average.

Have we finally reached the point that 0.00 is the necessary legal limit?

Even with the prolific growth of ride sharing like Uber and Lyft, we still have an epidemic of deadly alcohol related driving in Ohio and across the US.

  • 12,072 alcohol-related traffic accidents in 2016
  • 12,526 alcohol-related traffic accidents in 2015

A 4% decline from 2015 to 2016 is promising, but we have far to go and more than 1,000 accidents a month to prevent.

Alcohol on our Roadways

Driving down the highway in the wee hours of the morning, we may be more alert and even anticipate encountering an impaired driver.  What happens when you are driving on a Tuesday at lunchtime, and get slammed by a drunk or buzzed driver?   Alcohol related car accidents aren’t on a time clock – and your safety is always at risk.

Even when we do encounter a driver that we deem to be an immediate danger – Try calling 1800-grab-DUI and see how easy it is to report an impaired driver!  After jumping through the proverbial hoops and reaching the correct city, properly and safely providing direction is nearly impossible.

Safety in Numbers

It all comes down to accountability for ourselves, for those we love, for the establishments we frequent, and for safety responders and our laws.

In addition to holding those accountable with higher standards and harsher punishments, truly gaining justice for the victims of alcohol related accidents and changing society as a whole, may be the ONLY way to change the pattern.

If you suspect someone is impaired and behind the wheel,

  • Safely call 911 or 1800-Grab-DUI
  • Stay a safe distance behind the driver
  • In the event of an incident or accident, remain calm and stay near for emergency responders and police, your statement could be the difference in justice being served

If you or someone you love was involved in an alcohol related accident, call my offices immediately.  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.

Driving Safety for our Teenage Children

Share Button

Keeping Our Kids Safe Behind the Wheel

It is highly unlikely any of us had a true grasp on the responsibility bestowed upon us when getting behind the wheel at the ripe age of 16.  With Max, Ruby and Gus just a blink away from the drivers seat, I find myself frequently thinking of ways to keep my children safe on the roads, and to teach them the importance of keeping others safe as well. Although many parents strive to create good citizens, many do not adequately prepare their kids for the road.  I unfortunately have to see the devastating impact all too often.

One second, one accident, one mistake can be the difference of life of serious injury or death. For you or a stranger on the road, our responsibility to be safe and operate a vehicle properly is of the utmost importance.

The CDC reports that teen drivers are THREE TIMES more likely to be in a crash than drivers 20 years of age or older.  It’s a simple testament to the times, and unfortunately to all of the distractions we have at our fingertips.

Putting Technology to Work 

A teen child’s worst nightmare is a parent’s biggest weapon in today’s day and age.  The technology available to us may border on privacy invasion and obsession, but if it keeps our kids and others safe on the roads, then it is doing the trick!

Apps and Technology for Monitoring the Drivers’ Seat

  • Technology for speed notifications
  • Technology for location and geo tracking
  • Ability to set boundaries and parameters on distance
  • Near collision alerts
  • Harsh driving alerts
  • Radio mute and volume control
  • Cell phone blocks

From new cars loaded with incredible safety features, to aftermarket solutions, there are safety tools for every budget and every teen driver!

Safety and driving laws – Take the driving course together, and practice what you preach!

Only 55% of teen of drivers are wearing seat belts when other teen passengers are in the car. Many drivers on the road are unaware of commands, cyclist laws and more. Discuss this with your children, and learn together.  Explain the seriousness and finality of an accident and that they are not bullet proof or immune.

We are all guilty of a near-miss and that ‘eye opening’ moment, realizing that the outcome could have been incredibly different.  Trust me when I tell you, I have seen lives changed in an instant.  Take the time and ensure your child and other drivers on the roadways are safe!

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call my offices immediately.  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.

Ohio’s Deadly Winter Weather

Share Button

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

Share Button

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

Share Button

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

Share Button

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.