Road Rage Accidents

Share Button

Road Rage and Serious Accidents and Attacks

As if car accidents and daily dangers were not enough to keep us all on the edge of our seat, we now have this new wave of a very serious issue, often fatal and more prevalent than ever before – road rage.  Road rage is defined as anger caused by the stress and frustration of driving in poor conditions.  Unfortunately, that is a definition that needs a makeover!  Road rage today is a violent, often unprovoked aggression in which verbal and physical threats and dangers are widespread.

Just this past weekend, I witnessed an incident that could have escalated quickly and been the next news headline. Fortunately that was not the case, but it was a sad fact that even those of us that feel someone else is being an aggressor, must be mindful that we do not know if that individual is willing to use his/her vehicle, or another weapon of deadly force – to turn an incident into a tragedy.  In this particular situation, a truck pulling into a retail establishment was turning a bit slow for the liking of a small vehicle behind it. The small vehicle beeped excessively to express their frustration and the  driver of the pick up reacted by hitting his brakes in the driveway he was entering – So as to express confusion, concern, and maybe even anger. The aggressors in the vehicle immediately stopped and started to provoke the other driver with a selective finger in the air and verbal taunts.   This is just one example of many, that is now plaguing our cities and roadways.

Road Rage is Rampant

From the heartbreaking recent shooting in which a toddler was riding in a vehicle involved in a road rage case, to the Toledo man who was savagely beaten in front of his family – These news stories ripped from the headlines are anything but make believe.

The statistics are even scarier, with studies, research and reported incidents catching up with the times. As reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

  • 66% of all traffic deaths are a result of aggressive driving
  • 37% of road rage incidents have a firearm involved
  • Male individuals under 19 are the most likely to have road rage
  • 50% of drivers admit to retaliating with aggression when provoked
  • Over a 7 year study, 218 murders and almost 13,000 injuries were reported
  • 2% of drivers report trying to run an aggressive driver off the road

Road rage is a very dangerous scenario. The most common results in serious road rage incidents are grave danger;

  • Accidents
  • Intentional Harm (Firearm, etc)
  • Injury as a Third Party 

As with any evolving issue in our culture today, our laws and standards must evolve to keep up. Just as the definition of ‘Road Rage’ is dated and a far variance from the dangers we commonly see on the roads today, we must push our lawmakers, our insurance companies and our public servants to evolve and recognize the significance, the danger and the need for enforcement.

If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a road rage incident, you must contact my offices immediately.

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.

Keeping Your Head in the Game: How to Avoid Motorcycle Collisions

Share Button

The road is an existential threat. No matter what vehicle you get in or the conditions in which you drive, by going on the road, you are voluntarily putting yourself at risk of serious injury. Thankfully, due to various safety mechanisms and the wonders of technology, this experience doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds.

However, there is one group of motorists who aren’t afforded the same luxury – motorcyclists. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are always at an inherent disadvantage on the streets when compared to cars, trucks or other modes of transportation.

In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration quantifies that your chances of dying on motorcycle are 35 times higher than in a car!

The Perils of Two-Wheelers

Motorcyclists are in danger first and foremost because of the structural disadvantages of their vehicle. Not only are motorbikes smaller and less secure than cars, they are also more prone to fall over due to having an unsure center of balance. The physical limitations of motorcycles always mean that they take the blunt of the damage in a collision.

While motorcyclists are usually skilled enough to avoid the bulk of the obstacles on the road, there are situations, which can’t be as easily averted. Dirt and road kill are difficult enough to avoid, but gravel and other inorganic substances on the roads kill the bike’s grip, making driving unpredictable.

Sudden weather changes – something us Ohioans are definitely accustomed to – can also be disastrous for a motorcyclist. Motorcyclists can only safely drive in very specific circumstances. If a motorcyclist decides to drive in rain or snow, the risk of getting into an accident dramatically increases.

Staying Safe on the Motorcycle

Fortunately, despite the dangers of motorcycles, there are several ways to “protect yourself before you wreck yourself”:

  1. Wear a helmet. 40 percent of riders killed in 2015 were not wearing a helmet. By wearing a helmet, you protect yourself from the majority of the potential harms stemming from a collision.
  2. Be careful in traffic. While intersections are generally a dangerous place, they are even more threatening for motorcyclists. Even being chipped by a car can do devastating damage. Being aware and noticing when cars are turning goes a long way towards averting a crash.
  3. Stay focused. While distracted driving is generally a bad habit, its negative effects are more pronounced on motorcycles. Keeping your eyes on the road is absolutely vital to staying safe.
  4. Don’t push it. 33 percent of motorcycle fatalities in 2015 were killed as a direct result of the motorcyclist speeding. Speeding around corners is especially dangerous as it raises the risk of tipping over.
  5. Check the forecast. Driving in inclement weather is a bad idea! Ensure that it’s not too icy or rainy to be able to ride effectively before heading out.

By following these tips, you can decrease the likelihood of getting into a crash and properly enjoy riding your motorcycle!

If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident by another driver’s negligence, contact my offices immediately. 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.

Wrongful Entrustment Lawsuit

Share Button

Wrongful Entrustment in Ohio

A recent news headline has brought a topic to light that I believe is very important. As a parent, family member or spouse, we all may be guilty of failing to look past the present moment and not using the best judgement.  Our love and stress level may result in not clearly or rationally making decisions.  Unfortunately, wrongful entrustment is the exact reason why foresight is so incredibly important.

In July, just at the Kirtland-Mentor, Ohio border, a 21-year-old driver was evading Kirtland Hills police when he lost control of his vehicle.  The driver was subsequently charged with killing the passenger in that vehicle. The 21-year-old man was driving under a suspended license, and it is suspected that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.  While this may seem to be an open and shut case – the most recent development and wrongful entrustment charge against a 62-year-old Painesville man highlights the complex nature of this case.

Defining Wrongful Entrustment

A wrongful entrustment charge can be brought against an individual who gives access to his or her vehicle to someone that should not be driving. Individuals can be charged with wrongful entrustment if the person driving is married to or related to by blood to the vehicle owner, within the same household.

Wrongful entrustment can be;

  • Lending or allowing a driver to drive their car with a suspended license
  • A driver that has been drinking or taking drugs, or otherwise unable to operate a vehicle
  • A driver that cannot drive safely due to health issues or illness or medication
  • A driver that does not have insurance
  • A driver that does not have a license or learning permit.

Just as the charge implies, wrongful entrustment means that you have allowed someone use of your vehicle, while knowing or reasonably being expected to know, that they are unable to safely and/or legally operate the vehicle.

This case tragically highlights the exact importance of the wrongful entrustment theory and charge.  As a community, as a parent and as a human being, our hearts break for the young 20 year old that lost her life.

If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident and you believe that there is culpability beyond the driver, you must contact me immediately.

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.

 

Bus Accidents

Share Button

The ABCs of Buses

Buses and other mass transportation vehicles pose unique dangers on the roadways and for passengers.

With an estimated 1 million registered buses on the roads across the US, bus accident liability is largely misunderstood.  Unlike maritime law and other mass forms of transportation, busing still follows a completely antiquated regulatory policy – Meaning if tragedy strikes, there is very little compensation to be had.

Buses pose a unique set of dangers as a result of many factors;

  1. Employee and driver accountability
  2. Roadside and traffic hazards
  3. Equipment failure
  4. Weather and outside factors

As a bus passenger, not only are you trusting your driver to be qualified and the operating company to maintain their vehicles properly, you also have to trust every other driver on the road! A large bus cannot make agile maneuvers like a car can, so inclement weather or reacting to other cars can lead to devastating consequences.

Coverage for Bus Accident Victims Completely Inadequate

As a bus passenger, you may be inclined to think your safety is all but guaranteed and in the event of an accident insurance coverage is ample.  This is not the case.

Bus carriers are only required to have a very limited amount of coverage in the event of an accident and liability claim. The law goes back to 1982, during the Reagan administration.  The $5 million dollar standard is simply inadequate considering the likelihood multiple individuals were injured or died.  $5 million dollars may not even be sufficient to cover 1 badly injured passenger!

The Standard Needs to Change

For any other form of public transportation, including rail systems, planes, the standard of coverage is much higher.

In 2014, when the FMCSA petitioned Congress for a raise, the coverage was expected to jump from a $5 million minimum to $20 million.  That is a big difference!

While instances of bus accidents resulting on injury or death are not widespread, it is still critical that the standard is sufficient.

If you or a loved one was injured in a bus accident, or tragically lost their life, you must call me immediately. Together we can hold the responsible parties accountable, and enact change in our society.

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.

Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist Coverage and Why We Need It

Share Button

While a motorcyclist can wear protective equipment, obey traffic laws, and drive defensively, a motorcyclist’s safety ultimately lies in the hands of other drivers.  In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that other vehicles are most commonly at fault for motorcycle accidents.

Damages and injuries in motorcycle accidents are frequent, with the NHTSA reporting that 80% of all motorcycle accidents result in injury or death.

Bikers are 35 times more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a crash than occupants in a car. It is important that all car drivers have good insurance to pay for a motorcyclist’s injuries when at fault for a crash.

However, it is frightening that 1 in every 7 drivers does not have car insurance! If you are in an accident caused by one of these drivers, they will not cover any damage or medical costs. Moreover, many drivers only have the minimum requirement for insurance, leaving the rest of the bill to be paid for by the victim.

Because of the severity of motorcycle accidents, it is vital that all motorcyclists carry uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

What is uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage?

Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) protect the victim of an accident in the scenario of which the faulty driver does not have or does not have enough insurance to cover damage costs.

UM and UIM insurance only applies when:

  • You are in an accident with another vehicle and the other vehicle is at fault
  • The other driver does not have insurance or enough insurance to cover all damage costs

UM and UIM insurance covers bodily damages and property damage

Why do motorcyclists need UM and UIM coverage?

In my 36 years of experience, some of the worst injuries I’ve received are from motorcycle accidents. The injuries are often permanently debilitating, and the victim should be receiving a half million dollars for injuries and life changes. But the driver at fault usually doesn’t have enough insurance to cover all the costs, and if the motorcyclist doesn’t have a good UM/UIM policy, he or she can’t get the compensation deserved.

If you ride a motorcycle, I highly recommend carrying higher limits on your UM and UIM coverage. Motorcycle accidents can result in highly expensive injuries, such as brain and spinal cord injuries, and amputation. You do not want to be stuck paying your own medical costs that were another driver’s fault.

Call your insurance agency immediately if you do not have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If, God forbid, you are in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have adequate insurance, a good UIM policy will make sure your medical costs are covered.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed by a negligent driver, contact my offices immediately.

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.

When Do Motorcycles Have the Right-of-Way?

Share Button

Motorcyclists around the country are thrilled to see an increasing number of signs urging car drivers to be more conscious of motorcycles. But despite the growing awareness, confusion still exists on when motorcyclists get the right-of-way on roads.

Due to their small size, motorcycles are often expected to yield to cars at intersections and traffic. However, motorcycles have as much right to the road as cars, and they follow the same driving rules as any other vehicle. It is important to clarify the right-of-way rules to avoid dangerous driving mistakes that can put a motorcyclist’s safety at risk.

Right-of-way rules for intersections with no traffic lights:

  • The vehicle that arrives at the intersection first has the right-of-way
  • A vehicle attempting a left turn must yield to other vehicles at the intersection
  • A vehicle coming from an unpaved or secondary road must yield to other vehicles
  • If two vehicles arrive at an intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the right has the right-of-way
  • If 3 vehicles arrive at an intersection at the same time, the vehicle at the farthest right has the right-of-way

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that if a driver is unsure when to go, the safest thing to do is to wait until all the other vehicles at the intersection pass, then go.

Although driving a motorcycle is meant to be enjoyable, it can also be dangerous.

Many motorcycle accidents occur every year due to other drivers’ negligence. Following the simple rules above can help prevent accidents in one of the most dangerous places for motorcycles.

As responsible drivers, it is our duty to look out for the safety of motorcyclists. This means frequently checking your blind spots, using proper turn signals, obeying speed limits, and general safe driving. Leaving extra space between a motorcyclist and yourself will make the rider more safe and comfortable as well.

If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle accident by another driver’s negligence, contact my offices immediately. 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.

 

Preventing Injuries in Motorcycle Accidents

Share Button

As the temperature rises and the sun comes out, Ohio’s summer weather calls for the long-awaited use of motorcycles. However, preventable motorcycle accidents occur for too often during these summer months.

In 2015 alone, nearly 5,000 motorcyclists died in crashes according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report. Furthermore, although motorcycles made up only 3% of all registered vehicles in 2014, they accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities.

It is estimated that in 2014, there were 27 times as many deaths on a motorcycle than in a car per mile driven.

Although it is impossible to prevent all motorcycle accidents, action can be taken to limit the severity of an injury.

While head injury is a critical factor in motorcycle deaths, it is not a law in Ohio to require motorcyclists to wear a helmet while riding. However, a helmet has the capability to reduce motorcycle fatalities by 37%, and brain damage by 67%. Not only does a helmet protect against impact on the ground, but it also helps keep debris and rocks that are kicked up by other vehicles from causing severe injury upon hitting a motorcyclist’s head.

In 2015, 40% of motorcyclists killed in a collision were not wearing a helmet.

In 2013, states without a helmet law saw an average of 59% of the motorcyclists killed without a helmet, while states with a helmet requirement had an average of only 8% of the motorcyclists killed without a helmet. As we can see, those who wear a helmet ultimately have a higher likelihood of surviving impacts.

However, do not use a helmet that has already been involved in a collision, as the helmet is much more fragile and can easily be broken. Even if not in a collision, most motorcycle helmet manufactures recommend replacing your helmet every 5 years due to regular wear and tear that the helmet undergoes.

Other Protective Equipment

Although a helmet is the most important piece of equipment in reducing the severity of motorcycle injuries, other safety equipment includes:

  • Gloves (non-slip)
  • Durable shoes
  • Goggles
  • Long sleeve jackets
  • Pants (not shorts)
  • Color and/or reflective material
  • Antilock brakes

As the most common body parts injured in motorcycle accidents are arms, legs, and the head, following the list above will reduce potential injury to those places in the unfortunate event of a collision. Many don’t realize how important safety truly is until their lives are changed forever because of it.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a motorcycle accident due to another driver’s negligence, contact my office immediately.

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

Fatigue and Negligence in Medical Transport

Share Button

Is Medical Transport Creating More Risk Than Benefit?

In the medical profession, the topic of fatigue is not a new one…   From seemingly impossible physician shifts to emergency response and everything in between.  Our brave medical professionals are often dealt difficult hands.  It is up to the healthcare facility, medical organization or company to provide ample staffing and sufficient time between shifts.  Regulating and limiting the amount of hours that can be worked is essential, especially in health care for emergency responders, physicians, nurses, transport and more.

Take just a moment to remember the last time you were completely and utterly exhausted.  The feeling of exhaustion is unlike any other.  We don’t think clearly, our coordination is poor and above all else – fighting sleep can be nearly impossible.

Ambulance Driver Fatigue

In recent Ohio news,  some of our most established third party ambulance services have been called into the headlines, and for all of the wrong reasons.

Private ambulance services can be used for a variety of reasons.  They are available for hire by the public, contract with hospitals, nursing facilities and more – We entrust our care, or our loved ones care to them to transport us safely.

Recent stories have surfaced claiming lengthy work shifts of 50+ hour “days” resulting in deadly consequences. Getting behind the wheel of an ambulance after days without sleep seems to be nonsensical, but for many ambulance drivers, they claim their employers demand it.

The Deadly Consequences of Driving While Drowsy

In the last 4 years, 8 people have died in ambulance accidents across Ohio. One such case was a Cleveland resident and paraplegic, Mr. Michael Wills.  Mr. Wills was in transport to a Columbus hospital, a routine outing after spending over 30 years in his wheelchair.  The ambulance he was riding in crashed as a result of the driver being distracted, killing Mr. Wills on scene.

While many companies mandate schedules and have proper measures in place on paper, the consensus is that profits reign supreme and the demands are still dangerous. Some private ambulance services have demanding schedules,  young, inexperienced drivers on staff, or simply lack safety training and reinforcement.  While fatigue management strategies and safe driving initiatives may be deployed at conferences and in training – It clearly is just not enough.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an ambulance related accident, you must call my offices immediately.  As an experienced Ohio accident and negligence 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.

 

 

Plow Truck Driver Safety and Liability

Share Button

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

Share Button

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.