Bus Accidents

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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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.