Monthly Archives - January 2016

What to Do in a Hit & Run Accident in Ohio

What to Do in a Hit & Run Accident in Ohio

hit-and-run-1Being in a hit and run accident is one of the most stressful types of accidents. Thankfully, you still have many legal options in Ohio. When your vehicle is hit by someone else and then the other person flees the scene, it can make many individuals feel overwhelmed. The first thing to remember is that you should remain calm and that you are not alone. In fact, about one in ten crashes nationwide involve a hit and run. Read our top mistakes after an Ohio car accident. After being in a hit and run accident there are a few key things to remember:

Never Leave the Scene

You may be inclined to think that since the other person fled, there is no reason for you to stay at the scene. Some individuals think they can just call the police later. However, regardless of what type of accident you are in, hit and run or not, it’s critically important to stay at the scene. Drive your car off the roadway if you can and find a safe place to wait for the police. The police will be able to collect information, investigate the scene of the crime, and write a police report.

Call Your Insurance Company Right Away

Make sure you report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Give them as much detailed information as you can and let them know that there was a police report made. The last thing you want is for your insurance company to refuse to compensate you for the damages because they don’t believe that you were actually hit by someone. A detailed description and a full police report can serve as good evidence that you were in fact hit.

Call an Ohio Car Accident Attorney

Hit and run accidents are very complex, especially when the other driver’s identity remains unknown. This is because it is difficult to figure out the identity of the person responsible. Having uninsured motorist coverage may prove beneficial in these situations. However, when it comes to handling the insurance companies, it may be beneficial to have an experienced Ohio car accident attorney by your side.

Contact Ohio Car Accident Attorneys today for immediate legal help.

What to do if You Hit an Animal While Driving in Ohio

What to do if You Hit an Animal While Driving in Ohio

animal-hitIt is not uncommon for someone who is driving down the road to notice an animal run out in front of them, especially in more rural parts of Ohio. In some cases, the animal is lucky enough to dodge the vehicle. But this is not always the case. Sometimes, the collision is unavoidable. Many people do not know how to handle this situation. You may want to read our top mistakes after an accident.

However, it is important for people to know how to respond if they ever hit an animal while driving in Ohio. If they don’t follow the proper procedure, they could end up in legal trouble. This article is going to cover important information and guidelines people need to follow if they ever hit an animal while driving.

Pull to the Side of the Road

This section is going to cover the first step that needs to be taken by anyone who hits an animal with their vehicle. The first step is to pull to the side of the road. The only exception to this would be if it is unsafe to stop.

For example, if someone hits an animal on a busy freeway, they need to keep moving and call 911. Legal action could result from not reporting the situation. Many jurisdictions consider hitting an animal without stopping or reporting it animal cruelty.

After stopping, it is important to turn on the emergency lights. By stopping and reporting the situation, the individual shows they are doing everything they can to correct the situation. This action will go a long way in helping the driver avoid legal trouble.

Avoid Touching the Animal

Some people will be tempted to try and move or comfort the injured animal. This is understandable, but it is not wise. Injured animals might try to defend themselves. They are going to be more vicious than they would be otherwise. If someone tries to move the animal while it is in this condition, it could bite or claw them.

It is important to avoid making this situation any worse. People need to value their own safety over the animal’s safety. If possible, set up road flares to alert other drivers of the situation. This can keep the animal as safe as possible without the need to move it.

Call 911

After the driver has stopped, the next step is to call 911 and report the situation. The dispatcher will give further instructions. It is best to avoid giving more information than needed.

A good line would be “An animal ran out in front of me, I was not able to safely stop in time.” This is important because some people may unintentionally say things that could be used against them if any legal action is taken.

If you have been injured as a result of an accident in Ohio, call Ohio Accident Attorneys today for immediate help.

At What Age Should You Quit Driving in Ohio?

At What Age Should You Quit Driving in Ohio?

elderly-driverAs we age, our bodies inevitably undergo changes that affect the way we think, move, and interact in our daily environment. Perception and alertness are especially important traits to have any time that a person is behind the wheel. Driving is a privilege most citizens would hope to never have to do without, especially in rural parts of Ohio where everything is far away. But how do you know when a person is no longer physically fit to continue driving?

As it turns out, age itself is not a determining factor of driving capability. However, physical condition is. The risks for unsafe driving increase with age, due to higher prevalence of health conditions in the elderly population. Here are five signs that it’s time to retire to the passenger’s seat:

A Long History of Ohio Traffic Violations

If an elderly driver has had a long history of traffic tickets, violations, or if their insurance rates have risen recently, it may be a sign that driving is starting to become a more difficult task than it should be for a normal driver. Even if an individual has always been a bad driver, these habits can worsen with age and can lead to dangerous outcomes.

Damage to the Vehicle

If an elderly person’s automobile has a new dent or scratch every week. This may be a sign that their driving skills are beginning to wean or they’re no longer able to keep an eye on the road. While a small dent may seem harmless, it could lead to a more serious accident.

Unable to Drive at Night

If an elderly driver is unable to drive at night or frequently gets lost after driving after sundown, this may be a sign that their vision and sense of direction is outside the bounds of normal driving. They should consider driving only during the day, or retire from driving.

Check for Driving Problems

You can help assess the driving capability of an elderly person by seeing how they perform on the road. You can do this by doing a test drive with them or by following them in a separate vehicle. You can also ask friends or neighbors if they have noticed any driving problems. Attention to safety, rapid response, and maneuverability are all important aspects for safe driving. For more information, visit our FAQ.

If you are an elderly individual in Ohio and you have suffered a car accident, call Ohio Accident Attorneys today for immediate help.

Top Vehicle Defects to Look Out For in Ohio

Top Vehicle Defects to Look Out For in Ohio

dead-car-batteryDriver negligence isn’t the only cause of motor vehicle accidents. Design defects involving the vehicles themselves are another cause. You have many legal options in these cases.

Design defects

A design defect can make a product inherently dangerous and defective. As opposed to a mistake or error in the manufacturing process, an entire line of a product can be dangerously defective from a design defect, notwithstanding the fact that the product was in full compliance with all engineering specifications.

Federal safety regulations and testing standards on motor vehicles are rigorous, but many dangerously defective motor vehicles have been placed in the stream of commerce. Innocent consumers then drive or otherwise occupy those vehicles. Here are some common allegedly defectively designed motor vehicle components currently being litigated.

General Motors ignition switches

GM has admitted that certain defective ignition switches could move from their operating positions and switch off power to a vehicle’s air bags while interfering with power steering and power brakes. These ignition switches are blamed for at least 120 deaths and 270 injuries.

Takata Air Bags

This manufacturer’s air bag systems contain a propellant that can cause its housing to explode and shoot shrapnel, even through the air bag itself. Drivers in warm and humid climates with Takata air bags are particularly vulnerable. Takata air bags are connected with the largest vehicle recall in history with over 34 million vehicles having been recalled. At least 9 deaths have been attributed to Takata exploding air bags.

Ford SUV Rollovers

Ford Motor Company had been sued nationwide in both injury and wrongful death lawsuits arising from rollover accidents. As a result of a higher center of gravity, SUVs are more susceptible to rolling over than other passenger vehicles. Design defects that are allegedly connected to Ford SUV rollovers include stability design, suspension systems, roof support design and tire failure.

Seat Belt Failure

Seat belts are the most important safety device in a vehicle, but they’ve been known to malfunction. They can unbuckle from inertia or never really buckle by failure to completely engage when seemingly engaged. Sometimes the actual belt itself tears in half from an impact. Virtually every vehicle manufacturer has been involved in defective seat belt litigation.

Product liability cases are highly complex. Those who believe that they or a family member have been injured as a result of a motor vehicle design defect need to consult with an experienced Ohio product liability attorney. Contact Ohio Accident Attorneys now for immediate help.

10 Leading Causes of Traffic Accidents in Ohio

10 Leading Causes of Traffic Accidents in Ohio

traffic-accidentMost car crashes in Ohio can be prevented because they involve negligent drivers. Establishing the cause of a crash is essential for insurance purposes because the at-fault drivers are responsible for the damages that they cause to others. Below were the 10 leading causes of Ohio car accidents in 2013.

1. Tailgating or Following Too Closely

Tailgating is the most common cause of traffic accidents, resulting in 67,050 cases. Among these, 58 were fatal and 18,685 caused injuries.

2. Failure to Maintain Vehicle Control

Losing control of a vehicle contributed to 40,705 of crashes and 18.1 percent of fatal, driver-error accidents.

3. Not Yielding to Traffic

Failing to yield to right-of-way traffic caused 33,709 crashes and more than 11 percent of fatal, driver-error crashes. This resulted in 11,657 injured victims and 21,947 cases of property damage.

4. Inappropriate Lane Changes

Improper lane changes caused 20,842 collisions and accounted for 12.4 percent of all fatal, driver-error crashes, making it a common cause of fatal accidents.

5. Dangerous Speed

Driving at an unsafe speed contributed to 11,993 crashes in 2013, including 4,030 accidents involving injuries, and accounted for 13.1 percent of fatal, driver-error crashes.

6. Backing Up Improperly

Backing up improperly caused 8,988 crashes, most frequently in parking lots. The results were less than 500 injury collisions and only one fatal accident.

7. Red-Light Running

Red-light running resulted in 7,106 car accidents and 2.1 percent of fatal, driver-error crashes. This caused 3,007 injury accidents and 4,080 property damage accidents.

8. Making an Improper Turn

There were 6,258 accidents related to improper turns in 2013. Among those, 1,343 were injury accidents, 4,909 resulted in property damage and only six were fatal.

9. Various Improper Actions

The “improper actions” that caused 4,119 car accidents were not specifically defined, but 24 of them were fatal and 943 of them caused injuries.

10. Crossing the Center Lines

Drivers who crossed over the center lines and into oncoming traffic caused 4,055 crashes, accounting for 9.2 percent of fatal collisions and 1,493 injury crashes.

Actions to Take After a Car Accident in Ohio

Following an Ohio car accident, the victims should gather evidence to establish the cause of the crash and seek medical attention. They should also seek the representation of a personal injury lawyer if they were seriously injured.

Dangers of Tailgating in Ohio

Dangers of Tailgating in Ohio

tailgating-in-ohioTailgating is when an individual drives closely behind the vehicle in front. In general, the intention of the driver who is tailgating is to save on gas by lowering the air resistance on their vehicle. The effect on gas savings can be noticeable, especially if you tailgate behind a larger vehicle like a truck. Other times drivers tailgate because they don’t like having to change their speed to accommodate the drivers in front, they are in a hurry, or for a variety of other reasons. Tailgating is very dangerous, especially in Ohio where the weather can change quickly and the roads may be wet.

However, when an individual tailgates, they reduce the distance they have to stop their vehicle before hitting the vehicle in front. In addition, due to the delay in reaction time between when the driver in front hits his brakes and the driver in back hits his in response, it may be impossible to stop without crashing. Tailgating can be considered a form of aggressive driving which means you can get a traffic citation for it and insurance companies may charge you higher premiums.

Are You Tailgating?

Sometimes there can be a grey area for some people between tailgating and driving normally depending on the speed of traffic. As the speed of your vehicle increases, you should allow more and more space between you and the car in front. This is because, at a higher speed, it takes your vehicle a greater distance to come to a stop. A general rule of thumb is called the “three second rule.” This guideline states that you should be far enough behind the vehicle in front that it takes you at least three seconds to get to the position where they are at that moment. To test this, start counting as soon as the front vehicle passes a landmark. It should take you at least three seconds to pass that same landmark at your current speed. During rain, or if the roads are wet, double the time to 6 seconds at least. If it’s snowing, multiply it by 4.

Staying Safe if Others Are Tailgating You

If you are being tailgated by the driver behind you, moving to a different lane is generally the best thing to do. However, if for some reason you can’t move to a different lane, try to allow extra space between you and the driver in front in order to avoid having to brake abruptly.

If a tailgater has caused you to be in a car accident and you have been injured as a result, contact Ohio Accident Attorneys today to see if you are entitled to compensation.