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Everyone who shares America’s roads wants a safe experience while doing so. Unfortunately, the risk for accidents has increased as rural and urban roadways become more congested. Of particular concern, increasing numbers of commercial trucks on interstate and highway roads have led to more accidents, especially accidents caused by distracted driving.

Commercial Truck Driving Accident Statistics

Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents involving commercial trucks continue to go up. According to the National Safety Council:[1]

Research experts have speculated that an increase in commercial trucking on America’s roadways is part of the reason for an increase in traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities. But that’s only part of the story. If everyone who shared the road drove safely, an increase in trucks on the road would not lead to a spike in accidents, injuries, and deaths.

What, then, is causing the rise in commercial truck accidents?

Distracted Driving, Drowsy Driving, and Commercial Trucking

Distracted driving is becoming such a problem in commercial trucking that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has formally announced regulations prohibiting the use of hand-held mobile devices by commercial motor vehicle operators. This announcement was based on FMCSA information like the following:[2]

While distracted driving is becoming a serious problem for all motorists, truck drivers (individuals who operate huge vehicles that are more difficult to maneuver and take much longer to come to a complete stop), put themselves and others at especially high risk when driving distracted.

Liability and Fault in Commercial Truck Driving Accidents

Cautious driving, staying off of the phone, and focusing on the road at all times are the best defenses against car accidents. But when personal injuries, accidents, and large-truck collisions do occur, families need professional help. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a collision with a commercial truck, please call NRS Injury Law at 855.977.6670.

Sources:

[1] NSC. “Large Trucks.” National Safety Council, 2021. injuryfacts.nsc.org

[2] FMSCA. “Driver Distraction.” Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2015. fmcsa.dot.gov

Motorcycles give riders endless hours of enjoyment on America's roads. But they are also dangerous. Motorcycle enthusiasts need to know the risks, understand safe and defensive motorcycle operations, and know how to respond when an accident occurs.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents and motorcycle-related injuries are at an all-time high. According to the National Safety Council:[1]

"Although motorcycles make up only 3% of all registered vehicles and 0.6% of all vehicle miles traveled in the United States, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities."

The NSC goes on to cite concerning statistics like the following:

That last statistic is especially important. Many people previously believed that motorcycle accidents occurred among people who rode on rural highways, in poor weather, and without wearing helmets. Actually, most crashes occur on urban roads, in good weather, in daylight, with riders who are not alcohol-impaired and who are wearing their helmets. That means there are other causes for the increase in motorcycle accidents, like distracted driving, other drivers texting while driving, and drivers not looking for motorcycles when turning, changing lanes, or moving through intersections.

Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents

The Ohio Traffic Safety Bulletin for 2021 reported that, in 2020, 3,982 motorcycle-related crashes occurred in Ohio, representing an 11% increase in crashes over 2019. 205 crashes resulted in 212 deaths among motorcyclists and their passengers.[2]

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published guidelines on how people can enjoy motorcycles safely and avoid accidents. Quoting their briefing:[3]

"Experienced riders know local traffic laws – and they don't take risks. Obey traffic lights, signs, speed limits, and lane markings; ride with the flow of traffic and leave plenty of room between your bike and other vehicles; and always check behind you and signal before you change lanes."

What is a No Contact Motorcycle Accident?

A no-contact motorcycle accident involves an accident in which a motorcyclist must swerve to avoid contact with a car, and the motorcyclist crashes or lays the bike down as a result. In such cases, the driver that the motorcyclist had to avoid likely committed a negligent act. Such an act could be changing lanes, accelerating, turning, or braking without looking for and noticing the motorcycle. When a driver acts in this way, that causes the motorcyclist to swerve to avoid an accident. In this case, the car driver could be held liable. If such an accident happened to you or a loved one, please call NRS Injury Law today at 855.977.6670.

Sources:

[1] NSC. "Motorcycles." National Safety Council, 2022. injuryfacts.nsc.org

[1] State Patrol. "Traffic Safety Bulletin." Ohio State Police, 2022. statepatrol.ohio.gov

[3] NHTSA. "Motorcycle Safety." National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2021. nhtsa.gov

Given the extensive training that school bus drivers receive and the safety-minded rules and regulations surrounding school buses, these vehicles are thought to be some of the safest on America’s roads. Unfortunately, accidents still occur involving school buses. And particularly for other vehicles, drivers, passengers, and pedestrians involved in a collision with a school bus, these accidents can be devastating. People must know what to do when such an accident occurs.

School Bus Accident Statistics

School bus safety is on the top of everyone’s mind after a school bus carrying 32 students crashed into a house in College Corner, Ohio, on August 15th, 2022. While none of the students were injured, the school bus driver was rushed to the hospital, and the school bus and house sustained serious damage.[1]

According to Ohio’s Traffic Safety Bulletin, 5,859 traffic crashes involving school buses occurred between 2016 and 2020. During that period, eight individuals involved in the crashes died, and 1,923 individuals were injured.[2]

The Role of Sovereign Immunity in School or City Bus-Related Accidents

Sovereign immunity refers to a series of laws and ordinances that protect school bus drivers, maintenance workers, school bus manufacturers, school districts, and city governments from liability in the event of a school bus accident. Similar laws exist for city transit buses.

Sovereign immunity laws are complicated and extensive, and they often differ significantly from one city to the next or even from one township to the next. That’s why it takes the best personal injury law firms to navigate the confusing landscape of immunity laws involving school buses, school zones, and city buses.

The Claims Process

There is a claims process for those seeking damages after being involved in an accident with a school bus. With the help of a personal injury lawyer or wrongful death attorney, the victim of an accident or their next of kin can pursue the following:

Legal Representation for School or City Bus Accidents

Because such extensive immunity laws cover school and city buses (including comprehensive regulations and ordinances that protect the school district, city, bus manufacturer, driver, and maintenance crew), it’s critical to only approach a school bus accident claim with the help of an experienced injury law attorney.

Cautious driving and regular safety checks prevent car accidents, but when personal injuries do occur, families need professional help. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a collision with a school bus, please call NRS Injury Law at 855.977.6670.

Sources:

[1] KIRO. “School bus crashes into a house in Ohio; no students injured, driver taken to the hospital.” Cox Media Group, 2022. kiro7.com

[2] OSP. “Traffic Safety Bulletin.” Ohio State Patrol, 2021. statepatrol.ohio.gov

School is back in session, which means millions of Americans must pay particular attention to traffic laws, speed limits, road crossings, signage, and other rules that apply to school zones. These rules are in place to protect schoolchildren, yet the greatest risk to young people in school zones may not be speeding, failing to read a sign, or yielding to a crosswalk guard. 

Rather, the greatest risk almost certainly comes from drivers breaking any number of laws because they were distracted.

Defining Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as:[1]

“Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment, or navigation system.” 

Distracted driving is particularly dangerous because it causes drivers to commit any number of traffic violations such as speeding, failing to observe posted signage, being unable to brake in time, rolling through stop signs, etc. According to the NHTSA, 3,142 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2020.

The Risk of Distracted Driving in School Zones

According to one study, the 500 feet radius around a school has the highest proportion of child-car collisions and fatalities compared to other urban areas.[2] In Ohio, distracted driving is of particular concern to law enforcement. According to one State Trooper Bulletin:[3]

“In 2017, 13,997 drivers in Ohio crashed while being distracted by something within their vehicles. Fifty-one (51) of these crashes were fatal and resulted in 55 deaths... The number of reported distracted driving fatal crashes nearly doubled from 2016 to 2017 (+96%).”

Ohio State law prohibits the use of “electronic wireless communication devices” by drivers under the age of 18. Texting while driving is illegal in Ohio.

These laws are in place because distracted driving prevents drivers from focusing on the road in front of them, something that creates enormous risk when driving through a school zone. The concentration of young children (who may not be as aware of traffic) coupled with drivers who are unaware of pedestrians (due to being distracted) create a recipe for disaster. 

Driving Safely in School Zones

Back to school safety is on the minds of millions of parents. And while people should follow all the traffic safety laws for school zones, perhaps the best advice for families is to ensure they do not drive distracted in school zones. The risks are too great.

Prevention is the best medicine, but when personal injuries do occur, families need professional help. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury while in a school zone, please call NRS Injury Law at 855.977.6670.

Sources:

[1] NHTSA. “Distracted Driving.” National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2022. nhtsa.gov

[2] Carmanah. "Distracted Driving in School Zones." Safe Kids USA, 2022. carmanah.com

[3] Trooper Shield. "Traffic Safety Bulletin." State Highway Patrol, 2018. publicsafety.ohio.gov

There are different terms for how one can become injured and seek compensation. How the injury takes place, where it occurs, the circumstances of it, what the individual was doing when they became injured, and what others were doing around them at the time are all factors that influence how the victim of the injury seeks compensation to assist them on their road to recovery.

What is Covered Under Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims can cover just about any injury, assuming the injured person can determine that someone else or another entity is at fault for the injury. If the individual can prove this, they may be eligible to recover all damages they suffered. Any injured person is eligible for a personal injury claim if they can prove fault, even if the fault is the negligence of another party. Remember, acts of omission on the part of other parties can be determined as fault just as acts of commission can.

What is Covered Under Workers’ Compensation Claims

Workers’ compensation claims generally have fewer barriers to entry than personal injury claims (no need to prove fault with workers' comp claims). However, such claims do not usually allow the individual to seek compensation for pain and suffering. Workers’ compensation is supposed to reimburse the individual for the wages they missed while recovering from a workplace injury and the medical bills accumulated to treat the injury.

When You Might Need Both

To summarize, the key difference between personal injury claims and workers’ compensation claims is that workers’ compensation protects individuals who become injured at work, no matter who's at fault for the injury. Why? Because even if the worker’s injury is their fault, it would not have occurred if the individual was not at their place of work. Conversely, personal injury claims require the person injured to be able to show that another entity is liable for the injury.

There can also be an overlap between workers’ compensation and personal injury. For example, if someone is injured at their main job and cannot work at their main job or their part-time job for weeks, they will likely be entitled to workers’ compensation for their missed time at their main job.

But what happens if the insurance company only pays for the missed wages from one’s main job but not their second, part-time job? In this case, the injured person may want to consider a personal injury claim. Doing so could help recover the lost income from the second, part-time job, ensuring that the individual has all their wages covered during their recovery period.

Legal Representation Ensures Your Best Interests are Attended To

When an injury occurs, recovery and healing are key, and the last thing anyone wants to worry about is filing claims and ensuring they have adequate income when they cannot work. If you or someone you care about has been injured, please get in touch with NRS Injury Law today at 855.977.6670. Let experienced personal injury attorneys and workers’ compensation lawyers handle your case while you focus on recovery.

Anyone who’s attempted to learn about insurance laws will notice something right off the bat. Such laws are far more confusing than they need to be. In this short article, we’ll answer three of the most frequently asked questions about Ohio’s insurance laws:

If after reading you still have questions about these laws and how they pertain to your claim, call the NRS Injury Law office today at 855.977.6670.

What is Minimum Coverage?

The ‘Minimum Coverage’ identification refers to motor vehicle insurance. It’s also sometimes referred to as ‘Mandatory Insurance.’ Quoting Ohio’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles:[1]

It is law in Ohio that you must have insurance to drive any motor vehicle. A vehicle owner may not allow anyone else to drive their motor vehicle without insurance. Minimum required for insurance coverage: $25,000 for injury/death of one person. $50,000 for injury/death of two or more people. $25,000 for property damage in an accident.”

Ohio residents can add coverage options to their policy and choose additional insurance options, but the Minimum Coverage regulations cited above are what all drivers must have.

How Does Fault Work in Insurance?

The concept of ‘fault’ merely establishes who is at fault in an auto accident and who is not. Ohio is a “fault” state, meaning the driver deemed liable for an accident uses their insurance coverage to pay for others’ damages. That is why all drivers in Ohio must be covered by a Minimum Coverage insurance policy. In the event of an accident, the driver who is determined at fault for that accident will use their insurance to pay for the damages that other parties suffered.

Fault is an important aspect of any car accident because determining who is at fault and the degree of fault involved makes a big difference in who’s insurance company will have to foot the bill and for how much one of the parties may be held liable. It’s also worth mentioning that a judge can determine several parties to share fault in a single car accident, adding a layer of complexity. That’s why it’s important to have professional legal representation when litigating the details of a car accident.

Why Does it Take 46 Days to Settle a Claim?

Ohio insurance companies have 46 days to settle a claim after it is filed, and it usually takes them the full 46 days to do this, especially for personal injury claims. Why? Mostly because multiple parties are involved, including the individual’s doctor, the health insurance company, the legal representatives, the car insurance company, settlement administration, etc.

Navigating the Complexities with the Help of Experienced Representation

Having the help of experienced and knowledgeable professionals makes all the difference in seeking justice for an automobile accident, negligence, medical malpractice, worker’s compensation, personal injury, or Social Security disability claims. To ensure you get the compensation you deserve, call NRS Injury Law today at 855.977.6670.

Sources:

[1] BMV. “Mandatory Insurance.” Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, 2022. bmv.ohio.gov

In addition to operating the largest state-funded workers’ compensation system in the country, Ohio is also home to millions of workers in the private sector who are covered by workers’ comp. Whether you work in the private or public sector, this guide is for you.

What to Do When an Accident Occurs

Workers’ compensation is a crucial component of employment in the Buckeye State. But what is workers’ comp? Workers’ compensation is a program that provides coverage for work-related injuries and illnesses for public and private sector employees. Workers’ compensation ensures an employee’s medical bills are covered and that the employee continues to receive income while recovering from an injury.

Ohio has a robust workers’ compensation system, but there are still steps that injured workers should take to protect their legal rights to workers’ compensation benefits:

  1. Report injuries immediately. Employers are responsible for worker safety and for filing workers’ compensation claims with the employer’s insurance company. But an employer won’t know to do this unless the worker informs them they are injured. If the injury is not an emergency, the worker should inform their employer they are injured, then see a doctor. In the case of an emergency, the worker should go to the ER immediately.
  1. Consult a doctor as soon as possible. A worker should see a doctor following a workplace injury as soon as possible. They may have to see a doctor approved by their workplace, and that’s fine, but it’s also a good idea to get a second opinion and see a doctor of the worker’s choosing. Getting a second evaluation from an independent doctor could mean more workers’ comp benefits in the long run.
  1. Consult an Ohio workers’ compensation attorney. As soon as they can, an injured employee should seek the counsel of a workers’ compensation attorney. Attorneys have experience handling workers’ comp claims, and they can advise injured workers on how best to proceed to maximize workers’ comp benefits. Further, if an insurance company tries to avoid providing full compensation for a worker’s injury, an Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer can represent the worker and ensure they get the benefits they are due.
  1. File an accident report. Once a doctor has assessed the injury and the worker has sought legal advice, the worker should file an accident report. There are deadlines by which a worker must report a workplace accident, which is why an injured worker should report their accident immediately. Even if an injury isn’t noticeable right away, filing an accident report protects the worker in the long run, should symptoms or harmful after-effects of the accident crop up weeks or months later.
  1. Seek compensation. In Ohio, employees usually can’t sue their employers over workplace injuries. The flip side is that they don’t have to prove that the employer’s negligence caused an accident. Employees could be compensated for workplace injuries even if the employee’s own negligence caused the accident. That’s why it’s always best to seek compensation through the workers’ comp program.
  1. Follow workplace rules during the claim. Workers’ comp does not usually cover injuries connected to drugs, alcohol, horseplay, or physical altercations with other employees. An employer may ask an injured employee to submit to drug tests. Employees should follow workers’ comp rules when filing their claims.
Benefits of Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Workers’ compensation attorneys in Ohio often provide free consultations, which can be immensely helpful in determining how an injured employee should proceed in filing their workers’ comp claim. If the injury was minor, if the employer admits the injury happened at work, if the worker missed little or no work time due to the injury, they might not need an attorney’s help, but it’s still a good idea to get a second opinion.

However, in the following scenarios, an injured worker absolutely should seek legal counsel:

An experienced workers' compensation lawyer in Ohio will know how and when to file claim forms and how to operate within workers’ comp deadlines. They will also know how to gather evidence, negotiate effectively, and write settlement agreements to avoid any attempts by other parties to prevent the injured worker from receiving their full benefits.

Ohio Workers’ Compensation Resources

In addition to legal representation, there are numerous online resources for workers. Employees can utilize these resources to educate themselves on how best to act in the event of a workplace injury:

When in Doubt, Seek Free Information from NRS Injury Law

NRS Injury Law offers free consultations. If an accident or workplace injury occurs, call 855.977.6670 or fill out an online appointment request form.

Sources:

[1] BWC. “Workers’ Compensation.” Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, 2022. ohio.gov

[2] Ohio University. “Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.” Ohio University, 2022. ohio.edu

[3] AG. “History of Workers’ Compensation.” Ohio Attorney General, 2022. ohioattorneygeneral.gov

[4] BWC. “Injured Worker Glossary.” Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, 2022. bwc.ohio.gov

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