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Welcome to the Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg, Co. blog!  We look forward to sharing our knowledge with you in our upcoming posts. We are an state wide law practice with officesin Cleveland, OH, Ashtabula, Ohio and Columbus, Ohio.   We have a staff of more than 25 paralegals and legal assistants and 12 full time attorneys who focus on the following legal concerns:

We believe that an informed client is an empowered client, so on this blog we will bring you the latest information on popular topics. These will include personal injury, workers’ comp, car accidents, medical malpractice, insurance coverage, mass tort/class actions, nursing home neglect and abuse, and other trending topics.

It has commonly been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this adage should be remembered when engaging in any sort of driving. Engineers at Oregon State University have found that many accidents can be prevented at controlled intersections by adhering to a few simple rules.

Yellow lights and the dilemma zone

The Oregon State University study of car accidents focused on intersections controlled by stoplights. According to the researchers, more than 2,000 deaths occur at these intersections annually, and most of them can be attributed to decisions made in what is known as the dilemma zone.

The dilemma zone is defined as the area on the approach to the intersection while the stoplight is yellow. One of the dangerous aspects about deciding to go through an intersection while in the dilemma zone is that the duration of yellow lights is not standardized.

Making decisions in the dilemma zone

According to surveys, only 50 percent of drivers understand that the average duration of yellow lights is from three to six seconds. In addition, David Hurwitz, Ph.D., one of the professors who conducted the OSU study, states that humans are inherently bad at judging speed and distance, which makes for a deadly combination in the dilemma zone.

In order to avoid accidents at intersections, it helps to pay attention to the other cars around you, but you should never go through an intersection just because the car in front of you does. As a rule of thumb, if one or more cars have already gone through the yellow light ahead of you, then you should stop. However, this rule must be tempered by the situation of the driver directly behind you. If that car does not appear to be slowing, a sudden stop may result in a rear-end collision.

Owning a safe vehicle is a top priority for most parents and other individuals. In fact, more than 65 percent of consumers value safety over quality, price and performance. Each year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) completes independent crash tests and analyzes the safety of the year's most popular models. This year, auto manufacturers have introduced a variety of active safety features that could help prevent accidents. New safety features include lane-departure warnings, active headlights, blind-spot monitors, and collision avoidance systems that automatically activate the brakes when a pedestrian or vehicle is in the roadway.

In Ohio and across the nation, automobile accidents are at an all-time low, but there is still a significant risk of being involved in a fatal crash. For individuals between ages 3 and 34, vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 32,000 people died due to vehicle-related injuries in 2010. This means that one fatal auto accident occurs every 16 seconds. Plus, whiplash and minor injuries occur more frequently. Medical care and economic losses due to lost wages cost the nation more than $99 billion each year.

In 2012, a record-breaking number of vehicles earned the IIHS "Top Safety Pick." This list includes 69 sedans, 38 SUVs, and three pickup trucks. These vehicles were graded on their ability to withstand front-end crashes, side-impact crashes, rollovers and rear-end crashes. Here are a few popular vehicles that made the cut:

While advanced safety features aren't a substitute for attentive driving, they can help reduce the number of fatal crashes or help drivers avoid collisions completely. Dangerous vehicles and inattentive drivers cause debilitating injuries. If you've been involved in an auto accident and didn't recover the compensation you deserve, contact a local Ohio personal injury attorney today.

- See more at: https://nrsinjurylaw.com/blog/the-safest-cars-of-2012/#sthash.AXQ2dpM3.dpuf

The types of injuries that can be caused by a car accident are limited only by the number of ways a person can be injured. Every part of your body is subject to injury during a car crash. However, if you look at the statistics compiled from insurance claims, personal injury lawsuits and government agencies, then you will notice that some injuries occur more often than others do. The following are the five most common types of injuries that result from automobile accidents.

Spinal injuries

Spinal injuries are sometimes referred to as either neck or back injuries, but the neck and back can suffer from sprains and other forms of trauma that have nothing to do with the spine. Spinal injuries are very serious and can occur in even minor collisions. Spinal injuries include ruptured discs, nerve damage, and fractures. The most serious of these injuries may cause chronic pain or paralysis.

Neck injuries

Besides spinal injuries, the neck can become injured in other ways. One of the most common neck injuries is known as whiplash. This occurs when the head is violently snapped back and then forward again. Whiplash and neck strains are considered mild injuries, but they can cause temporary disability.

Back injuries

The back can be injured in a car accident in several ways, but the injuries are not always apparent on the scene. Some back injuries may not manifest until several hours or a few days later. After any motor vehicle accident, it is a good idea to be checked out by a doctor or EMT.

Facial injuries

Injuries to the face during car accidents are common because the face is totally exposed and easily traumatized. Facial injuries range from minor scrapes or bruises to severe disfigurement.

Psychological injuries

Car accidents do cause physical injuries as well as psychological injuries. Serious collisions may leave drivers and passengers emotionally distressed and in shock, or they may suffer from long-term conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD).

As of August 30, drivers in Ohio will be banned from texting or using other electronic devices while driving. It is already illegal in Ohio to use a cell phone while driving without a hands-free device, so the passing of this new legislation should come as no surprise to Ohio residents.

Distracted driving is when the driver is not giving their full attention to the task of driving. Distractions can cause the driver to weave within the lane, drift out of the lane entirely, and not see potentially dangerous conditions that could cause an accident (i.e., pedestrians, stop signs). According to Ohio State Police statistics, there were 31,231 accidents between 2009 and 2011 involving distracted drivers.

Similar to the seatbelt law, Ohio has deemed the distracted driving law a secondary offense for adults. This means that an officer must observe a driver violating other vehicle and traffic laws in order to stop them. However, also like the seatbelt law, some municipalities are making the distracted driving law a primary offense, meaning an officer can stop a driver if the officer observes them texting or using an electronic device. Observation of no other traffic violation is necessary. For drivers under 18, texting and driving is a primary offense throughout Ohio.

Momentary distractions can have lasting consequences

A common statement made at accident scenes involving distracted drivers is, “I only took my eyes off the road for a second.” A second is all it takes to change someone’s life forever. This new legislation will afford more rights to victims of distracted drivers in Ohio. Victims will now be able to rely on evidence that the driver was texting or using another electronic device while driving, which lead to the collision. This will force more distracted drivers to be held accountable for their hazardous driving.

Motor vehicle accidents can happen to anyone. Drunk or distracted drivers are frequently responsible for mayhem on the streets. But when celebrities have collisions, it’s usually front-page news.

While it might be entertaining to hear about celebrities who wreck their cars, it’s no fun to be in an accident. If you’ve been hit and hurt by a famous person or a civilian, contact us. We’ll help you get the compensation you deserve.

- See more at: https://nrsinjurylaw.com/blog/you%e2%80%99re-not-alone-these-famous-celebs-have-found-themselves-in-similar-situations/#sthash.K9WeYo6X.dpuf

In the past, safety was not one of the top criteria people considered when shopping for a new car, and hearing safety news about your car might have come by accident. In order to provide consumers with information they need, when they need it, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released an app to provide timely, topical information about the car you drive.

The Safer Car app released by NHTSA in March of this year is available free from iTunes. Currently released for the iPhone and iPod Touch, an Android compatible version of the app is under development.

At the same time of the launch of the Safer Car app, NHTSA released an Application Programming Interface (API) to enable developers to integrate data available on the app into other products and mobile services.

Intended to connect consumers and drivers with information important to them, the Safer Car app provides the following:

Staying safe begins with the equipment you drive. Keep your car maintained and keep abreast of news about your car with the Safer Car app. And if you are injured in a car accident in Cleveland, always seek experienced legal advice.

As a popular science teacher and cross country coach, Robert Lennon was a fixture at St. Francis DeSales High School where he taught and coached for 40 years. The 64-year-old Columbus man volunteered at foot and other races throughout central Ohio and was well-appreciated throughout the community.

An avid cyclist, Mr. Lennon was riding along Miller Paul Road in Delaware on Sunday, September 15th when he was struck by a driver who left the scene. Mr. Lennon died in a roadside ditch, discovered by passing cyclists approximately an hour after the accident, his bicycle almost broken in two.

According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there were 1,760 crashes involving bicycles in 2011, resulting in 16 deaths. Pedalcyclist fatalities rose nine percent between 2011 and 2012, according to report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, statistics do not tell the story of the grief and damage caused when bicyclists and automobiles collide.

Elements that contribute to bicyclist fatalities vary based on:

Mr. Lennon was riding on a sunny day and might have been stopped in the bicycle lane. Days after the accident, a woman was questioned about the incident. She first said she hit a deer, but later admitted she hit a person along Miller Paul Road. Her severely damaged car was impounded and charges are pending.

Bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians are all at increased risk due to their lack of protection in traffic. Wear bright clothes, stay alert and try to stay alive. If you are injured through the negligence of others, talk to an attorney from our law firm.

Summer is long gone and winter is on the way. Too soon rain and snow will turn dry pavement dangerous and lead to the possibility of fender benders — or worse — on slippery roads.

As temperatures cool, consider these tips for staying safe on Ohio roads this winter:

Our firm represents clients and their families injured in automobile and other accidents. The best way to handle an accident is to keep it from happening in the first place. Drive safe and, if you have been injured through the negligence of others, get good legal advice.

In a recent blog, we discussed changes to the numbers of hours a truck driver is allowed to operate a vehicle. Those changes, finalized in July of this year by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA), are intended to reduce truck accidents caused by fatigue.

Across the United States, the trucking industry is responsible for getting freight where it is needed, often on a short turnaround. Safety is essential for operating a big-rig or driving near one. While shortened hours may give truck drivers more rest, tightened regulations do not affect daytime drowsiness caused by sleep apnea.

What is sleep apnea?

While many people recognize snoring as a symptom of sleep apnea, the indications of the problem are not the same for each person. There are two prevalent types of sleep apnea:

Both types of apnea are sleep disorders that prevent restorative sleep. FMSCA estimates that approximately one-third of truck operators experience sleep apnea, partly due to disrupted sleep cycles and partly due to natural tendency toward the disorder.

Truck drivers or motorists with sleep apnea can suffer from reduced reaction time, poor memory, daytime drowsiness and diminished decision making capacity during waking hours.

If you are chronically sleepy during the day, talk to your physician about sleep apnea. If you have been injured by a drowsy truck driver, seek experienced legal advice.

Following an automobile accident, you or a loved one are typically taken or go to an emergency room.  The hospital is willing to treat you but wants to get paid as much as it can for the bill.  Even though someone else caused your accident and should be responsible for your bills, rest assured that the other guy’s insurance company won’t pay the hospital’s bills right away.  The hospital will ask you if you have health insurance or your own automobile insurance coverage and will ask you to provide your insurance information.  The hospital wants to bill your automobile insurance first because it pays 100% of their bill up to the coverage limit.  Your health insurance, Medicare or Medicaid will only pay a percentage of the bill (20-40%) depending on the contract your health insurance carrier has with the hospital or doctor.   If or when this happens to you, only give the hospital your health insurance information, NOT your automobile insurance information.  Save your automobile medical payments coverage for deductibles or co-pays.  This makes your health care dollar go further and helps you to pay all of your medical bills from an accident.  Remember, do not give your automobile insurance information to the hospital, only give your health insurance information and insist that the hospital submit your bills to YOUR health insurance.  Later in your case the at fault party will be required to pay your medical expenses (provided you effectively prove that the other driver was at fault and your treatment was reasonable and necessary to treat injuries caused by the at fault party).   At that point your health insurer will be reimbursed what it paid on your medical expenses from the proceeds of your case.  This is through the process of subrogation which subject will be dealt with in subsequent NRS Injury Law blogs.   You should also feel free to contact us at any time with any questions.   Please contact an NRS attorney toll free at 1-(855) Got-Hurt or 1-(855) 468-4878.  - See more at: https://nrsinjurylaw.com/blog/pitfalls-to-getting-your-hospital-bills-paid-after-an-automobile-accident/#sthash.oPodqD3R.dpuf

When pursuing a claim for injures suffered in a car accident, the auto insurance companies will want to talk about the reasonable value of medical services.  Isn’t this just what the hospital or other medical provider charges for their services?  Not always.

Medical providers will often accept less than the full amount of the medical bills when those bills are paid through health insurance.  This is typically a matter of contract between health insurance companies and hospitals.  Given the amount of business they do together, hospitals will often agree to accept less than the amounts they charge for services when health insurance is paying the bills.  For the person without health insurance to pay the medical bills, however, he or she is on the hook for the full amounts.

In presenting an insurance claim for injuries and the medical bills needed to treat those injuries, it used to be that only the medical bills themselves mattered.  At trial, a jury was only allowed to see those total medical bills, not the smaller amounts that health insurance actually paid.  With the decisions of the Ohio Supreme Court in the cases of Robinson v. Bates, Jaques v. Manton, and just this month in Moretz v. Muakkassa, however, Ohio juries may now see those lower amounts paid by health insurance when determining the reasonable value of medical services.  In effect, defendant drivers and their auto insurers now benefit from injured individuals’ health insurance and the premiums they pay for that coverage.  In its most recent decision, the Ohio Supreme Court held that the defendant does not even have to produce an expert to explain to juries WHY the hospital would accept less than the full amounts for medical bills; jurors are simply shown both numbers—the full medical bills and the lower amounts accepted—and asked to determine reasonable value of the medical services.

This explains why auto insurance companies are so concerned with health insurance and the amounts actually paid to the medical providers rather than merely the medical bills themselves.  They know that, in the event the claim eventually goes to trial, the jury will get to consider those lower numbers in determining how much to compensate an injured party for the reasonable value of his or her medical services.

To learn more about this subject, see our website practice area page for Auto Accidents.

Low back pain, sciatica, sprain strain lumbar spine

Sciatica, also known as lumbar radiculopathy, is a symptom of a problem with the sciatic nerve, the largest nerve in the body and the primary nerve of the leg. The sciatic nerve controls muscles in the back of the knee and lower leg and provides feeling to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg, and the sole of the foot. Sciatica usually affects only one side of the lower body. Sciatica can occur suddenly or it can develop gradually. It may start in the lower back and extend down the leg to the calf, foot, or even toes. Sciatica consists of pain, weakness, tingling or numbness, which might feel like a bad cramp, or it can be excruciating, shooting pain that makes standing or sitting nearly impossible. The pain might be worse when sitting, sneezing, or coughing. For some people, the pain from sciatica can be severe and debilitating, while for others it may be infrequent and irritating, but has the potential to get worse.

Diagnostic procedures for sciatica may include a complete medical history and physical examination, x-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and electromyography/nerve conduction study (EMG/NCS). The symptoms of sciatica may resemble other conditions or medical problems, so one should always consult a physician for a diagnosis.

[depiction of low back pain, burning, numbness, tingling, radiating pain, sciatica caused by low back injury]

While there are many causes of sciatica, it is most commonly caused by a herniated disk in the spine that presses on the sciatic nerve. Other causes include: a ruptured intervertebral disk, lumbar spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal in the lower back), an injury such as a pelvic fracture, degenerative disc disease (breakdown of discs, which act as cushions between the vertebrae), spondylolisthesis (a condition in which one vertebra slips forward over another one), irritation of the root(s) of the lower lumbar and lumbosacral spine, and pregnancy.

Sometimes sciatica goes away on its own with time and rest. Treatment, if needed, depends on the cause of the problem and it may include exercises, medicines, and surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve. The goal of treatment is to decrease pain and increase mobility. In determining the specific treatment, a physician takes the following factors into consideration: age, overall health and medical history, extent of the disease, tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies, expectations and patient opinion and preferences.

If you develop sciatica in the work place, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney may be necessary.

If you develop low back radiating pain (aka sciatica) from a motor vehicle accident in Ohio, consult for free with an attorney at NRS Injury Law.

Trim the tree. Hang festive lights. Bake delicious treats. Pour the eggnog. The holiday season is upon us. Although celebrations with friends and family can make this a truly special time of year, drunk drivers can also make the holiday season the most hazardous time of year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are particularly dangerous on our nation’s roadways. The agency has launched an aggressive preholiday season drunk driving prevention program, designed to reduce the number of impaired drivers. —

Despite these efforts, some partygoers climb behind the wheel after a night of excessive drinking at bars, office parties or household dinners. A collision with one of these drunk drivers can transform a joyous occasion into a nightmare.

The criminal court is likely to order restitution if the drunk driver who injured you is convicted. However, the result is typically not enough money to cover the damages you have suffered. As the driver is being prosecuted in criminal court, consider your rights to damages through civil personal injury litigation as well:

These codes are especially important if the driver is uninsured or underinsured and cannot pay the amount of damages she or he has caused.

These statutes also highlight how you can help keep the roadways safe this holiday season. Avoid being the defendant in a dram shop or social host claim by taking responsibility for how much liquor you serve at your holiday party.

A Cleveland personal injury attorney can offer additional guidance and legal assistance.

It may be the title of the 2014 award winner at the Sundance Film Festival, but to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who suffer a whiplash injury each year, whiplash is no Hollywood story. Whiplash can cause years of chronic pain and may be associated with other long- and short-term medical problems, including everything from blurred vision and sleep disturbances to arthritis. And according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an organization funded by automobile insurers, the annual cost of whiplash claims is $8 billion.

Rear-end collisions often result in an acceleration-deceleration whiplash injury. When you are hit from behind, your head is thrown forward rapidly, causing the muscles, ligaments and tendons in your neck to stretch beyond their normal range. When you come to a stop, your head is thrown backward.

You should know that:

  1. Taller people and women are among the most likely to suffer whiplash injuries.
  2. Because the effects of a soft tissue (whiplash) injury are not always immediately evident, you should see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident involving your neck.
  3. Proper positioning of your head restraint can increase your protection against injury.
  4. Although not a primary law in Ohio, seatbelts are important in the prevention of violent acceleration-deceleration injuries.
  5. Whiplash may occur even in relatively low-speed collisions.

This video shows the mechanism of whiplash injuries - http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xe6cwl_auto-accident-and-whiplash_tech

Last, you should know that insurance companies fight against compensating victims of soft-tissue/whiplash injuries. An experienced auto accident lawyer from the Cleveland law office of Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A. can develop a strong case on your behalf.

While the automobile insurance companies flood the airwaves with clever commercials and catchy jingles about their low rates, accessibility, and commitment to “being there” for their customers, the reality is a much less personal, more anonymous, and an entirely bottom-line profit-maximizing business model, when it comes to claims adjusting, that far too often boils claim evaluation down to, “Don’t like it? So sue me.”

One of the most common complaints amongst our clients who have suffered injuries as the result of auto accidents is that they end up being made to feel more like a wrongdoer than a victim. This is especially common in claims like the ones on which this CNN article focuses – i.e., those accidents involving relatively minor property damage to the vehicles, but still resulting in injuries (http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/02/09/insurance.hardball/). The insurance companies know and love the popular misconception that only catastrophic or "serious" car crashes can cause real bodily harm, despite the countless cases where the impact of cars colliding (even at low rates of speed) causes damage to the people inside even when the bumpers do their job in protecting the cars (and insurers) from major damage (i.e., repair costs). For these lower impact accidents, insurance companies scoff at medical records and doctors’ opinions as to degree of injury, with insurance adjusters often relying instead upon their own “medical expertise” to determine that the resulting injuries couldn’t possibly be so severe as what the medical evidence says. In other words, the accident victim must be lying. Adjusters are trained to evaluate low impact accidents where treatment goes beyond 6-8 weeks as being medically unnecessary without any further consideration.

Insurance companies will frequently make a play to offer nominal settlement amounts to victims of their customers’ driving mistakes as soon as possible to avoid having to pay more if/when the injuries turn out to be more serious than just a bump or a scratch, which is especially common with the types of spinal injuries that often result from car accidents. And if you think that initial offer was unreasonable? Tough. An insurance company gets no benefit out of paying more or paying earlier. So the mantra becomes, "deny, delay and defend." (http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/anderson.cooper.360/blog/2007/02/insurance-companies-fight-paying.html); (http://www.cnbc.com/id/36178055).

While popular opinion seems to be unkind to those individuals who hire lawyers to pursue insurance claims and take these insurance companies to court, what other options do the insurance companies give victims in these kinds of claims? As the CNN article poses it, the position has increasingly become, “Take it or leave it...” or, perhaps more accurately, “Take it or spend time, money, and energy fighting for more.” That uphill battle for fair compensation is a tough pill to swallow for anyone who’s already suffered due to a car accident. It’s unlikely to change anytime soon, but articles like this CNN report help raise public awareness regarding what those “good hands” and “good neighbors” are really up to, aside from collecting premiums.

If you or a loved one are injured in an automobile collision and are getting this kind of run around from an insurance adjuster, call the attorneys at NRS Injury Law.

Evidence is growing that any hit to the head — from a car accident or a sports injury — can prove devastating in later life.

In autumn of 2013, the National Football League (NFL) settled a class action suit brought by players who alleged the league knew far more than it shared about the neurological danger of concussion. In early 2014, a federal judge rejected the settlement as insufficient to treat the thousands of parties to the action.

Also in early 2014, research revealed a diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in Ryan Freel, a deceased major league football player and Patrick Grange, a deceased soccer player. Mr. Freel suffered several concussions in his career before taking his life at 36. Mr. Grange, who died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at 29, suffered only one major concussion but was a skilled header, a player who hit the soccer ball using his head.

Current research tells us that clues to the development of CTE include the following:

Force or trauma to the brain causes changes in the ventricular system of the brain. The four ventricles in the brain contain cerebrospinal fluid that protects the brain and aids in biological signaling.
There is no known safe level or quantity of brain trauma. The damage of subconcussive trauma, or an injury not severe enough to cause loss of consciousness, may not appear in diagnostic imaging studies, but is registered in the altered function of brain tissue.
As changes to the ventricle system progress, brain anatomy transforms. In addition to permanently altering emotional and physical function, diffuse plaque deposits form in the brain, a trademark of the presence of CTE during autopsy.

Given the immaturity of brain structures, recent studies suggest athletes who suffer concussion at younger ages are at higher risk for degenerative brain disorders as they age.

No concussion is minor. If you or a loved one are injured in an accident on or off the sports field, speak with an experienced injury attorney in Cleveland.

Oh no! You’ve been in a car accident. Thankfully, no one has been injured. Unfortunately, your car hasn’t been as lucky. It’s pretty banged up, and with each passing moment, you fill with dread as thoughts swirl through your head – how much will this cost to repair, will my car have to be replaced, what will I drive in the meantime? One thought brings you comfort in this most dire of circumstances – I HAVE CAR INSURANCE. You quickly scramble to find your policy, buried somewhere in your glove compartment beneath a barrage of children’s toys, fast food napkins, and other odds and ends, but give up quickly, resorting to your trusty smart phone for help – it will have the answer, you think. Siri directs you to this website, and there it is, exactly what you need, a blog post with all the answers to quell your restless mind. You kick back with a cold beverage as you read on.

My Insurance

In dealing with vehicle damage following a motor vehicle accident, your insurance policy can protect you from two different angles: property damage liability coverage and physical damage coverage. The former protects you against potential third parties. In the event your car causes damage to another person’s property, your property damage liability coverage will pay for the damages. The latter is based on your contractual relationship with your insurance company.  It can be broken down into two kinds: collision and comprehensive. In the event of a car accident, collision coverage pays for repairs to your vehicle, regardless of who caused the accident. Comprehensive coverage pays for those losses attributable to non-accident related incidents including, but not limited to, theft, fire, and vandalism. It should be noted that collision and comprehensive physical damage coverage can be sold separately or as a package deal. Additionally, physical damage coverage is NOT required by law, but if you do not have this type of coverage, you run the risk of paying out of pocket for repairs or replacement should anything happen to your vehicle.

Repair vs. Total Loss

Your vehicle will either be repaired or considered a total loss, depending on the severity of the damage to your vehicle. If the repair option is viable, an estimate will be prepared. Estimates are sometimes based on the use of after-market parts. An after-market part is a part that is new, but one that is not made by the manufacturer of your vehicle. If an after-market part is used in the preparation of your estimate, this fact must be disclosed to you. The use of after-market (or generic) parts has been controversial as these parts are sometimes believed to be inferior or may not fit like those parts made by your vehicle’s manufacturer. If you do not want after-market parts used, you can opt for parts made by your vehicle’s manufacturer, but you must pay the difference in price. If it will cost you more to repair your vehicle than replace it, your vehicle will be considered a total loss. If you are in a total loss situation, there are two options: replacement and cash settlement.

The Deductible

The deductible comes into play whether it is a repair or total loss situation. The deductible is the amount of money you pay out of pocket on each claim. In terms of recovery of a deductible, Ohio’s Administrative Code §3901-1-54(H)(10) states as follows:

An insurer shall include the first party claimant's deductible, if any, in subrogation demands. The insurer shall share any subrogation recovery received on a proportionate basis with the first party claimant, unless the first party claimant's deductible has been paid in advance or recovered. The insurer shall not deduct expenses from this amount except that an outside attorney or collection agency retained to collect such recovery may be paid a pro rata share of his expenses for collecting this amount. (Emphasis added.)

In layman’s terms, should an insurance company be successful in their subrogation efforts, an insured is entitled to a share of the recovery received unless their deductible was paid in advance or recovered.

Rentals

The use of a rental vehicle depends on which insurance company the claim is being made against. If the claim is being made against the other driver’s insurance company, that company should pay for the use of a rental vehicle for a reasonable amount of time while your vehicle is being repaired. If your vehicle is a total loss, the other driver’s insurance company is NOT required to pay for the use of a rental vehicle, but may do so as courtesy. If the claim is being made against your own policy, payment for the use of a rental vehicle is dependent on whether you have rental reimbursement coverage. If you have paid the premium for rental reimbursement coverage, you will be able to utilize a rental vehicle. Even so, there will likely be a limit on rental payments. You should look to your policy for specifics, especially for information regarding coverage of your rental vehicle.

The information contained on this page can be found in greater detail on the Ohio Department of Insurance’s website. For more detailed information on rental reimbursement coverage, please click here.

If you would like more information on deductible recovery, including a breakdown of the law in all 50 states, call the Cleveland auto accident attorneys at NRS, toll-free 24/7 at 1.855.GOT.HURT (1.855.468.4878) or contact us by filling out our No-Risk Consultation form.

When crossing at an intersection, crossing within a crosswalk, or crossing a roadway without a crosswalk, pedestrians should follow three simple guidelines:

PROCEED WITH CAUTION.

Pedestrians must realize that not all drivers know the rules of the road. They should be aware of their surroundings at all times.

PAY ATTENTION TO TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES.

§4511.12(A) of the Ohio Revised Code provides, “[n]o pedestrian . . . shall disobey the instructions of any traffic control device placed in accordance with this chapter.” A traffic control device refers to a sign or signal. Pedestrians should be on the lookout for these devices and be familiar with their meanings.

KNOW THE RULES.

As children, we are often taught the difference between the WALK and DON’T WALK signals, or conversely, the difference between the walking person and upturned palm symbols. Simply stated, if WALK or a steady walking person is displayed, a pedestrian may start to cross in the direction the signal indicates. When such a signal or symbol is displayed, a pedestrian has the right-of-way. It should be noted, though, that, “[a] pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to vehicles lawfully within an intersection at the time that the walking person signal indication is first shown.” O.R.C. §4511.14(A).

If DON’T WALK or a flashing upturned palm is displayed, a pedestrian may not start to cross in the direction the signal indicates. If a pedestrian starts to cross on a steady walking person symbol, and a DON’T WALK or a flashing upturned palm is displayed as the pedestrian is in the middle of crossing the roadway, they may continue to the far side of the road, unless a traffic control signal directs the pedestrian to a median or other area. If a steady upturned palm is displayed, a pedestrian shall not enter the roadway in the direction the signal indicates.

In addition to this basic rule, Ohio law provides answers to these additional questions:

Q: Who has the right-of-way when no traffic control signal is in place?

A: Pedestrians. O.R.C. §4511.46(A) provides:

When traffic control signals are not in place . . . the driver of a vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar shall yield the right of way . . . to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the roadway as to be in danger. (Emphasis added.)

The above rule should also be followed in situations where traffic control signals are not in operation or are not clearly assigning the right-of-way.

Q: Who has the right-of-way when there is no crosswalk?

A: Drivers. O.R.C. §4511.48(A) provides, “[e]very pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles, trackless trolleys, or streetcars upon the roadway.” (Emphasis added.)

Q: Should pedestrians move on the right or left half of a crosswalk?

A: Right. O.R.C. §4511.49(A) provides, “[p]edestrians shall move, whenever practicable, on the right half of crosswalks.” (Emphasis added.)

For more information on pedestrian laws, please see this article from the Ohio Department of Transportation and applicable sections of the Ohio Revised Code which can be found online here. Looking for a Cleveland personal injury attorney who will work for you? Contact the attorneys at NRS by calling 855.GOT.HURT (855.468.4878) or filling out our contact form.

As bicycling becomes more popular in Cleveland, it makes sense to understand the rules of the road and your responsibilities as you bike around town. Ohio law defines a bicycle as a vehicle that is governed by all applicable traffic laws. A bicyclist can receive a ticket for violating traffic laws although no points are assessed against a rider’s driver’s license.

A bicyclist is required to travel in the same direction as other traffic, not against traffic. A bike should ride toward the right side of the traveled roadway, but it is not required to stay at the far edge of the roadway. A bike is allowed to move from the right side of the roadway to avoid obstacles or objects like sewer grates or parked cars. When riding a bike, the rider needs to obey all traffic signs and signals. Even if a rider is right about traffic rules, a rider will always come out worse in an encounter with a car or truck.

Defensive driving and courtesy toward other drivers using the same roadways is the key to safe operation of your bicycle. If you have an accident with a motor vehicle while riding your bicycle, fill out our contact form or call the Cleveland personal injury attorneys at NRS Injury Law at (855)GOT-HURT.

After a motor vehicle accident, dealing with property damage to your vehicle can be a frustrating task.  You may wonder how you will be compensated for the damage to your vehicle.  Are you entitled to recover the cost of repair?  The difference in market value of your vehicle immediately before and immediately after the accident?  The difference in market value of your vehicle immediately before the accident and immediately after your vehicle has been repaired?  Read below to find out.

Measuring Damages

The primary goal of a damage award is to make an injured party whole again.  The primary measure by which to calculate a property damage award is the difference in market value of your vehicle immediately before and immediately after the accident.  This is known as gross diminution in value. The cost of repair can also be used as a measure of damages, provided that the cost of repair is not more than the gross diminution in value.  One cannot recover both the cost of repair AND the gross diminution in value of their vehicle, as such would amount to a double recovery.

If a vehicle is valued at less than it was preaccident after it has been repaired, the injured party has not been made whole.  For this reason, one can recover the cost of repair AND the difference in market value of the vehicle immediately before the accident and immediately after the vehicle has been repaired.  The difference in market value of your vehicle immediately before the accident and immediately after your vehicle has been repaired is known as residual diminution in value.  A recovery of cost of repair and residual diminution in value is permitted because without such a recovery, one would not be made whole.

Are you looking for a Cleveland auto accident attorney that will work for you? Contact Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg with your questions by filling our our contact form, or call toll free (855)GOT-HURT.

A hit and run accident can have devastating consequences not only to the victim, but to the members of the victim's family. Recently, a 5th grade teacher from Shaker Heights was killed by a hit and run driver while he was out jogging around 5:30 pm on January 24, 2015. The driver had been stopped by the police for a traffic violation and when the police approached the vehicle the driver fled the scene. The car was found abandoned down the road from the scene of the accident and the driver had disappeared. The family was left with a great loss and many unanswered questions.

One way to protect yourself and your family, in case you are involved in a hit and run accident, is to have a substantial amount of uninsured motorist coverage in your automobile insurance policy. The uninsured motorist provision will help to pay medical bills,  pay you for your loss of earnings, and compensate you for pain, suffering and emotional distress if you are involved in a hit and run accident.

If you are involved in a hit and run accident here are a few things you should do:

  1. Attempt to get the license plate number, including the make and color of the vehicle.
  2. Notify the police as soon as possible. Many insurance policies require that the police be notified within 24 hours.
  3. Contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible to make a claim. Many insurance policies require that you make a claim within 30 days.
  4. Do not attempt to make any repairs whatsoever to the damage of your vehicle prior to allowing your insurance company to inspect the vehicle.
  5. Obtain the names and addresses of anyone who may have witnessed the accident.

The most important thing is to make sure that you have substantial uninsured motorist limits so that you and your family are adequately protected. If you need assistance or have any questions please contact a Cleveland auto accident attorney at NRS by filling out our contact form, or call toll free 1-800-GOT-HURT.

Every year, 2.4 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Of these injuries, over 17% are caused by automobile accidents according to the CDC. However, evidence of TBI is not always immediately apparent. Often seemingly mild symptoms including headaches, fatigue, or irritability can be clues that a TBI has occurred even if medical testing does not reveal brain damage. If you suffer these symptoms after an auto accident, it is crucial you seek medical attention. It is not uncommon that events after the auto accident can damage a brain as much as the initial trauma due to bleeding or swelling of the brain.

TBI have several long-term consequences. Often doctors will prescribe medications and therapy aimed at improving symptoms. Initial medical treatment goals include ensuring proper oxygen and blood flow to the brain and body, stabilizing blood pressure, and treating any problems or conditions affecting other parts of the body (besides the brain) that have arisen because of the injury. After individuals with TBI have been stabilized, the treatment plan generally involves rehabilitation efforts to teach patients how to cope with their specific injury-related symptoms. This treatment often includes physical or occupational therapy, medication, and psychological sessions.

Each brain injury and its recovery is different. The recovery can last years and it is possible some effects may be permanent in nature. Given the long-term effects of TBI, it is crucial to receive medical treatment immediately following an auto accident. If you suspect you suffered a traumatic brain injury, please contact a Cleveland auto accident attorney at NRS Injury Law to discuss your case by filling our our contact form, or calling toll free 855.GOT.HURT (855.468.4878).

Distracted driving has been around as long as there have been cars. From adjusting the radio and eating to texting and talking on the phone, it only takes one second of glancing away from the road to cause an accident. The results can be deadly.

The use of cell phones and other electronics has caused the number of accidents and deaths due to distracted driving to skyrocket: In fact, the National Safety Council reports that distracted driving is now the third cause of road fatalities, right behind speeding and alcohol. At any given daylight moment across the U.S., approximately 600,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving (NOPUS)

At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., we understand the devastating effects of being injured in an auto accident in Cleveland caused by a distracted driver. That’s why we are launching this series of blogs. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll provide information about distracted driving and driving safety. Topics will include pedestrian and cyclist safety as well as keeping kids and teen drivers safe.

Please read Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics to learn more about what distracted driving is and the devastating impact it can have on others. You can also visit our distracted driving and texting accident page on our website.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, speak to an auto accident lawyer at NRS right away. Our distracted driving accident attorneys have the experience you need to get the results you deserve and are entitled to by law. Call us toll-free at 1.855.GOT.HURT (1.855.468.4878) or contact us by filling out our No-Risk Consultation Form.

When you think about workplace safety, driving isn’t typically one of the first things that come to mind. After all, unless it’s the trucking industry, or other businesses involving professionally trained drivers, driving occurs mostly outside of working hours. However, employers pay a substantial cost for car crashes that occur off the job:

As we stated in the first blog of our distracted driving series, The Rising Cost of Distracted Driving: Facts and Stats, distracted driving is the third leading cause of traffic fatalities. So what can employers do?

The National Safety Council recommends these steps:

  1. Enact a corporate cell phone policy to prevent all cell phone use behind the wheel
  2. Help employees to understand the risks they face while driving
  3. Take action to address these risks and implement measures to track progress
  4. Offer defensive driving courses and other training specific to the risks faced
  5. Ask NSC experts to assess your organization's road safety systems, and help design and execute a program

At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., we understand the devastating and costly effects of being injured in an auto accident in Cleveland caused by a distracted driver. Through this blog series on distracted driving, we hope to provide essential information on distracted driving and driving safety. Topics will include pedestrian and cyclist safety as well as keeping kids and teen drivers safe.

Please read Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics to learn more about what distracted driving is and the devastating impact it can have on others. You can also visit our distracted driving and texting accident page on our website.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, speak to an auto accident lawyer at NRS right away. Our distracted driving accident attorneys have the experience you need to get the results you deserve and are entitled to by law. Call us toll-free at 1.855.GOT.HURT (1.855.468.4878) or contact us by filling out our No-Risk Consultation Form.

Summertime is here and outdoor activities are in full swing, including cycling. As more and more people trade in their cars for bicycles, it’s a good time to take a look at cycling safety.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while only 1% of all trips taken in the U.S. are by bicycle, bicyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injury and deaths than occupants of motor vehicles do. And with distracted driving on the upswing, these numbers will likely increase. The number of bicyclists killed by distracted drivers increased 30 percent, from 56 in 2005 to 73 in 2010, according to the journal Public Health Reports. That’s why we decided to include cycling in our blog series on distracted driving.

Here’s how the data breaks out:

Cyclists can follow some tips to stay safer on the road:

Drivers can help by watching out for unexpected movement by cyclists, keeping a good distance away and always looking around before opening car doors. Above all else, they should avoid cell phone use and other forms of distracted driving. See The Rising Cost of Distracted Driving: Facts and Stats.

For more cyclist safety tips for both cyclists and drivers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, see NHTSA Safety in Numbers.

At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., we understand the devastating and costly effects of being injured in a cycling accident in Cleveland, especially those caused by a distracted driver. Through this blog series on distracted driving, we hope to provide essential information on distracted driving and driving safety.

Please read Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics to learn more about what distracted driving is and the devastating impact it can have on others. You can also visit our distracted driving and texting accident page on our website.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a bicycle or car accident caused by a distracted driver, speak to a bicycle accident lawyer at NRS right away. Our distracted driving accident attorneys have the experience you need to get the results you deserve and are entitled to by law. Call us toll-free at 1.855.GOT.HURT (1.855.468.4878) or contact us by filling out our No-Risk Consultation Form.

A parking lot isn’t the first place that comes to mind when thinking about distracted driving and traffic accidents. Yet, it may surprise you to learn that according to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 20 percent of vehicle accidents and more than half of back-over injuries take place in parking lots. Further, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that one of ten property crimes occur in a parking lot or garage. So, what can you do to protect yourself and other drivers and pedestrians?

Consider these five tips for keeping you, your property and others safe when parking your car or walking through a parking area:

  1. Never park at the end of an aisle. Why? Your vehicle becomes much more vulnerable to contact from turning vehicles. You also put yourself at greater risk when entering and departing from your car.
  2. Back out slowly from your parking space. This may seem like a no-brainer, but let’s face it—we’re all in a hurry to get to the next place. Backing up can be very dangerous. Adjust your mirrors and be aware of blind spots. When walking in a parking garage, be on alert for other drivers backing up suddenly or those distracted by cell phones.
  3. Park defensively. Avoid crowding vehicles next to you. The National Safety Council recommends backing up into your space—it not only makes for an easier exit but increases the likelihood that drivers will pay closer attention when exiting.  However, backing up carries certain responsibilities, as described in the next tip.
  4. Take precautions when backing out of a parking space. According to the National Safety Council, one of four vehicle accidents is caused by backing out moves. Further, backing accidents cause 500 deaths and 15,000 injuries per year. It’s recommended that you search for hidden hazards like potholes or other tire obstructions.  Look for any possible children in the area.
  5. Increase security measures. The IIAA reports that 80 percent of crimes committed at shopping facilities happen in parking lots. Avoid the potential for carjacking, theft and vandalism by parking in well-lit areas. Have your keys ready as you scan the area for threats. LOCK DOORS at all times and stay off your phone.

For more tips on parking lot safety, see the full Safe Parking Guide at parkwhiz.com. The distracted driving threats described in the first blog in this series, The Rising Cost of Distracted Driving: Facts and Stats apply to driving in parking lots. By following these tips, and others found in Car Parking Safety Tips, you can decrease the chances of becoming the victim of a car accident or crime.

At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., we understand the devastating effects of being injured in an auto accident in Cleveland caused by a distracted driver. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll provide more information about distracted driving and driving safety. Topics will include pedestrian safety as well as keeping kids and teen drivers safe.

Please read Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics to learn more about what distracted driving is and the devastating impact it can have on others. You can also visit our distracted driving and texting accident page on our website.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, speak to an auto accident lawyer at NRS right away. Our distracted driving accident attorneys have the experience you need to get the results you deserve and are entitled to by law. Call us toll-free at 1.855.GOT.HURT (1.855.468.4878) or contact us by filling out our No-Risk Consultation Form.

So far in our series of blogs on distracted driving, we’ve taken a look at the rising cost of distracted driving, the increased costs of cycling accidents, the cost of distracted driving on the workplace and how to prevent accidents in parking lots. In this week’s blog, we take a look at distracted driving and pedestrian safety.

Why pedestrian safety? Consider these facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

According to the Pew Research Center, more than half of all adult cellphone users have been on the giving or receiving end of a distracted walking encounter. When you combine distracted driving with distracted walking, it’s no wonder that the number of accidents has sharply increased.

Young adults (in particular those ages 18-24) are especially prone to experience these “distracted walking” encounters. Teenagers are now at the greatest risk for being killed or injured in traffic accidents as pedestrians. They have a death rate twice that of younger children and account for half of all child pedestrian deaths. Following are safety tips specifically for teens:

Teens aren’t along when it comes to distracted walking accidents. According to statistics from Loyola University Health System, senior citizens make up 13 percent of the population, but account for 23 percent of all pedestrian fatalities. Following are pedestrian safety tips specifically for older adults.

Tips that all pedestrians are wise to follow include:

At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., we understand the devastating effects of being injured in an auto accident in Cleveland caused by a distracted driver. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll provide more information about distracted driving and driving safety. Topics will include other ways to keep kids and teens safe and what to do following a car accident.

Please read Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics to learn more about what distracted driving is and the devastating impact it can have on others. You can also visit our distracted driving and texting accident page on our website.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, speak to an auto accident lawyer at NRS right away. Our distracted driving accident attorneys have the experience you need to get the results you deserve and are entitled to by law. Call us toll-free at 1.855.GOT.HURT (1.855.468.4878) or contact us by filling out our No-Risk Consultation Form.

In earlier blogs in this series, we’ve covered the rising cost of distracted driving and its cost on the workplace. And while most people associate distracted driving with texting and talking on the phone, there are other contributing factors, such as families driving with children in the back seat.

A recent study suggests that children are 12 times a greater cause of driver distraction than cell phones. An accident research center installed cameras in the cars of 12 families over a three- week period and found that talking on the phone only accounted for 1% of distractions while distractions from children accounted for 12%.

The study also found:

One of the easiest solutions is to secure the child’s car seat. Research has shown that children are in the incorrect position in over 70% of studied trips. According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) safercar.gov site, learning the proper seat belt and car seat fit is critical to improving safety for all drivers. The site offers tips about when to transfer children out of a booster seat to a seat belt as well as other tips and quizzes.

At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., we understand the devastating effects of being injured in an auto accident in Cleveland caused by a distracted driver. In our next blog, we’ll look at teenagers and distracted driving.

Please read Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics to learn more about what distracted driving is and the devastating impact it can have on others. You can also visit our distracted driving and texting accident page on our website.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, speak to an auto accident lawyer at NRS right away. Our distracted driving accident attorneys have the experience you need to get the results you deserve and are entitled to by law. Call us toll-free at 1.855.GOT.HURT (1.855.468.4878) or contact us by filling out our No-Risk Consultation Form.

In the last blog in our distracted driving series, we addressed the distractions that can occur when driving with small children in the back seat. When those children become teens with driver’s licenses, distractions while driving can include cell phones, music, friends and a host of other dangers that come with multitasking while at the wheel.

According the NHTSA’s safercar.gov site, teenage drivers are twice as likely as adult drivers to be in a fatal crash. Despite a 49-percent decline in driver fatalities of 15- to 20-year-olds between 2003 and 2012, young drivers, particularly 16- to 17-year-olds, are significantly over-represented in fatal crashes. Distracted driving behavior stems from using electronic devices, drinking, teenage passengers and more.

So, how can you keep your teenagers safe? To address the problem of distracted driving and teens, every state across the nation has enacted graduated driver licensing (GDL) laws to give younger drivers more time to improve their skills and learn how to operate a vehicle under less risky circumstances. GDL laws vary by each state but typically include stages with increased responsibilities.

At a minimum, parents should consider the following ground rules for their teens:

The use of cell phones and other electronics has caused the number of accidents and deaths due to distracted driving to skyrocket: In fact, the National Safety Council reports that distracted driving is now the third cause of road fatalities, right behind speeding and alcohol. In our final blog of our distracted driving series, we’ll take a look at the steps you should take in the unfortunate incident of a car accident.

At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., we understand the devastating effects of being injured in an auto accident in Cleveland caused by a distracted driver. That’s why we launched this series of blogs. We have provided information about distracted driving and driving safety. Topics include pedestrian and cyclist safety as well as keeping kids and teen drivers safe.

Please read Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics to learn more about what distracted driving is and the devastating impact it can have on others. You can also visit our distracted driving and texting accident page on our website.

If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, speak to an auto accident lawyer at NRS right away. Our distracted driving accident attorneys have the experience you need to get the results you deserve and are entitled to by law. Call us toll-free at 1.855.GOT.HURT (1.855.468.4878) or contact us by filling out our No-Risk Consultation Form.

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