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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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

Throughout our blog series on distracted driving, we have highlighted behavior that contributes to distracted driving as well as many of its repercussions. As we highlighted in our first blog, “The Rising Cost of Distracted Driving: Facts and Stats,” distracted driving is now the third cause of road fatalities—at any given daylight moment across the U.S., approximately 600,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), there are more than 2 million injuries from motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. every day. No matter how defensively you drive, there are times when an accident can’t be avoided.

Here are 10 tips to follow when you find yourself involved in an accident:

  1. Stay as calm as possible: Your natural instincts will kick in, sending adrenalin into high gear as you grapple with emotions ranging from fear to shock. The calmer you can be as you sort through what’s happened, the better you can assess the situation.
  2. If you’re not able to get out of the car, or it’s unsafe to try, call 911 and wait for help to arrive.
  3. If it’s safe to get out of the car, set up flashing lights or cones around the collision site.
  4. If the collision is minor and you are unhurt, move your car out of the way of traffic. However, be careful to not leave the scene—in some states it is illegal to move your car.
  5. Check for injuries of all parties involved. If there are any, or if you begin feeling unwell, call 911 and wait for help to arrive.
  6. Be aware of the direction the car was coming from, weather conditions and the time and place of the accident.
  7. If you need help to determine who is at fault, you may be able to get the police to come to the scene to mediate. In some areas, the police will not come if no one is hurt. In that case, be sure to write down as much information as possible:
    • Get the license plates numbers for all drivers involved
    • Ask for driver’s license and insurance information
    • If there are witnesses, ask for contact information
    • Take pictures
  8. If you are too hurt to gather this information, seek medical attention immediately by calling 911.
  9. Even if you think you are at fault, do not admit guilt. You could be wrong.
  10. Be alert to any pain, numbness or discomfort in the days following the accident—some symptoms are masked at the time of the 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. We hope this blog series has been useful in understanding the far-reaching effects of distracted driving.

The distracted driving accident attorneys in Cleveland at NRS are driven to helping you obtain the car crash compensation you deserve as the result of injuries, property damage or even the death of an immediate family member. Our attorneys can help if you were involved in a car accident, motorcycle accident or truck accident in Cleveland or throughout the state of Ohio, even if you were partly at fault.

If you or a family member has been injured in an auto accident, see our Cleveland car accident page for immediate steps to take and then call an auto accident attorney in Cleveland from NRS toll-free at 1.855.GOT.HURT (1.855.468.4878) or contact us by filling out our No-Risk Consultation form.

Over the course of the year, we have written blogs to remind our clients and friends about the ramifications of driving while engaging in dangerous behavior like texting and talking as well as other forms of distracted driving. We have provided tips about safer parking, cycling and even safe walking.

The holiday season is a time of celebration, festivities and cheer. At the same time, Christmas ranks as one of the highest on the list of the most dangerous holidays, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg wishes all of our readers a safe and happy holiday season. With that in mind, here are some tips to help ensure your safety and that of your family, friends and fellow travelers.

1. Be on guard for dangerous drivers
The holidays are one of the most dangerous times to be on the road. People tend to drink more, stay out later and generally be more distracted by passengers and smartphones. They drive faster, make quick lane changes and don’t make adjustments for weather conditions. Stay alert for reckless drivers, slow down and allow plenty of time to get where you are going. Consider leaving earlier or later to avoid the busiest times on the road. 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.

2. Make Sure You are Well Rested Before Driving
It’s not uncommon to be overwhelmed with increased demands over the holiday season. Something has to give and all too often it is the number of hours you sleep. According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, people who slept 6-7 hours a night were twice as likely to be involved in a crash as those sleeping 8 hours or more, while people sleeping less than 5 hours increased their risk four to five times. Ask someone who is rested to drive when you are feeling fatigued—you’ll reduce the chance of hurting yourself and others.

3. Be Prepared for Emergencies
Whether it’s perilous weather, an accident or automobile breakdown, be prepared for an emergency. Keep a car stocked car with blankets, water, flashlights and medical supplies. Keep a cell phone and charger with you at all times. Some motorist assistance services, like AAA, offer smartphone applications that enable motorists to request help without having to make a call.

4. Drinking and Driving
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), deaths from drinking and driving spike around the holidays, with alcohol being blamed for about 52 percent of fatal collisions on Christmas and 57 percent on New Year’s Eve compared to a rate of 41 percent for the entire year. There are more people traveling, an increased number of festivities where alcohol is served and a surge in drunk driving. Be prepared—plan a way to safely arrive home at the end of the night:

5. Keep Medications Out of Reach
According to a poll by the University of Michigan C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital, in the U.S., a child under the age of six is taken to an emergency room to be treated for a medicine poisoning every 10 minutes. Whether it’s traveling to stay with friends and family over the holidays or having guests in your own home, there’s a much greater chance that medications can be left within a child’s reach. Access to easy-to-open containers is more common in grandparents’ homes. Many medicines look and taste like candy; medicines like nicotine are delivered by chewing gum or Tic-Tac-like pellets. So look around the house to be sure medications are kept well out of reach of children.

With some advanced planning and smart thinking, you can great increase your safety so that you can enjoy the 2015 holiday season with your family and friends. We wish you an enjoyable holiday season!

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.

“Look, Ma – no hands!”

Chances are, a much younger you exclaimed this at high volume as your two-wheeled chariot rolled (somewhat) unsteadily down a neighborhood sidewalk one fine day. Arms extended into the air, feet pedaling madly, you grinned from ear to ear as you unburdened yourself from the tether of hand-controlled cycling. In that fleeting moment, life was good; anything was possible (including scrapped knees, unfortunately).

That was then. But soon – and some say very soon – we all may get another opportunity to proclaim our hands-free navigational prowess, because like it or not, the driverless vehicle is on its way.

When it finally arrives here in Ohio – and no one’s too sure exactly when that might occur, things will get, well, interesting on several fronts.

Let’s look closely the legal questions, because there are many, and they are formidable. Currently, self-driving cars are legal in the U.S. – not because they’ve been made legal, but rather, because they’ve never been deemed illegal. Yet as cars with at least some autonomous capabilities make their way onto roadways here in Ohio and elsewhere, state and federal lawmakers will be compelled to take some degree of action in this regard.

That’s where the road gets bumpy. Here’s why:

The universe of ambiguity that currently surrounds self-driving vehicles is bound to end at some point relatively soon. Why? Because everyone involved wants it to:

Ultimately, it may end up that the companies driving innovation in this arena play a key role in helping lawmakers decide how self-driving vehicle technology is deployed. Regardless, self-driving vehicles are out of the garage, figuratively speaking. According to a May 15, 2015 Wired article, Google, Audio, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan plan to offer cars with some autonomous operation within a few years. Others will surely follow. As that occurs, let’s hope that de facto legality evolves into a consistent legal framework of sensible rules and standards that encourage innovation – and keep everyone safe from scrapped knees, or worse.

The attorneys at Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A. will continue to actively monitor legislation that affects Ohio consumers and businesses. For more information, please contact us today at 216-289-4740, Toll Free at (855) Got-Hurt, or by filling out our No-Risk Consultation form.

Ask any motorcyclist, and they’ll likely tell you there are few things they enjoy more than hitting the open road on their iron horse. Given the long winter season here in Ohio, it’s no stretch at all to understand the passion that motorcyclists have for this pastime.

Despite the innumerable pleasures of motorcycling, serious injury remains an ever-present danger—even at low speeds, and even for the most experienced riders. Whether it’s due to road or weather conditions, equipment malfunctions, rider error or the actions of other motorists on the road, literally thousands of motorcycle accidents happen every year, and the consequences can be debilitating—even fatal.

In fact, in 2014, the Ohio Department of Public Safety reported 2,910 injury crashes involving motorcycles, 141 of which were fatal. While it’s natural to think that young adults (i.e., ages 21-25) are most prone to motorcycle accidents, the Department’s statistics showed that actually, adults ages 41-55 are just as prone to motorcycle accidents.

Given the high number of motorcycle accidents that occur each year on Ohio highways and byways, it’s absolutely critical that motorcyclists practice safe cycling. This includes the use of protective gear (e.g., helmet, protective pants and jackets, motorcycle boots, motorcycle riding gloves, rain gear and protective glasses), as well as safe riding habits. It’s also essential that riders be properly trained and licensed prior to hitting the open road.

With any injury that occurs in or on a moving vehicle, there is a cause and an effect – and these variables are used to determine who or what is at fault in the incident. Motorcycle accidents are no different; when they occur, someone or something is to blame. As mentioned earlier, there are many possible causes for motorcycle accidents. Yet one cause in particular seems to be particularly prevalent: other motorists. Motorcycles are not as visible to vehicles as cars and trucks—they are smaller and easier to overlook, especially in heavy traffic and at intersections. Consequently, motorists can be prone to causing accidents that involve motorcycles.

In cases of motorcycle accidents that are caused by an individual other than the cyclist, the victim and their family should by all means make a claim for injury. This will enable them to collect compensation they deserve for injuries and damages caused in the accident.

No-Cost Evaluation

Filing a personal injury lawsuit following a motorcycle accident can seem like an overwhelming task for the injured rider and/or their loved ones. The accident itself is a damaging – even life-threatening – experience. The personal injury attorneys at Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A. understand how difficult this can be, and they are committed to making this process easier. Our motorcycle accident attorneys are highly knowledgeable regarding the complexities of vehicular accidents and offer the personalized service that motorcycle accident victims deserve. Our skilled attorneys have extensive experience litigating motorcycle accident and death cases.

In the event you or a loved one are injured in a motorcycle-related accident – or if a loved one was killed in a motorcycle-related accident – you need to seek immediate legal advice. Contact the Ohio personal injury attorneys at NRS Injury Law by filling out our No-Risk Consultation form, or call (855) GOT-HURT and speak with one of our trained staff members. Learn more about the issues unique to motorcycle accidents by visiting our motorcycle accident page or from the safety and training resources listed below.

Motorcycle safety and training resources:

When Injuries Happen, Know Your Rights 

Big trucks cause big accidents for motorists—and even pedestrians. Official statistics show that one out of every eight automobile accident fatalities involve large trucks, and every 16 minutes, a crash or collision involving a big truck occurs. These trucks, which include tractor trailers, big rigs and other commercial vehicles, dominate the space they occupy on streets and highways. Too often, automobiles and motorcycles come into contact with them, and the results can be devastating.

In fact, when a commercial truck is involved in an accident, 86 percent of fatalities, and 77 percent of those injured, end up being the drivers and passengers of the smaller vehicles involved in the crash. Given the large size of the trucks, the long hours that many drivers spend behind the wheel and the failure of some big truck drivers to abide by the posted speed limits, such a high rate of big truck accidents is not at all surprising.

Many big truck accidents are caused by human error. Others are traceable to mechanical failure, intoxication or even a trucking company’s failure to adequately maintain current inspection standards for the truck that was involved. In the aftermath of an accident, victims who survive can be severely injured and/or traumatized. Additionally, big truck accidents can result in substantial damage to the victim’s vehicle and other personal property that was impacted by the accident.

In most big truck accidents, liable parties that can be sued may include the driver of the truck, the commercial vehicle owner, the owner of the freight, the employer of the driver, the manufacturer of the truck cab, trailer or other truck equipment, and even third-party maintenance companies.

Crash Evidence is Key to Determining Fault in Big Truck Accidents

It is not unusual in big truck accidents for the trucking company involved to actively work to deny that the truck driver they employed was at fault. Federal law requires that trucking companies keep evidence; but the law stipulates that this applies only for a certain time period. If you or a loved one have been involved in a big truck accident, it is essential to protect your rights, so you should immediately contact an experienced big truck attorney.

Based on the circumstances surrounding the accident, a qualified and experienced big truck attorney will likely send the trucking company a spoliation letter. Without this letter, the trucking company may be able to legally destroy the trail of guilt. Beyond this, an experienced attorney will represent your interests throughout your case. He/she will determine who the responsible parties are in the accident that occurred, and work to obtain other important evidence such as official accident reports and truck logs. That attorney will also pursue just compensation for injuries, lost wages and loss of financial stability, costs associated with ongoing care and medical treatment, and emotional distress.

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If you or a loved one have been injured in a big truck accident, your rights are at stake—you need to seek immediate legal advice. At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., our big truck accident attorneys may be able to help you pursue compensation for the pain and suffering that you have been forced to endure. The experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation lawyers at NRS are highly knowledgeable in big truck litigation. We fight side by side with injured victims to make sure they and their families receive compensation for negligence that caused them to be hurt. We will aggressively pursue your case and work to help you obtain the medical care and compensation you need to rebuild your life.

In the event you or a loved one has suffered a big truck accident-related injury, contact the personal injury attorneys at NRS Injury Law by filling out our No-Risk Consultation form, or call (855) GOT-HURT and speak with one of our trained staff members.

When Injuries Happen, Know Your Rights

It all happened so fast…

There you were, driving home from work late one afternoon, minding your own business, thinking back on the day’s events and contemplating dinner just like you’ve done every other day of every other week. Except on this day, WHACK! Seemingly out of nowhere, your car is back-ended by another vehicle that, for reasons yet unknown, collided with you at the wrong time, caving in your trunk, and sending your wounded car – and you – careening into a nearby stop sign.

What to do? You’re in shock, you’re feeling a bit dizzy, your trusty Dodge is now morbidly crushed—and on top of all that, your neck hurts in a way you’ve never felt before.

It’s quite possible that your neck pain is symptomatic of whiplash, also known as Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD), a neck strain that often occurs as a result of motor vehicle accidents. Yet whiplash can occur as a result of any impact or blow that causes your head to jerk forward or backward. For example, many athletes experience neck strain in the course of playing their chosen sport. The sudden force from this action stretches and tears the muscles and tendons in your neck, causing pain that can vary from mild to intense and lasting.

In the case of motor vehicle accidents, whiplash often occurs as a result of rear-end collisions. In these cases, the impact force quickly propels your body forward. While that is happening, your head follows just an instant behind. Inertia from the collision forces your head to keep moving, while your body is caught by the seat belt. It is through this series of events that the “whip” effect occurs.

What Are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

Delayed Pain May Mask Symptoms

Sometimes, the pain of a neck strain is immediate. In other cases, it can take several hours or days before your neck begins to hurt. This is because whiplash injuries can be deceiving to the victim. Immediately after your accident, your adrenal gland will release the hormones adrenaline and cortisol into your bloodstream, which mask your pain and may make you think you’re fine. Eventually though, these hormones vacate your system, at which point the pain from your neck injury becomes obvious.

What Should You Do if You Believe You Have Whiplash?

Whether your injury happened as a result of a motor vehicle accident, a sporting event or another incident, it is critical that you seek medical attention for your neck condition as soon as possible—including from paramedics, if they have arrived on the scene. As mentioned above, some whiplash/neck strain symptoms don’t become obvious to victims for quite some time—in some cases, even days. Treating your injuries must be priority number one for you. Waiting too long may cause your symptoms to get worse, may cause other medical problems, and could prevent you or your attorney from proving that your injury or injuries resulted from the accident or incident.

Additionally, you should immediately seek out a personal injury attorney with deep experience in litigating whiplash cases and schedule a consultation.

An experienced whiplash attorney will be able to collect and analyze all the relevant facts in your case and determine the best course of action. That attorney will also be able to answer the many questions that you likely have about your whiplash and your case. Some common questions include:

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If you or a loved one have sustained a neck injury in a motor vehicle accident, your rights are at stake—you need to seek immediate legal advice. At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., our whiplash attorneys may be able to help you pursue compensation for the pain and suffering that you have been forced to endure. The experienced personal injury lawyers at NRS are highly knowledgeable in whiplash litigation. We fight side by side with injured victims to make sure they and their families receive compensation for negligence that caused them to be hurt. We will aggressively pursue your case and work to help you obtain the medical care and compensation you need to rebuild your life.

In the event you or a loved one has suffered a whiplash or neck injury, contact the personal injury attorneys at NRS Injury Law by filling out our No-Risk Consultation form, or call (855) GOT-HURT and speak with one of our trained staff members.

With our cold winter temperatures and varied terrain, snowmobiling is a favorite pastime of many here in Northeast Ohio. While it offers fun and excitement, snowmobiles are dangerous motorized vehicles, and like any motorized vehicle, accidents can happen. With the case of snowmobiles, accidents can cause serious, tragic and life-altering injuries—even death.

The snowmobile was invented in the 1920s and was originally intended for emergencies, as well as to transport people and supplies through areas where heavy snow made travel dangerous or unfeasible for other vehicles. Through the years, snowmobiling has gained traction as a popular winter sport.

Today’s snowmobiles are big, powerful, fast machines. Some snowmobiles on the market have engines measuring up to 1200 cc which can produce up to 150 horsepower and reach top speeds of 150 mph. Modern snowmobiles can also weigh up to 700 pounds. Snowmobile accidents result in nearly 200 deaths and 14,000 injuries each year. Alcohol, excessive speed, poor judgment and driver inexperience are cited as the leading causes of crashes. Accidents occur on roadways, highways, and public and private trails.

There are many potential causes of snowmobile accidents. Often, snowmobile operators crash into trees, property, motor vehicles or other stationary objects. Accidents can also result from unexpected dangerous hazards on private properties and public trails. Cars, trucks and other vehicles can impact snowmobiles, causing serious and catastrophic accidents. Snowmobiles can also collide with deer and other wildlife.

Additionally, snowmobile accidents can result from improper servicing and maintenance of the snowmobile, manufacturing defects, or ice/water hazards.

In far too many crash scenarios, innocent snowmobile drivers and/or passengers on one snowmobile are struck by a snowmobiler driving recklessly or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Snowmobile accidents can lead to serious injuries, including:

Your legal rights after a snowmobile accident

Whether you were a driver, a passenger or an innocent bystander, victims of snowmobile accidents have legal rights. In the case of snowmobiles, snowmobile drivers who cause accidents can be held liable for monetary damages if they are found to be negligent in the operation of their snowmobile—or if they were intoxicated at the time of the accident. Additionally, property owners can be held accountable if they were aware that snowmobile riders used their property, and known dangers existed on that property at the time of the accident.

Snowmobile accident lawsuits often pursue just and fair compensation for physical and psychological injuries that result from the crash. Such injuries include disability, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Since snowmobile injuries can lead to extremely high medical/rehabilitation bills and cause victims to miss work for extended periods (or even lose the ability to work), snowmobile lawsuits can also seek to compensate victims for lost wages.

In the case of fatal snowmobile accidents, victims’ loved ones may pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. In such cases, loved ones seek compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering before death, as well as for the loss of companionship for family members.

No Cost Evaluation

If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a snowmobile accident, your rights are at stake—you need to seek immediate legal advice. At Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A., our personal injury attorneys may be able to help you pursue compensation for the pain and suffering that you have been forced to endure. The experienced personal injury lawyers at NRS are highly knowledgeable in personal injury litigation, including snowmobile accidents. We fight side by side with injured victims to make sure they and their families receive compensation for negligence that caused them to be hurt. We will aggressively pursue your case and work to help you obtain the medical care and compensation you need to rebuild your life.

In the event you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a snowmobile accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at NRS Injury Law by filling out our No-Risk Consultation form, or call (855) GOT-HURT and speak with one of our trained staff members.

 

Ohio Snowmobile Law Primer

 

Snowmobile Safety Tips

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