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Cleveland Legal Issues Blog

Understanding the dangers of potholes

After the end of a harsh winter, you may expect to encounter some road damage. Freezing temperatures and snow tires can wreak havoc on pavement, resulting in cracks and even large potholes on city streets and highways. At the law office of Klein & Carney Co., L.P.A., we know that poor road conditions can also threaten the safety of Ohio residents.

Exactly how dangerous are potholes, you may wonder? They may be an eyesore, and it can be annoying to drive over a hole in the street, but you might not have considered potholes to be a risk to your safety. However, as Forbes explains, potholes can be risky in numerous ways. Driving over a particularly large and deep pothole can cause significant damage to your car, which may result in a later accident if, for example, the pothole damage weakens a tire or ruins your alignment. You may also experience immediate danger if running over a pothole or attempting to avoid it causes you to lose control of your vehicle.

Getting fair compensation after a car crash can take time

Suffering injuries in a car accident can do a real number on a person and his or her family. Depending on the severity of the car crash, the losses one might experience may be minor, or they may be on the extreme end. If you or a family member have suffered injuries in an automobile collision, you probably think that insurance will take care of you. The truth is, that may not be the case.

What people need to remember is, auto insurance providers are businesses. Their goal is to keep their investors happy. If you or a loved one suffered injury in a car accident in Ohio or elsewhere, know that the initial settlement offer provided by an insurance carrier is likely to be on the low side. Why? Their goal is to get you to walk away with as little as possible.

Cuyahoga County fatalities involving alcohol and speed

If you are like most people in Ohio, you are concerned about safety on the roads. The health and future of you and your family is literally on the line every time you ride in a vehicle, walk on a sidewalk or ride a bike. You may choose to drive safely and follow all of the laws but the fact of the matter is that other drivers have the unfortunate ability to choose the opposite path. There continue to be many selfish people who do not want to obey posted speed limits or hand over their keys when they have been drinking.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speed was a contributing factor in 199 of the state's 1,132 vehicular fatalities in 2016 and another 157 out of 1,179 deaths in 2017. Drunk drivers were involved in accidents that killed 330 people in 2016 and another 333 people in 2017. In 2017, speed was a factor in 13% of all deaths and alcohol was a factor in 28% of the deaths.

Top causes of car accidents

Driving on the road in Ohio presents a variety of risks and chances of getting in a crash. It is important to be aware of common causes of accidents so you can avoid high-risk situations and practice better defensive driving techniques. 

According to the CDC, distracted driving is one of the main causes of accidents on the road. Examples of distractions include fiddling with the radio, putting an address into the GPS, reaching in the back to get something, eating, putting on makeup and cell phone use. Although talking on the phone is distracting, texting is the worst because it takes your hands off the wheel, your mind off driving and your eyes off the road. 

What happens when someone can not pay damages?

There some situations in Ohio in which you could possibly still get compensation for your injuries if the party at fault could not pay. These fall generally into two categories.

The first has to do with a rule called joint and several liability. This could force someone else to pay for the delinquent party's damages. The second one would probably take longer, involving official sanctions against the person who owes you money.

The rate of pedestrian fatalities continues to rise

Whether you take a leisurely stroll on your lunch break or rush to do some errands, the warmer weather may be calling you outside after the long winter. Even if walking is not something you enjoy, chances are you do it more than you think, even if it is just rushing across the street to get to the store, post office or bank before it closes.

While you may have dodged your share of cars in your life, you may find it is not as easy to do these days. Cars travel faster, and there seem to be more of them. These are just a couple of factors that safety advocates feel contribute to the steady rise in pedestrian injuries and deaths in this state and across the country.

What are qualities that make a good safety sign?

Keeping pedestrians, visitors and workers safe should be one of your top concerns if you own or manage an Ohio property. One of the ways you can carry out this important responsibility is to mark any hazardous or dangerous areas with appropriate safety signage. Putting up safety signs can warn people that the area they are approaching is not safe to enter. To make sure a safety sign is effective, be on the lookout for several important qualities that a good safety sign should possess.

EHS Safety Advisor explains that safety signs should be easy to read. The words should be large enough that they can be read at a reasonable distance and the sign should convey the proper information without using too many words. Additionally, many signs are not just text, but may also feature a visual graphic to help illustrate the nearby danger. Overall, you want a person to take in everything on the sign at a glance without the need to spend a lot of time reading the sign.

Traffic accidents involving snowmobiles

This winter, many places in the U.S. have seen unusual weather. Some cities have experienced far higher levels of snowfall than usual, while others have endured brutally cold temperatures. Also, some parts of the country regularly experience severe winter weather conditions and a great deal of snowfall. When these conditions are present, some people may decide to ride a snowmobile alongside the road or even take their snowmobile onto the road. This may be a fun or convenient way to get around, but it can also be dangerous, and many snowmobilers have been hurt in traffic accidents.

From inexperienced snowmobilers to reckless drivers who do not pay attention to other people on the road, there are all sorts of reasons why these accidents transpire. Furthermore, weather conditions can be so poor that visibility may be low, and drivers may have difficulty controlling their vehicle. Sometimes, it is very unusual to see a snowmobiler alongside the road, and this can also increase the chances of something going wrong.

Are headlights getting brighter?

Imagine driving down a local street at night. You’re blasting your favorite radio station as you head home from work, and you notice two headlights in the opposing lane, blinding your eyes. Your first thought is the person accidentally turned on their high beams. However, it turns out to be the standard beams.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) noticed a similar issue in the headlight technology after receiving “thousands of consumer complaints.” But are headlights getting brighter in newer vehicles?

How much is an average Ohio car crash settlement?

One of the first things you should know about car crash settlements in Ohio is that average numbers are often not applicable to your specific situation. The cost of your medical bills, lost work and car repairs would probably have the most effect on your particular assignment.

However, there are some general rules about accident settlements in the state that could inform your specific estimate. Here are some of the factors that determine how much you might compensation you might receive as an injured party in a car crash.

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