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Cleveland Legal Issues Blog

Winter car accident? Here is what you need in your car

Ohio weather has already started to cool down, which means that snow could be just around the corner. Driving in severe winter weather can be dangerous, and many people do not have adequate materials in their vehicle to help them stay safe if they are ever in a winter emergency.

Statistics show car crashes injure over 115,000 people due to snowy, slushy or icy roads each winter. This following list will help you know what to pack in your car today so that you are prepared in the event of an accident this winter.

Applying the attractive nuisance doctrine in Ohio

An old proverb says "it takes a village to raise a child." The same might be said about protecting one, as well. Parents in Cleveland do all that they can to instill sound judgment in their children, yet kids remain curious about the unknown (often to their own peril). Thus, adults are also often tasked with protecting children from themselves. The attractive nuisance doctrine is just one example of this. 

Per the definition offered by the Cornell Law School, the attractive nuisance doctrine holds property owners liable when children suffer injuries from encounters with dangerous features on their land. Common "attractive nuisances" may include swimming pools, abandoned buildings or vehicles, or canals and tunnels. The common element shared by these attractions is that they may entice children who do not yet comprehend the dangers they present. Property owners, therefore, must takes reasonable steps to restrict access to them or face responsibility for any injuries or damage they cause. The attractive nuisance doctrine can be applied even in cases where a child was on someone's property without permission. 

How to avoid becoming involved in a truck accident

As winter quickly approaches, you must be cautious of your safety on the road. While you may be careful to navigate the road safely in inclement weather conditions, other drivers may not take the same precautions and you may find yourself involved in a serious car or truck accident. There are steps you can take to minimize your risk of becoming involved in a devastating truck accident while out on the road this fall and winter.

First, drive appropriately for the current weather condition. Large trucks are especially dangerous to smaller vehicles in bad weather, such as ice, wind, snow, rain and fog. These conditions can cause large trucks to jackknife, slide or tip over when truckers are speeding, distracted, under the influence or negligent. Stay out of the truck driver's blind spots, which are largely on the right-hand side and behind the truck. If you find yourself in one of these spots, you should attempt to pass the truck quickly and on the left-hand side of the truck. Keep in mind that if you cannot see truck drivers in their side view mirrors, they cannot see you.

What you should know about aggressive drivers

If you have lost your temper or gotten frustrated over other peoples' driving behaviors while navigating the streets in Cleveland, you are not alone. Many people get overwhelmed when stuck in traffic or caught behind a slow driver, especially when they are late for an important appointment or meeting. According to AAA, at least 80 percent of drivers admit to driving aggressively and experiencing anger while behind the wheel.  When the frustration graduates to aggressive driving behavior, however, drivers start to put the lives of other people on the road in danger. You may want to stay on the lookout for the signs of road rage in an attempt to avoid a potential car accident.

Aggressive motorists display hazardous driving behaviors, which include the following:

  •          Following too closely behind another vehicle.
  •          Speeding up and slowing down.
  •          Honking the horn excessively.
  •          Switching lanes erratically.
  •          Using profane language or cursing at other drivers.

Medical errors the nation's third-most common cause of death

As an Ohio medical patient, you probably feel relatively confident that when you visit your doctor and outline your symptoms, he or she will be able to determine what is ailing you and recommend an appropriate course of treatment. Regrettably, however, physicians make mistakes, too, and when they make medical errors, the repercussions can prove gravely serious. At Klein & Carney, we recognize the harm delayed, inaccurate or missed medical diagnoses and other errors can cause, and we have helped many people who suffered harm due to medical errors pursue appropriate recourse.

According to CNBC, medical errors are so common nowadays that they are now the third-most common cause of death among Americans. Furthermore, about 250,000 Americans lose their lives every year because of medical errors, although some believe the real number of annual deaths related to medical mistakes is closer to about 440,000. Why the disparity? When Americans die, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention get cause-of-death information from death certificates. However, death certificates rarely acknowledge medical errors, making it tough to determine accurate numbers.

When should I file a worker's compensation claim?

Workers who are injured on the job deserve to receive compensation for their medical bills and lost wages. For a claim to have a higher chance of success, injured workers should file as soon as possible.

According to Ohio law, injured workers have within one year of the date of the injury to file a claim. That may seem like a long time, but workers' compensation claims can take a long time to be approved and pay out.

Avoiding the missteps that lead to premises liability

It is an understatement to say that running a business is a big responsibility, and in a 21st century marketplace that spans the globe, that responsibility encompasses more landscape than ever before. But just for a minute, let's talk local and not global. What about traditional mom-and-pop shops that have served Ohio communities for decades? 

It is a fact they recognize their responsibilities to the people they serve or they would not have been in business as long as they have. But let's explore some potential missteps they could take that might cause undue difficulty. 

Cognitive distraction and hands-free devices

Although it is not illegal for drivers in Ohio to use a hand-held cellphone while behind the wheel, engaging in this practice causes a significant number of auto accidents, injuries and deaths in the United States every year. In an attempt to minimize the number of these incidents, many people have started using hands-free devices. However, studies show that even hands-free cellphones are not safe while driving.

A study released by AAA involved measuring the amount of cognitive distraction drivers faced while engaging in different tasks when driving. Participants were asked to do the following activities while operating a simulator, as well as a vehicle equipped with monitoring devices:

  •          Talk on a hand-held cellphone.
  •          Maintain a conversation with a passenger in the vehicle.
  •          Talk on a hands-free cellphone.
  •          Listen to the radio.
  •          Listen to an audio book.
  •          Compose an email using a voice-activated device.

The connection between cerebral palsy and medical malpractice

Cerebral palsy (CP) is considered the most common motor disability in children, with about one in 323 children identified with CP. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates around 10,000 infants are born with CP each year.

While it is difficult to pinpoint a cause for CP, most cases claim medical negligence and careless mistakes increase the risk of CP in infants. Recently, St. Francis Hospital in Ohio settled with a Columbus family after their daughter received brain damage during birth and later, was diagnosed with CP.

How can you keep people on your property safe?

Every Ohio business owner needs to understand premises liability, the responsibility of an organization and its leadership to people who come onto the property. Accidents happen, of course. When winter hits, snow and ice are the norm, creating dangerous sidewalks and entryways. In the summer, heavy rain can have your customers trudging water in with dripping umbrellas and wet shoes. 

What are the most important aspects of premises liability and how can you - whether you are the executive of an international organization or the owner of a small, local shop - navigate premises liability?

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