Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Unfortunately, car accidents happen for many reasons.  Drivers may be distracted.  Bad weather can make visibility difficult and stopping even harder.  Perhaps the other car ran a red light and struck you.  Another, less frequent cause for car collisions is what Ohio law calls a “sudden medical emergency.”  It’s important to know what is (and is not) a sudden medical emergency (“SME”) because the condition may excuse the driver who suffered one from paying for injuries or damages he or she caused.

Ohio first recognized “sudden medical emergency” as an excuse (or legal defense) for automotive negligence in 1956.  In Lehman v. Haynam, the Ohio Supreme Court described SME as an instance, “where the driver of an automobile is suddenly stricken by a period of unconsciousness which he had no reason to anticipate and which renders it impossible for him to control the car he is driving. . . .”  But does this mean that a driver who fell asleep behind the wheel and hit you is not liable for injuries he/she caused?  No, not at all.  Continue reading

Insuring your car may feel expensive.  As a car owner, you must buy  liability coverage (if you strike another’s car).  You can also select coverages to pay for repairs to your car, to cover towing charges, for medical expenses, and even the costs of a temporary rental car.  A handy buying guide, “Insurance 101,” is available from the Ohio Department of Insurance.  Ohio law requires that each driver carry minimum liability coverage of $25,000 per person; $50,000 per accident (25/50).  But with all the choices and charges, you may be confused about whether to purchase uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverages too.

From our perspective, the answer is a strong “YES”.  Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage protects you and others in your car when another driver injures you but their insurance is insufficient to compensate you for your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses.  Continue reading

There’s no doubt that distracted driving is responsible for many car accidents.  Everything from texting, changing the entertainment source on the car radio, trying to calm a frazzled toddler, or even enjoying a sip of that drink from the drive-through lane can take a driver’s attention from where it belongs — on surrounding traffic and safely operating a car.  AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests that each year 5,000 fatal car crashes can be attributed to driver distraction.

Now it seems that automobile insurance giant, Allstate, wants to peak over your shoulder and into your car to see whether you are driving while distracted.  And Allstate isn’t watching just because you have insurance with that company, Allstate may be tracking your driving behavior from sensors on the vehicle next to you or behind you in traffic.  Continue reading

According to the Ohio Department of Insurance Guide to Automobile Insurance, automobile liability insurance (which pays the other party if you are at fault) may only cover the “named insured” under the policy or coverage may extend to family members who are resident in your household. The question of whether the insurance will follow the driver to another vehicle may depend on whether that car is a substitute for your car which is identified in the policy. Whether that substitute car is available for your regular use, may well determine whether you are insured when you drive it. If it is and it is not listed on your policy, then you may not be covered while driving that car. But if it is a car which you are only able to use by borrowing it from someone else or it is a rental, then your liability insurance should protect you in the event of an accident .

If you borrow a car for an extended period of time because your car cannot be driven due to mechanical issues, then your friend’s car may qualify as a substitute and you will be covered under the policy.

People are often surprised and disappointed to learn that under Ohio law an insurance company may sell you a liability policy which does not apply if you accidentally cause injury to another member of your family. Continue reading