Articles Posted in Personal Injury

The majority of lawsuits arising from Cleveland automobile accidents are filed by one motorist against another. It is not unusual for a careless driver’s employer to also be named as a defendant, if the driver was on the job at the time the crash happened.Municipalities are also legally responsible for the negligence of their employees while operating a city vehicle. Ohio cities like Cleveland or Akron are also responsible for keeping their streets open and in good repair under ORC 2744.02. So when a car accident is caused by a defect or hazard in a roadway, the municipality may be held liable.  Typically, the city or governmental entity seeks to avoid liability by showing that it wasn’t aware of the hazard and was therefore immune from suit under Ohio’s political subdivision immunity laws. But to do so, the City has to raise its defense in a timely fashion.

Did the City know about the Sinkhole?

The plaintiffs in a recent case heard on appeal by the Eighth District Court of Appeals ( Cuyahoga County No. CV-17-880786), were  injured when their car fell into a sinkhole while driving down a Cleveland street in  June 2015. The plaintiffs filed suit in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, seeking monetary compensation for their injuries. According to the plaintiffs’ complaint, a water leak had eroded the road’s substrate,  causing a sinkhole to form which then collapsed under the weight of the plaintiffs’ vehicle.

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When a Cleveland area car accident occurs, the first thing most people want to know is, ” who’s going to repair my car?” Even before they worry about pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and loss of spousal consortium, unless the injuries are serious, accident victims worry about compensation for damage to their  automobile or other property. They need their car to drive to work, run errans, or take the kids to school. But sometimes, the property damaged isn’t a  car or truck, it’s a Cleveland building that’s been struck by a car or truck due to an accident.

Generally speaking, when you seek  compensation for damages caused by  another’s negligence, you have the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the party from whom you seek payment of money damages breached a duty of care and that this breach was a proximate cause of the damages claimed .

A Sudden Emergency May Excuse A Driver’s Negligence

In a recent case considered by the Court of Appeals of Ohio for the Tenth Appellate District, the plaintiff was the owner of a building that was struck by the defendant’s automobile after a collision between the defendant and a third party. According to the defendant, the accident happened when the third party ran a stop sign, struck his vehicle, and propelled it over a curb and into the plaintiff’s property, causing damage to the building.. The building owner claimed that the defendant driver’s negligence in failing to control his car had caused damage to his property and  should therefore pay for the repairs necessary to fix the building.The driver claimed that he was excused from maintaining control of his car after he was hit by the other vehicle  because of the sudden emergency doctrine, which states that when a driver has acted as a reasonably prudent driver would under similar circumstances, than he was in fact not negligent.

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We often think that our insurance company is on our side. And  their advertising tries to sell that idea to you. But it is not unusual for an insurance dispute to arise in an Ohio car accident case or when your vehicle covered by an insurance policy has been stolen. In either situation, the person who is claiming benefits under the policy has a duty to cooperate with their insurance company. This is a contractual obligation that, if breached, can result in the insured person receiving no benefits under the policy. There is no duty to cooperate with the other side’s insurance company, but only your own.

As in other matters pertaining to automobile accidents and insurance issues, however, it is wise to consult an experienced attorney to guide you through the process of filing a claim, especially if you or a family member has been hurt in a car wreck or you have another type of insurance claim. Often, property damage claims do not require a lawyer, but you still have to do what yur policy requires you to do.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case considered by the Court of Appeals of Ohio for the Eighth Appellate District (Cuyahoga County), the plaintiff was a woman who sued Progressive Insurance, claiming that it  had  mishandled  a claim she made relating  to the theft of her automobile. Progressive claimed that she had not cooperated with the insurance company as her policy required, while she claimed that she had done what was required of her. The Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas granted summary judgment to the defendant insurance company( which meant that she lost, as a matter of law), and the plaintiff appealed.

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Sometimes, a person who suffers personal injury in Ohio as a result of the negligence or carelessness of another Ohio resident, business, or governmental agency will choose to pursue his or her case without a lawyer. This is called “pro se” representation. There are many reasons why proceeding pro se is a bad idea, not the least of which is that a layperson is held to the same standards as a trained attorney when they attempt to represent themselves either at trial or in the appellate courts. Whether you’re a lawyer or a layman, you have to know the rules.

Courts have many complex rules of both procedure and evidence which lawyers deal with on a  daily basis and there really is no substitute for that experience. Representing yourself is like trying to do surgery on your self. It will hurt and won’t likely produce a successful outcome. You have a right to do so, but it probably isn’t wise.

Facts of the Case

In a case recently decided by the Eighth District Ohio Court of Appeals  ( Cuyahoga County), the plaintiff was a woman who claimed she was  injured while attempting to board a bus in 2016. According to the plaintiff, the door closed on her as she was trying to get on the bus, causing her injury. The plaintiff tried her claim to a jury which, unfortunately for the plaintiff, ruled in favor of the defendant, the Greater Cleveland  Regional Transit Authority, holding that the plaintiff had herself  acted negligently, causing her injuries. As we will see, she didn’t know the rules regarding jury verdicts and she didn’t know how to properly appeal.

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People who have recently been involved in a Cleveland-area automobile accident frequently have questions regarding their legal rights. Some of these questions may involve the relationship between the criminal or traffic charges filed against the other driver and your rights to file a lawsuit for damages against that driver and others responsible for your injuries and damages.

For instance, is it really necessary to file a lawsuit against an at-fault driver if he or she was arrested or given a ticket as a result of the accident? Won’t the police take care of everything? If the police cite the driver for speeding or violating the law and the police report says that the other driver is at fault, may that finding be used to support your case against the other driver? Because these issues are often complex, you need to get advice from an experienced Ohio personal injury lawyer. Consider the following situation:

Facts of the Case

In a recent case decided by the Cuyahoga County  Court of Appeals, the defendant was a woman who was convicted by a trial court of the crime of leaving the scene of an accident. As part of her conviction and sentence, the trial court  ordered her to pay $2000 in restitution to compensate the victim of her crime for her damages. The defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court had committed reversible error by entering a finding of guilty without setting forth any factual support for the court’s conclusion, even though she entered a plea of “no contest ( which legally means that she was admitting the facts, but not admitting her guilt).” Continue reading ›

Timeliness can be  very important in any  lawsuit. In a Cleveland car  accident or truck  accident case, failure to follow  the Ohio Rules of Civil Procedure and the Ohio Revised Code  with regard to filing deadlines, submission of pleadings, briefs and other documents  can lead to  a harsh result in court.

In some situations, it may be possible to have a trial court’s judgment based on a procedural ruling set aside, but this is the exception rather than the rule. The best course of action is to speak to a qualified attorney early so that you can understand your legal rights and avoid the potential pitfalls of the litigation process.

Facts of the Case

When an insurance company pays its policy holder for damages he or she suffered as a result of an accident caused by someone else, the insurance company often has the right to recover from the wrongdoer, or tortfeasor, as she is known, the amount that it paid to its insured. This is known as subrogation. The plaintiff in a recent  case was an insurance company that filed suit against the defendant motorist, asserting its subrogation rights and claiming that the motorist had to reimburse the insurance company for monies it had paid out to its insured on account of an accident allegedly caused when defendant negligently crossed the center line and struck the insured’s vehicle. According to the insurance company, its insured was seriously injured in the crash and suffered some $262,555 in damages. Continue reading ›

A typical Cleveland car accident lawsuit involves a motorist’s claim that another driver acted negligently, by, for exmple, running a stop sign, speeding or failing to yield the right of way, causing a crash. Sometimes, however, there are other claims against defendants who were not drivers actually involved in the accident.

For example, a recent appellate case involved a driver’s claims against a city and others whom she claimed  were at fault for an accident that happened when she ran a stop sign that was obscured by foliage.

Facts of the Case

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