Articles Posted in Wrongful Death

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

There was a time when it was said that, ” You can’t sue City Hall”…or the State of Ohio. Just like a king, they were immune from suit. But that’s not always the case today.

This idea of sovereign immunity still holds true in some Ohio wrongful death and personal injury cases. Although our state government has carved out  exceptions to the general rule against holding the government liable in a negligence case, immunity still applies in some cases. (That said, even if immunity is waived, it is worth noting that there is likely to be a limitation of some sort, such as a cap on the amount of money damages recoverable by the plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against the government.) A governmental entity like a city may be sued for its negligence in performing  what are called proprietary functions, but not for so-called governmental functions.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiff in a recent appellate case from Stark County was the administrator of the estate of a woman who died after being struck by two automobiles while using a crosswalk to walk across a five-lane road as she walked to the store. The administrator sued the drivers of the automobiles, as well as the city in which the accident occurred, claiming that the woman’s wrongful death was due to the motorists’ as well as the City’s negligence. After the motorists reached a settlement with the Estate of the woman, the city filed a motion for summary judgment asking the court to dismiss the case against the city. Continue reading

When we think of Ohio car accidents, we usually think of a crash between two cars, cars and a truck, or even a motorcyle and a car. But sometimes, it’s the roadway itself or the signs which are at fault When the negligence of an Ohio city, county or even the State of Ohio causes a crash, those whose lives are affected by it may have a right to seek compensation by filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Unless, of course, the driver was more at fault than the roadway design or maintenance. This is called comparative  negligence in Ohio.Of course, the defendant(s) in such cases often fight hard against being held responsible, sometimes asking the trial court to order “summary judgment,” a legal tool that claims that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgement as a matter of law. If granted by the judge, this effectively ends the lawsuit before the plaintiff has an opportunity to present his or her side of the case to the jury. It is up to the trial court to determine whether the plaintiff has presented sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.

Facts of the Case

In a recent appellate case arising from an automobile accident in Lorain County, Ohio, the plaintiffs were the parents of three teenagers who died when their car went airborne after it crossed over a railroad track. The parents sued the defendant townships, which bordered the road on which the teens were driving prior to their death.