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Akron Personal Injury Law Blog

Ohio legislation aims to boost bike friendliness

It's springtime, and that means bicyclists and pedestrians in Ohio are out enjoying the warm weather. To ensure that a healthy pastime or a two-wheeled commute to or from work doesn't lead to an accident, cyclists and drivers must keep an eye out for each other and follow the rules of the road.

A bill being considered by Ohio legislators would make two important changes in the state's traffic laws, specifically as they relate to bicycles. House Bill 154 would establish a statewide requirement that all cars and trucks keep at least three feet away when passing a bicycle. The bill would also change the law to allow all vehicles, bicycles included, to pass through an intersection if the traffic light is malfunctioning and doesn't detect the stopped bike or motor vehicle.

By ignoring hours-of-service rules, truck and bus drivers put you at risk

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, each year driver fatigue is the direct cause of an estimated 100,000 auto accidents, resulting in 71,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths. And that is a conservative estimate.

While drowsy driving is always dangerous, drowsy driving on the part of a truck driver or bus driver can be immensely hazardous because of the size, weight and speed of the vehicles. That is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, has implemented rules to limit truck and bus drivers' hours of service.

Highway patrol investigates cause of accident that took road worker's life

Repairing Ohio's roadways can be hazardous work, perhaps especially in the spring and summer months when the amount of work increases. Nevertheless, highway workers should be able to expect other drivers to heed signage and other warnings about taking special care in work zones. Failure to exercise due caution too often results in serious accidents.

Sadly, a road worker was killed recently in Suffield Township after being hit by a pickup truck. The man was reportedly on foot when the accident happened, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol's investigation is ongoing.

Patient says doctor failed to diagnose cancer; Ohio State settles suit

Early diagnosis is crucial to effectively treating cancer and many other potentially fatal illnesses. While most doctors are conscientious professionals whose primary concern is the health and well-being of their patients, doctors are not immune to mistakes. A doctor's failure to order a test or simply misreading a scan could be detrimental to a patient's health, especially if the doctor fails to diagnose a serious illness like cancer.

That was the claim in a lawsuit recently settled in Ohio. In 2004, a Westerville woman went to the Ohio State University Medical Center for a CAT scan. According to the lawsuit, the images from the scan showed a cancerous growth in her pelvis, but the radiologist at OSU failed to detect the cancer.

Head-on collision sends KSU students to hospital; alcohol believed to be a factor

Decades ago, before organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving fought to educate the public and get stricter drunk driving laws passed, the annual number of DUI accident deaths was much higher than it is today. In fact, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the yearly number of fatal DUI accidents in the U.S. has been reduced by half since 1980, when MADD was founded.

Education and enforcement are the keys to continuing the reduction in DUI accidents, which still injure far too many people in Ohio each year. That means each new generation of young people, along with their adult counterparts, must be made aware of how drunk driving can devastate lives.

We're reminded of these important issues after a recent head-on collision on the campus of Kent State University.

Criminal charges follow fatal motorcycle crash in Ohio

When someone else's negligence or recklessness causes a person's death, the immediate family members of the deceased have the right to sue for economic and emotional damages caused by the loss of their loved one. Generally, in Ohio wrongful death claims, one family member is selected as the plaintiff to represent the other family members.

Because wrongful death claims are civil legal actions, a wrongdoer does not necessarily have to be convicted in criminal court for a grieving family to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, in some cases, a criminal conviction -- and the evidence that led to it -- may bolster a claim of wrongful death.

Whether mild or severe, TBI requires prompt medical treatment and monitoring

The effects of traumatic brain injury can be wide-ranging, from subtle changes in personality to permanent physical impairments. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that TBI is a contributing factor in about 30 percent of all injury-related deaths.

While most brain injuries are mild, we now know that subsequent minor concussions can have long-term effects on the brain, and it is essential that people who suffer these injuries receive proper medical care and monitoring as soon as possible.

Medical Malpractice Excess Recovery Through EMTALA Claim

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor act, or EMTALA has been on the books since 1986. The initial intent of the legislation was to ensure nondiscriminatory patient access to emergency care and to prevent the practice of dumping, or discharging of uninsured patients. EMTALA claims often go hand in hand with traditional medical negligence claims because they can often occur at the same time. However, due to the fact that EMTALA claims are Federal in nature, they are not subject to state damage caps. Therefore, if a patient suffers injury as a direct result of an EMTALA claim they may receive compensation in excess of the medical malpractice claim.

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