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5 Common Truck Driver Errors That Lead to Accidents

04-21-22    

Crashed White Semi Truck | Truck Driving Errors | Rinehardt

No driver is perfect; everyone is capable of making small mistakes on the road. Some mistakes have little to no consequences, but even the smallest mistakes could lead to potentially devastating accidents. This is especially important to keep in mind for truck drivers, whose massive vehicles have the potential to cause significant damage. This guide is meant to illustrate some of the common mistakes from truck drivers that could potentially lead to accidents.

1. Driving while Fatigued

Truck drivers are limited on how long they are allowed to be on the road before taking a break. The regulations allow them a total of 11 hours of driving for a 14 hour period. With a constant pressure of reaching strict deadlines, however, it is not uncommon for drivers to surpass their permitted time allotted, which can cause drowsiness or zoning out, potentially leading to devastating accidents.

2. Speeding

Another issue that could possibly be attributed to the strict deadlines truck drivers must meet is speeding. Speeding is one of the leading causes of automobile accidents in the U.S. The faster one drives, the more difficult it becomes to come to a safe stop and control the vehicle. This only becomes more difficult the larger and heavier the vehicle is. While speeding is dangerous in any vehicle, a trucks’ massive size means it takes far more time to reach a complete stop than with any other vehicle.

3. Disregard for Traffic Laws

Whether one is trying to “race the red light” or failing to come to a complete stop at the stop sign, these seemingly small errors can lead to major accidents. It is easy to become complacent when driving and start taking unnecessary risks just to get to your destination faster. It is important to keep in mind that these laws and regulations are in place for a reason, and when followed, significantly reduce the chances of truck accidents.

4. Reckless Driving

Reckless driving includes a variety of potentially dangerous actions taken by a driver with intent. These include taking needless, emotionally-charged risks (road rage), improper lane changes, tailgating, ignoring traffic laws and more. Large trucks were built to be handled with caution, so a truck driver ignoring this by driving recklessly leads to especially catastrophic accidents.

5. Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence is not only a crime, but it’s incredibly dangerous. This doesn’t only include drugs and alcohol – many people neglect the fact that a variety of different over-the-counter medications suggest not getting behind the wheel or operating heavy machinery after use. Some truck drivers may take certain pain or allergy medications without heeding the warnings and impair their ability to drive safely.

Driving requires constant vigilance and attention to detail. Being under the influence of anything can take a driver’s attention away from the road just long enough to cause an accident.

Get Help From The Best at Rinehardt Injury Attorneys

Truck drivers have a huge responsibility to uphold a standard of safety and excellence when on the road. The devastating effects from a truck crash can lead to pain and suffering that is only resolved by ongoing medical care and even rehabilitation, resulting in mounting medical bills.

Here at Rinehardt Injury Attorneys, our Ohio truck accident lawyers have years of experience representing drivers hurt in a truck accident. If you’ve been involved in a truck accident near the Mansfield or Columbus area, our exceptional team will work day and night to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Feel free to contact our personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation.


What are the Top 5 Causes of Car Accidents?

11-28-21    


rear-end-car-wreck

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s estimates, around 36,680 people died in 2020 due to motor vehicle traffic crashes—the largest number of deaths since 2007. This rise is despite the smaller number of cars on the road last year, while we socially-distanced, stayed and worked from home, and generally got out less during the pandemic.

What’s caused this spike in fatal car accidents in the last year? And why is 2021 projected to be even worse? There are five main reasons that people get into car crashes. If you can, avoid the following so you don’t become a statistic!

1. Distracted Driving

Research from the American Automobile Association’s Traffic Safety Division has found that between a quarter and a half of all motor vehicle accidents are caused by distracted driving. But what is distracted driving?

Distracted driving is any activity that moves your attention from traffic on the road ahead to something else. These activities include the following:

  • Talking—and especially texting—on cell phones
  • Rubbernecking
  • Driver fatigue
  • Looking at scenery on the side of the road
  • Engaging with passengers or children
  • Adjusting the radio, CD player, or other aspect of the car’s infotainment system
  • Reading books, maps newspapers or other documents
  • Eating
  • Self-grooming

2. Drunk Driving

The NHTSA reports that about 32% of all traffic fatalities in America are caused by drunk drivers. Remember—though the legal limit for blood-alcohol level in Ohio is 0.08, it’s safer to establish a sober, designated driver for the night. The only way to prevent being at-fault for a drunk driver accident is to not drink and drive.

3. Speeding

Speed is one of the deadliest factors in any car accident: as you increase your speed, you decrease the time you have to react and avoid a crash, you increase your risk of crashing, and you increase the severity of any crash you’re in. In fact, drivers’ increased speed due to emptier roads was the main driver of the jump in fatal crashes in 2020. Common scenarios that can lead to a speeding accident include:

  • Sharp turns on curves
  • Ignoring speed limit signs
  • Drivers losing control of their vehicle based on the speed at which they were driving, which can result in collision with another vehicle
  • Speeding on major roadways and rear-ending another vehicle as a result

When driving, make sure to follow the posted speed limits and observe common sense regarding your speed. Never drive faster than is safe for current weather conditions—slow down for rain, snow, and fog. Reducing your speed is the easiest, and one of the most effective, things you can do to make the road safer for everyone.

4. Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving is defined as “driving in a manner that presents a threat to other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and/or bicyclists.” Aggressive driving includes a number of behaviors that you’ve likely seen while driving, and possibly have done yourself:

  • Aggressive tailgating
  • Driving without a seatbelt, or improperly securing a child
  • Failure to follow traffic signals
  • Failure to yield
  • Following at an unsafe distance
  • Inattentive driving
  • Texting while driving
  • Unlawful or unsafe speeds
  • Unsafe or illegal lane changes (weaving in and out of traffic)

If you’re in traffic with an aggressive driver, your best course of action is to keep your distance. Don’t attempt to pass or interact with them—this can escalate the situation and possibly lead to a car wreck. If you are concerned for the safety of yourself and others (including the aggressive driver), call 911 and report the aggressive driver as soon as it’s safe to do so.

5. Inclement Weather

Fog, snow, ice, hail, heavy rain, and even high winds can make driving much more difficult. Poor visibility, poor tire tread or brakes, or a poorly functioning engine and exhaust are just a few things that can become extremely unsafe due to inclement weather, increasing the likelihood of an accident. However, there are some actions you can take to decrease the likelihood of a car wreck in bad weather.

Make sure to adhere to the speed limit at all times, and lower your speed if conditions worsen. By slowing down, you provide yourself more time to react to conditions, which is needed in heavy weather. There’s also no shame in pulling over or stopping at a rest stop if conditions get extremely bad. It’s better to be late to your destination than to be in a deadly accident.

What to Do After a Car Accident in Ohio

Though some accidents aren’t completely avoidable, by following the 5 above tips you can make them more rare. If you are involved in an Ohio car accident, however, you’ll need one of our reliable and experienced Columbus car accident lawyers to argue your case in court. The attorneys at Rinehardt Injury Attorneys have years of experience litigating complex injury cases in our state, and are here to help.

If you’re the victim of a car crash, don’t hesitate to contact our car accident attorneys. Call the law offices of Rinehardt Injury Attorneys today.


Ohio Ebike Laws

10-26-21    

Ohio ebike laws


Prior to January 1, 2020, Ohio law was unclear as to the vehicle status of electric bicycles. Are they motorized vehicles, and subject to the same laws as cars, trucks, and motorcycles, or are they bicycles, and subject to bicycle regulations? The answer was unclear until the 132nd Ohio General Assembly passed H.B. 250, which lays out the specific regulations that apply to electric bikes. Now, Ohioans can ride their e-bikes with confidence, thanks to the new law.

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Drunk Driving Accidents on Thanksgiving & How to Avoid Them

10-12-21    

drunk driving on thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and that means weekend road trips to visit family or friends, cooking and eating lots of tasty food, and for those of us who are of age, indulging in a tipple or two. However, with the promise of merriment comes a darker threat: the day before Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Holiday DUI Season, as well.

In fact, over the past five years, more than 800 people have died during drunk driving accidents over the Thanksgiving weekend alone. This disturbing trend is due to a number of factors.

The Dangers of Holiday Travel

Since millions of Americans return to their hometowns for Thanksgiving, the day before – Thanksgiving Eve – is better known to law enforcement and first responders as “Blackout Wednesday,” because it’s one of the biggest drinking nights of the year. People meet up with friends and family, and since they’re home for the weekend, tend to let loose. Many areas experience a significant uptick in drunk driving cases the night before Thanksgiving.

The sheer number of people on the road is a huge factor in the weekend’s driving dangers: the American Automobile Association estimates that more than 45 million Americans will drive a long distance for Thanksgiving. More cars on the road means more traffic, more congestion, and more opportunities for wrecks, even without factoring in the increase in DUIs.

Compounding both of these factors is the poor weather of the holiday season. For much of America, Ohio included, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is dark, wet, cold, and icy – all hard driving conditions. And if a driver is buzzed or intoxicated, navigating increased congestion, or both, it’s obvious that their chance for a collision goes way up.

Staying Safe While Visiting Loved Ones

There are a number of ways you can stay safe this holiday season. For starters, practice safe and defensive driving by buckling your seatbelt, driving defensively, and obeying all the rules of the road. If you plan to drink at a party or other get-together, be sure to decide on a designated driver before you go, and hand your keys to your host before you have your first drink.

In addition, you can learn the basics of recognizing a drunk driver, to more easily avoid them. Drunk and impaired drivers tend to do one or more of the following:

  • Make very wide, abrupt, or illegal turns
  • Fail to stay within their lane, either by weaving, swerving, drifting, or straddling
  • Nearly running into the side of the highway or other obstacles
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road
  • Responding slowly to signals or other changes in traffic flow
  • Braking erratically, or for no reason
  • Driving without headlights in the dark

If you see a driver exhibiting one of these behaviors, stay away from them as well as you can. If you or a passenger can safely and legally call the police, report the drunk or impaired driver so they will stop endangering themselves and others.

What to Do if You’re in a Drunk Driving Accident This Thanksgiving

If the worst does happen, and you find yourself in an accident with a drunk driver this holiday season, you’ll need a personal injury attorney who can represent your interests against the other person’s insurance. Especially if you or a loved one were injured in the crash, you deserve compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering. After dealing with a car accident case, you shouldn’t have to worry about your family or medical bills, and we know that here at Rinehardt.

Consult with an Expert Drunk Driving Attorney in Ohio

The team of expert car accident lawyers at the law offices of Rinehardt Injury Attorneys has years of experience litigating accidents involving drunk and impaired drivers, and we’re dedicated to fighting for you in court! Give us a call today for a free consultation with one of our experienced car accident attorneys to see what our individual attention can do for you. As the premier personal injury lawyers of Ohio, we can promise that our Columbus car accident attorneys will fight for you! It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, truck accident, or a car crash, the Columbus car accident lawyers here at our law firm will get you the compensation you deserve! You can contact us online for a free legal consultation or you can swing by our Mansfield or Columbus office. Either way, we will help all injury victims get what they deserve to recover from their motor vehicle accident. And remember, don’t drink and drive!


Common Medical Malpractice Myths & Misinformation

09-10-21    

misconceptions about medical malpractice

Recent studies of the medical industry estimate that medical errors may account for as many as 251,000 deaths annually in the U.S., which makes them the third leading cause of death here. Experts also think that less than 10% of medical errors are reported each year, meaning that even fewer people get the help they need after they become victims of malpractice.

We at Rinehardt Injury Attorneys, located in central Ohio, have a theory that so many instances of malpractice go unreported because victims believe some common myths about malpractice claims, or misunderstand their rights in those situations. This is understandable because there are probably more myths and misunderstandings about medical malpractice than about any other area of personal injury law.

To help you educate yourself about malpractice law, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common malpractice myths and misunderstandings. If you’ve been injured due to a doctor’s mistake or medical error in the Mansfield or Columbus areas, give us a call today to speak with one of our expert Medical Malpractice Attorneys.

I can’t afford to bring a medical malpractice suit

It’s a myth that clients have to pay out-of-pocket up front for medical malpractice claims. You don’t have to worry about coming up with large sums of money before filing a malpractice suit through Rinehardt. Our firm offers free consultations and a guarantee that we won’t ask for fees until we win or settle your case.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a malpractice incident, mistreated by a medical professional, suffered from surgical errors, or had a birth injury, you can’t afford not to bring a case. Not only do injury victims deserve financial restitution for lost wages, further hospital and medical bills, and emotional distress, but those at fault need to be held accountable.

I can file a malpractice claim on my own

While it might seem simple enough to file a medical malpractice claim — the doctor made a mistake or was neglectful in their duties, so you’re entitled to compensation — in reality, a number of complexities exist. These range from gathering substantial evidence to understanding the necessary paperwork and motions to file with court. In particular, you must prove these five elements of the case:

  • A doctor-patient relationship existed
  • A duty of care existed
  • The doctor breached their duty of care
  • The breach caused injuries
  • The patient suffered damages as a result

Drawing the line through all five of these elements can be complicated, and hospitals and their insurances have good reason to keep the truth concealed. You need a personal injury attorney to advocate on your behalf against these businesses.

Medical malpractice lawsuits are frivolous

Somehow, the popular mythology has begun including the spurious claim that medical malpractice suits are frivolous and drive up the price of health care. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Around 80% of medical malpractice cases are filed for severe injuries to the patient, including disability to death. 97% of those cases — almost all of them — bring strong evidence that those injuries were caused by medical errors or negligence, or in other words, malpractice. An experienced medical malpractice attorney like those at Rinehardt can assess your case and let you know if you have a valid claim. It doesn’t hurt to call.

Medical errors are not preventable

We like to believe that doctors always know what they’re doing and that medical mistakes only happen when they’re unavoidable. The truth is much more messy. Doctors are often overworked and exhausted, hospitals often cut corners on their care, and communication can be as hard in a doctors’ office as in any other workplace. As a result, over 70% of medical errors are preventable. Common preventable errors include the following:

  • Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
  • Improper medical treatments
  • Drug and medication errors

If you’ve experienced one of these, or another kind of injury in the Columbus or Mansfield areas, you need an expert medical malpractice lawyer to represent your interest. Give us a call or stop by our office for your free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers here at the law offices of the Rinehardt Injury Attorneys. We’re here to fight any and every insurance company to help you get the compensation you deserve. Our successful case results speak for themselves; reach out to an expert Columbus personal injury attorney today!

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