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The Scooter Trend—Convenient and Fun until Someone gets Hurt

08-14-18    

Scooter

If you live in or near Columbus, you’ve probably seen the newly installed electric scooters for rent. Two competing companies, Bird and Lime (owned by Uber), expanded to central Ohio in mid-July introducing motorized scooters to Ohio State’s campus and several Columbus neighborhoods, including downtown.

Bird Rides has an app that allows customers to locate and rent the scooters for $1.00 plus 15 cents per minute. Lime will use the Uber app to locate and rent its scooters. The scooters are picked up by company employees and charged at night. They are not meant to be used after sunset.

Proponents tout the scooters as the next logical step in the transportation revolution, they are environmentally friendly, and make it easy to zip around the city or campus. Opponents complain that the scooters are an annoying fad among hipsters and tourists, who weave in and out of traffic putting themselves and others at risk.

One thing is certain, accidents will happen.

Some of the most common accidents include:

  • Pedestrians tripping over parked scooters: Scooter users often leave the scooters lying around on pathways and sidewalks. When left carelessly discarded, the scooter presents a tripping hazard.
  • Automobile or truck drivers hitting riders: The scooters travel at a speed of only 15 mph, making it extremely dangerous to ride one on the roadways with cars and trucks traveling at much higher rates of speed. In addition, the scooters are quite small and even less visible than motorcycles or bicycles.&
  • Riders striking a pedestrian on the sidewalk: To date, the scooters are permitted on sidewalks and other pathways presenting the opposite problem of being on the roadway. At speeds of up to 15 mph, scooter riders are traveling much faster than a pedestrian causing crashes and injuries.
  • Scooter defects: Scooters have been known to malfunction and suddenly stop working causing rider ejection or falls. Also, if a rider brakes hard, the front wheel can lock up throwing the rider off the scooter.
  • Children riding the electric scooters and people riding tandem
  • Road hazards: Scooter riders may crash by hitting or swerving around potholes, road debris, gravel or uneven surfaces. Scooter riders may also crash trying to avoid pedestrians, dogs, other scooter riders or cars. Sometimes scooter riders crash after being chased by unleashed dogs.
  • Riding recklessly, while impaired, or intoxicated.

Until state and local legislatures catch up with the unique challenges presented by electric scooters, for now, there is no licensing, permitting or helmet requirements under Ohio law, and the scooters are permitted on both streets and sidewalks in Columbus. Each city or township will make its own determination governing the operation of the scooters.

If you been injured as a result of a Bird or Lime scooter, contact Rinehardt Injury Attorneys for a free, no obligation consultation.


Ohio Motorcycle Helmet Laws

05-14-18    

Motorcycle Helmet

Am I Required to Wear a Helmet?

Ohio law only requires a motorcyclist to wear a helmet if he or she is under 18 years of age or if he or she is within the first year of getting a motorcycle license (a novice) or driving with a temporary permit. If the operator of the motorcycle is required to wear a helmet, any passenger must also wear one.

Eye protection is required in Ohio unless the bike is equipped with a windscreen. Both the helmet and safety glasses/eye protection must meet minimum standards set out by Ohio’s Director of Public Safety.

Why You Should Choose to Wear a Helmet

Motorcyclists are about 26 times more likely to die in a crash and five times more likely to be injured in a crash than a person in a passenger vehicle. Motorcyclists who choose not to wear a helmet are three times more likely to suffer a brain injury than motorcyclists who do wear helmets. The goal of helmet laws is to reduce head injuries sustained by the rider in the event of a crash. The most common head injury is a Traumatic Brain Injury, which can cause permanent impairment of higher level cognitive functioning.

Will I Get a Ticket if I Violate the Helmet Law?

Those who violate the motorcycle helmet law are guilty of a minor misdemeanor. The level of misdemeanor will increase if the offender has previously violated the law.

Will my Failure to Wear a Helmet Bar Me from Recovering Damages if I am Injured?

The answer to this question will depend on the laws of the state in which the accident takes place. Since Ohio law does not generally require helmet use by adult motorcyclist with normal operator’s licenses, there is no duty on the part of a motorcyclist to anticipate another person’s negligence and to protect oneself by wearing a helmet. Generally, in a legal action, it cannot be considered that the use of a helmet may have reduced injuries unless there is factual evidence to support contentions that the injuries sustained by the motorcyclist would have been reduced or prevented by the use of such devices. Ohio is a comparative negligence state, which means that even if the you are determined to be negligent in failing to wear a helmet, you may not be entirely barred, if at all, from recovery.


May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

05-05-18    

Help Hale’s Harley-Davidson and Rinehardt Injury Attorneys get the message out! We are giving away over $900 in prizes including a custom fit modular helmet, a riding jacket with inserts, and a reflective backpack with rain gear and other cool gear!

Click like or comment on the post on our Facebook page for a chance to win! Winners will be randomly selected at 6:00 P.M. on May 31 and their names will be posted on our Facebook page.

We will be blogging all month about motorcycle safety. Like our Facebook page so you will be receive updates and notifications. Please share the post on your timeline to help get the word out!

Rules: This promotion is open only to residents of Ohio. You must be 18 or over to win.


In Search of Justice: Holding Big Pharma Accountable for the Opioid Epidemic

02-07-18    

Recent news has been inundated with lawmakers and health care providers discussing the opioid crisis and what to do about it, very important and complex issues with no easy answers.

But what we don’t see often discussed is what caused this epidemic to begin with? The answer is astonishingly simple. We, the American people and our medical doctors are victims of fraud at the hands of a number of pharmaceutical companies.

We didn’t get here overnight. This fraud has been perpetrated on the American people over the scan of two decades. We have finally reached a tipping point where the problem can no longer be ignored. We all know someone who has been affected by this crisis. We have seen the devastation it has caused to families in our communities.

How did they do it?

Certain drug companies, like Purdue Pharma, maker and aggressive marketer of OxyContin, intentionally misled doctors with aggressive marketing-including pamphlets, posters, advertising, promotional videos, and direct sales tactics. Although Opioids have never been proven appropriate to treat chronic pain because they carry a high risk of addiction and death, these promotional materials were filled with lies telling doctors the risk of addiction to opioids is miniscule.

Sales reps for the companies were paid huge bonuses and were encouraged to disseminate false information to physicians.The companies went so far as to hire researchers to publish articles based on junk science. The most often quoted “scholarly article” used by the companies to support their claim that the risk of addiction was low is a three-sentence letter to the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine stating so.

Why did they do it?

Again, the answer is simple. The almighty dollar. In 2010 alone, Purdue generated $3.1 billion in revenue from Oxycontin sales. Other drug makers benefited too.

What can we do?

Ohio has already brought a lawsuit alleging negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and unjust enrichment. But the state isn’t the only one harmed by big Pharma’s fraud.County and City governments have paid huge costs as a result of this crisis too, and should also seek justice from the appropriate drug companies through the courts. The drug companies need to pay our communities back not only for what we have already paid in direct and indirect costs for this crisis, but also for the future costs to repair the damage that has been done. We need to take a stand.


Top Ten List of Most Dangerous Toys of 2017

12-13-17    

Safety word

In the frenzy of shopping for Christmas gifts, remember to think about child safety. Don’t assume that a toy is safe just because it is on the toy store shelves. There are a range of popular toys that can seriously injure or even kill children.

There are thousands of avoidable toy-related injuries each year. The toy industry does not always put children’s safety before profits.

Every year before Christmas, a non-profit organization known as the World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) compiles a list the most dangerous toys on the market based on a review of the most recent childhood injury and fatality statistics.

Their top ten most hazardous toys for 2017 are:

1. Fidget spinners contain small parts that can be a choking hazard to children

2. Pull Along Pony, which has a 19-inch cord, raises concerns of strangulation in children of all ages

3. Heel Wheels are strapped to kids’ shoes as roller skates, but pose a burn risk because they include ‘real sparking action’.

4. Slackline, a toy meant to hang between tow trees, can lead to severe injury and death.

5. The Wonder Woman sword could potentially cause blunt-force and bodily injuries.

6. Itty Bittys Baby Stacking Toy includes small and larger rings that pose a risk of strangulation and suffocation.

7. The Oval Xylophone includes a wooden stick that may cause bodily injury.

8. ‘Zombie Strike’ crossbow raises the risk of eye and face injuries with its pressurized pull back lever.

9. The Spider-Man drone includes multiple rotating blades that can lead to eye and other bodily injuries.

10. Brianna Babydoll is a potential choking hazard as it includes small accessories.

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