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Deadly Winter Driving

Ohio Among the Deadliest Winter States For Drivers

According to a new study in terms of total car accident fatalities, the most dangerous states are Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio and Illinois. These states account for about 36% of all winter driving deaths, according to Value Penguin’s “Deadliest States For Winter Driving” analysis. Over 5 years studied, there have been more than 170 fatalities reported in Ohio. In 2017, Ohio had the most winter driving fatal car accidents of any state. 

Common Types of Winter Crashes

Snow and ice can magnify the damage a negligent driver can inflict because the slick surface increases speed and reduces vehicle control. Common types of wintertime crashes include:

    • Rear-end accidents- A reckless driver is following too closely and is unable to stop in time to avoid a rear end collision with another vehicle. 
    • Intersection accidents- A driver who is going too fast or brakes too suddenly skids out of control on black ice into an intersection. 
  • Head-on collision- An inattentive driver who makes a sudden maneuver to avoid road debris, snow, ice, or pedestrians can lose control of their vehicle and veer into the opposite lane. A car skidding sideways into the oncoming lane can also be impacted on the side resulting in a T-bone crash. 

Even when the weather is bad, motorists still have a responsibility to adjust their driving for conditions. Those who fail to do so and injure others will be held accountable for their actions. 

Dangerous Winter Crash Hotspots

While Ohio reports more wintertime driving deaths than most other states, some areas of the state are riskier than others. Here are the top 5 deadliest Ohio cities for winter driving;

  • Columbus – 7 winter driving fatalities, 2013-2017
  • Akron – 4 winter driving deaths
  • Youngstown – 4 deaths
  • Austintown – 2 deaths
  • Cambridge – 2 deaths

Meanwhile, the roadway with the most winter related fatal crashes over the last 5 years is I-71 which connects Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati. The roadways that have seen the most winter driving deaths. 

  • I-71 – 7 winter driving related fatalities
  • I-70 – 6 deaths
  • I-80 – 6 deaths
  • CR-67 –3 deaths
  • I-76 – 3 deaths

Ohio reports a lot of winter car accident fatalities, but its fatal winter driving related crash rate is also among the highest in the nation. Here there are an average of 28.3 fatalities per 100 below freezing days The only states with higher fatality rates are Texas (48.8), Michigan (37), and Pennsylvania (34.2).

Common Injuries

Too often, bad winter car accidents end in serious injury or death. Common injuries sustained in winter weather crashes include:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (Concussions)
  • Broken or fractured bones in legs, arms, chest and ribs
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Musculoskeletal Damage (Soft tissue, muscle, tendon and ligament injuries)
  • Persistent pain in shoulders, back and neck
  • Damage to knees, hips and shoulder joints

To help prevent crashes through preparedness, the Ohio Department of Transportation launched OHGO. The interactive map communicates in real time when and where driving obstacles like crashes, construction and bad weather are affecting traffic.

Crash Victim’s Legal Rights

If you were injured or a loved one died in an accident, the experienced attorneys at Tompkins Selph & Associates are ready and able to begin working on your case as of today. Contact us today for a FREE confidential consultation and begin learning how we can help you in your legal journey. Call today at (614)-453-0971, or visit our office conveniently located 6047 Frantz Road, Suite 101 Dublin Ohio 43017.

Minimizing Liability & Risk

Why You Should Own a Dashcam

You’re rolling though the grocery store parking lot when a pedestrian steps in front of your car. You brake, but she slams the hood of your vehicle with both her hands and falls over. The police are called and a witness says that you drove right into her, But you’re not worried because you have a dashcam and can show exactly what happened.

This is just one situation. The truth is, there are so many reasons why you should own a dashcam.

Benefits of a Dash Cam

A dashcam is a small camera that records everything happening in front of your vehicle. With GPS-enabled capabilities, it can also pinpoint your location and show how fast you were traveling. Moreover, they are cheap. At less than $50, if a dashcam helps you through an accident or traffic ticket, it would be well worth it. 

Showing Your Side

A dashcam can take a lot of the guesswork out of a car accident case. Say you’re T-boned at an intersection. The other driver claims you ran a red light and they had the right of way. If you didn’t have a dashcam showing you had a green light, there might be no way to prove you were not at fault. 

When one other driver is involved, it becomes a he/she said and your attorney may not be able to discard such claims. However, when multiple claims of fault are involved, like a witness statement in a police report that does not correctly relate the facts as you perceive them, a dashcam could be the deciding factor that ensures fault is correctly distributed. 

Aside from crashes and accidents, dash cams can also save you from traffic tickets. If police issue you a speeding ticket, your GPS-enabled dash cam will be valuable in demonstrating the speed you were actually traveling, which could potentially save you from adding points to your drivers license.

Don’t wait until a crash happens to get stressed out and wish that you had a dashcam in the first place. If you feel they’re valuable, buy a dashcam as soon as possible. It might just save you a lot of headache later on. 

Contact Us

If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a car accident, we’re ready to be the experience on your side. Call us for a FREE consultation with an experienced Columbus Ohio personal injury attorney from Tompkins Selph & Associates. Call today at (614)-453-0971.

Summer Accidents Rates Soar

Summer Months are the Deadliest for Teenage Drivers

Our Columbus legal team reveals how bad the problem is in Ohio. Car accidents caused by teenagers in Ohio are a serious problem throughout the year. But the summer months, in particular, can be especially dreaded, according to several studies focused on crashes caused by young drivers. 

How Dangerous is Summer for Teen Drivers?

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers 15 to 18 years old, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Each year, more than 2,000 teenagers in that age group die in motor vehicle accidents nationwide. The problem is just as bad in Ohio. While only 4% of drivers in Ohio are teenagers, they account for 15% of all motor vehicle accidents, according to the Ohio Highway Safety Office. “Getting behind the wheel is a huge responsibility.” Governor DeWine stated in an interview with FOX 55 News. “To prevent senseless tragedies and save lives, teen driver safety education will continue to be one of the Ohio State Patrol’s main priorities.” And while car accidents caused by teenagers can happen at any time, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is especially deadly among teen drivers. That’s why AAA refers to this times of year as the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer”

Each year, 30% of deaths caused by teen drivers happen during the summer. Between 2010 and 2019, more than 7,000 people died in a motor vehicle accident involving teen drivers nationwide, according to AAA.

Why Are There More Teen Accidents in Summer? 

There are many reasons why there are more accidents during the summer months caused by teen drivers. Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of traffic safety advocacy and research, said one reason why is “teens tend to have more unconstructed time behind the wheel” during the summer. 

Distracted Driving

About 60% of accidents involving teenage drivers involve distracted driving. Cellphones are a common distraction. However the biggest distraction in the teenage vehicle is other teenagers in the vehicle. The odds of an accident being caused by a teen driver double if another teen passenger is in the vehicle. If there are two or more teen passengers in the car the driver is three times more likely to be in an accident according to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institution. 

Seat Belts

Roughly 60% of teen drivers killed in car accidents were not wearing seatbelts, according to one study cited by AAA. That’s probably because seatbelt usage among teenagers is lowest compared to all other groups according to the Center for Disease control. 


Speed is a factor of nearly 30% of motor vehicle accidents involving teenage drivers.

The CDC has identified several other reasons why accidents caused by teen drivers are more common than the rest, such reasons include

  • Driver Inexperience, many teen drivers cannot accurately assess the certain risks of situations on the road due to inexperience, so they are more likely to take regrettable action.
  • Driving at Night, approximately 40% of teen driving deaths occur at night.
  • Drunk Driving, Even though teenagers cannot legally drink, 24% of teenagers who caused fatal accidents were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. 

What Should a Driver Do in an Accident?

If you have been involved in an accident caused by another driver, it’s critical you take certain steps to protect your health and rights. Such steps are as followed:

  • Call the police and ask them to respond to your accident. That way, you will have an official accident report for your crash and there will be no doubt later about exactly what happened.
  • Ask the police to send an ambulance if you or anyone else looks to be seriously injured. Do not try to diagnose yourself, leave it to the medical professionals.
  • Get the other driver’s full name, address, drivers license number, and insurance information.
  • If possible take photos of your accident before the vehicles are moved. Make sure to take photographs of the points of impact, crash debris, nearby traffic signs and anything else that might be significant to your crash.
  • If someone saw your accident, make sure to get their full name and the best phone number to reach them. Impartial eyewitness statements can be very powerful pieces of evidence in support of your claim.
  • Do not discuss the accident with the other driver. Anything you say (even something as simple as “I’m sorry”) could later be used against you. 
  • Schedule a follow up appointment with your doctor. Many accident injuries, including whiplash and concussions take several days to develop. Make sure you have a doctor examine you and diagnose exactly what is wrong. 
  • Call your insurance company and tell them you have been injured in an accident caused by another driver. 
  • Do not talk to the other driver’s insurance company if they contact you. You do not have to talk to them, no matter what they might claim. Anything you say will be put into writing and possibly used against you to claim you at fault. 
  • If the other driver’s insurance company contacts you and makes a settlement offer, carefully consider it before you agree or disagree. Once you accept a settlement offer, you cannot ask for additional money in the future, even if accident related expenses go up significantly due to unexpected medical bills, lost future income or other reasons. Insurance companies know this and often make lowball settlement offers to injury victims that don’t cover all their expenses.
  • Contact a Personal Injury Attorney as soon as possible after your accident. The sooner you speak with an attorney and learn about your different legal avenues and options the better off you are.

Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

Having an experienced attorney on your side after an accident can often make a dramatic difference in the outcome of your case. Instead of insurance companies dictating what happens next, you can demand the attention you deserve and be fairly compensated for your accident related expenses.  The dedicated legal team will guide you every step of the way. We have years of experience dealing with car accident claims and as a result we can fight for you and get you the money you rightfully deserve.

Learn more how we can help you with your accident by contacting our law office in Dublin Ohio for a FREE case evaluation right now (614)-453-0971. 

Understanding Personal Injury Basic Terms

Basic Terms

When navigating the unknown, such as personal injury law, it is important to be aware of the simple vocabulary terms to assist in understanding before beginning any sort of endeavor. 

Here are some basic terms and essential vocabulary for terms in personal injury law:

Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is the period of time (set by law) in which you may file suit claiming damages. The statute of limitations can vary from case to case depending on circumstances and can vary from as little as one year to as long as ten or more civil suits. 


Negligence is a tort arising from carelessness or the failure to act with reasonable care when such conduct causes damage to a person or property of another. 

Burden of Proof

The burden of proof refers to the plaintiff’s obligation to prove his or her allegations to be true, or at least more likely true than not.


Damages are what a plaintiff is seeking to recover in a lawsuit. In a personal injury suit, damages equals money. Damages are separated into two categories, economic damages and non economic damages.  

Contributory Negligence 

Although the statute still refers to it as contributory fault, the test applied is generally known as “comparative negligence”. In simple terms, the current Ohio law allows an injured person to recover damages if he or she was not more than 50% responsible for the event that caused injury. 

No Fault

No fault is a legal theory most commonly applied in auto accident personal injury cases. States that have adopted no fault laws require that every auto owner carry a minimum amount of personal injury protection (PIP) insurance.

In the event of damages caused by an auto accident, the injured party collects from their own insurance company rather than filing a lawsuit. 

How Tompkins Selph & Associates Can Help You?
Personal injury cases can range from minor accidents to fatalities. These cases may be difficult to navigate and are time intensive when working to reach a settlement. You don’t have to navigate this alone. Tompkins Selph & Associates is here for you to help gather medical information, request records, negotiate with insurance companies and reach a settlement to get your money in your hands. We will take your case to litigation if necessary. If your accident happened in or around Ohio our team is willing and able to help you. We will work with you in person or remotely over the phone whatever you prefer. We are located at 6047 Frantz Road Suite 101 Dublin, Ohio 43017. Give us a call today for a FREE case consultation 614-453-0971.

The Most Common Personal Injury Cases

Personal Injury Cases

Many kinds of incidents could lead to Personal Injury claims, here are a few of the most common. Personal Injury law also known as “tort” law lets an injured person get compensation for someone else’s wrongful conduct or negligent actions that caused harm. There are a variety of situations that can give someone a valid personal injury claim, but remember that an injury does not automatically result in legal liability. Let’s look at some of the most common personal injury cases. 

Car Accident Cases

Car accidents are the most common personal injury cases in the United States. When an accident happens, usually it is because someone isn’t following the rules of the road, or isn’t driving as carefully as they should be. A careless driver will usually be held financially responsible for injuries stemming from their car accident. Exceptions do exist in the dozen or so “no fault” states, where drivers have to collect from their own insurance except in cases with more “serious” damages. 

Slip and Fall Cases

Slip and fall claims are another common type of personal injury case. Property owners have the legal duty to keep their premises reasonably safe and free of hazards, so that people who are on the property do not become injured. Of course, not all injuries that occur on the property will lead to liability. The exact nature of the landowners legal duties vary depending on the situation and according to the law in place in the state where the injury occurred. 

Medical Malpractice

A medical malpractice claim can arise when a doctor or other health care professional provides treatment that fails below the appropriate medical standard of care, and a patient is injured as a result. But it’s important to keep in mind that getting a bad result in treatment doesn’t mean malpractice occurred, this is why medical malpractice lawsuits are often much harder to win in the court of law than other more common personal injury cases. 

Defamation: Libel or Slander

Defamation is a form of libel or slander that refers to the injury of a person’s reputation as a result of untrue statements. The exact nature of what a defamation plaintiff must prove will vary on who the plaintiff is, and the forum where the statement was made. The average person usually needs to prove that an untrue negative statement was made and the actual harm or financial loss came from it. Celebrities or public figures on the other hand usually have to prove “actual malice”. This means they need to prove that the untrue statement was made intentionally with reckless disregard for truth. 

Dog Bites

In most cases, the owner of the dog is financially responsible for bites and other injuries caused by the animal. The exact law varies from state to state, though in some cases, strict liability rules exist and the dog owner is going to be liable even if the dog has never shown any aggression or tendency to bite in the past. In other states the “one bite” rule exists, in which the owner only becomes responsible for personal injury damages once there is a reason for those dog owners to know their dog is aggressive or prone to bite.

Assault Battery and Other Intentional Torts

Unlike most other types of personal injury claims, intentional torts are not based on accidents caused by negligence or carelessness, but rather when one person harms or injures another on purpose. These cases can involve the added aspect of criminal charges against the perpetrator. For example when someone physically attacks another they can look at facing assault charges, battery etc. Additionally the victim can file a personal injury case in the court of claims and demand compensation for their injuries and liabilities now because of the incident

Personal Injury Animal Attack Cases

5 Animal Attack Stories

Misbehaving animals can cause tremendous damage, it seems like there is a national news story every few months, while the media only tends to report the most serious events, including incidents that occur in the public spaces of zoos and parks, bites from dogs usually occur far more frequently than other pets. Even if these bites don’t result in death, these events can have very serious after effects and implications that linger for months or even a few years. The following examples have all resulted in either death or serious injury that produced hefty payouts as a result. 

  • Pittsburgh Zoo’s African Painted Dogs Mauling

In 2012, a toddler fell into an African painted dog habitat at the Pittsburgh Zoo and subsequently died in a brutal attack from the animals. Although the lawsuit filed by the parents is ongoing, the zoo has already been forced to pay about $5,000 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of a settlement for a criminal investigation. This is likely to increase the chance the zoo will be found liable in the parents’ suit.

  •  Maine Dog Bite Case

A man who was pursued and mauled by a Rottweiler, successfully secured a $175,000 verdict after rejecting a far smaller settlement offer from the dog owner’s attorney. Despite a relatively small medical bill, he successfully argued the incident left him psychologically scarred. 

  • New York Dog Bite Case

A similar animal attack involving a pit bull attack in New York State produced a verdict of nearly $250,000. While the injuries weren’t extensive, the attack dramatically affected the victims wellbeing. The jury agreed that such mental trauma had to be taken into account. 

  • Massive Pit Bull Attack Case

A much more serious pit bull attack in Missouri resulted in a total payout of more than $7 million. Much of this was because of a $500,000 medical bill and more than $1 million dollars in loss of future income.

  • San Francisco Zoo’s Siberian Tiger Rampage 

In this 2007 incident, one person was killed and two others seriously injured in a tiger mauling at the San Francisco Zoo. In 2009, the family of the deceased individual settled with the zoo for an undisclosed amount of money that was reported to be an excess of $1 million dollars the two survivors received payments of 900,000.

We hope that you and your loved ones will never have to experience something as terrible as an animal attack first hand. Even non-fatal attacks can be very traumatic experiences that take years to fade. Many of these incidents produce long lasting effects, including serious infections and psychological scars. If you do find yourself dealing with the aftermath of one of these tragic events, we can offer support and guidance in this difficult time. To consult with one of our personal injury attorneys contact us today for a FREE consultation at 614-453-0971.

The Strangest Lawsuits of All Time

Many of us have heard of people slipping and falling or finding a piece of metal in their food at the restaurant and cashing out big on someone else’s dime. However you would be surprised to the extent that some of these cases stretch to. That being said, here is a compiled list of some of the craziest cases ever.

Subway Sandwich Lawsuit

A man found a 7 inch serrated plastic knife baked into his subway sandwich and decided to sue the company for damages. He filed a $1 million lawsuit, he also said he contracted food poisoning from the sandwich, leading to severe stomach aches. The personal injury claim was settled.

The Weatherman Was Wrong

This case demonstrates there are no limits when it comes to personal injury claims. An Israeli woman sued the weatherman from an Israeli television channel because he didn’t predict the weather correctly. He had reported good weather, but it rained.

According to the plaintiff, as a result of the weather report, she didn’t dress correctly and suffered the flu. She sued for $1,000 compensation for missing a week of work and the money she spent on medication. She won the case against the TV station and got her damages paid for.  

The Wrong Idea about Killer Whales

A man’s dream was to swim beside a killer whale… and it went so wrong. He managed to remain behind after Sea World closed for the day by hiding from the security guards. When all was quiet, he entered the tank of the Orca’s but was killed by the whale. 

His parents sued SeaWorld for not publicly warning people that killer whales can kill people. They also accused Sea World of presenting killer whales as friendly creatures by selling stuffed whales in the gift shop. 

Underwear Injuries

A visit to a Los Angeles branch of Victoria Secret turned into a nightmare for one customer. The incident happened in 2008 when a woman was trying on a pair of panties. A metal piece holding a rhinestone heart in place flew off and struck her in the eye. The woman, a traffic officer by vocation, suffered a cut cornea treated with topical steroid. Her attorney filed a liability lawsuit seeking undetermined damages for the sudden shocking, and painful incident that left her with severe injury.

A Frightening Experience

After a visit to the Haunted House of Horrors at Universal Studios in Florida, a woman sued them for psychological trauma. She claims she was chased with a chainsaw, albeit de-fanged, by one of the actors dressed like a werewolf and fell. She sued not only the actor but everyone that was involved at the venue. She had no injuries from her fall, and subsequently, the court dismissed her injury claim. Psychological trauma, the court ruled, can be expected when visiting the Haunted House of Horrors. 

Explosive Bathroom Moments

Using the Flushmate III toilet proved explosive for many of its users, and the reason had nothing to do with what they had eaten. A manufacturing error was the cause of these explosions, and many people were injured. Legal teams managed to get $5 million for the injured parties. 

Lost Pants Cause Mental Suffering 

When a client took his pants to a Washington DC dry cleaner, he never imagined he would never see them again. He sued them for $54 million when they lost his pants because the company did not meet their “Satisfaction Guaranteed” promise displayed in their store. He also claimed the lost pants caused him mental suffering. Unfortunately for him, he lost the case. 

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Wherever Allen Heckard went, he was mistaken for the famous basketball star, Michael Jordan. The confusion caused him emotional issues, and he filed a personal injury claim against Michael Jordan and Nike. There was no resemblance with the sports star and the claim was dropped. 

Hunter is Hunted

A lion mauled during a big game hunting safari in Africa decided to sue the ammunition manufacturer, Federal Cartridge Co. The plaintiff was seriously injured when the bullet he fired at the charging lion failed to stop the animal after hitting it in its shoulder. The angry lion attacked and mauled the hunter. A federal court dismissed the case. 

Sheep Make Good Companions

A couple in Massachusetts wanted compensation because they suffered emotional distress and loss of companionship after losing seven sheep to the neighbors’ violent dogs. The damages sought by the plaintiffs amounted to $140,000, but the court ruled for the monetary value of the sheep to be stated. The couple did not cooperate and eventually were rewarded $1 because they couldn’t produce evidence of their value. 

Man Wants to Legally Change His Age

A 69 year old Dutchman wanted to legally change his age in order to avoid ageism. Emile Ratelband claimed he felt discriminated against because his real age was affecting his job prospects as well as his chances of success on Tinder, a popular dating app. The judge explained that many rights and obligations are age based, and that changing the legal age could cause many legal implications. The plaintiff ended up losing the case. 

Woman Shocked Jelly Beans Contain Sugar

Sugar has 61 different names, so it stands to reason some people may not recognize the ingredient when reading a nutrition label. This happened to a California woman, who sued jelly bean maker “Jelly Bean” for using the term “evaporated cane juice” instead of the word “sugar” in its food label. Jessica Gomez of San Bernardino County alleged fraud, claiming the company was misleading consumers about how much sugar the snack actually contained, even though the total grams of sugar per serving was clearly displayed. The case was dismissed.

Man Sues Date for Being on Her Phone

Many people have a story about a date gone wrong, but most would forget about the whole ordeal as soon as it’s over and move on. However, a 37 year old from Austin Texas, could not let go of his bad date. He was so offended that the date spent the time they were at the movies watching “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2” texting on her phone. He claimed her behavior was breaking theater rules and affected his movie watching experience. She agreed to pay him $17.31 for her cinema ticket if he left her alone. Soon he withdrew the lawsuit.

Footlong Sandwich is Not A Foot Long

It started in 2013, when a teenager measured his Subway footlong sandwich. It turned out to be only 11 inches, an inch too short. Fast forward three years, and the company was settling a class action lawsuit in court, promising to make its rolls 12 inches. The only people to benefit from the lawsuit were the attorneys, who were about to receive 520,000 in fees. The judge agreed with activist and legal writer Theodore Frank that this was not fair and dismissed the settlement and the entire case. 

Empty Space in Junior Mints Box

Biola Daniel and Abel Duran of New York and Trekeela Perkins from Mississippi believe Tootsie Roll Industries Inc. tricked people by underfilling Junior Mints boxes. They sued the company because more than a third of the mints box was empty. The judge who dismissed the case wrote a 44 page decision that a reasonable customer can expect some empty space. 

Red Bull Doesn’t Give You Wings

Red Bull’s famous slogan “Red Bull gives you wings: got the company in some trouble. A class action accused the company of having misleading ads and making false claims. Plaintiffs said the energy drink did not give people wings figuratively speaking, that is, they didn’t feel energized. They said the company lacks evidence to claim the beverage could improve one’s focus. Red Bull settled out of court and agreed to pay $640,000.

Is a Firefighters Fear of Fire a Disability?

Shayn Proler from the Houston Fire Department is afraid of fire. He was reassigned to an office position so he would not have to come in direct contact with what scared him, but he wanted to remain in his former job in the fire suppression unit. He claimed his fear was a disability and that he was discriminated against because of said disability. His case made it to the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled there was no evidence Proler was discriminated against on account of a disability. 

Kidnapper Sues Hostages For Escaping

Jesse Dimmick, a fugitive facing a murder charge, kidnapped a Kansas couple in September 2009. At some point he fell asleep and they escaped. Theysued Dimmick for over $75,000 in damages; his response was to countersue for breach of contract. He claimed the couple had a legally binding oral agreement for them to hide him from the police. His case was dismissed. 

Husband Sues Wife Over Ugly Baby 

Boy meets a pretty girl, the boy marries this girl, they end up having a kid together. However this tale does not have such a happy ending. Jian Feng from China saw his newborn daughter and asked why she was “incredibly ugly” and did not look like either parent. He accused his wife of cheating on him. At that point, she admitted she had several plastic surgeries before they had met. He sued her on the grounds of false pretenses, claiming she misled him by hiding her cosmetic surgery history. He won the case, and his wife was made to pay him more than $120,000.

Sleeping Student Sues School

The parents of Danbury High School student Vinicios Robacher said their son suffered hearing loss after one of his teachers slammed her hand on his desk to wake him up during math class. The family sued the school and the school board as well as the city. But apparently the case fell on deaf ears and was dismissed. 

Uber Ruins Marriages?

A French businessman sued Uber for $48 million, claiming that a flaw in the ride sharing company’s app played a role in the dissolution of his marriage. The businessman said he borrowed his wife’s phone and used it to log into the Uber App. He claimed a glitch in the app caused it to continue sending notifications of his whereabouts to his wife’s phone even after he logged off, and apparently some of his movements caused a problem with his wife and their marriage ended in a divorce. The result of the suit is unknown. 

Strategy In Personal Injury Settlements

Tips for Getting The Best Personal Injury Settlement 

Devise your best strategy for negotiating a personal injury settlement after any kind of accident. 

  • Have a Specific Settlement Amount in Mind

In putting together your personal injury settlement demand letter, you figured out a range of what you believe your claim is worth. Before you speak to an insurance adjuster about your demand, decide on a minimum settlement figure you would accept within that range. This figure is for your own information, not something you would reveal to any adjustor. But before the offers and counter offers start going back and forth, it helps if you already have your bottom line in mind.

Remember, you don’t have to cling to the figure you originally set for yourself. If the adjustor points out facts that you had not considered but which clearly makes your claim weaker, you may have to lower your minimum figure somewhat. And if the adjuster starts off with a low settlement, or if you discover evidence that makes your claim stronger, you may want to revise upward. 

  • Do Not Jump At The First Offer

Its standard practice for insurance adjusters to begin negotiations by first offering a very low amount. With this tactic, the adjuster is trying to find out whether you understand what your claim is worth, and YouTube patience. 

When the first offer is made, your response should depend on whether it’s reasonable but too low, or so low that it’s clearly a tactic to see if you know what you are doing. If the offer is reasonable, you can make a counteroffer. This shows the adjustor you are being reasonable as well as willing to compromise. A little bargaining should quickly get you to a final settlement amount you both think is fair. In these negotiations, don’t bother to go over the entirety of your case again. Just emphasize the strongest points in your favor for example that the incident was not your fault and the insured is completely at fault. 

  • Get The Adjustor To Justify A Low Offer

If in your first conversation, the adjuster makes an offer so low that it’s obviously a negotiating tactic to see if you know what your claim is worth, do not immediately lower the amount you are willing to accept . Instead ask the adjustor the reasons the offer is so low. Make notes of the conversation. Then write a brief letter responding to each of the factors the adjustor mentioned. Depending on the strength of the adjuster’s reasons, you can lower your demand slightly, but wait to see whether the adjuster will budge. 

The next time you speak to the adjustor, begin by asking for a response to your reply letter. The adjuster should now make a reasonable fair and final settlement figure. 

  • Emphasize Emotional Points in Your Favor

During negotiations, mention any emotional points supporting your claim. If, for example, you have sent the adjustor a particularly strong photo of a smashed car or a severe looking injury, refer to it. If there was a bottle of beer found in the other driver’s car, refer to the possibility of alcohol use. If similar accidents had occurred in a similar way at that location, remind the adjustor. If your injury interfered with your ability to care for your child, mention that your child suffered as a result. Even though there is no way to put a dollar amount on these values, these factors can be very powerful in getting an insurance company to settle for more on an accident claim. 

  • Wait For a Response

Do not reduce your demand more than once until you have a new offer from the adjustor. Never reduce your demand twice without an intervening offer from the adjustor, it simply is not a good bargaining tactic. 

If the adjuster comes up with more reason for a low offer, go over each one. Once you have dealt with all the adjuster’s arguments, you will either get a reasonable offer, or you will have found out that no reasonable offer is coming and you will have to try to put some additional pressure on the insurance company. 

  • Know When To Engage an Attorney

If at some point you feel negotiations are not going as you’d hoped for, you should consider talking to an experienced personal injury attorney, especially if

  • You are demanding compensation for serious injuries, pain and suffering beyond a few thousand dollars. An insurance adjuster is unlikely to take an unrepresented claimant seriously when damages add up to tens of thousands of dollars or more.
  • You are seeking future damages. If you are claiming lost future income or costs of medical expenses you’ll need later on down the road, you may want an attorney to be able to work towards that settlement much more effectively. 
  • There is a question of fault. If there is some question as to who was at fault for the underlying accident, you may need an attorney to properly craft your argument. 
  • Put the Settlement in Writing

When you and the adjustor finally agree on a number, it would be wise to seek counsel again from an experienced attorney if you have not already done so. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney will most likely increase the settlement amount you are able to be compensated for in the end, compared to you trying to represent yourself. Insurance companies are always looking to pay out the least amount possible for your damages, they are not a charity. Hiring a personal injury attorney is in your best interest because they will take care of all of the paperwork, agreements and other legal issues in your case. Oftentimes in car accident cases your attorney will be able to get you a rental car and other benefits. Call us today for a free consultation. 614-453-0971.

How a Personal Injury Claim Works

Learning the Basics of Personal Injury Law

Start to get a sense of what personal injury means and the key elements of these kinds of cases. 

Personal injury law also known as “tort” law allows an injured person to file a civil lawsuit in court and get legal remedy for all of the losses stemming from an accident or other incident. 

The purpose of the personal injury system is to allow the injured person to be financially compensated or “made whole” after he or she has suffered harm due to someone else’s negligent or intentional conduct. 

In this article we shall:

  • Cover the basics of Personal Injury Law
  • Discuss where Personal Injury Law comes from
  • Explain how a typical Personal Injury case works

The Basics of Personal Injury

There are a wide variety of different situations where personal injury rules apply:

Accidents- Personal Injury rules apply in situations where someone acts in a negligent manner, and that carelessness causes harm to another person. Examples include car accidents, slip and fall incidents, and medical malpractice, among other types of cases. 

Intentional Acts- Personal injury laws apply in situations where a defendant’s intentional conduct causes harm to another person. Examples of this include assault and battery, and other intentional torts. 

Defective Products- When a vehicle component, consumer product, medical device, pharmaceutical, or other product is defective or unreasonably dangerous, anyone harmed by use of the product might be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. 

Defamation- Personal injury laws apply when one person’s defamatory statement causes harm to another. Defamation is the oral or written communication of a false statement about another to unjustly harm their reputation. 

Who Makes Personal Injury Laws?

Many personal injury laws date back to old “common law rules”. Common law refers to law made by judges, as opposed to laws made by legislature or passed in bills and statutes. 

When a judge hears and decides a case, their decision on that issue of law becomes binding precedent on all other courts in the state that are “lower” than the deciding judge’s court. These other courts then have to apply what the first judge said, and eventually, all of this binding precedent creates a body of “common law.”

Common law can and does differ from state to state, so the rules for personal injury law may not be uniform across the country. Much of the common law has been collected into something called the Restatement of Torts, which is a sort of guide book that explains what the rules are, and a lot of states draw guidance from this on personal injury matters.

Common law is not the only source of personal injury law. Legislatures have passed statues (laws) that touch on personal injury issues. For example, when the legislature passed workers compensation laws, they essentially took all instances of work related injuries outside the realm of personal injury and made workers compensation the exclusive remedy for injured workers (in most cases precluding injury related lawsuits against employers). 

Another state law that comes into play in injury cases is the statute of limitations, which sets a limit on the amount of time you have to file an injury related lawsuit in your state’s civil court system. Call Tompkins Selph & Associates today at 614-453-0971 to learn more about the statute of limitations on your possible case. 

How Does a Personal Injury Case Work?

No two accidents are the same, so no two personal injury cases will follow the same path. But there are some standard steps that most personal injury cases take, from a big picture standpoint.

Defendant Does Something to Injure Plaintiff

This can be almost any bad act on the part of the defendant, with the exception of contractual breaches, which are handled under a separate body of legislation known as “contract law.”

Plaintiff Determines that Defendant Breached a Legal Duty

The specific legal duty is going to depend on the situation in which the injury occurred. For example, drivers have a duty to operate their vehicles with the level of care that a reasonable person would exhibit while on the road. Doctors have a legal duty to treat a patient in accordance with the applicable medical standard of care. Manufacturers and distributors have a duty not to put defective or unreasonably dangerous products on the market. 

Settlement Talks Occur

If it is clear to all involved that the defendant breached a legal duty, then the defendant (or the insurance company representing him or her) may wish to settle outside of court. This would involve making an offer of monetary compensation to the injured person, in exchange for the injured person’s binding promise not to file a lawsuit over the injury.  

If a plaintiff agrees to a settlement, the case ends. If not, the plaintiff may go to court and file a personal injury lawsuit over the matter. Settlement negotiations can also continue once the lawsuit is filed, and a settlement can be reached at any time prior to the civil case being handed over to the jury for finding as to the defendant’s liability. 

If you’re thinking about filing a personal injury case after any kind of accident or incident, your best first step might be discussing your situations (and your options) with an experienced personal injury attorney. Get tips and free consultations from Tompkins Selph & Associates today. (614)-453-0971.

Crazy Personal Injury Cases

The 3 Strangest Personal Injury Cases in History

We’ve all heard of them. The outrageous personal injury cases that make news headlines. As funny as some of these cases may seem, you’d be surprised to know these cases are based on actual law.

Despite the fact that some of the claims are ridiculous, these plaintiffs actually received a lot of money. They found a lawyer to take their case and file a lawsuit. Surprisingly, the four plaintiffs in this article actually won their cases. 

Reading about these cases may be entertaining. But it also shows you how particular the letter of the law can be. If you’ve been in any sort of accident in Ohio, you may have a valid claim against the responsible parties and be due financial compensation for your damages. 

A personal injury attorney will meet with you during your initial consultation. If he thinks you may have a valid claim, he’ll agree to represent you. Lawyers don’t take cases that aren’t legitimate. They don’t want to spend hours or months working on a case that doesn’t have a shot at winning. 

Here is a look at 3 of the most shocking personal injury claims…

Lieback v. McDonald’s

Most people have heard of the famous McDonald’s case where the woman sued over a cup of hot coffee. Stella Lieback was a 79 year old woman who went through the McDonald’s drive thru. She was a passenger in the back seat. She ordered a coffee. She put the coffee between her knees so she could open it. The coffee was so hot, the cup melted, causing her to suffer 3rd degree burns to her private area. 

Ms Lieback sued McDonalds for her injuries. She initially said she would settle for $20,000. McDonalds offered her $8,000. Her personal injury attorney decided to take the case to trial. The jury awarded her $200,000, and since the jury found she was 20% at fault, she only received $160,000.

However, since McDonald’s was well aware their coffee was too hot. There had been 700 people hurt in previous scalding incidents. Therefore, the jury ordered McDonald’s to pay the plaintiff an additional $2.7 million as a punishment! The punitive damages award was later reduced by the court to $480,000.

So a woman was burned by hot coffee and walked away with $640,000… The court based the award around the fact McDonald’s knew their coffee was likely to burn people and did nothing about it. 

The Trapped Burglar

A man named Terrance Dickinson broke into someone’s home with the intention of robbing them. Once in the garage, he realized the doors were all locked and he couldn’t get out. The automatic garage door isn’t working either so he was trapped in the garage. 

The homeowners were out of town and didn’t come home until more than a week later. So for 8 days, Dickinson was trapped inside that garage. He had nothing to survive on except for dog food and Pepsi.

When the family came home 8 days later, they found the burglar in their garage. He was arrested. But in a strange twist of fate, Dickinson sued the homeowner for being trapped. The court actually found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded him $500,000.

This case is complained about all the time. Experienced attorneys simply can’t imagine why a homeowner would be ordered to pay damages to someone that broke into their house. 

Botched Suicide in NYC

This case is the most outrageous of them all… A woman in New York City wanted to kill herself. So she laid down on the train tracks of the New York City subway system. Her plan was to get run over by the train so she would die.

Good (or bad) for her, the train ran her over but didn’t kill her. She suffered serious injuries but she lived. Rather than be thankful she survived, she decided to sue the city of New York. 

What is even more shocking is the court actually ruled in her favor. They awarded her 14.1 million for her injuries. So a suicidal woman who attempted to kill herself ended up making the City of New York pay out over $14 million for her botched suicide attempt. 

Call Us to Discuss Your Possible Case

If you have suffered a personal injury in Ohio. you are better off seeking the guidance and professional counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney. 

Attorneys do not accept cases that they don’t think have a shot at winning in the end. But as you see some crazy situations have ended up in millions of dollars paid out for damages to some lucky people. Call us today at (614)-453-0971.