Wrongful Death

Ohio Wrongful Death Statute Overview

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There is nothing easy about coping with the death of a loved one, regardless of the circumstances. If you believe your loved one’s death was caused by the negligence of another person or company, you may want to learn more about the Ohio wrongful death statute to understand your options for recovery. Though no amount of compensation can alleviate your grief, it can help reduce the financial and emotional hardship of your loss.  Ohio Wrongful Death Statute The Ohio wrongful death statute is found under Ohio Revised Statute Section 2125. These claims are brought in civil court. To have a valid claim under the Ohio wrongful death statute, the death must have been caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another person or party.  Wrongful act: Often considered an intentional act of violence such as assault.  Negligence: A duty of care was owed. Breach of that duty caused the action that resulted in death.  Default: Someone failed to do something they were required to do. Their failure resulted in the death. Wrongful death claims are very similar to personal injury claims and contain many of the same elements when it comes to the burden of proof and available remedies. Who Can Bring an Ohio Wrongful Death Claim? Under the Ohio Wrongful Death Statute, the personal representative of the estate can file a lawsuit. The probate court will appoint a representative if one does not exist. This representative has to be an actual person and cannot be an entity such as a corporation. The representative can bring a claim for both the estate and the family members of the deceased.  Who Can Receive Compensation? The Ohio wrongful death statute presumes that certain family members will have suffered losses in relation to the deceased. These family members include: The surviving spouse, The surviving parents, and The surviving children, including biological and adopted children. Several other states allow siblings and other next of kin to be automatically eligible for compensation. Next of kin in Ohio must prove to the court that they are entitled to relief. What Type of Compensation Is Available? Under the Ohio Wrongful Death Statute, beneficiaries may be entitled to compensation for financial loss and pain and suffering. These damages may include: Loss of future earnings from the decedent; Funeral and burial costs; Medical expenses incurred prior to death and related to the cause of death; Loss of services such as help with raising children, chores, and other tasks; Loss of companionship and all other relational aspects of having the decedent around to share life; Loss of prospective inheritance; and Mental anguish and stress incurred by surviving family members. If all surviving family members are related by the same degree, the compensation will be split evenly. Otherwise, the court will make a decision on how funds are divided. Ohio Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations In Ohio, the representative of the deceased has up to two years from the time of death to file a wrongful death claim. If it was unknown that the death was caused by a wrongful act, the representative has two years from the time the wrongful or negligent act became known.  Though two years may seem like an adequate amount of time, it is important to file a claim as soon as you are comfortable. This will make it easier to obtain the necessary evidence to benefit your case. How Can a Wrongful Death Attorney Help? Trying to cope with the loss of a loved one while simultaneously navigating the court system is sure to be stressful and overwhelming. An experienced Ohio wrongful death attorney will be able to guide you through the process from start to finish. Here are some of the ways an attorney can be beneficial: Evaluate the merits of your case so you can be assured that you are doing the right thing by filing a claim; File the proper paperwork, and follow all necessary and timely legal procedures so you don’t have to worry about them; Conduct a full and thorough investigation into the wrongful death claim to gather evidence for your case; Negotiate with insurance companies for appropriate compensation; Determine how much compensation beneficiaries should receive for the death of their loved one; and  Prepare and conduct trial proceedings should the need arise.  You don’t have to do this alone. Choose experienced and compassionate guidance to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact Aaron Bensinger for a free consultation.

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Personal Injury

Ohio Punitive Damages Quick Facts

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If you have been injured or suffered a loss because of the negligent actions of another, you may be eligible for compensation. The type of damages you are able to recover will depend on the unique circumstances of your situation. Ohio punitive damages may be available based on the actions of the person or entity responsible for the injury. What Are Punitive Damages? The purpose of punitive damages is not to compensate you for your injury; it is to deter or “punish” the defendant for their reckless action in an effort to keep them from doing it again. It helps set an example that the wrongful behavior will result in financial hardship. Punitive damages are also referred to as “exemplary damages.” How Are Ohio Punitive Damages Awarded? Punitive damages are not awarded if there are no compensatory damages. The first step is for your attorney to make a case for compensatory damages as a remedy for your injury or loss. Compensatory damages can consist of both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages provide compensation for all expenses related to the injury. These may include: Medical bills, Physical therapy, Property damage, Cost of care, Loss of wage, and Loss of potential earnings. Non-economic damages pertain to the mental and emotional components of the injury. Non-economic damages may include: Pain and suffering, Depression, Anxiety, Post traumatic stress, and Loss of consortium. Both of these forms of compensatory damages focus on compensating you, as opposed to punishing the defendant.  Once the argument has been made for compensatory damages and they are awarded by a judge or jury, your attorney can argue for punitive damages.  Who Is Entitled to Punitive Damages? All personal injury cases require negligence on the part of the defendant for there to be a valid claim. In some cases, the negligence was completely unintentional. Under those circumstances, it is unlikely that the defendant would be liable for punitive damages.  Ohio punitive damages require a level of intent on the part of the defendant. According to Ohio punitive damages law under Ohio Revised Code 2315.21 (effective 4/15/2021), to receive punitive damages, the defendant must have: Acted with malice or aggravated or egregious fraud; or Knowingly authorized, participated in, or ratified the action or omission that caused the injury.  Again, if a person made an honest mistake, they are still liable for compensatory damages but would not owe punitive damages.  Cap on Ohio Punitive Damages The Ohio legal system places caps on the amount of punitive damages that can be awarded. Punitive damages cannot equal more than twice the amount of compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiff.  If the defendant is a small business employer or an individual, they are unlikely to have the same amount of assets as a big corporation. For these defendants, the punitive damages cannot exceed 10% of their net worth up to $350,000 even if twice the amount of compensatory damages is more than that. Attorney fees awarded for a punitive damage claim do not count against the capped amount.  How to Receive Punitive Damages There are some situations where you just know that the defendant deserves to have to pay for their behavior in a meaningful way. Any time that you are harmed due to the negligent action of another, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit. This is the starting point. Navigating the Ohio legal system on your own is going to be difficult, and your chance of success will be greater with the help of an experienced personal injury attorney who can prepare your case. An experienced attorney will be able help you through the following steps: Determine if you have a valid case for personal injury; File the proper paperwork in a timely manner; Conduct an investigation into the negligent action; Gather evidence and testimony; Determine estimated compensation; Prepare for negotiations or trial; Argue your case for compensatory damages; and Argue your case for punitive damages. The team at Bensinger Law strives to understand the individual case and goals of each client. The Bensinger Law team prides itself on creative and efficient solutions to serious legal problems. Contact us today for your free consultation.

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Personal Injury

Ohio Motorcycle Helmet Law

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Ohio Motorcycle Helmet Law  The Ohio helmet laws allow riders to generally make their own decisions. Eye protection is mandatory for everyone, but there are only three circumstances where a motorcycle helmet is required in Ohio. You must wear a helmet if you fall under one of these categories: You are a novice rider, meaning that you have had your motorcycle license for less than one year; You are a rider under the age of 18; or You are a passenger on a motorcycle and the motorcycle operator is a novice or under 18 years old.  An experienced adult rider does not have to wear a helmet under the Ohio motorcycle helmet law.  Why You Should Wear a Motorcycle Helmet Despite the fact that helmets are largely optional according to the Ohio motorcycle helmet law, there are a lot of reasons you should consider wearing one anyway. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were 160 deaths from motorcycle accidents state-wide in 2019.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did a deep dive into motorcycle safety in 2017. It was estimated that helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcycle riders nationally in 2017. The organization found that helmets may be as much as 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries.  Other Ohio Motorcycle Laws Though the Ohio helmet law is not as stringent as other states, there are other safety rules that you must follow when riding a motorcycle.  You have to be seated in the regular seat attached to the bike while it is in motion; You cannot carry a package or anything that would prevent you from keeping one hand on the handlebars;  The handlebars cannot be higher than your shoulders if riding on the highway; and There cannot be more than two motorcycles next to each other in a single lane. Lane splitting is not against the law in Ohio, but you may be cited if you are driving without caution or disobeying other traffic laws.  Motorcycle Accident Injury In some states, not wearing a helmet could make you partially negligent, and this could reduce the amount of compensation you are eligible for. Because Ohio motorcycle helmet laws only require helmets in certain circumstances, it is unlikely to change the outcome of your case. It’s worth noting, however, that most people with loved ones involved in a motorcycle accident case would rather be bringing a claim for personal injury than for wrongful death.  If you are in a motorcycle accident that was caused in part by the negligence of another party, it is important to seek an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. Bensinger Legal Services has extensive experience handling personal injury cases in Ohio and works hard on behalf of every client. Contact Bensinger Law today for your free consultation.

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Personal Injury

Ohio Bridge Law Overview

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In Ohio, “bridge law” refers to a specific set of statutes and regulations applicable to commercial trucks and trailers. These laws, including the Ohio bridge gross weight formula, are designed to protect motorists and others who share the roadway with commercial trucks, as well as help preserve roads, bridges, and infrastructure. If a semi-truck or 18-wheeler violates any of these laws and an injury accident occurs as a result, accident victims may be entitled to pursue a legal claim for their damages. You could be eligible to recover compensation for your medical treatment, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident, an experienced Ohio truck accident lawyer from Bensinger Law can help. What Is the Ohio Bridge Formula? Ohio’s bridge formula is adapted from bridge formula weights established by the U.S. Department of Transportation, a division of the Federal Highway Administration. This formula, originally adopted in 1975, establishes the maximum allowable weight-to-length ratio for motor vehicles when crossing bridges within the U.S. interstate system. Using a highly complex set of mathematical calculations, this formula can be used to determine whether a given motor vehicle is carrying more than the legally allowable weight limit. The calculation is based in part on how many axles the vehicle has and how far apart the axles are spaced. How Does Ohio Bridge Law Affect Truck Accident Victims? For motorists traveling the roadways of Ohio, trucking accidents can pose a significant threat of injury or even death. Large commercial trucks, including 18-wheelers, tractor-trailers, and semi-trucks, are heavy and unwieldy, increasing the potential for collision damage and resulting injuries. Truck accidents also pose a significant legal challenge, especially when compared to collisions involving passenger vehicles. Documenting and building a persuasive truck injury case requires an in-depth knowledge of the laws and regulations that govern the trucking industry. In addition to dealing with the truck driver, accident victims may also have to deal with the trucking company, shipping broker, shipper, and other parties, as well as the respective insurance companies. If the accident occurred due—in whole or in part—to the truck being overloaded or overweight, the bridge formula may lend critical support to your claim. Can an Ohio Bridge Law Calculator Help? You might find bridge weight calculators online and wonder whether these tools could help you in your quest to pursue a legal claim against the truck driver, trucking company, or other at-fault party. Unfortunately, unless you have a reliable means of determining the vehicle’s weight at the time of the accident, a calculator might not provide any real benefit. After a trucking accident, time is of the essence. Contacting an experienced Ohio truck accident attorney as quickly as possible can help ensure the preservation of critical evidence. Your attorney can take the necessary steps immediately to collect evidence from the accident scene, interview witnesses, and obtain other documentation to support your legal claim. Contact an Ohio Truck Accident Lawyer for Help If another party was at fault for your trucking accident, having a personal injury attorney can help in a number of ways. Your attorney can answer your questions and help you explore your options for pursuing a legal claim. In Ohio, Attorney Aaron Bensinger of Bensinger Law assists truck accident victims throughout northwest Ohio, including Shawnee, Findlay, Lima, Elida, Van Worth, and Perry County. Contact us today to learn more about how Ohio bridge law could affect your truck accident and injury claim.

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Wrongful Death

Loss of Consortium in Ohio Quick Facts

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When an individual sustains serious or fatal injuries in an accident caused by someone else, their loved ones also suffer in a variety of tangible ways. In Ohio, loss of consortium claims can provide an effective way to recover compensation for those damages. Whether you have suffered financial, physical, or emotional losses—or a combination of these—you may be entitled to recover compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. Talking to an Ohio personal injury attorney from Bensinger Law can help you get the information and guidance you need to get started with the legal process. What Is Loss of Consortium? Loss of consortium is the legal term used to describe the relationship loss that you experience when a loved one is injured or killed. For example, if your spouse becomes paralyzed following an accident, you may not be able to enjoy the same physical relationship you had before. You may be left with the burden of managing the household on your own, and their accident may also leave them with emotional scars that affect your relationship. Losing a parent can leave a child without guidance, companionship, or affection. When another party’s actions are responsible for your loss, filing a loss of consortium claim can help you hold the at-fault party accountable for their wrongful or negligent actions. Recovering damages can help you get the financial stability you need for your future. Who Can Sue for Loss of Consortium in Ohio? In Ohio, an accident victim’s spouse and children can pursue a loss of consortium claim in most cases. In some cases, parents may be entitled to pursue a claim for the loss of a child. Other family members may have a valid legal basis for pursuing a loss of consortium claim, depending on the extent to which they were dependent upon the victim. In the case of wrongful death, Ohio law requires the appointment of a personal representative of the victim. The personal representative must bring any legal action for the benefit of the surviving spouse, children, or other eligible beneficiaries. What Is the Value of Your Loss of Consortium Claim? The Ohio loss of consortium laws allow victims to pursue legal action to recover compensation for the loss of their loved one’s “loss of society.” This may include some or all of the following elements. Companionship, Care, Assistance, Attention, Protection, Advice, Guidance, Counsel, Instruction, Training, and Education. In the case of a lost or severely injured spouse, you may also be entitled to pursue compensation for the loss of physical and emotional intimacy. Talking to an experienced attorney is the best way to determine which damages you may be eligible to pursue and what the value of your claim might be. How Can an Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer Assist You? Although you do not legally need an attorney to pursue compensation for loss of consortium in Ohio, having an experienced attorney to assist you can be invaluable. Your attorney will handle everything on your behalf, from investigating and documenting your claim to calculating your claim’s value and negotiating with the insurance company. Although most claims can be settled without having to go to court, it’s important to choose an attorney who is ready, willing, and able to file a civil lawsuit if the insurance company will not make a reasonable settlement offer. When you choose Bensinger Law to assist you, we will be there for you throughout the legal process. We handle every aspect of your claim so you can focus on your family and yourself during this challenging time. Contact an Ohio Loss of Consortium Attorney Now No settlement or jury award can undo the damage that’s been done. However, pursuing a legal claim can help you hold the at-fault party accountable and help you get the justice you deserve for your losses. Bensinger Law serves clients with compassion and determination, putting our extensive experience to work for you. In Van Worth, Kenton, Shawnee, Elida, and throughout northwest Ohio, call on us today for a free consultation, or contact us online now to discuss your Ohio loss of consortium claim.

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Personal Injury

Ohio Product Liability Act Overview

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Defective products injure thousands of Americans every year. To hold manufacturers and other liable parties responsible for these defects, both the federal government and the State of Ohio have passed laws relating to product liability. Although product liability technically falls under the personal injury umbrella, the law approaches these claims differently than the average accident. In Ohio, product liability is governed by Ohio Revised Code 2307.71, more commonly known as the Products Liability Act.  Product Liability Statistics The United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) is the federal administrative agency that enforces safety regulations, issues and tracks recalls, and compiles data on product-related injuries and deaths. According to the CSC, product defects result in nearly three million injuries and 22,000 fatalities in America every year. Defective products range from kids toys, to auto parts, to cell phone batteries, and more. But no matter what product causes the injury, liability is determined by Ohio law. Ohio Product Liability Claim Types According to the Ohio Product Liability Act, a product liability claim is a legal action to seek compensation from a manufacturer or supplier of a product that causes the user damage. This damage may be physical injury, death, property damage, or emotional distress, and must be caused by one of the following: Manufacturing defect—a product failure caused in the manufacturing process or assembly, either to the product as a whole or a product component; Design defect—the product functions as intended, but the design is faulty and someone is harmed as a result; Warning defect—injury resulted from insufficient or no warning about the risks of using the product, or from a lack of instructions about how to safely use it; or Breach of warranty—the product fails to adhere to a stated character, quality, or safety standard. All the above are actionable under the Ohio Product Liability Act. What Is the Ohio Statute of Limitations for a Product Liability Claim? All causes of action must be filed before a stated time period elapses, or they will be forever barred. Most personal injury cases in Ohio have a two-year statute of limitations, and the same is true for a products liability claim. The injured party has two years from the date of the injury or damage to personal property to file a lawsuit. There are a few exceptions to this rule where the statute of limitations may be extended, but it is important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as you are able to make sure the statute of limitations won’t prevent your recovery. Contact Bensinger Law About Your Product Liability Claim If you were injured due to a product defect in northwest Ohio and don’t know where to turn, Aaron Bensinger can help. Based in Lima, he is also licensed in California and has the experience to take on the big cases and companies on your behalf. Contact us at 419-455-1410 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation today.

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Attorney Portrait Personal Injury

Rear-Ended by a Semi-Truck in Ohio? Here’s What to Do

| Read Time: 3 minutes

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions account for approximately 30% of all motor vehicle accidents. The majority of these accidents involve regular passenger vehicles, but they also include semi-truck rear ends.  If you have been rear-ended by a semi-truck, you understand how frightening it can be. Semi-trucks are much larger than standard cars, and trucks and have the potential to cause significantly more damage.  What to Do When You Are Rear Ended by a Semi-Truck in Ohio If you are rear ended by a semi-truck and sustain significant injuries, you may be entitled to relief. It is important to follow some general guidelines on what to do when you are rear ended by a semi-truck to ensure that you have the best case possible for compensation.  Call the Proper Authorities Anytime there is an accident involving a semi-truck, there is a potential for further damage. Calling 911 will put you in touch with both emergency medical personnel and the police, who can then ensure the proper authorities are on-scene to address the situation. Semi-trucks are large and can easily impede traffic and cause additional damage.  Seek Medical Attention Your safety and the safety of your passengers is the most important thing immediately following any vehicle accident. This includes both emergency medical attention and follow ups with your doctor as you begin to heal or become aware of additional injuries. Do not wait and hope your pain subsides. Ohio has a two-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including vehicle accidents. Do Not Sign Anything from an Insurance Company Following an accident with a semi-truck, the other party’s insurance company will likely make a quick settlement offer for lower than what you require for your damages. Take into consideration that compensation that covers your immediate medical bills or vehicle repairs or replacement may not be sufficient for long-term repercussions from being rear ended by a semi-truck. A personal injury attorney can help you negotiate with the insurance company. Keep Records of Everything You should not be responsible for expenses related to injuries or damage you sustain. Make sure to keep receipts and record all medical expenses, treatments, assistance expenses, prescriptions, and property damage that you would not have incurred had it not been for the accident. Also keep records of how your injuries have impacted your life, such as pain you have suffered or changes in your ability to do household tasks or activities you once enjoyed. Consult a Personal Injury Attorney The help of an experienced personal injury attorney who is aware of Ohio car accident laws could be crucial to getting the compensation you deserve. They can negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement or file a lawsuit on your behalf.  Types of Compensation Available Ohio follows a modified comparative fault system when determining liability. This means that you can be compensated even if you also made driving mistakes that lead to the accident, but only if your fault is not more than 50%. There are two different types of compensation that you may be entitled to. Economic Damages Expenses that you incur because of the accident are considered economic damages. They directly impact your finances. Some of these expenses may include:  Medical expenses, such as hospital bills or surgery; Property damage to your vehicle and its contents; Ongoing treatment costs for injuries; Lost wages if you are unable to work; and Diminished earning capacity due to permanent injury. If a loved one passes away after being rear-ended by a semi-truck, you may be able to file a wrongful death suit to receive compensation for funeral and burial expenses along with other damages. Semi-trucks accounted for 11% off all traffic incident deaths in 2019.  Non-Economic Damages Damages that do not involve a tangible invoice for a specific amount are deemed non-economic damages. These may include: Pain and suffering, Emotional distress, Disfigurement, Disability,  Loss of enjoyment of life, and  Loss of consortium. These damages are generally ongoing and impact life in ways that extend beyond finances.  How Can an Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer Help? One of the biggest stressors aside from coping with injuries is the stress of achieving fair compensation. There are a lot of factors that go into determining accident fault, economic expenses, and non-economic losses. An experienced car accident attorney will be able to guide you through the process. Aaron Bensinger is committed to helping clients seek the compensation they deserve through a compassionate and individualized representation of their unique situation. Call or contact Bensinger Law to schedule your free consultation.

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Attorney Portrait Personal Injury

What Do You Do If You Have Back Pain After a Car Accident in Ohio?

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Every year over 2.5 million Americans visit the emergency room as a result of car accidents. Millions more do not—only to later realize the severity of their injuries. Back pain from a car accident is one of the most prevalent injuries to occur. Studies have shown that injuries from car accidents can occur at speeds as low as 2.5 miles per hour.  Common Types of Back Pain After a Car Accident There are a number of painful back injuries that can arise from car accidents. Just because you might feel ok immediately following a car accident does not mean that back pain after a car accident will not become an issue. According to the Ohio Highway Safety Office, there were 24,919 traffic incidents in 2020 where injury may have occurred. Here are some of the things you could be experiencing when your back hurts after a car accident. Whiplash from a Car Accident Your neck is essentially the uppermost part of your back and is extremely vulnerable to injury from impact. Whiplash is the most common with more than 3 million new cases each year. Statistics show that 1 in 10 people become permanently disabled from whiplash.  Lower Back Pain from a Car Accident It can be difficult to pinpoint the source of lower back pain from a car accident. A lumbar sprain could be what is causing the pain. This means that the soft tissue supporting the spine has experienced trauma. A lumbar spine injury is also possible and could require extensive medical treatment.  Degenerative Disk Disease from a Car Accident Degenerative disk disease is the process of a spinal disc wearing out over a lifetime of constant wear and tear. Car accidents can cause degeneration to occur at an increased rate.  Spinal Cord Issues from a Car Accident According to the National Spinal Cord Statistical Center, car accidents have been the most common cause of spinal injuries since 2010 (38%). There are several injuries that could occur, including: Pinched nerves,  Herniated or ruptured disc,  Spondylosis,  Bulging disc,  Spinal stenosis, Paraplegia, and  Quadriplegia.  Facet Joint Pain from a Car Accident  A facet joint injury can have a big impact on mobility and make it very difficult to live life comfortably. Serious car accidents can cause facet joint injuries that require medical attention and potentially surgery.   What Do You Do If You Have Back Pain After a Car Accident? Adrenaline is a real thing, and in the moment, the severity of your injuries may not be apparent. It can take days, weeks, months, or even years for back pain after a car accident to really set in. There are steps you should take to ensure your legal right to compensation if you have back pain after a car accident.  Seek Medical Attention It is important to seek medical attention after any significant car accident. You may not recognize the signs of inflammation or injury right away. Do not try and tough it out to see if it gets better.  Do Not Sign or Agree to Anything Insurance companies are not looking to make sure you get all the compensation you may need to cover future medical concerns when you have back pain from a car accident. Ohio is a comparative fault state, meaning that insurance companies will do their best to find you partially liable for the accident in an effort to reduce your settlement.  Speak to a Car Accident Attorney An Ohio personal injury attorney with experience dealing with car accident cases will be able to evaluate your claim and determine the best way to ensure you get the relief you need. Ohio has a two-year statute of limitations for vehicle accidents, so it is important not to wait.  Keep Detailed Records Even if your injuries don’t seem severe immediately after the car accident, it is important to keep detailed records of all medical treatment. Having a police report and witness testimony along with doctors’ notes will help to strengthen your case for compensation.  Choosing a Car Accident Attorney Back pain from a car accident can be debilitating, and you should not have to suffer because of someone else’s negligence. Receiving fair compensation for your injuries can be crucial to the recovery process. Aaron Bensinger of Bensinger Law provides compassionate personal injury service to clients who have been injured in car accidents. Aaron and his team work diligently to provide representation to the Northwest Ohio region. Contact Bensinger Law for a free consultation, and find how you can be compensated for back pain from your car accident. 

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Attorney Portrait Personal Injury

Ohio Motorcycle Laws Overview

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Whether you’re a new rider or a seasoned pro, it’s important to understand Ohio motorcycle laws. While motorcycles are subject to many of the same rules of the road as cars, there are a few motorcycle laws Ohio has adopted that apply specifically to two- and three-wheeled vehicles. Ohio Motorcycle License and Endorsements Drivers in Ohio must have a motorcycle license or a motorcycle endorsement on their driver license to legally operate a motorcycle in the state. Ohio law defines motorcycles as any motor vehicle with a seat for the operator designed to travel on not more than three wheels, regardless of weight or brake horsepower. Accordingly, Ohio drivers must have the appropriate endorsement for the kind of motorcycle they own. Before obtaining a full license or endorsement, Ohio riders must first get a temporary instruction permit identification card (TIPIC). A TIPIC is subject to several restrictions, including: No night driving (between sunset and sunrise); No passengers; Wearing a helmet and protective eyewear at all times; and  No driving on interstates or congested roadways. To obtain a motorcycle endorsement, a rider must complete a motorcycle riding course before applying. A motorcycle endorsement from another state is also valid in Ohio. Ohio Motorcycle Passenger Laws Ohio Revised Code § 4511.53 sets out some general rules for motorcycle passengers: A motorcycle may carry only as many passengers as it is designed and equipped to carry; All passengers must have a seat firmly attached to the motorcycle; and Passengers must ride facing forward with one leg on each side of the motorcycle. Additionally, as mentioned above, passengers are not allowed to ride with riders licensed only with a TIPIC. Ohio Motorcycle Helmet Laws Motorcycle laws in Ohio do not generally require helmets for adult motorcycle riders. However there are two exceptions in addition to the TIPIC restriction mentioned above. Ohio helmet laws require riders to wear a helmet If they are under 18 years of age; and During the first year they have obtained the motorcycle license or endorsement. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles designates riders as “novice” for the first year after they obtain an endorsement. As long as riders have the novice designation, they must wear a helmet even if they are over 18. Even though Ohio does not require helmets for most riders, wearing one is a smart choice. Injuries in motorcycle accidents are often more severe because the rider has much less protection compared to the driver of a car. Eye and Hearing Protection Ohio motorcycle laws require riders to have eye protection. Valid eye protection includes a helmet with a visor, sunglasses, or a windscreen. Riders may also choose to wear earplugs or earphones, though they may be used only to protect the rider’s hearing; using headphones to listen to music while driving in Ohio is generally illegal. Lane Sharing and Lane Splitting Lane sharing is when multiple motorcycles ride near each other in the same lane. Ohio Revised Code § 4511.55 permits motorcycles to share a lane in a “two wide” formation. In other words, riders in Ohio may not ride next to more than one other rider in the same lane. Lane splitting is when a rider drives on the line between the lanes to pass between other vehicles moving in the same direction. Just like all other states except California, lane splitting is illegal in Ohio. Should I Hire a Motorcycle Accident Attorney? If you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle accident, an attorney may be able to help you recover damages for injuries and medical expenses. If you are facing severe injuries, long recovery, and extensive medical bills, it’s appropriate to contact an accident attorney for help with your case. Why It’s Important to Understand Ohio Motorcycle Laws In addition to making you a better driver, knowing motorcycle laws in Ohio can have a significant impact on your damages. Ohio uses the “comparative fault” model of contributory negligence to determine fault after an accident. Under this model, a plaintiff can recover compensation as long as they were no more than 50% at fault for the accident. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, how well you followed Ohio’s motorcycle laws could affect your ability to recover damages. Lane splitting, speeding, or not wearing a helmet when required can all affect your percentage of fault. Ohio Motorcycle Accident Attorneys Bensinger Law takes a client-focused approach to serve Ohioans across the state in accident injury cases involving motorcycles and other motor vehicles. Contact us today by filling out our form or giving us a call at 419-455-1410 for a free case review.

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Attorney Portrait Personal Injury

Average Settlement for a Pedestrian Hit by a Car in Ohio

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Tragedy strikes when a pedestrian, minding their own business, is hit by a car. The unfair matchup of man versus machine often leaves the pedestrian seriously injured. All too often, pedestrian accidents are fatal. In 2019, motorists killed 128 pedestrians in Ohio crashes. In an analysis of serious and fatal pedestrian accidents in Ohio, the Ohio Department of Transportation found: Pedestrian crashes are increasing in Ohio; 87% of fatal and serious pedestrian crashes occur in urban areas; In 2017, 12% of all Ohio crash fatalities were pedestrians; 69% of fatal pedestrian crashes occurred at night; Fatal and serious pedestrian crashes occur primarily in fall and winter; Men were victims of 67% of fatal pedestrian crashes; Youth were involved in more than 20% of all fatal or serious pedestrian crashes; and One-third of all fatal pedestrian crashes involved alcohol. As these statistics show, pedestrian crashes are all too common in Ohio. While education, enforcement, and stricter laws can prevent future accidents, those measures don’t help victims already hurt in a crash. However, victims can pursue justice through a pedestrian-hit-by-a-car settlement.  Pedestrian car accident settlements can help crash victims and their families. At Bensinger Legal Services, we work to get victims the money they deserve. If you are curious about pedestrian-hit-by-a-car average settlement amounts, we have some guidelines to determine potential compensation. Here, we discuss compensation that may be available in a pedestrian-hit-by-a-car lawsuit. When Can a Pedestrian Hit By a Car Sue? A pedestrian hit by a car can sue when they were injured due to someone’s irresponsible behavior. Of course, if a driver intentionally strikes you, that action invites criminal charges and a civil lawsuit. However, most of the time, a pedestrian-hit-by-a-car lawsuit is based on negligence. A personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit based on negligence requires these elements. Duty of Care The driver owed pedestrians a duty of care. This means the driver was supposed to follow the traffic laws and drive responsibly to protect other drivers and pedestrians.  Breach of Duty The driver breached the duty of care if they broke a law or acted irresponsibly. For instance, if the driver was speeding, drunk, or texting while driving, these actions breached the duty of care to others on the road. Breach Caused Harm The driver’s breach of care harmed a pedestrian. Such harm usually occurs when a driver crashes into a pedestrian. Pedestrian Suffered Damages The pedestrian must suffer harm that can be compensated by the court. Because the legal process can be expensive, it won’t be worth pursuing a claim over a minor injury like a bruise or a scrape. The pedestrian should have suffered significant physical or financial harm to justify a lawsuit. What Pedestrian-Hit-By-a-Car Compensation Is Available?  In a personal injury lawsuit, a pedestrian sues for damages, which come in several forms: Economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, and other calculable financial expenses; Non-economic damages include emotional harm like pain and suffering; and Punitive damages punish the driver for terrible behavior. If you lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, your family could sue for the financial and emotional harm you have experienced as a result of your loved one’s death. Perhaps it seems difficult to put a dollar amount on pain and suffering. We know that no amount of money can compensate you for this pain. Because the specifics of each case determine the damages amount, there is no average settlement for a pedestrian hit by a car. However, our legal team will calculate a fair request based on our years of experience representing accident victims. Contact an Experienced Pedestrian Attorney If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you need a skilled attorney. At Bensinger Legal Services, we will help you fight for justice. A pedestrian-hit-by-a-car settlement can provide for you and your family and protect other pedestrians by bringing awareness to these accidents. Contact us today for a free consultation. When we meet (virtually or in person), we can discuss your experience and available legal options. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions, like, How much should I settle for getting hit by a car? We work on contingency, meaning you owe us no payment until we win your case. Take the first step toward compensation for the harm you have suffered by contacting our law firm for a free consultation. 

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