Kent/Akron Attorneys – Personal Injury
We seemingly place ourselves at the mercy of people who do not exercise care in driving, maintaining property or commercial pursuits. The consequences of another’s thoughtlessness, inattention or unlawful activity can range from the inconvenient to tragic. An injury can mean medical bills, loss of wages and the ability to work, financial difficulties and the inability to conduct the daily activities of life.
Should you find yourself the victim of personal injuries, our legal team brings to your aid the knowledge, experience and dedication to get the compensation you need and deserve.
What is Personal Injury Law?
A personal injury attorney assists people injured by torts. A person commits a tort by violating a duty imposed by law. Some torts, such as battery, assault, false imprisonment and defamation, fall in the intentional category. That is, the wrongdoer meant to commit the act and cause harm.
More commonly, those in need of a personal injury lawyer suffer injuries at the hands of careless actors. At the heart of a negligence claim is the wrongdoer’s failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. Negligence takes the form of actions or omissions which fall short of the standard of care. Ohio statutes and decisions of our appellate courts define the standard of care for particular situations and activities.
Injury law encompasses many activities that cause harm. Our lawyers in Kent seek compensation for people injured by the following causes and events:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
- Premises liability, including
- Defective products
- Construction accidents
What is Involved in a Vehicle Accident Case?
Negligent drivers are frequent culprits of incidents that injure other drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Collisions or impacts arise impart due to the failure to dismiss stop signs, red lights or yield signs; following too closely, passing improperly, driving too fast for the particular conditions, making unsafe movements and failing to keep a proper lookout.
Many of these accidents involve drivers distracted by using cellphones and other electronic devices to send and read texts and view other content. In 2017, distracted driving accounted for 3,537 injuries and 24 deaths in Ohio.
Imparied driving has long been associated with automobile accidents. In 2018, our state experienced 367 fatal crashes related to impaired driving. Those incidents claimed 462 lives. With impaired driving comes loss of control, increased reaction times, reduced judgment and drowsiness.
Distracted, impaired and otherwise careless driving can seriously injure drivers or passengers of vehicles. The risk of serious injury or death is magnified for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycle operators. Those in these groups do not enjoy the protection of airbags or vehicle bodies afforded those in cars and trucks.
If you’re injured by a negligent driver, one of our Kent attorneys will take numerous steps to pursue compensation. The work starts with obtaining the crash report, witness statements and any exchange of information between drivers. From these documents, the lawyer can grasp the basic facts of how the crash occurred and the automobile insurance companies for the at-fault driver.
Crashes involving trucks present the prospects of serious injuries or death and grounds for liability different from accident cases involving only passenger vehicles. Drivers of commercial vehicles must follow rules and regulations imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Violations of these rules include the failure of the driver to inspect the truck, adequately place and secure loads on trucks, driving more than the maximum time in a particular period and impaired driving. You may also pursue claims against the driver’s employer.
In truck accident cases, proof of negligence comes from sources such as employer files on the driver, the driver’s trip logs, truck inspection records and devices that record data from the truck. From these “black boxes” comes information about the truck’s speed, distance traveled after braking and time from braking to impact. Injury lawyers rely on expert accident reconstructionists to use this data, along with photographs of the truck and scene and witness statements to give opinions on how the wreck occurred.
What is a Premises Liability Case?
The law requires those who own or control land to keep their premises reasonably safe and to warn of hazardous conditions not obvious or apparent to a reasonable person under the circumstances.
Slip and fall cases are typical premises liability cases. Customers get injured by liquids or objects left on store floors. Holes and divers also lead to harmful falls. In pursuing these types of premises liability suits, we focus on the absence of lighting and whether the store knew or should have known of the liquid, object or other dangerous condition.
Premises liability can also arise if you, as a patron, are injured from the criminal behavior of another on the property. In these cases, you need proof that the criminal acts were foreseeable. Law enforcement reports often supply the evidence that the owner could have foreseen break-ins, assaults, thefts and other crimes against guests. You also need to show that the owner failed to implement reasonable security measures.
What is Products Liability?
For some products liability cases, a single incident will cause injury. These include airbags that fail to deploy or a defective lawn mower blade guard that allows an object to strike the injured person. In other products liability cases, the injury does not instantaneously happen or become apparent. You might not discover a disease or contamination from an implant or lead until sometime after the initial exposure. In these cases, your time to sue begins to run when you discover or should have discovered the illness or other harm to you. Getting personal injury advice becomes very valuable so that your product liability case will not be time-barred, especially because you allowed time to pass after a point that you should have discovered your harm.
In the United States, workplace incidents claimed the lives of 4,674 private industry workers in 2017. Construction accidents accounted for 971 of those fatalities. That translates to one in every five workers killed coming from construction.
Construction sites feature scaffolds, power tools, ladders, heavy equipment, dismantled pieces of concrete or wood, and construction supplies. Combined with heights, sometimes tight quarters and plenty of activity and people, these supplies and tools present substantial risks of slips, falls, electrocutions, cuts, bruises, other serious injuries and deaths.
With the help of a personal injury lawyer, injured construction workers may pursue more than workers’ compensation benefits. Such are usually limited to lost wages and medical expenses. In a workers’ compensation case, you don’t have to prove your employer’s fault, but you don’t get pain and suffering or other damages that take into account your loss of quality of life. To pursue these damages, one of our attorneys will look to the manufacturers of defective equipment on the job site, other contractors who may have employed careless or inadequately trained employees and others who may have contributed to your injuries. In construction accident cases, we often look to evidence of violations of OSHA or other workplace safety laws.
Our firm serves injured people in Kent and other areas of our state. If you have been injured by careless drivers, property owners, participants in construction projects or other actors, contact a personal injury attorney in our firm for personal injury advice and representation. Our lawyers have experience in representing the victims of negligence.