Reckless Driving, Speeding and Traffic Deaths on the Rise in Ohio

car accidents

As the Coronavirus escalates, public roadways and highways have become empty in recent weeks as more people opt to stay in the safety of their homes. In an effort to reduce transmission among law enforcement officers, many police departments have also reduced the number and frequency of speed traps on highways. Many drivers appear to be taking advantage of the more open roads and lack of law enforcement, which has led to a dramatic increase in fatal car accidents nationwide.

A recent report released by the Governors Highways Safety Administration indicates a significant spike in speeding facilitated by the open highways. Many drivers have apparently completely thrown caution out the window, regularly hitting speeds of up to 100 mph. This, of course, makes the car accidents that do occur more dangerous.

The Governors Highways Safety Administration cautions every road user to adhere to set traffic safety laws, particularly during these unprecedented times where emergency response times may be longer and hospital resources are already stretched thin. The association is reminding road users to remain vigilant and follow all laws to avoid car accidents and reduce additional strain on hospital emergency rooms.

Recent car accident reports for 2020 to-date indicate that 17% of all traffic-related incidents involve pedestrians.

At the same time, the study indicates that pedestrians and bicycle riders have increased substantially in recent weeks following the decrease in motor vehicle traffic. More people sequestered at home means that more families are taking walks, going for bike rides and using our streets for entertainment rather than a means of conveyance. Drivers should be extra cautious of the increase in foot traffic.

The Governors’ Report suggest a significant increase in the number of speeding tickets issued in recent weeks.

Notably, some states have reported a reduction in crashes, but the few recorded accidents have turned out to be severe or even fatal, mainly because of over-speeding and reckless drivers. You may be tempted to put your foot down on a clear, unobstructed stretch of highway, but you should avoid this temptation at all costs.

Whether you are a driver or a pedestrian, obeying traffic rules is vital to keeping our roads and highways safe and accident-free as the country grapples with fighting this national pandemic. If you have been unfortunate enough to be involved in a car accident, you need an experienced car accident attorney on your side. Cowan & Hilgeman Law is one of Dayton’s top rated car accident attorneys. Call (937) 222-2030 today to schedule your FREE, no obligation phone or video consultation. If we don’t win your case, you don’t pay a penny.

Why Cowan & Hilgeman Consistently Ranks Among the Top Law Firms in Dayton Ohio

At the offices of Cowan and Hilgeman we believe that our clients are more than just a case.

When you come to our firm we will treat you with the dignity and respect that every human being deserves.
We will help you to make sense of this difficult time in your life, treating each case individually with an approach catered to your needs. 
More than that, we will dedicate ourselves tirelessly on your behalf, providing the stalwart service our clients have come to expect since 1994. 

At this firm, we have high standards, which is why we are consistently rated as one of the top law firms in Dayton.

We are an A+ Better Business Bureau rated firm, have 5 star google and Avvo reviews, and have a list of accolades that we are extremely proud to have earned.

Yet the most satisfying achievement for us is the trust our clients have in us and the satisfaction they have with our representation. We are touched that so many individuals have entrusted their cases with us, and we just wanted to thank all who have sought out our help, and taken the time to share their experiences. We could list our strengths all day, but don’t take our word for it. Listen to what your neighbors have had to say about us:

If you have experienced an injury at no fault of your own, and are unsure what steps you need to take next, give us a call at 937-222-2030 for a free case evaluation today. We’re one of the top rated law firms in Dayton for so many reasons.

What You Should Know About the Zantac Recall (Ranitidine)

IMPORTANT RANITIDINE UPDATE: The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a press release on April 1, 2020 requesting manufacturers to immediately withdraw all Zantac and generic Zantac OTC drugs from the market. The FDA has found that N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in some ranitidine drugs “increases over time and when stored at higher than room temperatures and may result in consumer exposure to unacceptable levels…” The FDA, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classify NDMA as a cancer-causing substance, and has issued a Zantac recall, effective immediately.

Zantac has been on the market for over thirty years and millions of people have taken brand name product and its generic, ranitidine. For anyone currently taking these drugs, you should immediately contact your doctor to discuss your options.

What Is Zantac?

Zantac is a medication that limits the production of stomach acid and belongs to a class of medications known as H2 blockers. It is sold as a generic under the name of its active ingredient, ranitidine. Zantac is sold over-the-counter to treat heartburn and acid indigestion, and prescribed for the treatment of duodenal and gastric ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and certain stomach and esophagus conditions.

What Is NDMA?

NDMA is classified as a probable human carcinogen that can form as a byproduct of industrial processes or, as in Zantac, from exposure to high temperatures or storage over time. The chemical can be found in small quantities in drinking water but in levels that are considered generally harmless. The NDMA found in the recalled Zantac and ranitidine products is above levels considered safe by the FDA. NDMA had previously been found in the blood pressure medication Valsartan, which prompted a string of product recalls starting in July 2018.

NDMA exposure in Zantac and ranitidine has been linked to digestive system cancers such as:

  • Stomach cancer
  • Intestinal cancer (both of the small and large intestines)
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Bladder cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer

Additionally, in babies born to mothers who took Zantac consistently throughout their pregnancies, NDMA has been linked to cancers, including brain cancers, in young children.

The FDA has issued an order to cease all distribution of Zantac because it cannot guarantee the safety of it. While the drug itself does not contain harmful levels of NDMA, the cancer-causing chemical can form over time during shipping, handling and storage – especially if it is stored at high temperatures such as in your car. The Zantac recall applies to all manufacturers and brands.

Call us at (937) 222-2030 for more information about the Zantac recall

For more information on the Zantac recall, head over to our dedicated Zantac recall page

I Got into a Bus Accident. Now What?

bus accident dayton

Since the local government owns RTA busses in Dayton, Ohio, special rules apply when they get into an accident. Governments in the United States have special protections against lawsuits called Sovereign Immunity. You can still file an injury claim or bus accident lawsuit against a government-owned bus line, if specific rules are followed. It helps to have an experienced bus accident attorney on your side.

Injury claims against the government are made under the rules of the Tort Claims Act for federal agencies. Many states and municipalities have adopted their own version of the Tort Claims Act to handle injury claims by private citizens.

Filing an injury claim under the Tort Claims Act is different from filing one against a private person or company. Claims against government agencies have special forms to complete and firm deadlines. If your forms are late or incorrect, you may lose your right to compensation.

You will have to file a “notice of claim.”

Use the exact claim form required by the agency responsible for the bus accident. Most claim forms must include:

  • Your name and address
  • A description of when, where and how the bus accident happened
  • A description of your damages, such as your medical costs, lost wages, broken glasses, etc.
  • A statement of your intent to seek compensation for injuries and property damage caused by the agency’s employee, for example, the bus driver.

Be sure to submit the notice on time, and to the right place. Keep a copy for your records.

Keep an Eye on the Statute of Limitations

In Ohio, you have two years from the date of the accident in which to file a claim. The clock starts running immediately, no matter how badly you were injured. If you miss the two year window, your claim will be thrown out. For more information on the Statute of Limitations in Ohio, please go to this article.

Bus Accidents and Common Carrier Laws

Any individual or business licensed to transport passengers for a fee is known as a common carrier. State and federal laws closely regulate most common carriers. The law holds carriers to a very high standard for the safety of their passengers, called a duty of care. Common Carriers must do everything reasonably within their power to avoid injuries to their passengers.

Common carriers’ duties of care include:

  • Making entryways and exits safe for passengers (good lighting, no obstructions, etc.)
  • Providing security where necessary to ensure the health and safety of passengers
  • Hiring qualified bus drivers
  • Maintaining bus engines, motors, and other machinery
  • Monitoring and correcting bus design flaws

When a bus company or agency violates their duty of care, they’ve become negligent, meaning they did something wrong or failed to do what they’re supposed to do to keep passengers safe.

Examples of negligence that cause bus accidents include:

  • Bus drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Bus drivers who aren’t qualified or properly trained
  • Drivers working without enough sleep
  • Poorly maintained buses and equipment
  • Improperly loaded or overloaded buses

Proving Bus Accident Negligence

To win your bus accident lawsuit, you have to prove the carrier’s negligence was the cause of your injuries. Because common carriers have a higher duty of care to passengers, you won’t need as much evidence to prove your case as you would in other injury claims. But you should still collect as much evidence as you can.

Evidence to support your case will include:

  • Photographs taken at the time of your injury and several days after
  • Witness statements
  • Incident or police reports
  • Weather reports
  • Your written recollections about the accident and your injuries

In addition to evidence of fault for the accident, you’ll need to collect evidence of your injuries, such as:

  • Your medical bills and records
  • Receipts for out-of-pocket expenses
  • Proof of your lost wages

Filing a personal injury claim is never easy or straightforward. When you’re going up against the Government – at any level, local, state or federal – it is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side. The personal injury attorneys at Cowan & Hilgeman Law have successfully fought countless personal injury suits – including plenty of claims that other law firms routinely reject. Call (937) 222-2030 to schedule your FREE consultation with an experienced Bus Accident attorney.

Can I Fire my Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer?

Fire my lawyer?

At Cowan & Hilgeman, we routinely hear from people who have been treated poorly by other firms. We treat every potential client as someone who deserves care, attention, compassion and frequent communication. If your Ohio personal injury lawyer does not make you feel as though your case is important to them, or if they aren’t devoting enough time and resources to helping you – or worse, they are acting unethically – you are perfectly within your rights to fire them.

Before acting rashly, however, you should consider the following:

1 – Where your case stands with the court

If your case is currently pending with the Court, you may have to receive permission from the Court before you can fire your Ohio personal injury lawyer. If your case is NOT currently pending with the Court, you may terminate your relationship with your attorney at any time.

2 – Firing your attorney can be costly

You must still pay your attorney for the work they did up to the point of termination, even if you feel it was substandard. You will also have to retain another attorney, which can be expensive. At Cowan & Hilgeman, you will not pay a penny unless we win your case, so this is less of a concern if you work with us.

3 – Have you tried to talk to your attorney?

Sometimes, attorneys take on a few too many clients, which can leave some feeling less than well-cared for. Talk to your attorney about your concerns. If they care at all about their clients, they will apologize and try to fix their mistakes. If they brush off your concerns or try to persuade you that this is just how these things go, consider speaking to an attorney who will take you seriously. There is an ebb and flow to all cases – times when it feels as though nothing is happening. It is important to speak with your lawyer to determine whether your working relationship has truly deteriorated to the point where it cannot be saved.

4 – Terminate your relationship properly.

If you do decide to fire your lawyer, you should send him or her a certified letter stating plainly that you are terminating your relationship and that the attorney should cease working on your case. Request your files back or ask that they are sent to your new lawyer; you are entitled to the work product you and your lawyer have created up to the point your relationship is terminated. Be professional and courteous. You do not need to explain your reasons for firing your Ohio personal injury lawyer. Ask for an itemized bill listing all pending fees and expenses. If yours is a contingency case, your new attorney will pay your old attorney from any money that you ultimately recover.

The process of changing attorneys can be stressful, but ultimately important if you feel that your needs are not being adequately met. Before taking any action, you should always speak with an impartial attorney who will advise you on the best course of action. Call Cowan & Hilgeman at (937) 222-2030 for a free consultation.

How Much Time do I Have to File a Truck Accident Injury Claim in Ohio?

Truck accident

From the moment you are injured in a truck accident, the clock starts running on how long you have to file a claim. In Ohio, the Statute of Limitations for a motorcycle accident claim is generally 2 years. If you fail to file suit within that time frame, the defendant (the person you’re trying to sue) will almost certainly file a “motion to dismiss”, and the Court will reject your case on statutory grounds.

Even if you are horribly injured by a person who was clearly in the wrong; after two years, they can no longer be held responsible through a truck accident claim.

With a few exceptions:

  • In cases where the victim was under 18 years old or ‘of unsound mind’, the time limit in which they can file a motorcycle accident claim is lifted. The two year time limit starts again, however, once the injured party reaches 18 years old, or is deemed to be sane and responsible.
  • If the defendant “departs from the state” or absconds, or conceals” him or herself within the state of Ohio, the time limit in which to file a motorcycle accident claim does not start again until the person can be located. In other words, if the defendant skips town for a couple of years to avoid taking responsibility for their actions, you have 2 years from the date of their return in which to file a lawsuit.
  • If your Ohio truck accident claim stems from injuries caused by a defective product, a special filing timeline may apply to your case, especially if consumer fraud or a product warranty is involved.

Truck accidents are usually very serious. Due to the massive size and weight of an average truck, accidents can be life-changing. If the victim was lucky enough to survive someone else’s mistake on the road, the injuries, pain, loss of livelihood, potential surgeries and rehabilitation can have ripple-effects throughout their entire life.

After a commercial trucking accident, it is extremely important to get an experienced, aggressive attorney fighting in your corner. Truck Insurance companies will try to persuade you to settle for a much lower amount than your case is worth – 100% of the time. Their responsibility is to share holders, not to make sure that you receive the medical care and support you need.

At Cowan & Hilgeman, we have successfully handled countless truck accident claims, including cases that other law firms have rejected. To schedule your FREE consultation with our Dayton Personal Injury Attorney, call (937) 222-2030.