Brown & Szaller's dedicated and highly rated personal injury attorneys represent victims seriously injured in a car accident. For over 35 years, we have fought to ensure full, fair and just compensation for our clients and their families.
Attorney Kenneth Knabe is Brown and Szaller Co. LPA's lead auto accident personal injury lawyer. Ken has lectured and published many articles on tort (injury) law throughout Ohio and has taught seminars to other injury attorneys. Ken is past president of the Cleveland Academy of Trial Lawyers and peer rated as an Ohio "Super Lawyer" with 35 + years of trial experience handling numerous serious car crashes. If you are an injured in a car accident caused by a careless driver, Ken will fight to achieve the full, fair and just compensation you richly deserve. He will personally handle your claim from start to finish and will carefully advise you along your path to justice. Call attorney Knabe now for a free consultation.
Attorney Kenneth J. Knabe
" Attorney Kenneth J Knabe represented me in an injury case as a result of an auto accident. He was very thorough, very pleasant and diligent. His experience shined through and gave us great confidence in proceeding as he directed. The outcome was quite satisfactory. I highly recommended him. "
Our car accident help center provides important information if you are injured in an auto accident.
What is causing so many crashes?
The roads and highways can be unsafe! Why? Drivers are careless, inattentive and distracted by texting, emailing and talking on cell phones; sometimes driver’s are drinking and impaired by alcohol or drugs. These drivers are causing a multitude of avoidable automobile crashes resulting in serious injuries and/or death.
What is distracted driving?
Ohio law prohibits texting or emailing while driving, subject to some exceptions. A minor with a temporary or probationary driver’s license is prohibited from using a cell phone while driving (Ohio Revised Code §§4511.204 & 4511.205). Many local Ordinances also prohibit or restrict texting, emailing and cell phone usage.
Mobile devices help us stay connected. Texting, tweeting or checking email are great but not when combined with driving! Distracted driving is an epidemic that is killing people and destroying lives. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and a great time for all of us to help prevent these needless tragedies.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 450,000 people were injured or killed last year by driver distraction. Drivers on the phone are four times more likely to crash. Driving while on a cell phone (whether handheld or hands-free) reduces reaction time as much as being legally intoxicated. Teen drivers are most likely to be involved in a fatal crash where distraction is reported and caused 16 percent of all teen crash fatalities in 2009. Texting or emailing creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.
Recently, the National Safety Council released statistics indicating that 28 percent of traffic accidents occur when drivers are talking on cell phones or texting. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration compiled data that shows that a driver sending and receiving text messages takes his eyes off the road an average of 4.6 seconds of every six seconds while texting. This translates to a period of about 100 yards while driving at 55 miles per hour without looking at the road.
Brown and Szaller takes an aggressive stand against this type of driver and will present claims against them for punitive damages, or damages that punish the driver over and above what is normally due to the injured party.
If the driver that hit you was distracted by using a cell phone and then going through a red light, causing a crash not seeing the redlight
If the driver that hit me was on a cell phone when the driver hit us, what laws may apply?
Depending on the circumstances, an injured person can assert violations of the following Statutes and Ordinances (Cleveland and Lakewood used as examples) when cell phone usage results in distraction and a crash, even if the cell phone use does not violate the State law or a local Ordinance in Cleveland or Lakewood.
Ohio Revised Code §4511.20 (A) Operation in Willful or Wanton Disregard of the Safety of Persons
Cleveland Ordinance §433.02 (a) Operation in Willful or Wanton Disregard of Safety
Lakewood Ordinance §333.02 Reckless Operation on Streets, Public or Private Property
Full Time and Attention
Ohio Revised Code §4511.202 (A) Operation Without Being in Full Control of the Vehicle
Cleveland Ordinance §431.34 (c) Full Time and Attention
Lakewood Ordinance §331.34 (c) Full Time and Attention
What laws apply if I am hit by a driver that runs a red light?
Traffic Control Devices
Ohio Revised Code §4511.12 contains the Ohio law called Obedience to Traffic Control Devices.
An example of local Ordinances are Cleveland Ordinance §413.01 Obedience to Traffic Control Devices and Lakewood Ordinance §313.01 Obedience to Traffic Control Devices
What about drunk or impaired driving?
DUI, or Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or a controlled substance is illegal. Ohio makes it a crime to drive with a blood alcohol content at, or above 0.08 percent (Ohio Revised Code §4511.19). This is true whether the driver is operating the motor vehicle on a highway, street, or shopping center parking lot. If you or a loved one has been injured by a driver who was under the influence, your first move should be to hire a personal injury attorney who will aggressively pursue your claim and sue the intoxicated driver not only for your wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering, but also for punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish and deter the drunk driver from engaging in this type of unsafe behavior. This will serve justice and increase the value of your claim and the likelihood of settlement. Here at Brown and Szaller, we have handled numerous DUI cases for the injured victims and their families when death was the result. Call Attorney Kenneth Knabe at 216-228-7200 for immediate, experienced and caring help.
Who is responsible in a crash when a traffic light is flashing?
The duties you have when a traffic light is flashing depend on Ohio Revised Code §4511.13 and the equivalent local Ordinance.
If you approach a traffic light with a flashing red signal indication, you must:
If you approach a traffic light with a flashing yellow signal indication, you must:
If you approach a malfunctioning traffic control signal light, and the signal facing you either displays no colored lights or colored lighted arrows or displays a combination of such lights or arrows that fails to clearly designate who has the right-of-way, you must:
1. Stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if there is no stop lone, stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if there is no crosswalk, stop before entering the intersection;
2. Yield the right-of-way to all vehicles in the intersection or approaching the intersection on an intersecting road, whether it be the driver moving across or within the intersection or junction of the roadways.
Who is responsible if I am hit from behind by a another car?
Ohio Revised Code §4511.21 is called the “Assured Clear Distance Statute” that prohibits cars from following another too closely. If you are hit from behind by another car, that driver is almost always responsible for your damages for following too closely. Cleveland has its own matching Municipal Ordinance §433.03.
What should I do if I am injured in a car accident caused by another driver?
If you are in a car crash, you should follow these ten rules:
What do I need to know about insurance coverage if I am in a car accident?
Fist issue is whether the at-fault driver has liability insurance? If so, is it adequate? Minimum coverage in Ohio is only $25,000.00.
If the at-fault driver has no insurance or inadequate insurance, the next issue is whether you purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (“U” coverage) under your own auto insurance policy. The higher the “U” Coverage, the more you are protected. For example, If the at fault driver has a minimum liability policy of only $25,000.00 and you have $100,000.00 in “U” coverage, you could access $75,000.00 more in coverage if your injury justified it.
Medical payments coverage on your car policy provides money for medical bills. When used as an adjunct with your health insurance, you may never be out-of-pocket while you are waiting to resolve your injury claim.
Should I talk to the other driver’s insurance company after an accident ?
If liability is clear and you have suffered serious injury, the answer is “no”. Talking to the at fault insurance company is no benefit in that situation and could be detrimental as the insurance company will attempt to obtain information that could potentially place some doubt on liability or your damages. You would be much better off consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney who would avoid mistakes and maximize recovery.
If my health insuror pays for my accident related medical bills and I accept a settlement, do I have to pay my health insuror back?
The answer is generally “yes”. This is called subrogation or the right of recovery by your health insurance providers. If you are on Medicare or Medicaid, you must pay them back once you receive your settlement from the at fault party. This is required by statute and is a “super lien”. You also must pay back your health insurer and your own auto medical payments provider in many situations. You should consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to address and protect you in these situations before mistakes are made and you owe more than your settlement!
What kind of injury damages can I recover from a car crash?
You can recover for your past and future “specials”, i.e. medical bills, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, gas mileage to and from your medical providers; physical pain for each one of your injuries; mental suffering and loss of basic and pleasurable activities.
Medical treatment should occur soon and stay consistent throughout the process. An experienced injury attorney will help you document your physical pain, mental suffering, activity loss, medical expenses and lost wages.
Should I settle with the other driver's insurance company?
Serious Injury claims cannot be rushed. Many of the at-fault insurance companies will offer you some type of low settlement within days of your accident in the hopes that you will take the bait. DO NOT! Once you sign on the dotted line, your claim is over forever. You need to assess your injuries first and determine how long your condition will take to heal, if at all. If you were a lawyer, accepting a settlement before knowing the full extent of a client’s injuries would be malpractice. And yet, that is exactly what some of these at-fault insurance companies are doing. Consult an experienced personal injury attorney first to protect your legal rights, obtain the proper medical documentation and achieve the compensation you richly deserve under Ohio Law.
Should I contact a lawyer?
You should retain an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a serious accident.
Your lawyer will need time to obtain the police report, hospital records and bills, witness statements, insurance information, subrogation amounts and medical reports that are necessary to properly present your injury claims. The earlier you contact a lawyer, the greater your chance of obtaining a strong recovery either through settlement or trial. An experienced injury lawyer can strengthen your case by obtaining the proper information.
You increase the likelihood that you will prevail and the amount of compensation by retaining a lawyer with experience in auto accident cases. Do not trust the at-fault party’s insurance carrier as their interest are contrary to yours!
An experienced injury attorney will guide you through this complicated process involving liability, insurance, subrogation, medical documentation, lost wage documentation and the permanency of your injuries.
How can an attorney help me prove my damages?
An experienced injury attorney will know how to properly request, order and obtain medical reports that document all the injuries you suffered and address permanency. If your injury is chronic or permanent, a life expectancy table will project how long you will suffer into the future and is a valuable tool for trial or settlement purposes to demonstrate your damages. Medical reports are expensive and your attorney will usually pay for the cost of these reports and all expenses until the attorney is paid out of the settlement proceeds. You may also need economic reports to project future loss of income, medical expenses and any diminution in income. An experienced injury attorney can retain these needed experts on your behalf and maximize your recovery in ways you never even considered.
What are my attorney fees if I am injured in a car accident?
All fees are contingent upon success. No up-front money is ever needed. Initial consultations are free. Call 216-228-7200 or 216-272-8595 and speak to Attorney Kenneth Knabe now for a free serious injury auto accident consultation.