Ohio Personal Injury Blog by Cincinnati Accident Attorney Anthony Castelli

Archive for the ‘personal injury law’ Category

Top 5 Law Tweets That Could Save You Money by Cincinnati Attorney Anthony Castelli

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Law Firm of Anthony Castelli

Law Firm of Anthony Castelli

As a personal injury lawyer with over 32 years experience I thought you would like to see some short and to the point tweets. Not just any tweets. But tweets that could save you money in a personal injury settlement or even save your life.

Sadly, some of my clients are so injured that they can not work so I help them get social security disability benefits. Do you need income help . Find out if you qualify at http://socialsecuritydisabilityassist.com

Social Security Attorney Help

Distracted Driver Kills

Motorcycle Riders Please Don’t Speed

Watch Out For Pot Holes

Snow and Ice Caused Car Crashes You Are Still Responsible

6 Motorcycle Safety Tips

If you need Legal Help foe a personal injury or or social security disability income claim call Anthony Castelli 513-621-2345 . Free Initial Consultation .

Posted in personal injury law | No Comments »

Injury Victims Get This Inside Look Into the Insurance Company Mentality

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Are you thinking about handling your own injury car accident claim? You may want to take a look at this presentation by insurance company lawyers. The adjuster presuit has the same mentality. This gives great insight into the tactics auto insurance companies use to defeat you.

 

Keeping You From Recovering Money Damages For You Injury

Click on the link above to see the tactics the insurance defense attorneys use and  suggest their comrads adopt. It’s all designed to show that the injured person is greedy and to illegitimize their claim. The tables can be turned because many defense lawyers will over reach themselves. The key is to not seek more than the claim is worth. The key is to show that you have done everything in your power to get better.

This is an excerpt from the defense insurance industry presentation:

When You Actually Get to Trial:
Theme of case
–Every case should have a central theme that you wish to convey to the jury;
Plaintiff overreaching on damages;
–If a clear liability case, to concede or not to concede liability and concentrate on damages;
–Adopt conciliatory tone on liability but not on damages;

So there it is in a nut shell. If they can make you look greedy they believe they win. You know what? They are right.

 

Source: Here is a wonderful google plus community moderated by attorney Mitch Jackson, where I found this insurance defense lawyer presentation that he shared. ( Trial Lawyer Tips ) It is instructive for lawyers and layman alike. It demonstrates why those harmed by the negligence of others would do well to arm themselves with experienced personal injury Trial Lawyers.

If you are looking for uncompromising advocacy designed to get you all you are due in compensation, care and respect call me today for a free case evaluation.

Anthony Castelli Attorney

8170 Corporate Park drive #220

Cincinnati, Ohio 45242

513-621-2345

 

Posted in personal injury law | No Comments »

Injury Lawsuit Loans Costly Says Cincinnati Lawyer

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Lawsuit loans for your accident injury claim are costly. As a Cincinnati attorney practicing personal injury law, I have

Cincinnati lawyer on Lawsuit Loans Exposed

had clients ask me about these Advance Lawsuit Funding  loans. In a word they are costly, very costly. These are not your normal loans from a bank. Just what are they then?

 

Advanced Lawsuit Funding Loans Defined

Alternative litigation finance is providing money by non traditional sources to civil injury victims or others with lawsuits for money to pay living expences or support lawsuits. What I am particularly referring to here is where an injured person needs money for medical expenses or living expenses while their injury claim, settlement or lawsuit is pending.

In Ohio the term is called non recourse civil litigation advance and is defined by statute.   R.C. 1349.55 paraphrased defines a non recourse civil litigation advance as: a transaction…cash payment to a consumer with a civil claim in exchange for the right to get an amount out of the proceeds of the settlement.

 

Obscenely High Interst Rates For ALF

By these vehicles providers advance money to people who have pending claims, usually personal injury. The injured party agrees to pay back the money at a very high rate of interst. This is normally much higher than any bank interest rate or even credit card. The money is to be paid out of the proceeds of the accident injury claim. So if the injury claim fails and no money is recovered then the advance does not have to be paid back.

An advisory opinion for the State of Ohio states that a lawyer may suggest this vehicle to a client that is in need of money. It says in pertinent part, “a lawyer who is aware that his client needs financial assistance due to the injuries sustained in the underlying accident should make the client aware of the options available.”

The problem is that these advances often call for 50% interest or more on the amount of the loan to be paid if repaid in the first six months and can go higher as time goes on. The Center for Public Integrity has published several articles on this practice.* They also commented on the background of these advances in Ohio. In fact these advances were illegal according to the Ohio Supreme Court until the legislature passed a law allowing it.

The Center’s article told the story of Larry Long a stroke victim facing eviction who borrowed $9150 against his Vioxx case. When he got his lawsuit money of $27,000 just 18 months later he owed $23,588.00. Then there was Ernst Kho that was “advanced” $10,500 and two years later owed  $35, 939.00

So be careful . Be very careful. Explore other sources of funding before you even think about these lawsuit advances. Can you get a bank loan? Can you take out a second mortgage on your house.  Would it be cheaper to get a cash advance on your credit card? Can you borrow the money from a family member. Can your attorney write a letter of protection for your bills or even your rent?

 

So Why Does Ohio Permit a Formerly Illegal Activity to be Sanctioned

It’s fiunny how the law changes . Cynics would say follow the money. Why else would the legislature permit exorbitant non capped interest rates on lawsuit advances but allow caps on damages for personal injury claims. If this is the bone throne to injury victims by the Ohio state legislature I say don’t do people negligently harmed by others any more favors.

The Center For Public Integrity wrote about how the Ohio Supreme Court in Rancman v Interim Settlement funding found these loans to be illegal, but then the Ohio legislature legalized them. Lobbyists descended on the Ohio legislature but no one knows how much money was spent on them as no law in Ohio reqiures this disclosure. No one in the legislature opposed the bill. this is its sponsor’s Lou blessing’s justification that it must be a good thing.

 

Disclaimer

This is just my opinion and no legal advice to anyone. If you are seriously injured get a free consult from an experienced injury lawyer about what you might want to do. It’s not for me to say as your situation is unknown to me . Just my two cents is that these litigation advances normally come with super high paybacks. So high that by the time you resolve your claim you may owe everything to the provider.

 

Sources and Resources:

States are battleground in drive to regulate lawsuit funding

http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/Boards/BOC/Advisory_Opinions/2012/Op_12-003.pdf

American Bar Association informal Report on Lawsuit Lending

About Anthony Castelli

Anthony Castelli is a personal injury lawyer with over 30 years experience . He has settled hundreds of accident injury claims and tried numeous bodily harm lawsuits. Call 621-2345 to contact Anthony for a free consultation.

8170 Corporate park Drive #220

Cincinnati, Ohio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: ,
Posted in personal injury law, Uncategorized | No Comments »

Ohio Supreme Courts Wrongly Decides Punitive Damages Must Be Given Separate Trial From Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Claim

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

As an Injury Lawyer for over 30 years I’ve seen the ball swing back and forth between the rights of personal injury victims and those that wrongfully cause them harm. However the ball has stuck in favor of wrongdoers for many years now in Ohio and in other states.

Just today the Ohio State Supreme Court ruled in favor of so called Tort Reform with its decision in Havel v Villa ruling that if requested a judge must grant a separate trial of the compensatory damage issue and the punitive damage issue. Compensatory damages are to make up for the injuries caused to the wrongfully harmed injury victim. Punitive damages are to punish the wrongdoer for conduct that is more than negligence, but involves the failure to exhibit care under circumstances that there is a high probability of harm. For example a jury can award punitive damages in a drunk driving car accident injury case.

Prior law was that a judge had the discretion to bifurcate or grant separate trials. As a lawyer that has won a jury verdict against Time Warner for punitive damages I must again say that we need to trust in the jury system. The punitive damages in the case I handled were not particularly large because in part due to the injury to the plaintiff was not that severe. The punishment fit the “crime” so to speak.

The Court’s ruling had legislative big business tort reform rationale behind it that juries can not be trusted. The case dealt with a person in a nursing home that died from a bed sore. The court ruled the trial of punitive and compensatory damages must be separate. The Court quoted the language of the state legislature that stated”

The current civil litigation system represents a challenge to the economy of the State of Ohio.(what evidence did the legislature have. i submit not one iota.) The legislature opined that reform of punitive damage law was urgently needed. The legislature went further in their misguided notion and said that while pain and suffering awards are inherently subjective non economic damages, which are intended to compensate for the person’s loss, it is believed that the inflation of noneconomic damages is partially due to the improper consideration of evidence of wrongdoing in assessing pain and suffering damages.

Inflated damage awards create an improper resolution of civil justice claims. the increased and improper costs of litigation and the resulting rise in insurance premiums is passed on to the general public through higher prices and services.In cases in which punitive damages are requested, defendants should have the right to request bifurcation of a trial to ensure that evidence of misconduct is not improperly considered by the jury in its determination of liability and compensatory damages.

As additional protection, trial and appellate courts should rigorously review pain and suffering awards to ensure that they properly serve compensatory purposes and are not excessive.

So the Court and the legislature are to blame in my opinion for this protection of big business interests and the erosion of citizens rights and cite no evidence to back up their opinion. By the way does anyone know the political party of the judges on the Ohio Supreme Court. Their party affiliation is not even put on the ballot.

Anthony Castelli Attorney
8170 Corporate Park Drive #220
Cincinnati, Ohio
513-621-2345

Tags: , , ,
Posted in personal injury law | No Comments »

Injury Assumption of Risk Defense in Former Cincinnati Bengal Chris Henry Lawsuit ?

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Assumption of risk is a defense to a claim of negligence. Depending on the State it can either be a complete defense or a partial defense. The defense is defined in Ohio  as knowing and voluntary acceptance of a risk of injury that was a cause of your injury. In Ohio the defense is merged with contributory negligence and only defeats recovery if the conduct was 51% or more of the cause of the injury.

This defense to a personal injury or a car crash also reduces the recovery by the percentage of fault assessed to the person bringing the personal injury lawsuit. Years ago both contributory negligence and assumption of risk if proven were total defenses that totally defeated any recovery.

An example could be the recent lawsuit filed by the estate of former Cincinnati Bengal Chris Henry. Here is a short version of the event.

Neighbor Lee Hardy told WLWT-TV and The Cincinnati Enquirer that he was working in his yard when the truck left the driveway. Hardy said Henry was yelling that he needed to talk to the woman behind the wheel. ”He said, ‘If you take off, I’m going to jump off the truck and kill myself,’” Hardy told the newspaper.

The law of the State controls . But for teaching purposes assume this was an Ohio case. If they found Cris Henry’s conduct was contributorily negligent or was an assumption of risk and his conduct  caused  more than 50% of his injury there would be no recovery. Some states allow you to recover  that portion of your recovery that is determined to be the fault of the defendant even if it’s less than 50% but not Ohio.

Sounds a bit confusing, but this is something a jury , if called upon would have to grapple with. You also find this conduct among teens that jump on a moving car and then are thrown off. Clearly there is a large component of fault in the example of the Henry case if he jumped onto the bed of the truck . Although you never want to determine a case from the newspaper,  as it is necessary to know all the facts and all the law.

If you have a question or need help with your personal injury car accident claim please call me today for a no obligation free consultation at 513-621-2345

Former cincinnati Bengal chris Henry truck accident

Former Cincinnati Bengal Chris Henry

 

Tags: , ,
Posted in personal injury law | No Comments »

Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer Law Talk 2

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Cincinnnati Personal Injury Lawyer Law Talk 2 is the second in a series of articles on Ohio personal injury law. . The purpose is to give any personal injury accident victim some information about the law behind their potential insurance settlement claim for personal injury. It is general information only and no substitute for consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

The first in the series answered the question “Do I have a claim? ” or in other words what is negligence. However you must not only prove that there was negligence, but that the negligence was a proximate cause of the accident and the injury.

Here is a jury charge on proximate cause. a jury charge is the law that the judge tells the jury to apply to a particular case.

A party who seeks to recover for injuries must prove not only that the other party was negligent, but also that such negligence was a proximate cause of the injuries. Proximate cause is an act or failure to act that in the natural and continuous sequence directly produced the injury and without which it would not have occurred.

There may be more than one proximate cause. When the negligent act or failure to act of one party joins the negligence of another to produce the injury , the negligence of each is a cause. It is not necessary that the negligence of each occur at the same time or that there be a common purpose or action.

Where two or more independent, negligent acts combine to produce a single harmful result, and where each of these is a substantial factor in producing that result, the actors are jointly responsible for the result.

The (negligent) act of any other person is not a defense to the negligence of the defendant, unless you find that the other person’s (negligent) act was an independent and superseding cause.

Causal connection is broken when another’s negligent act, which could not have been reasonably foreseen and is fully independent of the defendant’s negligence, intervenes and completely removes the effect of the defendant’s negligence, and becomes itself the proximate cause of the injury.

So you can see that not every act of negligence is a cause of an injury.In fact in many case several parties were negligent. They often seek to excuse their negligence by saying that the other party was an independent superseding cause.

Here are some facts from an actual case involving a a auto accident injury.

On the morning of November 20, 2006, Michael Platz, a mechanic employed by Cleveland Metroparks was heading westbound on Route 303, returning to work at the Hinckley Reservation after picking up a part from a store. Mr. Platz encountered a truck and trailer off to the side of the road that he had to pass on the way up a hill. He noticed that the van behind him, driven by Defendant Daniel Kohler, III, narrowly made it around the truck and trailer due to an oncoming truck in the eastbound lane. Mr. Platz proceeded down the hill and began braking in preparation for a left-hand turn onto Medina Line Road. It is disputed whether Mr. Platz utilized his turn signal. Mr. Platz had to come to a complete stop at the intersection as a vehicle was approaching driving eastbound. That vehicle was driven by Plaintiff-Appellee Judith Makowski. Mrs. Makowski’s husband, Plaintiff Appellee Roger Makowski was a passenger in the vehicle.

{¶3} Mr. Platz noticed that the van behind him driven by Mr. Kohler was not slowing down. Mr. Platz became concerned that the van would not be able to stop; thus, Mr. Platz began to accelerate in an attempt to prevent Mr. Kohler’s vehicle from striking his. Mr. Kohler attempted to “thread the needle” and pass Mr. Platz’s vehicle, believing he had enough time to re-enter the westbound lane without striking Mrs. Makowski’s vehicle. Mr. Kohler, however, was unsuccessful and struck Mrs. Makowski’s vehicle head-on. In addition, Mr. Kohler’s vehicle also struck the rear portion of Mr. Platz’s truck, slightly damaging the vehicle. Both Mr. and Mrs. Makowski suffered injuries as a result of the accident.

So what do you think the Court decided . Was Mr Kohler negligent for not turning the turn signal on and was that negligence the cause of the injury. Here is what the court said in finding that it was a question for the jury to decide if Kohler was negligent and the proximate cause

{¶19} The Supreme Court has stated that:

“The intervention of a responsible human agency between a wrongful act and an injury does not absolve a defendant from liability if that defendant’s prior negligence and the negligence of the intervening agency co-operated in proximately causing the injury. If the original negligence continues to the time of the injury and contributes substantially thereto in conjunction with the intervening act, each may be a proximate, concurring cause for which full liability may be imposed. Concurrent negligence consists of the negligence of two or more persons concurring, not necessarily in point of time, but in point of consequence, in producing a single indivisible injury.

{¶20} “In order to relieve a party of liability, a break in the chain of causation must take place. A break will occur when there intervenes between an agency creating a hazard and an injury resulting therefrom another conscious and responsible agency which could or should have eliminated the hazard.” Id. “The test * * * is whether the original and successive acts may be joined together as a whole, linking each of the actors as to the liability, or whether there is a new and independent act or cause which intervenes and thereby absolves the original negligent actor.”

“[t]he causal connection of the first act of negligence is broken and superseded by the second, only if the intervening negligent act is both new and independent. The term independent means the absence of any connection or relationship of cause and effect between the original and subsequent act of negligence. The term new means that the second act of negligence could not reasonably have been foreseen.’ Thus, the key determination whether an intervening act breaks the causal connection between negligence and injury depends upon whether that intervening cause was reasonably foreseeable by the one who was guilty of the negligence.”
“Intervening causation is not proven if the alleged intervening cause was reasonably foreseeable by the one who was guilty of the negligence. It is not necessary that the defendant should have anticipated the particular injury; it is sufficient that his act was likely to result in injury to some one.”
{¶22} We agree with the trial court that genuine issues of material fact exist with respect to whether Mr. Platz was negligent in operating his vehicle. Assuming that Mr. Platz did not use his turn signal, there was evidence, which if believed, could allow one to reasonably conclude that Mr. Platz was a concurrent proximate cause of the accident.

{¶23} Mr. Kohler testified in his deposition that he noticed brake lights on Mr. Platz’s truck when he was “at the top of the hill, more or less coming down, about halfway.” Mr. Kohler stated that he did not realize Mr. Platz was stopped at the bottom of the hill about to make a turn until he did not have enough time to stop. Prior to that point in time, Mr. Kohler believed that Mr. Platz was “just braking down the hill.” Mr. Kohler testified that he did not have enough time to stop behind Mr. Platz after he realized that Mr. Platz was stopped to turn and not just braking down the hill. Further, despite seeing Mrs. Makowski’s vehicle coming from the other direction, Mr. Kohler believed he had enough time to pass Mr. Platz and avoid a collision with Mrs. Makowski’s vehicle.

{¶24} While Mr. Platz testified in his deposition that he had his turn signal on, Mr. Kohler stated that Mr. Platz did not have his turn signal on. Thus, for purposes of summary judgment we will assume that he did not. Mr. Platz testified that:

“I was riding my brakes the whole way down the hill. I had been going that way for the last 30 years almost, for parts. I know people make a run at you coming down that hill; and the ones that are going straight, they’re right on your rear; so I know to ride the brakes the whole way down; turn on the turn signal to let them know you’re turning, and I know – It happens every time. It’s a bad intersection. I know cars coming the opposite way crest that hill, and you think you have a clear shot to make the turn, and you don’t because you have to wait for them to go by, and people are right on your rear more times than not. So I know the intersection.

{¶26} Viewing Mr. Platz’s testimony in a light most favorable to Mr. and Mrs. Makowski, the trier of fact could reasonably conclude that Mr. Platz knew that the intersection where he was attempting to make a turn was a dangerous intersection that required the use of a turn signal in order to give people behind him warning that he was turning and not merely slowing down due to the incline. Given Mr. Platz’s testimony, it would not be unreasonable for a trier of fact to conclude that some type of injury was foreseeable based upon his failure to use his turn signal. . Moreover, it would not be unreasonable for the trier of fact to conclude that Mr. Platz’s negligent action of failing to use his turn signal combined with Mr. Kohler’s negligent action of driving left of center and that these acts “may be joined together as a whole, linking each of the actors as to the liability[.]” . At the very least, this Court concludes that reasonable minds could reach different conclusions on the issue. Therefore, under the particular facts of this case, the trier of fact could conclude that Mr. Platz’s negligence was a concurrent proximate cause.

Is it any wonder that you may want to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer Often times a seemingly simple case is complex. what if you left one car driver out of your car accident injury claim and it turned out they were fully or partially at fault. The potential is you may lose partially or completely even though one negligent auto driver appeared to clearly be at fault for a car accident personal injury.

by Cincinnati personal injury lawyer Anthony Castelli for a free evaluation call 1-800-447-6549

Tags: ,
Posted in personal injury law | No Comments »

Entries (RSS) | Comments (RSS).