NEWS & RESOURCES

Month: January 2015

What Is Negligence and The Reasonable Person Standard? Legal Concepts Defined For Non-Lawyers

Normally when we think of negligence we might think “neglect.” The boy neglected to feed his goldfish and the goldfish died. The teenager neglected to study for her final exam and as a result she failed the exam. “Neglect” essentially means failing to do something. Let us assume a driver ran a red light and hit you. We would say that the other driver was negligent in the operation of his vehicle. He failed to do something; he failed to stop at a red light. That failure caused him to hit your car.

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What did he fail to do? The driver who hit you failed to act as a reasonable person would in the same or similar circumstances. You’re now asking, what is a reasonable person and what does that have to do with this situation? A reasonable person is a made up, theoretical, imaginary person.  He’s like that dependable, nerdy, middle-of-the-road guy that we all know.

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What Is THIS Robinson Number I Keep Hearing About?

A Little Background:

If you go to a mediation of a settlement you might hear your attorney and the mediator refer to the “Robinson Number”. The Robinson number arose out of the interplay between the 2006 Ohio Supreme Court case, Robinson v. Bates and Ohio Revised Code 2315.20.  The Robinson number is a modification of Ohio’s version of the Collateral Source Rule.

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Something that is not obvious or little known by non-attorneys are the rules of evidence. During trial, the rules of evidence prevent attorneys from presenting certain types of evidence. These rules are founded upon policy reasons which ensure that the finder of fact (the jury) base their verdicts on fair and reliable information. The Collateral Source is one of these policy rules.

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Should I Get Uninsured Motorist And Under-Insured Motorist Coverage (“UM”)?

The short answer is: YES! The next question is, “what is insured motorist overage?”An uninsured motorist is a driver without insurance. The repercussions being that if the uninsured motorist is at fault, the victim is limited to getting her bills paid directly from the uninsured motorist.

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Unfortunately, most uninsured motorists are facing their own financial difficulties (otherwise why would they forgo getting insurance). Therefore, when the victim goes to collect for medical bills and car damage, the uninsured driver has little or no money to pay the victim for her physical injuries and damaged car.

“But doesn’t Ohio require that all drivers show proof of financial ability (i.e. insurance coverage) in order to drive?” Sort of.  Ohio does require proof. The problem is that in Ohio, when registering a car or renewing a driver’s license, a driver must simply sign a statement that he has insurance coverage. At that time he does not need to prove to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (“BMV”) that he has car insurance. A driver can lie on this application about his lack of insurance and still get his license or register his car.

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