5-year-old Akron boy survives hit-and-run accident

By Arthur Elk

I was horrified to read about a terrible accident that took place last week involving a 5-year-old Akron boy.

Joshua Shaw, 5, and his older sister Jadynn, 9, were walking home from Judith A. Resnik Elementary School when the unthinkable happened. Jadynn crossed the street first and made it safely, but when Joshua followed, he was struck by a car. The driver got out of his car and started running toward Joshua, saying he was sorry. After the brief apology, the unidentified driver got back in the car and drove away.

Joshua underwent a two-hour surgery the next day to repair his left leg which was broken in two places. One of his bones was completely shattered, so doctors had to use nails to repair it. Joshua will be in a cast and use a wheelchair for the next two months while his leg heals. Police are still looking for the hit-and-run driver.

According to SafeKidsUSA, since 2000, an average of 400 children (under the age of 14) were killed each year in pedestrian accidents. In 2010 (the most recent year numbers are available for), there were about 256 child pedestrian fatalities recorded in the U.S. In addition, there were close to 15,000 child pedestrians injured in these same scenarios. That is way too many young people hurt and killed by drivers.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers the following tips:

  • Supervise your children constantly – especially when they’re near parked or moving vehicles, or playing near streets or driveways.
  • Hold your child’s hand when crossing streets, walking along streets and in parking lots
  • Show your child how to walk facing traffic when there’s no sidewalk.
  •  Demonstrate how to cross the street by stopping at the curb or street’s edge and looking left-right-left for traffic before crossing.
  • Children age 10 and under do not have the skill sets to manage traffic situations by themselves. They must be supervised closely by an adult or young adult.
  • Set a good, safe example when walking on streets or sidewalks and when crossing roads.

The Ohio personal injury lawyers of Elk & Elk want all young people to be aware of the dangers they face when they are walking near roadways. Please take the time to educate them and supervise them. Their safety depends on it.


Deaths among youngest drivers surge in first half of 2012

By Arthur Elk

I’m a parent of four and I remember well those years when my children were first learning how to drive. Driving is such a huge responsibility and can be such a dangerous thing to learn how to do. As a parent, I was very concerned about my children when they were 16 or 17 and driving or riding with their teen-age friends.

A new report shows that deaths among 16- and 17-year-old drivers increased in the first half of 2012, a sobering reminder for all parents of teen-age drivers.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, deaths of teen drivers jumped 19% in the first six months of last year, more than double the percentage increase for overall traffic deaths.

There were 240 highway fatalities of 16- and 17-year-old drivers through the first half of 2012, up from 202 for the same period a year earlier. Overall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration projects that all traffic deaths were up 8% for the period.

If the numbers hold true for the second half of 2012, it would mark the second straight year of increases in deaths of teen drivers. In 2011, road deaths of 16- and 17-year-old drivers rose 3%, ending eight straight years of declines.

Allan Williams, a safety consultant who compiled the GHSA report, says the spike in teen fatalities is likely caused by the improving economy and the leveling off of safety benefits from graduated driver licensing programs.

While those may both be factors, I also believe that distracted driving, caused by texting or using mobile devices, is also a major factor in the increase. It is too easy for a young driver to send a quick text to a friend or try to look something up on their smartphone. For an inexperienced, young driver, those seconds of distraction can easily prove deadly.

If you are the parent of a teen driver, continue to emphasize the importance of not texting and driving and encourage your young driver to keep their eyes on the road, not on their smartphone or their friends. Communication is the key to making sure they know that texting and driving is illegal and dangerous.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney. Please visit our website for information on how we can help.

Failure to Yield accidents 2nd leading cause of fatal crashes in Ohio

yieldBy Arthur Elk

I was not surprised to hear that excessive speed is the leading cause of fatal motor vehicle accidents in Ohio. It also didn’t surprise me to read what the second leading cause of fatal accidents is: Failure to Yield violations. In 2012, motorists running red lights, stop signs or failing to yield to traffic caused 37,475 crashes in Ohio. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, these accidents killed 187 people and injured another 23,353.

The Highway Patrol is making a concerted effort to crack down on these violations. In 2012, troopers wrote 22,025 citations for Failure to Yield, a 3 percent increase from 2011. About one-fourth of the citations were issued after an accident.

It should be no surprise that the largest number of Failure to Yield accidents took place in counties with major metropolitan areas. Franklin County had the most crashes (5,430) with Cuyahoga County coming in second place (3,335).

Young drivers, ages 16-25, were at-fault in nearly one-third (30 percent) of these crashes. That is nearly double the rate of those aged 26-35 (16 percent). Parents need to remind young people often to pay attention when behind the wheel. There are too many things that can distract them and cause them to run a red light or a stop sign. Drivers of all ages need to put away their cell phones and focus on the road and the other vehicles around them.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol offers these tips to avoid failure to yield crashes:

  • Slow down and take your time
  • Look both ways before entering an intersection
  • Signal every turn and lane change
  • Make a complete stop at stop lights and stop signs
  • Yield to other drivers and be courteous

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney. Please check out our website.

Quick settlement helps client pay medical bills and realize her dream

feb_article3At Elk & Elk, we are focused on getting our clients and their families the maximum compensation they deserve. Sometimes a client has plans and dreams that go far beyond simple financial numbers. Elk & Elk attorney Gary Cowan recently was able to help his client pay her medical bills and make her dreams come true.

On June 8, 2011, Bessie DeVinney, 88, had attended her dialysis appointment and was being picked up by a taxi from Columbus Green Cabs. The driver of the taxi forcefully stepped on the accelerator as Mrs. DeVinney was attempting to sit down in the back seat. The driver lost control of the taxi and hopped over multiple curbs before coming to a stop in the parking lot of a nearby WalMart.

Mrs. DeVinney suffered multiple fractures including her ankle, nasal and compression fractures of two vertebrae. She spent five days in the hospital, before being transferred to a rehab unit, where she spent more than two weeks.

After nearly a year of no response from Columbus Green Cabs, Cowan filed suit against the company in May 2012 and the case went to mediation in September 2012. During a break in the mediation talks, Mrs. DeVinney told Cowan that all she wanted was to get enough money to pay her mounting medical bills from her hospital stay and rehabilitation and take her whole family on a trip to Niagara Falls. However, she was worried that the case would drag on so long that she would not live long enough to receive the money and take her family on the trip.

Cowan was able to get the company to agree to settle the case and Mrs. DeVinney received her money in October. She was able to pay all her medical bills and have enough left for her dream trip. She told Gary that she is planning on taking her trip in April. Mrs. DeVinney was very appreciative of all the hard work Gary and his team put in to helping her get the settlement she deserved in a timely manner.

At Elk & Elk, we believe strongly in getting our clients the results they deserve. We work hard to help our clients receive the compensation they need to pay their medical bills and get their lives back on track after a life-changing injury.  If you or a loved one has been injured, we will use our extensive resources and nearly 50 years of experience to help you. Call 1-800-ELK-OHIO today or fill out our online consultation form and find out how we can help you.

Falling TVs pose a danger to young children

By Arthur Elk

With tax season upon us, you may be considering using part of your tax refund to buy a new TV for your family. If you do, what are you doing with your old one? Putting it in one of your children’s bedrooms? Most of us would never consider a TV as a danger. But for parents with young children, TVs or any other piece of large furniture can become deadly and one watchdog group is reminding parents about the danger.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging parents to anchor and stabilize their TVs, furniture and appliances to avoid tip-over related accidents.

A new CPSC report issued in December shows that falling TV sets have killed more than 200 children since 2000. In 2011 alone, 29 people – mostly children – were killed by falling TVs in the USA and another 18,000 people are treated for injuries from falling TVs. According to Kate Carr, president of Safe Kids Worldwide, every three weeks a child dies from a tipped-over TV.

According to the CPSC report, TVs aren’t the only dangerous household item:

  • More than 43,000 people are hurt each year as the result of TVs or furniture tipping over, with more than 25,000 of those hurt being children.
  • Between 2000 and 2011, 349 people were killed when TVs, furniture or appliances toppled over onto them; 84 percent of them were children younger than age 9.
  •  Falling TVs caused 62 percent of the 349 deaths, making it the most dangerous piece of furniture.
  • In 2011, 41 fatalities were recorded, an increase from 31 in 2010 and 27 in 2009.

Why is this becoming such a serious issue? Experts say as families buy newer, thinner, lighter televisions for their family rooms or living rooms, the older, heavier TVs are being relegated to children’s bedrooms or basements where they may not be as secure, sitting on a dresser or other large piece of furniture.

According to a survey conducted by Safe Kids Worldwide in September, 3 percent of parents had secured traditional cathode ray tube TVs to walls and furniture, just 5 percent had secured flat-screen sets to furniture and 28 percent had attached them to walls, which experts say is the safest choice. But if you can’t anchor your TV to the wall, experts suggest you place your TV on a low, sturdy base and remove any items from the top of the TV such as remotes that might attract children.

Many of the children who are injured or killed in these accidents as the result of playing near a TV or furniture, or because they are climbing on the furniture. The personal injury attorneys of Elk & Elk want you and your family to be safe, which is why we urge anyone with children in their home to make sure that TVs and large pieces of furniture are secure.

If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Ohio personal injury attorneys of Elk & Elk today at 1-800-ELK-OHIO or by filling out our online consultation form.