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Personal Injury

Ohio Jury Selection

Ohio jury selection is part psychology, part hunch.  In a few minutes, attorneys must decide if a person could be fair in a particular case.  That person could be a very fair person, but may not be able to decide a particular case fairly.  On the other hand, another person may usually side with a particular side, but just may do so in a particular situation. 


Stereotypes Do Not Work In Ohio Jury Selection


The first rule in jury selection is not to rely on stereotypes.  While stereotypes can provide a good starting point, the potential juror needs to be questioned as to his or her particular beliefs and biases.  For example, I am Italian and I love Italian food.  While I know it may be hard to believe, there might be some Italian person out there that does not like Italian food.  Another possibility is that the person has an Italian last name but does not identify as Italian.  Perhaps, the Italian culture in that person's family is long gone and replaced by other cultures, or simply the American culture.  This also holds true for professions.  While many social workers and teachers may tend to be sympathetic to people's feelings and pain, there may be some who are more skeptical.  The point is before a lawyer starts assuming he or she has a juror who can explain some Italian cultural or cuisine item to the rest of the jury, make sure the potential juror fits the bill.


Select Ohio Jurors Based On Their Experiences And Beliefs


The second rule is to get right at what drives that person.  Get right at the person's experiences and beliefs.  Most of the time, an attorney only gets a few questions per juror to determine this.  I devote some technical questions to determine someone's intellectual beliefs.  Then, I ask some questions about how they feel about certain topics to determine their emotional beliefs.  If there is going to be a unique approach to the trial, I may ask the jurors if they have any issues with that approach.  For example, I tried a case where we slowed down the security video footage to get a better look at what happened.  I simply asked the jury how they felt about instant replay.  The jurors who liked it would likely appreciate the value in slowing down the video to examine the events.  The jurors who did not like instant replay would likely tune out all the hard work we put into slowing down the video for their benefit. 


Select Ohio Jurors With Values Favorable To The Facts Of Your Case


The third rule is ask jury questions that hit on values related to the case, without describing the case they will be hearing.  The judge may not allow me to ask questions that get too close to the facts of the case, so I usually have to be careful.  The judge limits questions like that because he or she does not want me to gather a straw poll on the potential verdict.  Would I like to do that?  Of course I would.  On the other hand, I would not put too much stock in that process anyway, as a simplified version of the facts may not match that juror's view of the facts after hearing the evidence.  Different jurors focus on different things.  Sometimes, they ask themselves if the Defendant is acting the way he or she should be acting in such a situation.  This can be a brutal analysis, as one charged with a crime may be extremely nervous and struggle to get his or her words out, making it look like they are not acting right.  Sometimes, this intuitive approach is telling; other times, it is misleading.  Yet, jurors bring in their lifetime of experiences and techniques in analyzing people.


Attorney Daniel Gigiano.  Experienced.  Aggressive.  Dedicated.


Attorney Daniel Gigiano was admitted to the practice of law in Illinois in 1993.  He immediately began practicing as an assistant prosecutor working in a courtroom that focused on major traffic cases, such as DUI and driving under suspension, spending over one year focusing on the many issues in these cases.  Attorney Daniel Gigiano then spent the next five years of his government practice working on misdemeanors, felonies, grand jury and preliminary hearings, juvenile delinquency cases, and abuse and neglect cases.  In 1999, he was admitted to practice in Ohio.  In 2000, he took his experience to a private practice in Wadsworth, Medina County, Ohio.  Attorney Gigiano has maintained a practice in Wadsworth since that time.  During his private practice, he has tried numerous criminal and civil jury trials to verdicts.  Call now at 330-336-3330 if you need the services of an experienced Medina County trial attorney in Wadsworth.

Punitive Damages Award Against Dead Person Allowed

In 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a punitive damages award against dead person allowed.  The deceased person’s estate can be held responsible for punitive damages if a trial court awards such damages against the decedent, cutting into the share of the estate the heirs can receive. (more…)

Ohio Appeal Rights

If you do not like the ruling at trial, you may have Ohio appeal rights, which is the right to appeal the trial court’s decision.  

Ohio Appeal Rights To Appeal The Magistrate

    If the trial or hearing was heard by a magistrate, you have the right to appeal the magistrate. If the magistrate issued an order, you have the right to ask the judge to set the order aside.  This must be filed within ten days of the order.  Filing this motion does not automatically stop the order from taking effect.  If the magistrate issued a decision, you have the right to object to the decision.  The objection automatically stops enforcement of the decision.  Unfortunately, this includes the parts you may like along with the parts to which you have objections.  The objection must be filed within fourteen days of the filing of the magistrate’s decision. (more…)

Ohio’s Sudden Emergency Defense To Personal Injury Claims

Ohio’s sudden emergency defense to personal injury claims should be considered when pursuing and filing a personal injury case.  You can certainly bet that the insurance company and their lawyers will be considering and raising this defense if they believe it can defeat a personal injury claim.  A good personal injury lawyer always anticipates the defenses in building a case for the client.   What is the sudden emergency doctrine?  The sudden emergency defense consists of:
  1. The person was confronted by a sudden or unexpected emergency;
  2. The claimed emergency was not the result of any fault of the person or any circumstance under the person’s control; and
  3. The person exercised such care as a reasonably cautious person would exercise under the same or similar circumstances.

What Defenses Are Available In Ohio Personal Injury Cases?

A good offense in fighting for injured people involves anticipating the defenses that will be raised by the person who caused the injury. What defenses are available in Ohio personal injury cases?   In most personal injury cases, there are four things the injured person must prove: (1) the defendant owed you a duty of care; (2) the defendant breached that duty; (3) the breach of the duty was the proximate cause of your injury; and (4) personal injury, property damage or both. The first defense is simply to show that the injured person failed to prove these things.  Careful attention to the details of the accident and how those details compare to the injuries make the difference in getting the recovery that you deserve.   (more…)

When Personal Injury Is Caused By Negligence

Typically, a personal injury claim is based on negligence. Negligence occurs when someone causes harm by failing to take the degree of care that an ordinarily careful and reasonable person would take under the same or similar circumstances. For example, a reasonable person should watch the road while they are driving. If the driver is texting and driving and fails to see a car stopped in front of him or her, the driver is negligently failing to watch the road. That driver would be liable for any harm the results from the that negligent act.   When personal injury is caused by negligence, there are four things the injured person must prove: (1) the defendant owed you a duty of care; (2) the defendant breached that duty; (3) the breach of the duty was the proximate cause of your injury; and (4) personal injury, property damage or both. Using our example, the driver owed the other drivers on the road the duty of care of complying with Ohio traffic laws. When that driver breached that duty by texting and failing to watch the road, and striking the vehicle in front of the driver, the driver failed to maintain an assured clear distance as required under Ohio law. The driver’s action is the proximate cause of the damage to the other vehicle and the people inside the other vehicle. The damages may include the monetary amount required to repair or replace the vehicle and to treat the injury from the accident.   (more…)

Negligent Entrustment

If the owner of a vehicle knew at the time he or she allowed the driver to operate a vehicle that the driver was unqualified to operate the vehicle, the owner could be liable for negligent entrustment, also known as wrongful entrustment of motor vehicle. Ohio law states that the owner of a vehicle shall not allow one to drive their vehicle if they know or have reasonable cause to believe that the person: does not have a valid driver’s license; has a suspended driver’s license; or is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The code lists some more obscure reasons, which can be found here.  When the owner and driver live in the same household and are related to each other, the law assumes that the owner knows that the household member’s driver’s license is invalid.   (more…)

Medical Bills In Personal Injury Cases

How are medical bills in personal injury cases used for reimbursement purposes? Medical bills usually have two rates: (1) the full uninsured rate; and (2) the adjusted rate, or the amount of the bill after the bill is adjusted to the rate according to the agreement between the medical provider and the insurance company. Some like to refer to this second amount as the amount of the bill after the medical provider writes off some of the bill. Which figure does the jury get to hear at trial? The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on this issue in 2006, in Robinson v. Bates. In their decision, the Ohio Supreme Court said that both the amount billed and the amount accepted as full payment could be admitted into evidence. Any difference between the original medical bill and the amount accepted is not a benefit. Because a medical bill is good evidence of the reasonable value of charges for medical services, either version of the bills can be used to demonstrate that value.   (more…)

Slip And Fall Personal Injury

In many personal injury cases, there is no question as to whether someone is liable for injuries caused in an accident. When someone hits someone from behind or veers into oncoming traffic and hits another car head-on, we can all agree that these individuals will usually be liable for any resulting injuries.   In slip and fall personal injury cases, liability for the injury is not always so clear. The owner of the premises must be negligent in maintaining the premises. This means there is some defect in the premises. The defect could be a hole in the ground, a slippery surface, or unstable steps. However, negligence alone will not win the case. If the defect was open and obvious, the injured person cannot recover for his or her injury. In some cases, this makes perfect sense. If the owner spots a hole and immediately puts posts and yellow warning tape around the hole, the owner has rendered the defect open and obvious. In many circumstances, the owner would not be liable if someone were to fall into the hole. Because people should be able to see the hole, they should be able to avoid it. What if the owner did this in an unlit portion of a parking lot? If the injured person could not reasonably see the warning, then the defect would no longer be open and obvious.   (more…)

Two Trials May Be Required In Some Personal Injury Cases

The 2005 Ohio Tort Reform Law requires Ohio courts hearing personal injury lawsuits to grant requests for bifurcation of trials when both compensatory and punitive damages are sought. In other words, two trials may be required in some personal injury cases. The constitutionality of the tort reform law was challenged in a case called Havel v. Villa St. Joseph. Ordinarily, the Ohio Supreme Court gets to make the rules and judges get to decide whether to bifurcate a trial. The Ohio Tort Reform Law was basically the legislature telling the judicial branch how to run their courtrooms during personal injury trials. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the bifurcation requirement created the right to demand a bifurcation. The Ohio Supreme Court noted that the General Assembly intended to reform punitive damages law in Ohio in order to restore balance, fairness, and predictability to the civil justice system. The law was designed to prevent juries from considering evidence of misconduct in determining liability and compensatory damages.   (more…)

What Should You Do If You Are Involved In a Traffic Accident?

What should you do if you are involved in a traffic accident?  If you get involved in a traffic accident on a public road, you are required to do a number of things.  First, you must stop and remain at the scene.  You must also give your name, address, vehicle license plate number, and name and address of the vehicle owner to the police, persons injured in the accident and to the operator, occupant, or owner of the damaged vehicle.  If he injured person is not in a position to understand or receive this information, you must immediately notify the nearest police authority of the location of the accident, your name and address and your vehicle license plate number.  You must also show your driver’s license to anyone who requests it.  You must also remain at the scene until the police arrive, unless you are transported to another location by ambulance. (more…)

Personal Injury Tips

This article offers personal injury tips to those who have been victimized by personal injury.  When you suffer a personal injury, there are numerous people who may try to contact you.  Insurance companies will try to get a recorded statement from you, where they will try to get you to minimize your damages or admit to some fault in the accident.  Personal injury attorneys will send you packets of materials in their attempt to get you to use their services.  “Injury helplines” will call you every day trying to get you onto a referral list that attorneys pay to receive.  These are not helplines.  They are telemarketers.  Medical providers will call you asking for payment.  If the matter lasts long enough, collection agencies will start sending notices and call you. (more…)

Personal Injury

When you are injured, an experienced personal injury attorney can provide you with the aggressive representation to protect your rights.  Personal injuries resulting in money damages can be caused in several ways, including automobile accidents, slip and falls, and improperly prepared food.