AuthorCharles V. Contrada

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Drugged driving is a growing danger

When people hear the term “drugged driver” they automatically think of impairment caused by illegal drugs. But illegal drugs are not the only substances that impair drivers. It is now more common for many people using prescription or over-the-counter medications to be driving under these dangerous conditions.

Drivers using illicit drugs or the misuse of prescription drugs can make driving a car unsafe – exactly like driving after drinking alcohol. The rapidly growing number of incidents of drugged driving puts drivers, their passengers, and others who share the same road at serious risk.

  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2016, 20.7 million people aged 16 or older drove under the influence of alcohol and 11.8 million drove under the influence of illicit drugs.

Drivers need to understand the serious risks of driving impaired and especially under the influence of prescription drugs. Driving under the influence of prescription drugs like Ambien, Vicodin, codeine, OxyContin, Xanax and Tramadol is a serious risk. If you have been prescribed these medications, it is essential to consult your doctor before operating a vehicle.

Drugged Driving Statistics

The number of drivers using illicit drugs or misusing prescription drugs continues to climb each year. Did you know that:

  • According to Ohio Department of Transportation trafficcrash statistics, Ohio has seen a 25% increase in drugged driving crashes since 2012.
  • There were 3,574 drugged driving crashes in 2016, which accounted for about 33% of all impaired driving crashes.
  • 43% of fatally-injured drivers with a known test result tested positively for drugs, more frequently than when alcohol was present.
  • DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs) testing is difficult and complex. There are 430 specific drugs or metabolites in the national highway safety fatality database. In 2015, nationwide, 57% of fatally-injured drivers were tested for drugs. Of those tested:
    • 6% tested for marijuana
    • 3% tested for amphetamine
    • 1% tested for other
    • 4% tested for drugs not in the FARS (Fatality Analysis Reporting System) list

Ohio Drugged Driving Laws

Ohio’s drugged driving law can be found in the Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.19. The law states that no person shall operate any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them.

Ohio has what is known as a per se (also known as a “zero tolerance”) prohibition against drugged driving if the driver, while driving, has specific amounts of certain controlled substances in his or her body.

Contrada & Associates Can Help

At Contrada & Associates, we use the resources available to us to vigorously represent people injured by drugged drivers. If you or a loved one was a victim of a car accident in Ohio, let Contrada & Associates help you.

Call the Toledo-area office of Contrada & Associates at 419.841.4400 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation with our experienced car accident attorneys. We offer hospital and home consultations if you cannot make it to our office.

10 Christmas Safety Tips

As you look forward to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is also unfortunate that friends and family members going in and out of homes and shopping areas will be exposed to the increased possibility of personal injury.

Did you know that according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission that as many as 15,000 people are admitted to emergency rooms for injuries during the holiday season?

Accidents can include falling from ladders, stepping on glass ornaments, kitchen mishaps and driving to and from holiday parties.

Simple Safety Tips

Follow these simple safety tips to enjoy a happy and safe holiday.

  1. Electrical Hazards: Don’t overuse extension cords. Upgrade to highly insulated extension cords. Avoid using too many adapters and plugging too many things into one outlet. Make sure all outdoor light strings are rated for weather. Consider finally upgrading to LED – as these are considerably safer than traditional holiday lights!
  2. Fire Hazards: Check your holiday lights wiring for defects and replace if needed. Make sure that your real Christmas tree is properly watered, and monitor all lit candles for safety.
  3. Small Decoration Hazards: Avoid creating choking hazards for small children. Keep all very small parts, tree hooks and other small decorative items out of the reach of young ones.
  4. Research Kid’s Toys: Make sure that toys are age appropriate – again small parts can be choking hazards. Don’t look for deals that sacrifice required safety standards.
  5. Opening Packages: Have a letter opener or safety scissors available for opening packages. Using a knife produces the potential of misplacing a sharp object near children and pets.
  6. Reduce Clutter: From sidewalk snow removal to removing wires, extra packages and other debris around an already chaotic house. Preventing slips and falls means being organized and keeping clutter to a minimum.
  7. Don’t Rush in the Kitchen: Ill-planned meals with many people in the kitchen can lead to burns, cuts and spills. Plan food prep in advance to avoid problems caused by hurrying.
  8. Prevent Contamination: Supervise the basics that you would at any other time of the year. Wash hands, clean utensils – especially after cutting raw meat – and refrigerate items that, if left at room temperature, could cause illness.
  9. Ladder Safety for Decorating: Basic OSHA guidelines say to make sure the ladder is appropriate for the height you are climbing. Face the ladder, use both hands, center your body weight, wear slip-proof footwear. Test your lights on the ground before heading up the ladder.
  10. Never Drink and Drive: Control consumption for your family and friends. Designate a driver for groups in advance, and as a last resort, hide keys to prevent an unwise choice.

Contrada & Associates Can Help

If you or a loved one have been a victim of an accident, don’t sign or say anything. Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, and guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a personal injury accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with personal injury claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.



9 Questions (and answers) on Mesothelioma

Could someone in your family have Mesothelioma cancer? If you or a family member has been exposed to asbestos, then there is a chance of developing this cancer as a result. You should understand everything you can about Mesothelioma and what legal options you and your family might have.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. It is caused primarily by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. Mesothelioma is most commonly diagnosed in older people who have worked with asbestos in an industrial environment. The prognosis for mesothelioma is poor, however early detection and advanced treatment methods have given many Mesothelioma patients new hope.

This rare cancer affects the membranes that line the organs in the chest and abdomen, resulting in symptoms that include the following:

  • Chest pain
  • Painful breathing
  • Ongoing Cough
  • Fluid build-up
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite

When Was Asbestos Used?

After being increasingly utilized during World War II, asbestos was prevalent in many industries. It provided strength in building products, was used for insulation purposes and in roofing materials.

Due to the fire-retardant characteristic of asbestos, it was ideal for fireproofing buildings. It also served as a sound absorber, making asbestos a product contained in many school buildings.

It wasn’t until the second half of the 20th century when asbestos-related cancers become more recognizable, that measures were taken to reduce the exposure to asbestos. The risk of exposure to the dangerous mineral remains high during renovation projects, remodels, and demolitions of structures containing asbestos products. When the mineral becomes disturbed, it is released into the air as dust and can be inhaled, putting individuals at risk for lung cancer.

How Are You Exposed to Asbestos?

The exposure to asbestos occurs when the minerals are disturbed and released into the air. Those who work in certain industries are at an increased risk for asbestos exposure due to the duties performed at work and the processes in place. Exposure to asbestos can also occur while making products containing asbestos, when working with insulation that contains asbestos, or during construction projects that include demolition or renovation.

Individuals are exposed to asbestos in essentially two ways. The first occurs in the installation of products. This normally happened years ago. The other situation in which people are exposed to asbestos is when materials containing it are taken out or disturbed (i.e. renovation projects). People who changed brakes on their cars could be exposed both putting them on and taking them off.

How Does Asbestos Get Into Your System?

When asbestos is disturbed, it is released into the air as dust. The inhalation of these minerals puts the individual at risk, as some of the tiny particles can remain within the lungs. According to the American Cancer Society, when the asbestos particles accumulate within the lungs, they can cause scarring and inflammation. The build-up of this scarring and inflammation can then lead to a number of different diseases including the development of mesothelioma.

What are the Riskiest Occupations for Mesothelioma Exposure?

Those individuals at risk to develop mesothelioma include workers from a specified list of industries and trades that utilized asbestos for its various properties.

Workers from the following companies in the Northwest Ohio area could have been exposed to asbestos and risk the chance of developing mesothelioma:

  • Power plants – ACME, Bay Shore, Steam Plant, Davis Besse, Monroe Coal Burner, Consumer Energy, Enrico Fermi
  • Automotive Plants – General Motors Foundry, Chrysler Assembly, Chrysler Fostoria Foundry
  • Glass making factories – Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Company in Rossford, Libbey Glass in Toledo & East Toledo
  • Refineries in Toledo – British Petroleum (BP), Sunoco, Gulf Oil, Pure Oil
  • Nearly all other industrial settings in Northwest Ohio

Individuals who worked in commercial buildings of any size may have been exposed to asbestos, possibly causing scarring of the lungs and mesothelioma. Other workers affected by asbestos include those employed in the following industries and professions:

  • Shipping and rail yards
  • Ship building
  • Carbon black plants
  • Fiber glass and asbestos plants
  • Food processing plants
  • Military services involving shipping
  • Air Force
  • Employees in school buildings
  • Employees in University buildings
  • All manufacturing plants that use steam or had high-temperature processes
  • Anyone in building trades

What products contain asbestos?

The following list does not include every product that might contain asbestos. It is a general guide to show which types of materials might contain asbestos.

  • Cement Pipes
  • Cement Wallboard
  • Cement Siding
  • Asphalt Floor Tile
  • Vinyl Floor Tile
  • Vinyl Sheet Flooring
  • Flooring Backing
  • Construction Mastics
  • Acoustical Plaster
  • Decorative Plaster
  • Textured Paints/Coatings
  • Ceiling Tiles and Lay-in Panels
  • Spray-Applied Insulation
  • Blown-in Insulation
  • Fireproofing Materials
  • Taping Compounds (thermal)
  • Packing Materials (for wall/floor penetrations)
  • High Temperature Gaskets
  • Laboratory Hoods/Table Tops
  • Laboratory Gloves
  • Fire Blankets and Curtains
  • Elevator Equipment Panels
  • HVAC Duct Insulation
  • Boiler Insulation
  • Breaching Insulation
  • Ductwork Flexible Fabric Connections
  • Cooling Towers
  • Pipe Insulation
  • Heating and Electrical Ducts
  • Electrical Panel Partitions
  • Electrical Cloth
  • Electric Wiring Insulation
  • Chalkboards
  • Roofing Shingles
  • Roofing Felt
  • Roll Roofing
  • Roof Patching Cement
  • Base Flashing
  • Thermal Paper Products
  • Fire Doors
  • Caulking/Putties
  • Adhesives
  • Wallboard
  • Joint Compounds
  • Vinyl Wall Coverings
  • Spackling Compounds

What is the Latency Period of Asbestos?

One of the distinguishing factors of asbestos disease is the long latency period between exposure to the dust and the appearance of symptoms, with the normal range being 25-40 years. The advice that attorney Charlie Contrada gives to individuals who believe that they have developed asbestos disease is that “you are your best witness.” Your personal memory is very important to help find the answers related to your case, including where you may have been exposed to asbestos. Specifics such as where you worked in the past or where you lived can help your case.

Once you begin to have symptoms of mesothelioma, it is critical to contact a mesothelioma lawyer immediately. Doing so will allow them to work with you on your case and increase the chances of you and your family receiving a settlement.

Can I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

If you were exposed to asbestos at one of the locations listed above, or within one of the industries identified as a risk for asbestos exposure, we recommend calling a mesothelioma lawyer.

At Contrada & Associates, we have a database of asbestos products that can help identify whether you may have been exposed. If there is a chance that you will develop mesothelioma, our Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan mesothelioma lawyer Charlie Contrada can help you to pursue a claim. Our office also has established relationships with national resources, as well as access to the top mesothelioma and asbestos experts in the country, allowing us to provide the evidence needed to support your claim.

What are my legal options after being exposed to asbestos?

Attorney Charlie Contrada is the only mesothelioma lawyer in Northwest Ohio who has handled cases for over 25 years for individuals who have been exposed to asbestos.

Contrada & Associates is a proven partner for anyone seeking damages due to asbestos exposure and risk of mesothelioma. To speak to attorney Charlie Contrada about your history with asbestos and the legal options that you have, call 419.841.4400. You will have direct access to the only mesothelioma lawyer in Northwest Ohio, allowing you the personal attention and answers you need.





Personal Injury Lawsuit Primer

Have you or a family member been injured in an accident caused be someone else who was acting irresponsibly? One of your options might be securing comprehensive legal guidance from a personal injury attorney. You might be wondering what are the basics of the personal injury lawsuit process and what are some typical types of personal injury claims?

How Do I File a Personal Injury Claim?

  1. Determine grounds to file a Personal Injury Claim: Usually, if you have been injured because of another person’s negligence or fault, you have grounds for a claim, possibly a lawsuit. It is very important to know that if you accept any type of settlement and sign a release from the insurance company, you waive your right to collect any additional compensation even if your medical condition changes.
  2. Gather evidence: In order to file a Personal Injury claim, you need proof. Make sure you collect as much evidence relating to your accident as possible. Types of evidence you can easily collect include a police report (if one was filed), photographs of the accident scene, your vehicle and the other party’s vehicle. Gather photographs of your injuries, and any additional relevant documents proving that your injuries sustained in your accident led to lost wages. You should even ask to take a photograph of the other party’s driver’s license and insurance cards.
  3. Contact Personal Injury Attorney: The earlier you contact a personal injury lawyer, the better. Every state has a statute of limitations specifically for personal injury lawsuits. In Ohio, an injured person has 2 years and Michigan, 3 years from the date of the injury to go to court to settle or file a lawsuit. Contact Attorney Charles V. Contrada at 419-841-4400 to set up a consultation to discuss your case.
  4. Review your case with your Attorney: Once you select your personal injury attorney, you will need to review your case and share all injury related evidence and documents you have collected. Disclose all information relating to your case to your attorney. Do not present misleading information to make your claim look stronger for example not disclosing a prior accident or injuries. At Contrada & Associates, honesty with our attorneys is the key to getting the best outcome possible.
  5. Consider the option of settlement: In a settlement, both sides meet to settle the claim without going to court. If you decide to try and reach a settlement agreement, it is a good idea to go through this process with your personal injury attorney, so they are able to examine the settlement and negotiate with the other party to ensure the best result for you. Quite frankly, most people have no idea what their case is worth and they don’t believe the insurance company will be fair.
  6. Filing A Lawsuit: If you and your personal injury attorney agree that your case is strong enough, or if your pre-lawsuit settlement negotiations do not end up being sufficient, you may then decide to file a lawsuit. If you choose this option, your attorney will file the lawsuit on your behalf. It is extremely difficult but not impossible to file a lawsuit on your own. Your outcome may not be as favorable as if you were working with an attorney on your behalf.

How Long Will My Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?

There is no definite answer to the length of time that a personal injury lawsuit takes to settle. The time is determined by multiple factors, including the client, the nature of the injuries and the ongoing treatment, and the amount of money that the case is worth.

What is an Independent Medical Examination?

In very limited circumstances, if you are involved in an accident, the insurance company or the defense lawyer may request that you undergo an “independent medical examination.”  Needless to say, there is nothing independent about these examinations and, in many ways, they are a total mockery of the doctor/patient relationship.

The insurance companies want you examined by their doctor to evaluate the extent of your injuries and oftentimes to determine what injury was caused by the crash, as opposed to a pre-existing condition that the victim had before the automobile accident.

Can Social Media Harm My Personal Injury Case?

Social media channels have integrated themselves into the daily lives of most individuals. Everyone loves to share status updates, photos, and videos about what is going on in their life. Sometimes, sharing updates about a car accident can result in consequences in the future. Here is what you can do to protect yourself and your personal injury claim on social media.

Information that is shared on a public social media account can cause complications. Insurance adjusters, lawyers, and others will search profiles on social media scrutinizing any information they can find that will hurt your claim such as conflicting statements as well as additional evidence.

What are the Most Typical Types of Personal Injury Cases?

There are many types of personal injury cases. For example, let’s look at four scenarios: school bus accidents, winter driving accidents, low speed vehicle accidents and icy sidewalk accidents.

School Bus Accidents

Speed limits in school zones are reduced to 15-25 mph, and with good reason. More children are hit by vehicles in or near school zones than any other location. Watch for children that may dart out in the road without looking. When you slow down, it forces other drivers behind you to slow down making it a safer place for children as they might not see the obstacles you do.

When driving in school zones especially near high schools, be aware that there will be many more drivers on the road who are newly licensed and inexperienced drivers. New drivers, before they become more comfortable on the road can drive overly tentative or make unexpected maneuvers. Be patient and give them extra room.

Winter Driving Accidents

It’s no secret that driving in the winter can become treacherous in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan. Ice and snow can make for slippery roads and poor visibility which in turn cause more accidents than in the summer months. Typical types of winter driving accidents include sliding through intersections, poor visibility and rear-end collisions. Adjust your defensive driving style to help avoid them.

Low Speed Vehicle Accidents

Summer is here and there is a good possibility that you will see a Low Speed Vehicle (LSV) driving around your neighborhood. LSV’s are small electric vehicles, similar to golf carts that are street legal.

To drive legally, your LSV must pass an inspection, be registered and titled by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and insured. You must also have a valid driver’s license. An LSV can only go up to 25 mph and is only allowed on roads or highways that have a 35 mph posted speed limit with the exception of crossing a street with a higher posted speed limit.

Icy Sidewalk Accidents

If you were to trip on an icy sidewalk, that does not mean that you have a legitimate slip-and-fall personal injury claim. Ohio slip-and-fall law can seem somewhat confusing because in order for there to be a premises liability claim, there must have been negligence or fault on behalf of the business owner.

Just because someone slips and falls on the property of another person or business, it doesn’t mean that the individual or entity is responsible. A slip-and-fall case must involve some sort of hazard that the owner of the property was aware of. 

What Are My Legal Options if I Suffer a Personal Injury?

The best course of action to take to be sure that your personal injury claim will be handled properly is to contact a personal injury attorney. Having an attorney guide you through the legal process will ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps toward a settlement and are not jeopardizing your claim.

To speak to one of the Toledo personal injury attorneys at Contrada & Associates, call 419.841.4400. When calling our office, you will be able to review your case with an attorney and learn what your legal options are.

What is GAP Insurance and Why You Need to Have It

It’s a great day! You finally got a brand-new car you have worked so hard for. Not a week after you drove it off the lot, you were in a car accident and your brand-new car was totaled. The insurance company sends you a check that will not cover the cost of a replacement vehicle of the same year, make and model. Now what? That’s where gap insurance comes in.

Gap Insurance Protects You

The purpose of gap insurance is to make up the difference between the cost of your loan and the fair market value of the vehicle. It protects you from finding yourself in a very difficult situation and ultimately gives you peace of mind.

Gap insurance also protects you in the event that your car is stolen and unrecovered. Instead of the insurance company giving you the actual value of the vehicle, they would cover the difference of the loan as well, so you’re not stuck with a substantial bill to pay and no car to drive.

It is always advised to thoroughly read through your insurance company’s gap insurance coverage so you are fully aware of the protection that you have.

Also, if you lease a brand-new car, gap insurance can be included with your lease as legally the car still belongs to the manufacturer. To make sure, read the fine print of your lease agreement before you sign and ask your local car dealer.

Questions about Gap Insurance

Contrada & Associates believes that Gap insurance is very important to have if you have a newer vehicle, or if you have interest payments on your car loan. If you do not add this optional insurance coverage to your policy, you could potentially find yourself in a very troubling financial situation.

After helping numerous clients through car accident claims and seeing the problems they face with their insurance coverage, attorney Contrada’s goal is to inform motorists of the options they have when it comes to car insurance coverage.

If you have been injured in a car accident, don’t sign or say anything. Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a personal injury accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with personal injury claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.

What Not To Do After A Car Accident

Car accidents happen every day on local and national roadways, whether it is a fender bender or a serious collision. During the moments right after a car accident, there’s a chance you might not be fully aware of what to do and what not to do at the scene of an accident. Here are a few things you do not want to do after a car accident.

Do Not Wait to get medical treatment

If you are involved in a car accident and you wait to receive medical treatment for possible injuries, it will reflect badly on your personal injury claim and give the insurance company leverage for a smaller settlement. By waiting to seek medical attention, the legitimacy of your injury claims has been brought into question. If you are injured, play it safe and see a medical professional after your accident to not only protect your health but also to properly document the injuries sustained.

Do Not Give a Statement Until You Know All the Facts

If there is any question as to who is at fault in causing an accident, do not give a statement to the other driver’s insurance company. Doing so could not help you, but it can hurt you if you say the wrong thing in the wrong way. Remember the insurance adjusters has a full-time job and that job is to pay you as little as possible, they are not your friends. They have been trained to ask certain questions to get you to answer the wrong way. Through no fault of your own, you could hurt your claim by giving a statement to the insurance company without the advice of a personal injury attorney.

Do Not Settle Your Claim Quickly

While it may seem appealing to obtain the money from your settlement faster, it is not recommended to settle your car accident claim before you have completely recovered from your injuries, or have received a prognosis for the future. Medical treatments for injuries can often last much longer than anticipated, resulting in numerous medical expenses. It is best to wait until you have completed your treatment and are back to normal before you settle, or you may find yourself with medical bills that are above and beyond your settlement amount.  If you do not fully recover, but you receive prognosis for the future, it will enable to the settlement to account for all future expenses brought on by your condition, including future procedures, doctor visits, physical and occupational therapy sessions, and more.

2 Things You Should Do After Your Car Accident

Now that you are aware of the major things you should not do after a car accident, here are two things that you should do – receive medical attention and seek legal advice from a personal injury attorney.

If you have been injured in a car accident, don’t sign or say anything. Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a personal injury accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with personal injury claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.

After an Accident, Can an Attorney Contact Me?

Being involved in an accident is a very stressful and trying time, especially for the injured victims. Seeking legal counsel after suffering injuries due to a car accident is a good idea as they will help organize details of your accident and guide you through the legal claims process.

Car Accident Attorney: Direct Contact with Potential Clients

While we recommend that victims contact a car accident attorney following an accident, it is a violation of professional conduct for a lawyer to contact an individual in need of legal services via phone, in-person, or in real-time electronic communication after their accident.  The information below has been paraphrased from Rule 7.3: Direct Contact with Prospective Clients from the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct:

(a) a lawyer shall not meet someone in person, call them on the phone, or contact them through electronic media if the lawyer’s motive is to make money on that person unless the person contacted:

(1) is a lawyer; or

(2) has family, close personal, or prior professional relationship with the lawyer.

If the individual has made it known that they do not wish to be solicited, and the communication is not prohibited by the points made in the above paragraph (i.e. if the individual has had a previous relationship with the lawyer, but they have made it known that they do not wish to communicate further with them), the lawyer is not able to solicit professional employment. This is explained by the below components of Rule 7.3: Direct Contact with Prospective Clients:

(b)  a Lawyer shall not solicit professional employment by written, recorded or electronic communication or by in-person, telephone or real-time electronic contact even when not otherwise prohibited by paragraph (a), if:

(1) the target of the solicitation has made known to the lawyer a desire not to be solicited by the lawyer; or

(2) the solicitation involves coercion, duress or harassment.

Marketing Materials from Car Accident Attorney

While an attorney may not contact a car accident victim by phone, in-person, or real-time electronic contact, they are able to send letters to the victim, as well as recorded or written electronic communication. An example of this would be in the form of a pamphlet sent to your home with information regarding car accident claims, or an email that explains the legal options available to you.

Calls from Unknown Phone Numbers

In some cases, car accident victims can receive multiple phone calls from unknown numbers after their accident. It is likely that these calls were made on behalf of a personal injury attorney as some utilize secondary services to contact prospective clients on their behalf.

Contrada & Associates does not operate on the basis of soliciting business in a manner that is unethical and intruding on the privacy of car accident victims. Attorney Charlie Contrada believes that by posting helpful information on our blog, we are able to offer useful legal advice to retain clients. Contrada & Associates does not send letters because we feel it is a burden and overwhelming experience for those who have been injured.

If you have been injured in a car accident, don’t sign or say anything. Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a personal injury accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with personal injury claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.

Why Car Insurance is Important for Cyclists

It may seem obvious that if you are riding your bicycle and get hit by a passing vehicle and they have insurance, it will step in and cover your injuries. However, there are two scenarios where your car insurance will protect you. First, if you are involved in a hit and run while riding your bicycle. Second, if the driver that hits you on your bicycle is uninsured. In either scenario, your car insurance will step in and cover your injuries. However, in both instances, you must have purchased uninsured motorist coverage.

When most people think of car insurance, they think of a car accident involving two vehicles. But, a lot of people don’t realize your car insurance covers you whether you’re in a car or not. Your car insurance can help cover the first level of your medical bills.

Cyclists can use Car Insurance

What to do if you’re in a hit-and-run situation

First things first, make sure you get medical attention immediately. Then it is crucial to file a police report as often insurance companies will require one. Also, if you are able, see if there are any witnesses. Also, hire a personal injury attorney to represent you. This will allow your case to be more deeply investigate and document instances before, during and after the crash that proves you were not at fault.

What can cyclists do to protect themselves?

There is always an inherent danger when you’re cycling on a road you share with vehicles. One way to help protect yourself is a go-pro camera. A helmet camera can help determine fault in an accident involving a bicycle and a vehicle.

If you have been injured in a cycling accident involving a vehicle, don’t sign or say anything. Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a car accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with car accident claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.

Electric Shock Drowning Liability

Recently, the news has shared multiple stories in Ohio and Michigan about people losing their lives to electric shock drowning. With summer in full swing, it’s important to raise awareness of this very preventable danger to keep your family safe while having fun.

Electric Shock Drowning

What is Electric Shock Drowning

Electric shock drowning (ESD) is a cause of death that occurs when swimmers are exposed to electric currents, usually low-level AC currents in most likely fresh water. The main cause of electric shock drownings is faulty wiring on boat docks that causes electric currents to leak into the water.

Preventing ESD on your property

Unfortunately, there are no visible warning signs that might tip off swimmers that the water is electrified. For all swimmers, the best way to fully prevent ESD is to not swim at or near docks with an electric power supply or near any boat(s) that may be plugged into these power supplies. Usually swimming 100 yards away is considered a safe distance.

For property, marina and boat owners, you can keep your family, friends and guests who swim at your property safe by:

  • Never using household extension cords on your dock
  • Posting no swimming signs around your dock
  • Keeping power supplies on your dock turned off and unplugged when not in use
  • Testing your boat(s) yearly to make sure they do not leak electricity
  • Have all electrical work at your dock done by a qualified electrician and inspected yearly to make sure it’s properly tested and maintained.
  • Installing GFP (ground fault protection) devices by a qualified electrician and getting them checked regularly.

ESD Liability

When electricity enters the water, it is often due to negligence by the property/boat owner. The negligence can be on the part of multiple people from the property owner, to the electrician or electrical inspector who installs and checks the equipment. They can be held responsible for all damages. When something like this happens, it is crucial to hire a personal injury attorney to help assess what happened and who can be deemed liable.

If you or a loved one have been a victim of electric shock or ESD, don’t sign or say anything. Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a personal injury accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with personal injury claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.


Liability for Swimming Pool Accidents

Summer is the season to beat the heat. Many Ohioans either have a private swimming pool on their property, know a friend or family member who does or swims at their local public pool. As fun as swimming is, pool owners need to be aware that it comes with extremely important responsibilities. In Ohio, homeowners can be found liable for injuries that occur on their property which includes accidents in or near swimming pools.

Swimming Pool Accidents

Types of Swimming Pool Accidents

  • Slips, Falls and Pool Slide Injuries – these can be a result of slippery surfaces, dangerous behavior around or in the pool and malfunctioning slides.
  • Drowning/Entrapment – young children and poor swimmers unsupervised can lead to accidental drowning as well as a suction force leading to hair entrapment/entanglement can lead to serious head injuries.
  • Pool Toy Entrapment – flipped or tangled inflatable pool toys can trap young children under the water and make it impossible for older more experienced swimmers to free themselves.
  • Diving/Diving Board Injuries – malfunctioning diving boards and diving in shallow water can result in serious head injuries and paralysis.
  • Electrical Defects – electrical issues combined with water can have devastating and even fatal consequences.

How to Protect Your Property

Install a 4-sided 4-foot fence that completely separates your home from the swimming pool area and surrounding areas of play. You can also consider additional security measures such as automatic door locks and alarms to prevent and notify you if there is an unsupervised entry into your pool area. Also, always remember to remove any portable pool ladders when the pool is not in use.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission also strongly recommends that you have the items listed below near your pool in case of emergencies:

  • Reach pole
  • Floatation devices
  • First aid kit
  • Scissors
  • Charged cell phone to dial 9-1-1

Your pool is usually covered under your homeowner’s insurance and may be sufficient to cover some minor pool-related injuries. You may want to consider an umbrella policy as added coverage. An umbrella policy will help protect your assets from a personal injury or property damage caused by you, family members or hazards on your property for which you are legally liable.

When You are Liable

You may be held liable for any personal injuries on your property if you are deemed negligent. This means if an injury occurs to an invited guest or child while they were unsupervised at the pool, you could be found negligent and liable for any medical bills because of treatment and medical care.

If you have been injured in a swimming pool accident, don’t sign or say anything. Contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a personal injury accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with personal injury claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.