Reporting a Dog Bite in Ohio

Ohio, like many states, requires anyone with knowledge of a person being bitten by an animal, specifically a “non-human mammal,” to file a bite incident report. The report can be made by a person bitten, their health care provider, or by a veterinarian who has knowledge of the bite.

The specific code requiring bite reporting is Ohio Administrative Code 3701-3-28. Reports should be made within 24 hours of a bite occurring to the local health district where the bite occurred. Local health districts can be located on the Ohio Department of Health website. Reports of dog bites in Columbus should be made to Franklin County Public Health.

What To Do If You Are Bitten By a Dog in Ohio

Getting medical attention as soon as possible is critical following a dog bite. This is important for your physical well-being and preventing infection, as well as documenting your injuries should you decide to pursue a claim. In Ohio, the owner of a dog is strictly liable for injuries caused by their dog.

Unless the person harmed was provoking or teasing a dog, or was trespassing on the owner’s property, the owner of the dog will be liable. Typically, a dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will pay for damages caused by a dog bite.

Compensation Available for Dog Bite Injuries in Ohio

In an Ohio dog bite personal injury claim, victims may be able to recover damages for medical expenses (including plastic surgery for scarring or disfigurement), lost earnings, and pain and suffering. Many people who are bitten by a dog accept a settlement without fully understanding the full impact of their injuries. This can be an unfortunate mistake, as dog bite injury victims may be able to recover far more compensation if they have an experienced attorney representing them.

Consult with an Ohio Dog Bite Lawyer About Your Potential Case

At GBM Law, our Columbus dog bite attorneys understand how far-reaching the effects of a dog bite incident can be, even beyond broken bones, disfigurement, and scarring. Before you accept an insurance company’s offer for a dog bite injury, call us at 614-222-4444 to discuss your legal rights. We offer a free consultation to evaluate your potential claim and answer your questions. If we represent you, under our contingency fee agreement, there are no legal fees unless we recover money for you.

How Whiplash From A Car Accident Can Impact You Later

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the term “whiplash” was first used in 1928 to describe a neck injury resulting from a traffic accident. Almost 100 years later, whiplash is still the most common injury resulting from a car accident, and Ohio car accidents are no exception.

While many people report improvement as their injuries heal in the days and weeks following a car accident, whiplash is one injury that can get worse in the aftermath of an accident. In fact, symptoms may not show up for days, and in rare cases, even weeks following an accident. Whiplash may be difficult to see on an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI.

Whiplash Injuries Can Affect You For Months

car crash

Neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, reduced range of motion, and headaches are some of the most common short-term symptoms of whiplash. The long-term effects of whiplash injuries that may develop in the following days and weeks include:

  • Chronic pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders
  • Blurry vision
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Jaw pain
  • Memory problems
  • Numbness, weakness, or sensory symptoms in the hands, arms, or legs
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating; permanent personality changes
  • Ringing in the ears (constant or intermittent)
  • Severe, chronic headaches
  • Upper or lower back pain.

After an accident, you should always seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even though a whiplash injury may not cause immediate symptoms, both legal and medical experts recommend seeking medical attention immediately. Stiffness, loss of motion, and other serious side effects occur most often when untreated. Your record of getting medical care is also an important part of your personal injury claim.

Don’t Accept Less Compensation Than You Deserve

If you report a rear-end accident and whiplash injury to an at-fault driver’s insurance company, they may be quick to tell you that they accept liability and assure you that they will take care of you. Accepting a check for a few thousand dollars may resolve some immediate financial burdens and seem to be a straightforward resolution to a problem. However, an immediate solution can be a problem later. If you accept a quick settlement, you will not be able to request more compensation later for your additional medical expenses, time away from work, and pain and suffering.

Insurance companies want to pay you quickly for one reason: as part of the terms of accepting your payment, you will waive all rights to ask for more money later. Paying you quickly makes sense to them because it will save them a lot of money in the long run. You should never accept a personal injury settlement if you do not know how your injuries will heal and affect you months and years down the line. In the first few days and weeks following an accident, it is impossible to predict that your neck pain could be causing painful spasms and severe headaches a year later.

Get the Compensation You Deserve

Don’t take on the insurance company alone. At GBM Law, our Ohio car accident attorneys offer a free consultation to answer your questions and discuss your legal rights. Call us today at 614-222-4444. If we represent you, we will not charge any fees unless we recover money for you.

Using a Legal Directory to Find an Ohio Personal Injury Lawyer

The internet is full of rankings, listings, databases, and directories for attorneys. After a serious accident in Ohio, people searching for a top-rated Ohio personal injury attorney can find lawyers on business directories like Google, Yelp, Business Finder, and the Better Business Bureau, and on lawyer-specific websites and referral services. If you’re looking for a lawyer, using a legal directory can provide lawyer ratings, disciplinary actions, and peer endorsements.

There are many directories on the internet because legal marketing is a big business. Directories compete for search engine placement by offering the most information to visitors. Below are nine directories you may use to find an Ohio personal injury lawyer:

  • SuperLawyers.com: A peer-reviewed rating of services of outstanding lawyers selected by independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations.
  • Avvo.com: An “online marketplace” of legal services where lawyers can share client reviews, legal guides, and peer endorsements.
  • Lawyers.com: Lawyers.com is a free service from Martindale-Hubbell, publishers of lawyer and law firm directories since 1868. The site offers legal articles, blogs by attorneys, and an “Ask A Lawyer” forum.
  • Findlaw.com: An online legal directory managed by Canadian media conglomerate Thomson Reuters.
  • Nolo.com: A DIY legal site that also offers a consumer-oriented legal directory connecting consumers with attorneys based on the needed practice area.
  • BestLawyers.com: One of the oldest peer-reviewed attorney rating publications, founded by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, two Harvard Law graduates and authors.
  • Justia.com: Justia is a legal information retrieval service offering free case law, codes, opinion summaries, and other basic legal texts, with paid services for its attorney directory. Justia was founded by Tim Stanley in 2003, who first founded FindLaw in 1995.
  • HG.org: A listing service for lawyers and law firms worldwide.
  • Ohio Bar Association: The Ohio State Bar Association offers an Ohio attorney directory and links to various lawyer referral services registered with the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Researching Attorneys: Review Case Results and Client Testimonials

You should not select a lawyer based solely on a ranking in a directory. Do your homework and see how the attorney has handled prior cases. Case results are a reflection of knowledge, skills, and experience, although it is important to distinguish that no two cases are alike. A settlement or verdict in one type of accident case does not mean that another case will have the same value.

However, a lawyer who has many years of experience and a long track record of recovering full and fair compensation in personal injury cases will be well-qualified to prepare a case for trial and negotiate a fair settlement.

At GBM Law, we also publish client testimonials and Google Reviews on our website to give potential clients a perspective on how well we have served prior clients.

Affordable Legal Services for Personal Injury Clients

justice, legal servies

The contingency fee arrangement is one of the advantages of personal injury law over other types of situations that may require an attorney. Because a fee is contingent on a monetary recovery, your attorney is only paid if and when a settlement or verdict is reached. This allows you to choose the very best, most experienced lawyer to represent you. There are no upfront retainers or out-of-pocket fees. The lawyer assumes all risk. In the unlikely event they accept your case and do not recover money for you, you owe nothing.

To schedule a free consultation for your personal injury case, feel free to call us at 614-222-4444 or fill out a case evaluation form.

What to Do After a Motor Vehicle Collision During the Pandemic

 Motor Vehicle Collision

If you are involved in a motor vehicle collision during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that you take actions at the scene of the accident that will help you prove your case later. It has always been important to call the 911 from the scene of the accident to request assistance from the police and medics if anyone is injured. However, due to the pandemic, the police may not go to the scene of your accident if there are no reported injuries.

Ohio law only requires police to respond to a collision when:

  • The accident causes an injury that requires medical care
  • A fatality occurs
  • Property damage totals more than $1,000

When calling 911:

Notify the 911 operator or police dispatcher if your accident involves injury or significant property damage, especially if your car is not drivable. Even if you just feel shaken up, it’s probably wise to err on the side of caution and ask for the police and emergency services to respond to the scene. If you don’t believe you’re injured or if the police don’t respond for any other reason, it’s important to safely and accurately exchange information before leaving the scene. Consider taking a photo of the other motorist’s driver’s license. It is also very important that you record the name, address, and phone number of every person who witnessed the accident.

Take as many photos as you can at the accident scene

It is important to take photos with your cell phone that shows the damage to each car. Taking photos of the accident scene may help you prove your case, especially if the police department refuses to send a police officer to the scene of your accident. But be careful not to place yourself in a dangerous situation while taking photos at the scene. It may also be helpful to your case if you take one or two photos of the other driver, their license plate, their driver’s license, and auto insurance card showing proof of insurance. This evidence may be very important to proving who was driving the car, especially in cases where the police do not show up to the scene of the accident.

The attorneys at GBM Law have had cases where the at fault party denied that they were driving the car that struck our client, and photographs taken by our client at the scene have been the rock-solid proof of who was driving the at fault party’s vehicle. Our phones provide a safe means to collect information without direct contact with another party. Whether or not an officer reports to the scene, it’s wise to take several photographs.

Call an attorney

It is always important to talk to a lawyer as soon as you can. The attorneys at GBM Law provide free legal consultations to keep your case on the right track. Insurance adjusters don’t get paid to explain all of your rights, but we are here to help. If you were injured due to a car accident, contact one of our attorneys immediately by calling 614-222-4444 and let us take the burden off of your shoulders so that you can focus on getting the medical treatment that you need.

How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident, it is important that you hire the best personal injury attorney to protect your rights.

Choosing the wrong personal injury lawyer can result in you our your loved one being under-compensated, which will result in medical bills being unpaid, lost wages not being recovered, and an uncertain future.

Hiring the right personal injury lawyer will result in full compensation, which gives you and your loved ones as secure and certain of a future as one can get under extremely difficult circumstances.

But how do you choose the right personal injury lawyer for your injury case?

GBM Partners

There are several options to choose from:

  • Consider calling local judges for a referral to a respected personal injury lawyer.
  • Seek a referral from friends or family who have worked with a personal injury lawyer in the past.
  • Research whether a personal injury lawyer has received Google Reviews from clients. Read as many of the reviews as possible to determine whether the reviews seem genuine and demonstrate that the lawyer is experienced, successful and well-liked by their clients.
  • Visit attorney referral websites, such as SuperLawyers.com, FindLaw.com, and AVVO.com, to see whether a personal injury lawyer is well-respected in the legal community and successful.
  • Visit the lawyer or law firm’s website and review the attorney’s biography to see if the attorney is experienced and well-qualified. You may even want to go as far as to cross-reference the claims made by the attorney in his or her biography.

Most importantly, call a lawyer to talk through your situation.

Quality lawyers know that people will have many questions after being in an accident and are happy to guide you to making the best decision for you. If you are unable to speak to a lawyer when you call for information, you should find out how accessible the lawyer will be to you if you are their client.

At GBM Law, potential clients are connected to a lawyer, not a case manager, right away. If one is not available, your information is taken down and sent to the next available attorney to get back to you as quickly as possible.

The most important decision you will make after you or a loved one is harmed due to the recklessness of another is selecting the right personal injury lawyer to protect your rights.

Do your research now to avoid disappointment later. Call GBM Law at 614-222-4444.

Be Careful When You Wave: Understanding the Possible Legal Implications of Waving Other Drivers to Turn in Front of You

The issue of crashes happening when one motorist waves to another to make a turn has come up in lawsuits and court cases in recent years, raising questions about liability.

Here is how the scenario frequently comes up:

You’re driving down the road and stop for traffic. A car traveling in the opposite direction stops in front of you waiting for an opportunity to make a left turn. You check your rearview mirror to see if anyone is coming up next to you in the curb lane. You don’t see anyone so you motion to the driver to proceed with the left turn by waving your hand. Unfortunately, there was a vehicle in the curb lane approaching that you didn’t see. The other driver proceeds with the left turn and collides with the car in the curb lane.

All of us at one time or another have waved a fellow driver to turn. In some areas of the country, like Hawaii, it is common practice for drivers in the opposite direction of traffic to stop in the road and let another driver turn left in front of them. This may seem like a polite gesture in stopped traffic, but there can be consequences to seemingly polite acts that deviate from normal and predictable driving and basic right-of-way laws.

If you’re in a rural area and the “go ahead” waving interaction is solely between you and the other driver, there is no issue.

But the problem occurs when other drivers are sharing the road, and they can’t predict your unpredictable behavior, which allows another motorist to violate your right of way.

Waving and liability

What most of us don’t know and don’t even consider when we wave another driver “to go ahead” is whether you can be found responsible (or “liable”) if an accident happens. Your vehicle may not even be involved in the direct collision, but the motorist that turned into the path of another vehicle may tell law enforcement that you assured him it was safe to turn. Unfortunately, that question of whether you may be liable isn’t easy to answer and may just depend on where in the state you are, as well as the specific chain of events.

Who is considered liable in Ohio?

Appellate Courts in Ohio have addressed the issue, and unfortunately, are not in agreement. One school of thought is that the driver who motions the other driver to proceed is not liable. This view rests on the premise that a signal to cross can be interpreted as no more than a yielding of the right of way. Thus, the person signaling the other motorist is not responsible for any accidents that might occur when the crossing motorist enters into a different lane.

The other view is that under some circumstances, a signaling driver may act negligently when signaling another driver to cross his path. Liability rests on the view that sometimes a signal may be interpreted as an indication that the way is clear and it is safe to proceed. Therefore, if the signal is reasonably viewed as an “all clear” indication to the turning driver, the person signaling can be found liable.

Be careful about waving someone to proceed

So next time you find yourself about to wave someone to proceed, be careful. It’s not your duty to assure other drivers that their path is clear and doing so could cause you to assume that duty. If you’re not 100% sure there is no traffic coming, don’t put yourself at risk by signaling to the other driver that it’s all clear. Put your safety first, above your good intentions.

For more information, contact GBM Law by calling us at 614-222-4444.

A Small Way to Help

During the last few weeks, many of us have admired the dedication of the doctors, nurses, and healthcare providers who have been on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. While I have tried to do my part by wearing a mask, social distancing, and supporting small businesses, I couldn’t help but see the sacrifices of others and wish there was something more I could do.

Well, thanks to a newspaper article, I found a small way to pitch in and help. Apparently, as a result of the coronavirus, thousands of blood drives had been cancelled. With that in mind, I visited the American Red Cross’s website. The website was simple and convenient to use, and within minutes, I was scheduled to donate at a blood drive not far from my home.

When my scheduled day arrived, I was able to complete the health history questionnaire at home using a tablet. The appointment only took about an hour. For those of you who have already recovered from COVID-19, the Red Cross does have a COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Program, which I would suggest you look in to.

If you’re like me and are wishing there’s something more you can do to help, consider giving blood. To learn more about the American Red Cross and donating blood, visit www.redcrossblood.org

Understanding Ohio Trucking Rules and Regulations: The Federal Bridge Formula

The Ohio truck accident lawyers at GBM Law have been protecting Ohioans for more than 30 years and understand the very unique aspects of trucking industry regulations. When a truck accident occurs, it is important to look closely at records and determine if the truck was within weight limits, or had the necessary permits to be overweight. While our attorneys are very familiar with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and standard practices, we also work closely with trucking industry experts who have in-depth understanding of the  training, recommendations, and knowledge level that are required of trucking companies and their drivers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry, and state laws set forth limits on height, width and length of commercial trucks. The Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Administrative Code are the authorities on the maximum allowable weights on roadway and bridges within Ohio. These regulations and restrictions are enforced by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Maximum weight limits for trucks in Ohio are as follows: 

  • Single Axle: 29,000 pounds.
  • Short Tandem: 36,000 pounds.
  • Long Tandem: 50,000 pounds. 
  • Short Tri Axle:  47,000 pounds.
  • Short Quad Axle or Long Tri Axle: 60,000 pounds.
  • Long Quad Axle: 80,000 lbs.    

A specific formula exists for tire loads. For each axle, the maximum weight allowed is the number of tires, multiplied by the tread width of the tire in inches times 800. 

The Federal Bridge Gross Weight Formula 

Ohio has adopted the Federal Bridge Formula for roads in Ohio, which establishes the maximum weight any set of axles on a motor vehicle may carry on the Interstate highway system. The bridge formula was enacted by Congress in 1975 to limit the weight-to-length ratio of a vehicle crossing a bridge. It has three primary components: 

  1. The maximum weight allowed on a single axle is 20,000 lbs.
  2. The maximum allowed Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), or the maximum allowed total weight on any group of consecutive axles on a vehicle, is determined by the Federal Bridge Formula (FBF).
  3. The maximum Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) on Interstate highways is 80,000 lbs, even when the result of the formula is greater.

One exception to the formula exists: The maximum total weight allowed on any two consecutive axles spaced eight or fewer feet apart (like tandem axles) is 34,000 lbs. 

Why Overloaded / Overweight Trucks are Dangerous 

The Federal Bridge Formula is designed to protect bridges and reduce damage to roads. But overweight and overloaded trucks can also put motorists at risk.  Overloading a truck affects its maneuverability and makes its various components more prone to failure, and the vehicle is more prone to rollover or jackknife (where the trailer swings from behind the truck and moves forward to create a jackknife position). Overloading on a truck can cause: 

  • A decrease in stopping distance. 
  • A Increase in speed going downhill. 
  • Tire blowouts. 
  • Decreased steering control. 
  • Less control in inclement weather. 

If you have been involved in a truck accident in Ohio, do not delay in contacting our knowledgeable truck accident attorneys immediately. Evidence and records vital to your legal case can be lost in the days and weeks following an accident.  Our legal team can help you understand your rights and options to recover compensation for your injuries in a free consultation. If we represent you, we will take immediate steps to ensure that everything is done to preserve your case. As part of our contingency fee arrangement, there are never any fees unless and until we recover money for you.

For more information, call GBM Law at 614-222-4444.

GBM Law Attorney Matthew Ice Joins The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Organization

If you are unfamiliar with The National Trial Lawyers, it is an invitation-only organization, which extends membership to elite attorneys for superior qualifications, trial results and leadership in their respective state.  Selection is based on a thorough process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research and only a select few of the most qualified attorneys from each state or region are chosen to participate.

Though Matt has been practicing law for over 23 years, he has been a valued and reputable Plaintiff’s Attorney with Geier, Bowman and McLafferty, LLC for almost 14 years.  During his career he has represented clients in over 40 of Ohio’s counties as well as Federal Courts in both the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio.  Matt has also been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” for 3 straight years.

Matt genuinely cares about each and every one of his clients and is dedicated to securing the best possible outcome for them.

If you have suffered a personal injury, don’t wait. Call Geiser, Bowman and McLafferty, LLC today at 614-222-4444.

The Importance of Keeping a Physical Emergency Contact List

A GBM Law client recently shared a frightening experience that happened while traveling out of state. After his cell phone was destroyed in a serious crash, he arrived at the hospital, injured and alone. He was in shock and unable to think clearly. Despite his best efforts, he simply could not remember the phone numbers of even his closest family members. In this day and age, we store everything in our phone. Although Americans collectively check their smartphones upwards of 8 billion times per day, many people do not even know the phone numbers of their spouses or their close relatives. This can be a problem if your phone is lost or destroyed. Even if you have information memorized, if you are incapacitated, or you find yourself unable to remember your phone’s password, others need a way to locate emergency contact information to help you. In an emergency situation, an Emergency Contact Card can be an important resource or reference, either for yourself or others caring for you. Everyone should carry something in their wallet with loved ones to contact in an emergency.


By their very nature, emergencies are unpredictable events , but with a few simple steps, you can help yourself in advance. The American Red Cross offers a free Emergency Contact Card that you can print out, fill out, and carry with you. You can also purchase a customizable emergency card on Amazon with similar information that is waterproof and laminated. This information should be easily accessible in your wallet, clearly identifying people to call or text in an emergency. You can also note things like “I have pets at home alone” that need care, to notify any caregivers that someone should be sent to your address.


If you are involved in a car accident and find yourself facing an uncertain future, you are not alone. In the past three decades, the Ohio personal injury lawyers at GBM Law have represented thousands of our neighbors and friends in Ohio and have recovered over $200 million for our clients. Our focus is to advocate for and compassionately serve the people and families we represent and the communities in which we live.

Call us for a free consultation at 614-222-4444.