Rinehardt Law - May 2022

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MAY 2022

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In the news, we often hear talk of the First Amendment (freedom of speech and religion) and the Second Amendment (right to bear arms), but few outside the legal profession know much about the Seventh Amendment. As we probably learned in our American government course in high school (and soon forgot), the Seventh Amendment guarantees the right to trial by jury. While most of us are probably aware this right applies to cases where someone is charged with a crime, the right to jury trial also applies to civil cases where someone has their health or livelihood taken away from them by a wrongdoer. To have a case decided by a jury in a civil case means that eight members of our community, picked at random, are presented with the evidence and then, if three-fourths of them agree, they render a decision on the case. Sounds simple, but why is the right to jury trial so important that our Founding Fathers fought to have it made a permanent part of our Constitution? Trial by jury is a Constitutional right because having eight people come to a decision, as opposed to a decision made by just one person

(a judge), ensures that there will be diversity of viewpoints and backgrounds, thereby minimizing the chance that the outcome will be influenced by bias or prejudice, or favoritism for or against one of the parties in a civil case. Having a case decided by a jury means that at the end of the case — win, lose, or draw — the parties have had a fair chance to have their side of the case heard. Guaranteeing a right to jury serves as an equalizer that levels the playing field. No matter the wealth or power of one party versus the other, when you come to court for a jury trial, both sides stand on equal footing. Because the jury trial acts as a restraint against the rich and powerful, there are those out there who would like to change the rules to seek an unfair advantage. In front of a jury, even the biggest corporation has to face justice without being able to buy or bully its way out. Because the rich and powerful don’t want to play by the same rules as everyone else, they have devised a strategy to stack the deck in their favor — it is called mandatory arbitration. In virtually every credit card application, life insurance policy, contract to lease or buy a car, and even DirectTV or cable company

documents, buried in the fine print, is a clause that takes away the right to a jury trial and replaces it with a system where one person, usually a person handpicked by the corporation, gets to decide any case brought by the consumer against the corporation. Thankfully, Congress has recognized the unfairness of corporations taking away the right to jury trial and recently passed a law that prohibits forced arbitration in claims of sexual harassment. Hopefully, it will lead to additional laws against forced arbitration in other situations as well. Here at Rinehardt Injury Attorneys, we have the privilege of taking part in jury trials on behalf of our injured clients, and we see firsthand the fair shake it gives our clients, even when we are facing off against the giants of the insurance industry. In our fight for justice, for those who have had their health taken from them wrongfully, through no fault of their own, the right to a jury is the stone in David’s sling as he goes up against Goliath.


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Using a GoPro or Dashcam Footage in Motorcycle Accidents

Filming your motorcycle ride is not only a great way to record and share the joy of your epic motorcycle rides, but a great safety tool as well. Many riders use GoPro cameras on their helmets or motorcycles to film their rides, while other riders use a dashcam.

driver was speeding or driving erratically — a video that captures the other driver’s negligence is the best evidence you can have.

In addition to showing that the other driver caused the accident, GoPro/dashcam footage can also be proof that you were not negligent. While you may know the other driver was at fault for your motorcycle crash, the insurance company will likely try to point at least some of the blame back at you by claiming you were somehow careless. Video evidence can easily clear you of blame for the crash. Video footage can also serve as protection from road rage. Road rage is becoming more and more common and can become dangerous very quickly. Sometimes, seeing a helmet camera is enough to convince a rageful motorist to back down. In the event you are assaulted, your GoPro will catch the incident on camera.

Whether you use a GoPro or dashcam, the footage can be used as video evidence in the case of a motorcycle accident.

Video recordings are a common type of evidence in personal injury lawsuits, and GoPro/dashcam footage can provide a ground-level view of what happened during your motorcycle accident and is admissible in court. The reason video footage makes such strong evidence in motorcycle accident claims is that it can show irrefutable evidence of the at- fault driver being negligent. It can show that the driver cut you off or failed to yield the right of way, and it could show that the other

Check your bike before every ride. Another important piece of motorcycle safety is ensuring your bike is ready to ride every time you take it out. It doesn’t have to be intensive, but you should check your tire pressure and depth, turn signals, hand and foot brakes, and fluid levels. You don’t want to discover that something is wrong with your bike while on the road, so always inspect your bike before every ride. Ride defensively. Every time you hit the road, you will come across distracted or unaware drivers. Never assume you are visible to all drivers while riding a motorcycle. Try to avoid driving in a vehicle’s blindspot and wear bright colors to become more visible. Drive defensively by following the rules of the road, giving yourself plenty of time to make turns, and being aware of your surroundings. If you are lucky enough to have a motorcycle, we wish you many safe and epic adventures this summer!

As we progress closer to summer, many of us will be breaking out our motorcycles to ride. Unfortunately, accidents involving vehicles and motorcyclists are way too prevalent. If you’re planning to ride your bike over the next few months, you of course need to keep safety in mind. Since May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, we wanted to share some useful safety tips for motorcyclists so you can safely enjoy your rides this summer. Wear the proper equipment. If you’re planning to ride on a motorcycle, you need to wear the proper safety equipment. You should always wear a helmet but adding a jacket, boots, and a pair of protective gloves will maximize your safety. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmets reduce motorcyclist fatalities by 37% and reduce head injury risks by 69%. Wearing the proper equipment can be the difference between walking away or suffering a severe injury (or worse) after an accident.


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GoPro or dashcam footage can provide invaluable clues in hit-and-run accidents. Unfortunately, some drivers who hit motorcyclists choose to leave the scene instead of face responsibility for the harm they have caused. Many hit- and-run accidents go unsolved, but a video footage might capture the driver’s license plate number or other identifying information about the car that hit you.

Who doesn’t love a good brownie? If you love chewy brownies like we do, this recipe is the best! By adding bittersweet chocolate chunks just before baking, these brownies get gooey pockets of melted chocolate. The perfect treat for a spring picnic! Yummy.

INGREDIENTS • 1/3 cup unsweetened

• 2 tsp vanilla extract • 2 1/2 cups sugar • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Finally, your GoPro or dashcam footage could help someone else if you witness a crash and have it recorded on your camera.

cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-processed

We are giving away a GoPro Hero 10 as part of our Motorcycle Safety Giveaway. If you are a motorcyclist, go to our Facebook page and enter to win!

• 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp boiling water • 2 oz unsweetened

• 3/4 tsp table salt • 6 oz bittersweet

chocolate, finely chopped • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp vegetable oil • 2 large eggs • 2 large egg yolks

chocolate, cut into 1/2- inch pieces Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate bars work well. If you don’t have chocolate bars, use some semi-sweet chocolate chips.

INSPIRATION CORNER In Memory of Mike Reeder (1959–2022)


1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Leave enough foil hanging over the sides so you can lift the brownies out of the pan. 2. In a large bowl, whisk cocoa powder and boiling water until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces. 3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake about 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1 1/2 hours. For the chewiest texture, it is important to let the brownies cool thoroughly before cutting.

Motorcycle safety awareness month has us thinking about our former client and friend, Mike Reeder. Mike was a motorcycle enthusiast who loved to share his knowledge and experience with others as a member of local clubs, organizations, and motorcycle groups. After working 30 years at Newman Tech, Mike became a certified motorcycle safety instructor and turned his passion into an occupation, teaching courses at North Central State College. A friendly, encouraging, personable guy — teaching came naturally to him. Above all, Mike loved to take road trips and rides with his family and friends who remember him fondly. Ride on, friend.

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2404 Park Ave. W., Mansfield, OH 44906 419-LAW-2020 BeSmartLegal.com


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In Praise of the Seventh Amendment

The Importance of Recording Your Motorcycle Rides

3 Motorcycle Safety Tips


Inspiration Corner

Chewy Brownies


Annual Motorcycle Safety Giveaway

5th Annual Motorcycle Safety Giveaway

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and after a year off due to supply chain shortages, this year’s motorcycle safety giveaway is bigger and better than ever! We are promoting motorcycle safety again this year by giving away almost $2,000 in prizes: • His and hers leather jackets from Hale’s Harley-Davidson • His and hers custom-fit modular helmets from Hale’s Harley-Davidson • GoPro Hero 10

Check out our Facebook page @BeSmartLegal for details. To enter, all you need to do is “like” AND comment on the prize you want to win. We will select the winners in a LIVE drawing at 5 p.m. on May 31. Be sure to “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram to receive updates, notifications, and more details about this and other drawings! We will be promoting motorcycle safety all month long with lots of tips for staying safe and having fun!


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