Motorcyclists often sustain devastating injuries in accidents because of someone else’s negligence. This results in costly medical bills and a long recovery time. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you deserve to have experienced representation who will fight for your rights. An experienced Cincinnati motorcycle accident lawyer from Bey & Associates is here for you.
When you have representation from our legal team, you can rest assured that we’re fighting for your future. Our attorneys have successfully handled motorcycle claims in the past. We’re prepared to do everything possible to build your case to give you the best chance of getting favorable results.
Negligence Often Causes Motorcycle Accidents
Unsafe driving behaviors can cause collisions. When a person operating a vehicle isn’t paying attention or carefully looking for all types of oncoming traffic, they can easily miss a motorcyclist. While they can spot a car or a truck, they may not notice a rider.
Using a cell phone, reaching for something in the passenger seat or behind them, or trying to accomplish another task while driving are all distractions. The driver may think they know what’s on the road ahead of them and crash into a motorcyclist.
The following actions can cause a wreck if the driver isn’t paying attention or recognize a motorcyclist:
- Switching Lanes
- Making a Left-Hand Turn
Additional factors that contribute to crashes include:
- Poor Weather Conditions
- Road Conditions
There can also be issues with aggressive driving or inexperience in driving around motorcycles. If someone is being aggressive, they may follow the rider too closely on purpose or quickly weave in traffic around them. These situations are extremely dangerous because they can cause the rider to lose their balance. There’s also the danger that if the rider has to brake or make a quick decision on the road, the car behind them doesn’t have enough time and space to stop before hitting them.
If a driver is unfamiliar with how to pass a motorcyclist, they may not give them enough space, which could result in a sideswipe accident. This is another situation where the crash could cause the rider to lose their balance and fall.
Our attorneys will use evidence from the crash and police reports to find out who was negligent and how. Then, we’ll fight for you to get the justice you deserve.
Ohio Motorcycle Crash Statistics
The Ohio State Highway Patrol Statistics reports on the crash statistics each year. Motorcyclist fatalities rose from 2018 to 2019, from 144 fatalities to 160 fatalities. Of those 160 fatalities, 45 were helmeted deaths. In Hamilton County, there have been 233 motorcycle crashes as of December 9, 2020.
In an accident, riders can sustain severe injuries because they don’t have the protection that a car provides. Our Cincinnati lawyers understand that after a crash, your injuries will require care and time to recover. Let’s take a look at the types of injuries that can occur.
How Serious Can Motorcycle Injuries Get?
In an accident, motorcyclists often fall off their bike because they lose balance. The impact from the regular sized vehicle can greatly injure a motorcyclist because cars are much bigger and heavier than motorcycles. Cars also have much more protection than a motorcycle does—bikers are completely vulnerable and usually their bodies take the brunt of the force from the collision.
After the initial crash, there’s another impact from when they hit the ground. These situations can cause severe injuries. In some situations, the injuries can be considered catastrophic and a full recovery may not be possible. Catastrophic injuries can have consequences that affect the person for the rest of their life. They may be unable to return to their previous job or the work force.
Let’s take a look at the common injuries that motorcyclists could suffer from after a motorcycle accident, whether minor or severe:
- Head Injuries. Wearing a helmet is an important part of preventing riders from sustaining head injuries from a motorcycle crash. However, the helmet can’t always protect the motorcyclist from getting a head injury, especially if the accident happened at a high speed. These can be mild, debilitating, or fatal depending on the severity.
- Spinal Cord Injuries. Similarly to head injuries, any trauma to the spinal cord can result in debilitating consequences, like paralysis. Someone could lose function and feeling under the injury site.
- Loss of Limb. Vehicles can pin motorcyclists and cause damage to their limbs or cause them to lose their limbs from injuries and other catastrophic events.
- Internal Organ Damage. The collision can cause injuries to a motorcyclist’s body, and the trauma to the midsection could cause damage to the internal organs. These injuries could be severe and require intense treatment. If there is internal bleeding, that could be even more dangerous.
- Broken Bones. Sometimes, when a rider is falling, they can try to break their fall with an arm or leg. However, this puts the full force of the impact on that limb. This can result in broken bones, which can take weeks or months to heal.
- Road Rash. Motorcyclists can also sustain road rash, which is an injury that occurs when there’s friction between their skin and the road. If the friction is severe, it can break skin and damage the tissue and muscle underneath. While thick clothing can help prevent this, road rash can be extremely painful and require medical attention.
- Burns. If a motorcyclist gets struck by a vehicle, they could possibly sustain burns from their skin being pressed against a hot spot of the car or their own motorcycle. Wearing clothing that covers your skin is the best way to prevent getting burns in the event of an accident.
When your Cincinnati motorcycle accident lawyer is fighting for you to get compensation for your injuries, we’ll investigate how the other party was negligent. We understand that there’s often a stigma against motorcycle riders for recklessness and it’s not fair to law-abiding riders who prioritize safety.
Ohio Motorcycle Laws
In Ohio, a motorcyclist needs a valid motorcycle license or endorsement. Ohio Code 4511.53 states those under the age of 18, anyone with motorcycle operating endorsement, and novice license holders need to have and wear an approved helmet when riding. Additionally, every rider needs to have and use protective eyewear.
While bikers over the age of 18 have the option to not wear a helmet, it’s highly recommended they do. They have little to no protection from the impact of a crash. Helmets help absorb shock and can also prevent objects from penetrating the skull.
Motorcyclists cannot have more than one rider on a bike, unless there is a second seat that is designed for a second rider. Both people on the bike must ride facing forward and cannot have their legs positioned side saddle. A passenger in a sidecar must be seated forward and can only ride one to a car as well. Children can be carried on a motorcycle if they are in a seat designed for them.
In terms of handlebars, they can’t be higher than a rider’s shoulders when they are properly seated in the operator’s seat. Additionally, the rider cannot hold a bag, package, or article that prevents them from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars. Ideally, though, the motorcyclist keeps both hands on the handlebars at all times so that they have full control of the bike.
Even when motorcyclists protect themselves and follow the law, they can still be involved in dangerous accidents when others act negligently. Taking legal action with dependable representation can help you secure your future. A Cincinnati motorcycle accident attorney from our firm will understand the laws that apply to your case and can help you get the full compensation you deserve.
Let’s take a look at what one of our lawyers can do to prove the other driver was at fault for crashing into your motorcycle and caused the injuries you are seeking financial recovery from.
How Is Fault Determined After a Motorcycle Crash?
Fault in a motorcycle accident can be complicated and might not be apparent right away. Even though a police report with their best guess about what caused the collision will be filed after the crash, it could take weeks, months, or even years to determine who was at fault for the motorcycle wreck. More times than not, though, the motorist is found to be the one at fault.
As discussed above, the causes of motorcycle accidents are typically from negligence. In most cases, the driver of the regular sized vehicles is the one who was negligent and caused the collision. Drivers of passenger vehicles are usually on the lookout for other cars or trucks and are less vigilant when it comes to smaller motorists, like motorcyclists. This can lead to accidents because they fail to watch for motorcycles and collide with them.
In Ohio, we follow the comparative negligence rule. This means that even if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages. Previously, Ohio law mandated that you couldn’t recover any damages if you were even minimally at fault for the collision. Since we now follow the comparative negligence rule, you can still recover damages for your accident if you were partially at fault, as long as you were responsible by less than 50 percent.
Under this rule, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage you were at fault. For example, if fair compensation for you was initially deemed to be $10,000 based on your damages, and you were found to be ten percent at fault, then you would only be able to recover $9,000 in damages. The party who was deemed to be at fault by 90 percent would be responsible for paying what you’re owed.
When you’ve been in an accident on your motorcycle and you need help proving the driver was at fault for the accident, you could use the help of a Cincinnati motorcycle accident lawyer from our firm. We will fully investigate what happened so that we can get to the bottom of who caused the accident. That way, you can get full and fair compensation for what you’ve suffered at the hand of someone else’s negligence.
What Will Your Cincinnati Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Fight for You to Recover?
When you file a lawsuit, you can seek injuries and damages from the negligent party. Your attorney will go over all the costs of the crash so you can recover.
Part of your losses will be financial. This comes from getting treatment, missing work, and property damage. Your compensation can cover these losses. We’ll make sure to fight for you to receive damages for:
- Past Medical Expenses and Future Medical Care
- Lost Wages or Loss of Earnings
- Diminished Earning Capacity
- Property Damage
You may think these are the only damages you can recover, but there is another side of the accident. The emotional consequences and the toll of what you’ve been through are also considered when you’re taking legal action. This means you can also recover damages for:
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Mental Anguish/Emotional Distress
The lawyers at Bey & Associates have years of experience in representing those who were injured and fighting for them to recover their economic and noneconomic losses. We’ll do everything we can to secure your financial future.
Reach Out to Bey & Associates
Having a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer on your side is the best way to protect your best interests. When we’re on your side, we’ll launch a full investigation so we can prove that another’s negligence caused your losses. Our law firm works with professionals like investigators and accident reconstructionist experts to find out how the accident happened, who was at fault, and how it resulted in your injuries.
Schedule a free consultation with our firm today. We’ll go over the merits of your case and discuss your options. You deserve to have dedicated attorneys who will answer your questions, keep you updated on your case, and help you stand up to an insurance company when they’re trying to give you less compensation than you deserve. Bey & Associates, LLC is here for you.