The Aggressive Legal Team You Need on Your Side
In Ohio, avid motorcyclists take advantage of decent weather to head out on the open roads, whether driving to work or to simply enjoy an afternoon of riding. However, even the most experienced motorcyclists can find themselves involved in an accident due to the actions of other motorists on the road.
If you are seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, you need an experienced legal team to look out for your best interests. The Columbus motorcycle accident attorneys at Ross, Midian & Breitmayer, LLC have recovered millions of dollars for injured Ohioans. While most motorcycle accident cases settle, our lawyers are not afraid to go up against major insurers in the courtroom to help you achieve a fair outcome in your case. Throughout the process, we will provide you with clear, consistent communication and handle all of the legal aspects of your recovery so you can focus on healing.
How Do I Know If I Have a Motorcycle Accident Claim
Like any other motor vehicle accident or personal injury claim, most motorcycle accident cases depend on the issue of liability. Who was at fault for the accident? That person or entity will be the one who is liable for your damages, including your medical bills, motorcycle damage, pain and suffering, and lost income. When another motorist is negligent and causes an accident, you can typically file a claim against their insurance provider to seek compensation.
Even if you were partly at fault for the accident—for example, if you were traveling over the posted speed limit at the time of the collision—you can still recover compensation from the other driver’s insurance company under Ohio’s rule of comparative negligence. Under this rule, if you can prove that you were less at fault than the other driver, i.e. less than 50% at fault for the crash, you can recover compensation up to a certain limit. This limit reflects your at-fault percentage. So, for example, if a jury decides you were 30% to blame for the accident, you can only recover up to 70% of the total award you would have otherwise been entitled to receive. In other words, your total recovery is reduced by your at-fault percentage of 30%.
Some of the common causes of motorcycle accidents that can be attributed to someone else’s negligence include:
- Reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Traffic law violations
- Drunk driving
- Fatigued driving
- Failure to yield the right-of-way
- Aggressive driving
- Making unsafe lane changes/turns
- Illegal passing
We’ve Recovered Millions for Injured Clients
Bus Passenger Accident
Motor Vehicle Accident
Motor Vehicle Accident
Motor Vehicle Accident
Evidence That Can Help Your Claim
Proving that you did nothing wrong as the motorcyclist in an accident is not going to be simple. The other insurance company will blame you for the wreck, no matter what. They like to pin the liability on motorcyclists before any investigation even begins by painting them as “reckless individuals.” To fight their statements, you should be prepared with powerful evidence.
Our Columbus motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help with all parts of your case, including the collection and use of evidence of liability. You don’t need to worry about conducting an investigation when we’re on the job.
Evidence that might be able to benefit your case include:
- Dashcam or helmet cam footage
- Police reports from the crash scene
- Eyewitness statements
- Medical records detailing your injuries
Most Common Injuries After a Motorcycle Accident
It’s no secret that operating a motorcycle can be dangerous. Even if you are a safe and careful driver, other drivers may not see you and feel nervous driving around you. When a motorcyclist crashes, it’s almost guaranteed that there will be injuries since the driver is exposed to the road. The most common injuries include:
A Thorough, Personalized Approach to Your Case
When preparing the appropriate strategy for your claim, we make sure that you are getting the proper treatment you need to recover from your injuries. We also help determine expenses associated with any care that you may need in the future, allowing us to build a case that encompasses the total current and future damages caused by the accident. This allows us to seek compensation for your future treatment and ongoing care in addition to your immediate costs.
There are several steps we take for our clients in any accident case we handle. These include:
- Contacting any witnesses to the accident
- Working with accident reconstruction experts to understand what happened
- Checking businesses near the accident scene for video of the crash
- Negotiating a resolution with the insurance companies involved
- Taking your claim to trial if the other side refuses to settle
The fact is, in motorcycle accidents, those on the bike are the ones who most often suffer very serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), broken bones, and spinal cord injuries. We cannot stress enough how important it is for you to talk with a member of our team before making a decision about an offer you have received from an insurer. Our Columbus motorcycle accident attorneys can help you understand what your case is really worth, as well as what options we have available in order to get the full, fair compensation you deserve.
Choose an Experienced Legal Team
Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Accidents
Ohio has somewhat lenient rules regarding motorcycle helmet use. Riders and passengers under the age of 18 must always wear a motorcycle helmet. Riders who only have a novice license must wear a helmet, and passengers of a rider with a novice license must wear a helmet. However, it is always beneficial to wear a helmet when riding.
You can file a lawsuit against any other party that was liable for your motorcycle accident, whether you had a helmet on or not. You could have a more difficult time obtaining maximum compensation for your injuries if you were not wearing a helmet, though, because the insurance company could argue that you knew it was risky to ride without a helmet but chose to not wear one all the same.
Oftentimes, a driver who turns left in front of an approaching motorcycle is liable for the crash, assuming the driver did not have a green left-turn arrow. In most traffic situations, motorists who are turning left must yield the right-of-way to approaching vehicles and opposing traffic.
When someone has been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident, Ohio law requires the accident to be reported to the police as soon as possible. If you were in a motorcycle accident that did not hurt anyone, then you might not need to report it. Although, reporting your accident is usually a good idea because the report made by the police can become useful evidence of the other driver’s liability later.
There is no official law that makes lane splitting legal or illegal in Ohio. Given that it is not strictly lawful to lane split, motorcyclists in Ohio are encouraged to avoid the behavior when possible and instead operate their motorcycles as they would a full-sized passenger vehicle.
There is a good chance the driver who hit you is going to blame you. This is just what most drivers think to do when they cause an accident. If the other driver tries to blame you at all, then it is a pretty clear sign that you should plan on working with a motorcycle accident lawyer sooner than later. Without their help, you could get unfairly stuck with liability that isn’t yours.
Try to get any information you can about the other car. There could be footage on your helmet cam if you have one that shows the car’s license plate, for example. If the other driver cannot be identified at all, then your only option might be to use uninsured motorist (UM) insurance that you purchased from your motorcycle insurance provider.
As mentioned, some motorists will flee the scene after hitting a motorcyclist because they know they probably caused them to suffer a serious injury. If you can’t identify the driver, then you can still technically sue them using a “John Doe” lawsuit. A John Doe lawsuit names the defendant as the pseudonym John Doe when it is filed. If the driver is identified later, then the lawsuit can be amended with their actual name. The purpose of a John Doe motorcycle accident lawsuit is to create a claim in court before the statute of limitations expires.