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. Motorcycle riders are more exposed and vulnerable out on the roads where they are competing with larger, heavier vehicles driven by negligent and inattentive drivers. Some drivers simply don’t notice motorcycles on the road due to their smaller size while others just don’t respect motorcycles and the rider’s right to share the road. As a result, motorcycle riders are at risk of suffering more significant injuries as a result of a wreck.
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. 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
If you were injured while on a motorcycle as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, regardless of whether you were the operator or passenger, you likely have a claim. The at-fault party and/or their insurance company will be responsible for compensating you for your damages which can include money for the property damage caused to your motorcycle (including any accessories), medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost income.
The most common causes of motorcycle accidents 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
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Evidence That Can Help Your Claim
Insurance companies often try to pin liability on motorcyclists before any investigation even begins by painting them as ‘reckless individuals.’ To fight their assertions and biases, you should be prepared with powerful evidence. That is where our Columbus motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help with every aspect of your case. We will contact the responding officers and agencies to compare our evidence regarding liability with the evidence collected by them. We also have access to established experts in the field of accident reconstruction as well as doctors who can not only help get you the proper treatment you need, but also “connect the dots” of causation between the accident and your resulting injuries.
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:
- Broken bones, often ribs, arms, and legs
- Street rash, or skin lacerations
- Spinal damage or even paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
A Thorough, Personalized Approach to Your Case
While preparing your claim, we first make sure that you are getting the appropriate treatment needed for your injuries in an effort to increase the likelihood of you making a full recovery. While you are focusing on getting better, we will be building your case in an attempt to maximize your recovery and compensation.
There are several steps we take for our clients in any accident case we handle. These can include:
- Contacting witnesses to obtain statements
- Checking business near the accident scene for video of the crash
- Working with accident reconstruction experts
- Analyzing your medical records and bills
- Analyzing your past and potential future lost wages and medical bills
- Obtaining expert reports from your doctors
- Documenting your pain and suffering
- Negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf
- Taking your claim to trial if the other side refuses to settle
- Constantly communicating with you, the client, at every step in the process
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 over the age of 18 but who have had a motorcycle license for less than one year are also required to wear a helmet, as are their passengers. However, helmets are universally recommended for all motorcyclists.
You can file a lawsuit against any other party that was liable for your motorcycle accident regardless of whether or not you were wearing a helmet. However, the insurance company will argue that you knew the risk of riding without a helmet but chose to do so despite that risk. Our attorneys can discuss the circumstances of your case and help explain your legal options.
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. Accident reports can become an important piece of evidence to establish the other driver’s liability as well as the facts and circumstances surrounding the crash.
Lane sharing (two motorcycles riding side by side in a single lane of traffic) is legal in Ohio and specifically addressed under ORC 4511.55(b). However, lane splitting or “white lining” (riding between two lanes of traffic going in the same direction) is not specifically addressed under Ohio law. That does not necessarily mean that it is legal, though. A police officer may cite you for a lane violation or reckless driving. As a result, if you are involved in a motorcycle accident while lane splitting, you will likely (at least) be held partially liable or at-fault for the resulting accident.
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 document any information you can about the other car (make, model, license, color, etc.) and/or the driver. If you have a helmet cam, that video footage will become extremely important to your case. If there are any other people who witnessed the accident, be sure to get their contact information and a witness statement (if possible). If the other driver/vehicle cannot be identified, you may still be able to recover under the uninsured motorist coverage of your insurance policy.