Common bicycle accident injuries include brain trauma, spinal cord damage, broken bones, cuts, abrasions, nerve damage, and bleeding. Bicycle accident victims can face substantial medical care expenses for these injuries—not to mention lost income and property damage—after an accident. Ohio’s at-fault laws permit accident victims to seek financial compensation for their losses and damages if they were harmed by the actions of another party.
If you were involved in a bicycle accident, our team wants to help. The Fitch Law Firm, LLC can be reached at (614) 545-3930. A Columbus bicycle accident lawyer can assist clients who have been in accidents involving bicycles, vehicles, and personal injuries. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Based on the specifics of your case, we may be able to help you file for the damages you might be legally entitled to collect.
Certain Factors May Lead to Higher Bicycle Fatalities
The National Safety Council (NSC) has found that bicycle accident fatalities increased by 30 percent between 2009 and 2018. Bicyclist fatalities correlate with the seasons, and more people are killed in bicycle-related mishaps in summer than in other months. Bicycle accidents are also more common in urban areas than in rural areas.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bicycle fatality rates are the highest for adults aged 50 to 59. As for non-fatal accidents, children and adolescents between the ages of five and 19 suffer the highest rates of non-fatal bicycle injuries. Accident fatality rates correlate with the age of the rider, the speed at which a victim was struck, and whether the victim was wearing protective gear at the time of the accident.
Men are at a higher risk of being injured or killed in a bicycle accident than women. Also, over one-third of bicycle-related fatalities involving motor vehicles and bicyclists involve some level of alcohol consumption by either the motorist or the bicyclist.
Common causes of bicycle accidents include:
- Damaged, slippery, uneven, or poorly marked roads
- Errors made by the bicyclist or other road users
- Driver or rider distraction
- Alcohol consumption by the motor vehicle driver or bicyclist
- Poor lighting or weather conditions
- Bike failures or malfunctions
Breaking down and understanding the causes of your bicycle accident are critical first steps of any personal injury case. Based on how your accident was caused, you might be able to hold several parties liable for your damages.
Fault and Liability
Ohio’s bicycle riding laws are contained within the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §4511.01. These laws outline everything from who has the right of way between bicyclists and motor vehicles at intersections to local regulations regarding licensing and the operation of bicycles on public roads.
Any party who causes or contributes to an accident via negligence, errors, or illegal actions may be held liable for the accident victims’ damages.
To illustrate how this rule would work in practice, consider a motor vehicle driver who speeds, drives aggressively, or drives while intoxicated or distracted. If such a driver causes an accident, they may be held liable for the damages of the accident victims. Similarly, if a municipality responsible for road repairs in a certain area does not maintain roads within its jurisdiction, and road damage contributes to an accident, it may be held liable for damages.
As a victim, you must show that the party you believe is at fault for your accident was negligent, made mistakes, or broke the law and caused an accident in the process. If you can prove this, you may sue for damages.
For a free legal consultation with a bicycle accidents lawyer serving Columbus, call: (614) 545-3930Call Now »
You May Be Able to Seek Compensation Through Insurance Coverage
According to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), all motor vehicle operators in Ohio are required to carry:
- $25,000 in personal liability coverage for injuries or death of one person
- $50,000 in personal liability coverage for injuries or death to two or more people
- $25,000 in property damage coverage per accident
It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle without insurance, and it is also illegal for a vehicle owner to permit anyone else to drive their vehicle without insurance. However, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), about one in eight drivers in Ohio drive without insurance.
If you were struck by a motorist, you might be able to seek compensation using the at-fault driver’s personal liability policy. In some cases, you may be able—or required—to seek compensation using your health insurance coverage, a relevant home insurance policy, or third-party liability insurance.
Contact the Fitch Law Firm, LLC, at (614) 545-3930 to discuss your case. A Columbus bicycle accident lawyer can help you understand the driving laws and insurance rules that apply to your case. Our team can also help you gather evidence to substantiate your claims, which we discuss in more detail below.
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Your Case Needs to Meet Certain Evidence Requirements
You must provide proof of your losses and the other party’s fault for the accident to the other party’s insurer when you file for compensation.
To prove fault and liability, you may use:
- Photos or videos of the accident
- Eyewitness statements
- Cellphone usage records
- Medical records
- Official police reports
To prove your losses, you may use:
- Medical treatment expense invoices
- Bicycle repair estimates
- Proof of lost income, such as salary statements or wage slips
- Proof of any other accident-related expenses or losses
Call the Fitch Law Firm, LLC to Work on Your Case
Contact the Fitch Law Firm, LLC at (614) 545-3930 for a free case evaluation. A Columbus bicycle accident lawyer can help you gather evidence and estimate your losses.
Our team can also help you file a lawsuit within the statutes of limitations for personal injury cases, which is two years in Ohio, per the ORC §2305.10. Do not hesitate to call us today to start the process of evaluating your case.
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