It is almost impossible for bicyclists to avoid sharing the road or an intersection with motor vehicles, even if they mainly stick to bike trails and avoid most public roads. If a motor vehicle hit you while you were riding your bicycle in the Dayton, OH, area, you have the right to seek damages for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
A lawyer with the Fitch Law Firm LLC can help you present your side of the story and use the facts in your case to seek a fair insurance settlement or court award. We can put together a strong case, helping you win the awards you deserve. Dayton, OH, bicycle accident lawyers offer prospective clients a free consultation so they can learn more about their legal options.
Compensation You Can Pursue After a Bicycle Accident
Our lawyer will help you pursue compensation after your bicycle accident. We must first identify your losses so we can determine what damages you can seek from the party who caused your accident. You could receive compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and/or work benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Wrongful death
You can learn more about what benefits you could recover in a wrongful death case in Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §2125.02.
For a free legal consultation with a Dayton bicycle accidents lawyer, call: (614) 545-3930Call Now »
Reacting to a Bicycle Accident Settlement Offer
The party you believe to be liable for your bicycle accident losses doesn’t always have to go before a judge to realize that they can be charged with roadway negligence. There are some accidents wherein fault is clear even at the collision scene. In these cases, a liable party and their insurance provider may make you a settlement offer long before you contact a lawyer.
The settlement offers these parties bring forward are often meant to both help you recover from your losses and dissuade you from legal action in civil court. Even so, insurance adjusters may attempt to undervalue your bicycle accident in an attempt to spare their company’s bottom line. As such, it’s important to compare a settlement offer against your own calculations.
You can specifically turn to our attorneys to help you estimate the overall value of your bicycle accident case. We can then cross-reference our calculations against an insurance adjuster’s and determine if the offer you’ve received is fair. If it’s not, we can negotiate for more comprehensive support and/or continue building your civil complaint.
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How We Can Help You Seek Compensation for Your Losses
You have the option to hire an attorney after a bicycle accident in which an injury occurs. If your injuries were minor, you may be able to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company for the negligent driver and receive a quick settlement.
However, if the injuries from your bicycle accident are severe, you could be facing a long rehabilitation process, which includes missing work. It can be difficult to negotiate with an insurer on your own when recovering from your accident. An attorney can do a lot of work on your behalf, giving you the representation you need as you seek a fair settlement.
When addressing your case, our bicycle accident lawyers in Dayton can:
- Review and collect evidence that supports your case
- Investigate your case
- Determine compensation
- Negotiate with liable parties
- Represent you in court
Can You Afford to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
We realize that many people think about their budgets when seeking legal services for their injury cases. To address this, we are a contingency law firm, which means we can start on your case as soon as possible without you paying any money to us upfront.
We find that this contingency agreement structure eases our clients’ concerns about paying us, allowing us to start work for them immediately. We also start work for our clients with the understanding that if we don’t win their cases, we do not get paid. If you have questions or concerns about fees or payment arrangements, feel free to reach out to us.
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How Negligence Plays a Role in a Bicycle Case
As Dayton, OH, bicycle accident attorneys build your case for compensation, we must prove the party is indeed responsible for the accident that injured you. There are four conditions we must satisfy to prove liability. The person responsible for your accident must have:
- Owed you a duty of care to act responsibly and keep you safe
- Failed to keep this duty of care to you (This can happen if the driver was speeding, driving while distracted, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.)
- Caused your accident by failing to act carefully
- Brought compensatory damages upon you as a result of your accident
Multiple Parties Could Be Held Liable
Your case could become complex if it involves more than one party. If the vehicle’s driver hits you while on the clock for their employer, then the driver’s employer may be liable for your accident. In situations like these, the legal term used is vicarious liability, which means a party not present or involved in the accident could be held responsible for it.
Our attorney will identify all parties in your case and seek to hold them accountable. Our team member also understands the law and complexities of cases where more than one party is responsible for an accident.
What Happens if You’re Partly Responsible for Your Accident?
Ohio uses a modified comparative fault model to recover damages in an injury case (ORC §2315.33). If you are partly at fault in your Dayton-area bicycle accident, you could seek damages as long as you are not more than 50% liable for the accident.
Any percentage of fault that you are found liable for would be deducted from the compensation you are awarded. We will fight on your behalf to prove the other party caused your accident. Even if you are partly responsible for your accident, you may want to have a lawyer review your situation to determine if you could seek damages.
Ohio Allows You Two Years to Pursue Damages in an Injury Case
Per ORC §2305.10, with limited exceptions, anyone seeking damages in a personal injury lawsuit generally has two years to file their action. If you are filing a wrongful death action, you have two years to file it, per ORC §2125.02. This deadline is referred to as Ohio’s personal injury statute of limitations.
Failure to meet either deadline can cause you to lose your right to seek damages, although exceptions exist. We can review your situation to see if these exceptions shorten or lengthen your deadline.
A bicycle accident lawyer in Dayton can ensure that your case remains on track. The Fitch Law Firm LLC knows how to meet any deadlines you are facing, ensuring the insurance company does not stall and cost you a chance at a fair settlement.
What to Expect After Filing an Ohio Bicycle Accident Claim
Once you have evidence of negligence and the means to argue for the post-accident compensation you deserve, you can file your bicycle accident complaint with a county clerk. So long as you’ve delivered your complaint within Ohio’s personal injury statute of limitations, a county clerk can consider it and determine if your case should progress.
If your bicycle accident case moves forward, you have the right to inform the other party that you’re taking civil action against them. That party can then respond. Based on that response, you can determine whether it’s time to commence a civil trial or out-of-court negotiations. The trial procedure is the most traditional and usually involves the following steps:
- Opening statements
- Closing statements
This process can take considerable time to conclude, but it also allows a judge to act if a liable party appears uncooperative or belligerent.
Comparatively, negotiations give you a more direct hand in conversations about your losses. These negotiations may resolve more quickly than a trial, but you may have to compromise to secure the support you want.
Let Our Attorneys Work Toward Helping You Receive a Fair Settlement
Because cyclists don’t have the safety of an enclosed motor vehicle to protect them, any type of accident can be devastating. These accidents can result in injuries that may not heal properly and subsequently cause a significant reduction in a person’s quality of life.
The dangers on the road to the cyclist are clear. The speed and weight of a motor vehicle can cause significant health problems for the bicycle rider.
Consider hiring a lawyer with the Fitch Law Firm LLC to represent your interests in negotiations over a settlement in your Dayton-area bicycle accident. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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