A Columbus motorcycle passenger claim is similar to a rider claim in that whoever caused the accident may be liable. While someone in another vehicle could be to blame, the motorcyclist may have caused the crash, in which case they could be liable for injuries sustained by the passenger.
This is because, under Ohio law, motor vehicle operators have a duty to their passengers to operate their vehicles safely. Unless a passenger directly caused the accident, liability will either fall on the person controlling the motorcycle or another negligent party.
Our Columbus motorcycle accident lawyer could help you pursue compensation if you’ve been injured.
What If the Passenger is Partly to Blame?
Passengers may face a more complex situation when they contribute to an accident. In Columbus, OH, motor vehicle operators are subject to comparative fault laws, which means that more than one party can be deemed liable.
Ohio’s modified comparative negligence system means that if someone is found partially at fault for an accident, their compensation may be reduced according to their percentage of fault. So, a passenger who contributed to a crash may still seek damages if another party had a higher percentage of responsibility.
Insurance companies will often try to downplay their policyholder’s involvement in an accident, which is where an attorney can be invaluable.
How do I Seek Compensation as an Injured Motorcycle Passenger?
Both riders and passengers can pursue personal injury claims to cover damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. However, passengers and riders may have different avenues for seeking compensation.
Riders typically rely on their motorcycle insurance policy when they cause an accident, while passengers may have options such as their own auto insurance or the rider’s insurance.
And, of course, if the driver of another vehicle caused the accident, the rider and passenger would both seek compensation from that person’s insurance company. Determining which insurer to file a claim with is crucial when pursuing financial compensation.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Seeking legal representation is advisable for both riders and passengers involved in motorcycle crashes. One of our attorneys can assess the circumstances of your accident, help pinpoint liability, and guide you through the claims process. If your case goes to trial, your lawyer can also protect your rights by negotiating with the insurance company and fighting for you in court.
Ohio Insurance Claims Involving Passengers
Ohio is an at-fault state. This means that motorcyclists are liable for the resulting damages when they are responsible for an accident.
Suppose the person operating the motorcycle has insurance and is the at-fault party in an accident. In that case, their liability coverage pays for damages incurred by any other individuals harmed in the collision, including their passengers.
Motorcycle passengers have almost no control and usually cannot prevent a crash from occurring. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, an injured passenger may be able to sue the party whose negligence caused their injuries.
Potentially Liable Parties
This could be the driver of the motorcycle you were on, another motorist, a public entity in charge of maintaining the roads, or the manufacturer of a defective bike or part.
When you contact the Fitch Law Firm, we can discuss the facts of your case to help you determine who is liable for your injuries. If you choose to move forward with us, we can investigate the crash, negotiate with the insurance companies, and help you bring a personal injury lawsuit if necessary.
What Kind of Injuries Are Common in Motorcycle Passengers?
In motorcycle crashes, passengers and riders risk severe injuries since they are much more vulnerable than people in cars.
Common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries: Motorcycle riders and passengers often sustain traumatic brain injuries due to their limited protection in an accident. These potentially fatal injuries can result in severe cognitive and physical limitations.
- Spinal cord damage: The lack of control over the bike’s movement places passengers at risk of spinal cord injuries, often leading to paralysis and death.
- Back injuries: The forces involved in a crash can lead to various back injuries, ranging from sprains to more severe trauma.
- Neck injuries: The abrupt impact of an accident can cause neck injuries, which can be painful even when minor.
- Lacerations: Riders and passengers can suffer lacerations from contact with another vehicle, the road, or debris during an accident.
- Road rash: Sliding along the road can result in painful “road rash,” a common motorcycle accident injury.
- Concussions: Head injuries, including concussions, are a significant concern for passengers in motorcycle accidents, even if they wear helmets.
- Breaks and fractures: People injured on motorcycles are prone to broken and fractured bones due to the force of impact in motorcycle accidents.
- Limb amputations: Severe accidents sometimes lead to limb amputations, which can profoundly affect a person’s quality of life.
Understanding the severity of your injury and its long-term consequences is essential when negotiating a settlement or pursuing a civil suit. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a motorcycle wreck, seeking legal assistance is the best way to protect your rights.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney can help you pursue the compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.
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If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident in Columbus, OH, hiring professional legal counsel can maximize your settlement. An experienced attorney from the Fitch Law Firm can manage the complexities of your case and pursue fair compensation on your behalf.
Whether you were the rider or the passenger, our Columbus motorcycle accident lawyers are here to protect your rights and guide you through the legal process so you receive the best possible outcome for your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.
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