Akron Bicycle Accident Attorney
For over 40 years, Slater & Zurz has successfully handled bicycle accident cases in and around Akron, Ohio. We have the knowledge, experience, and resources to get you the maximum recovery if you have been injured on a bicycle due to someone else’s negligence.
Cyclists are in a vulnerable position while riding on Ohio’s roadways. Many motorists are unaccustomed to sharing the road with cyclists and do not follow the road rules to ensure they travel safely alongside them. Given a bicyclist’s high degree of exposure, they often suffer serious – sometimes fatal injuries when involved in a crash, especially when it involves a motor vehicle.
If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle crash, we urge you to speak with one of our experienced Akron bicycle accident attorneys. Our dedicated and compassionate legal team will make every effort to obtain the maximum compensation for your injuries. We will be there through every step of the process to provide guidance and support.
Causes of Bicycle Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, 846 bicyclists lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2019 – 21 of whom died in Ohio. Even the most highly experienced cyclists can be involved in a devastating crash. Bicyclists face several dangers, including:
- Dooring Accidents – These occur when a driver in a parked car opens their car door in the path of an oncoming cyclist, causing the cyclist to strike the door.
- Rear-end Collisions – When a motorist follows closely behind a cyclist, they often don’t have enough time to stop and end up rear-ending the bicycle.
- Sideswipe Accidents – This type of accident occurs when a driver passes a cyclist without giving them enough room, causing them to hit the side of the cyclist.
- Right Turn Collisions – Motorists often make a right turn at an intersection without looking to make sure the path is clear. When a cyclist is riding straight through the intersection, they are often hit.
- Speeding Accidents – Excessive speed is the cause of many accidents, including those involving a cyclist. Speeding not only causes the collision but also increases the extent of the cyclist’s injuries.
- Distracted Driving – These accidents involve an activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the road. Texting, talking on the phone, and using a navigation device are common driving distractions.
- • Impaired Driving Accidents – When a motorist drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol, their ability to drive is impaired, and their reaction time is slowed, increasing the likelihood of a collision.
- Poorly Designed or Maintained Roadways – Departments of transportation are responsible for designing and maintaining safe roadways, including bike paths and bike lanes. When a bike lane, road, or path is dangerously designed or contains hazards such as potholes or concealed traffic signs, the government agency could be held responsible for injuries sustained in the crash.
- Improperly designed bicycles or components – Bicycle and bicycle part manufacturers have the duty to provide a safe product. When a manufacturer fails to do so, and that product is the cause of an accident, the company should be held accountable and liable for the cyclist’s losses. This also includes bike helmet manufacturers that produce a defective product, leading to serious brain injuries.
Hiring a Bicycle Accident Attorney in Akron
Aggressive legal representation is the best way to protect your rights after an accident. Our Akron bicycle accident attorneys at Slater & Zurz will handle all communication and negotiations with the negligent party’s insurance company. If the insurance company does not present an acceptable offer, we will file a personal injury lawsuit and, if needed, skillfully represent your best interests in court.
We are members of the Akron community and are committed to protecting the rights of the injured while also making this community safer for our families and friends.
Take the first step in obtaining the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with one of our qualified bicycle accident lawyers by calling 888.534.4850.
Ohio’s Comparative Fault Laws
The fault is a critical element of any bicycle accident claim. The party found to be at fault for the crash is typically the one who must pay for the damages resulting from his or her negligence. However, sometimes more than one party is deemed to be at fault for the accident.
Under Ohio’s comparative negligence law, partially at-fault parties can still recover some of their damages. When more than one party causes the accident, the fault is distributed among those parties. A party deemed 50% or less at fault can still be compensated. For instance, if you were found to be 40% at fault, your compensation would be reduced by 40%. If your total damages were $100,000, you would receive $60,000.
Compensation for Bicycle Crash Victims
Due to the severity of injuries caused by most bicycle crashes, victims can incur considerable losses. Our skilled attorneys accurately evaluate the damages needed for you to recover as much as possible. Losses you may incur following a bicycle accident include:
- Medical expenses
- Costs for future medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of earning capacity
- Permanent injuries
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment
Ohio’s Three-Foot Rule for Bicyclists
In response to the rising number of serious bicycle accidents in the Buckeye State, Ohio enacted new safe-passing regulation. Ohio’s House Bill 154 requires all motorists to pass or overtake a cyclist only if there is at least a three-foot cushion. Previous laws didn’t specify a safe passing distance.
The Three-Foot Rule ensures that cyclists have enough room to safely maneuver roadways and be at considerably less risk of being sideswiped by a vehicle attempting to pass them.
Does auto insurance cover bicycle accidents?
Generally, automobile insurance covers cycling accidents. If the motorist were at fault for the accident, his or her auto insurance company would cover the damages. If you have personal injury protection coverage, you may be eligible to receive damages from your own insurance company even if you were riding a bike at the time of the accident.
Is there a statute of limitations for bicycle claims in Ohio?
In Ohio, the statute of limitations gives an injured party two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. If you do not file a claim within two years, you will likely lose the right to hold them responsible.
Does Ohio Law Require Me to Wear a Helmet?
Wearing a helmet can reduce your risk of a severe head injury by almost 60%. However, under Ohio law, it is legal for all age individuals to ride a bicycle without wearing a helmet. However, certain local communities have passed safety ordinances requiring cyclists under a certain age to wear helmets. In Akron, any child under the age of 16 must wear a helmet while riding a bike.
What Should I Do if a Hit-and-run Driver Caused my Accident?
Try to get the license plate number and call the police immediately. Give the officer as much information as you can about the driver, vehicle, and accident location. Often, law enforcement can track down the driver, especially if they have the license plate number.
If the driver is not identified, you may still be covered under your auto insurance’s uninsured motorist coverage. Our experienced attorneys can assist you with this process.
Speak with a Qualified Akron Bicycle Accident Attorney
At Slater & Zurz, we have the expertise, resources, and dedication to maximize the compensation for your damages. Our bicycle accident attorneys in Akron make themselves personally available to address any questions or concerns you may have and will keep you apprised of any developments in your case. We will work tirelessly to obtain the justice you deserve and the compensation you need. Our firm handles all Ohio personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t pay us anything unless we recover compensation on your behalf. All of us at Slater & Zurz are here to fight for you.