For some, motorcycles offer an affordable means of transportation. For other motorcyclists, it is a way of life. Regardless of whether they ride for pleasure or out of necessity, as motorcyclists, they are sadly at an exceptionally high risk of being involved in a serious accident. With very little protection, riders often sustain devastating, sometimes fatal, injuries when involved in a collision.
You are likely searching for answers if you were hurt in a motorcycle accident. In this article, we aim to answer some of the most common questions about motorcycle accidents and offer guidance on seeking compensation from the party responsible for your injuries.
To learn more about motorcycle crashes and how to secure maximum damages from the at-fault party, contact Slater & Zurz. Our Ohio motorcycle accident attorneys have over 100 years of collective experience handling motorcycle injury cases and can provide you with expert legal assistance throughout the process. Call (888) 534-4850 today to arrange your FREE case review.
Why are motorcycle accidents so dangerous?
Not only are motorcycles less stable than passenger vehicles, but they also provide virtually no protection to the rider in the event of an accident. Even when riding with a helmet and other protective gear, motorcyclists frequently sustain the most serious injuries in a collision. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die after an accident than drivers and passengers in motor vehicles.
Are motorists typically at fault for motorcycle accidents?
According to JD Power, nearly 75% of motorcycle crashes involve one or more motor vehicles. Additional studies show that of those vehicle-related accidents, around 60% are caused by the other driver. Unfortunately, most of these accidents occur when drivers fail to use adequate care to detect and recognize motorcycles on the roadway.
Are you required to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle in Ohio?
Motorcyclists are not required to wear a helmet in Ohio unless they fall into one or more of the following groups:
- Motorcyclists under the age of 18
- Motorcycle riders who have had their license for less than one year
- Passengers riding with a motorcyclist who is also required to wear a helmet
Can I still sue the driver if I didn’t have a helmet on at the time of the accident?
Yes. You can still seek monetary compensation for your losses even if you were not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. Again, Ohio does not require the majority of motorcyclists to wear a helmet. However, the fact that you were not wearing a helmet might be considered when determining your final award if it is determined that not having a helmet on played a role in the type or severity of your injuries.
What are the most common causes of Ohio motorcycle accidents?
Motorcycle crashes occur under a wide range of circumstances. Some common causes, however, include the following:
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence
- Unsafe lane changes
- Hazardous road conditions
- Failure to yield
- Inexperienced drivers
- Mechanical problems
What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
Ohio is a comparative negligence state. This means you can still seek damages if you played a partial role in the accident. You can be compensated for your losses if you are not found to be more than 50% at fault for the crash. However, the compensation you receive will be reduced by your share of the fault. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 but were found to be 25% responsible for the crash, your final award would be $75,000.
What damages can I recover in an Ohio motorcycle accident case?
The types and amount of damages you can recover depend on the circumstances of your case. However, many injured victims recover compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Ongoing medical care
- Vehicle and home modifications
- Lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death damages
Do courts normally favor the driver in a car vs. a motorcycle accident?
Unfortunately, some jurors are biased against motorcyclists. Some view motorcycle riders as reckless and automatically assume the rider is at fault. That is why we strongly suggest having an experienced and aggressive motorcycle accident lawyer on your side. If the matter goes to court, they can advocate strongly on your behalf, detail what occurred, and effectively prove who was at fault for the accident. Having an attorney gives you the strongest chance of combatting any jury bias or prejudice jurors may have against you.
Will I need to go to court in my motorcycle accident case?
You will probably not have to go to court. In most cases, your motorcycle accident attorney can work on your behalf to resolve your case before ever going to court. If the liable party’s insurance company does not offer you full and fair compensation, you might have to take your case to court to get adequate compensation for your damages. In that case, however, your lawyer will represent you at trial.
Do I need a lawyer to represent me in my motorcycle accident case?
You are not required to have a lawyer when seeking compensation from the at-fault party. However, in most cases, the money you will receive will be less when not working with an attorney. Insurance companies typically try to settle these cases for much less than what the injured victim deserves to save their company money. When you work with a skilled and reputable motorcycle accident attorney, the insurance is much more likely to offer a fair amount. Hiring a lawyer will also increase your chances of success if there is disagreement about who was at fault for the crash.
Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Ohio for FREE
Receiving full compensation for your losses following a motorcycle crash can be challenging. You need an attorney with the experience and determination to fight on your behalf to get the damages you deserve.
Our Ohio motorcycle accident attorneys have helped riders get the justice they deserve for over 30 years. We have the skills, resources, and dedication needed to advocate effectively on your behalf. We also charge nothing unless we win your case, so there is no risk to you. To get started, contact a personal injury lawyer at Slater & Zurz online or call (888) 534-4850 today to arrange a FREE, no-obligation case review.