Columbus Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Cycling can be a fun pastime, great exercise, and a healthy, economical way to commute to work. When you ride your bike, you have the right to be safe while doing so. Unfortunately, many motorists fail to exercise the proper level of care when sharing the road with cyclists, often causing riders to suffer serious, even fatal, injuries.
At Slater & Zurz, our Columbus bicycle accident Lawyers understand the frustration of coping with the injuries and financial burden caused by the careless actions of a negligent motorist. That is why we are committed to holding at-fault parties accountable for their actions. With over 100 years of combined experience, we offer a wealth of knowledge and boundless resources to utilize in our pursuit of justice as well as the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Bicycle Accident Injuries
When a cyclist is involved in an accident, they are at high risk of sustaining serious injuries. Even when wearing a helmet, there is a high probability they will suffer serious injuries, even death. Common injuries that occur as a result of a bicycle crash include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries, including organ damage
- Loss of limb
- Broken bones
- Severe lacerations
- Wrongful death
Cycling in the Buckeye State
Riding your bike has become increasingly popular in the beautiful state of Ohio. According to the League of American Bicyclists, Ohio is considered the 18th most bike-friendly state in the US. With more and more Ohioans choosing to ride a bike, it is important to understand Ohio’s bicycling laws.
All states in the US require cyclists to follow the same rules and regulations as motor vehicles. The following are some critical rules of the road for cyclists.
- Ohio’s traffic code defines bicycles as “vehicles,” meaning a cyclist can lawfully ride on roadways except for freeways and certain limited-access roads. Cyclists may also take up the entire lane while doing so.
- A cyclist has the same right of way as any motor vehicle.
- Cyclists are allowed to leave a bike lane to pass another cyclist, avoid hazards, or make turns.
- Bicyclists should not ride more than two abreast unless on a bike path or in a bike lane.
- A cyclist must use a white light in the front and both red light and reflector in the back of their bike when riding after sunset or before sunrise.
Steps to Take After a Bicycle Accident
The immediate aftermath of a bike accident can be chaotic. But the actions you take after your accident significantly impact the success of your case. Following a bicycling accident, take the following essential steps to ensure you receive fair and just compensation.
Seek medical care – Your priority is to seek medical attention right away. The shock of being involved in an accident often masks the symptoms of your injuries. It is always best to see a doctor right away to evaluate your injuries, even if you feel fine thoroughly.
Report the accident to law enforcement – Give the officers an accurate account of what took place and obtain an official copy of their findings.
Obtain information of all parties involved – Get the name, contact information, and insurance information of all parties involved.
Gather evidence – Take photographs and videos of the accident scene, any hazardous conditions, your bicycle, and any vehicles involved.
Speak with eyewitnesses – Obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses, so your bicycle injury attorney can speak with them about the incident.
Do not speak with the insurance adjuster – You are not obligated to speak with any other party’s insurer. It is always best to hire a knowledgeable bicycle accident Lawyer to handle all communications with the insurance company.
Keep all medical records and bills – Proving the nature and extent of your injuries is essential in a successful bicycle accident claim. Compile all records documenting your injuries and keep proof of all medical expenses.
Contact an experienced bicycle accident lawyer in Columbus – To ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your damages, it is essential to consult with a knowledgeable attorney right away. Even if your case seems clear-cut, it is still essential to get expert legal advice from a qualified injury attorney.
Proving Fault in a Bicycle Accident Case
In Ohio, negligence is defined as the failure to exercise the degree of care that a sensible person would exercise under the same circumstances. Your attorney will need to show the other party negligent to recover damages in a bicycle accident case. Four elements will need to be proven.
- Duty – The driver had a duty to exercise caution while in close proximity to you on the roadway.
- Breach – By acting or failing to act, he or she breached that duty.
- Causation – Their negligence resulted in a crash, causing you to be injured.
- Damages – You suffered losses as a result of your injuries.
Ohio’s Comparative Negligence Law
In some cases, the parties involved in the accident share fault. Under Ohio’s comparative negligence law, an injured party can still recover damages even if they are found to be partially at fault for the accident, as long as their percentage of fault is no more than 50%. However, the amount of your recovery will be reduced by the percentage. For example, if you were found to be 30% at fault and your damages totaled $100,000, you would receive $70,000 in damages.
What is my case worth?
Every bicycle accident case is different. Several factors help to determine the value of your claim, including:
- The nature and severity of your injuries
- The number of your medical expenses and whether you require ongoing treatment
- The number of lost wages and whether you will lose future income
- Whether you sustained long-term or permanent injuries, disabilities, or disfigurement as a result of the accident
- The amount of pain, suffering, and emotional trauma you have experienced
Our knowledgeable attorneys can review your case and accurately assess what your claim may be worth.
How much does a Columbus bicycle accident attorney charge?
Our attorneys take all of our bicycle injury cases on a contingency basis. This means that we do not get paid unless we recover damages on your behalf. Once we successfully resolve your case, a percentage of your compensation will cover our fees.
How long do I have to file a bicycle accident claim in Ohio?
In Ohio, an injured bicyclist must file a claim within two years of the accident date. Plaintiffs who file after that time frame may have their case immediately dismissed by the court. There are some exceptions to this statute of limitations, so it is always best to speak with an attorney to see if you may still be able to file.
Will my bicycle accident case go to trial?
Not necessarily. Most cycling accident cases are settled through negotiations before trial. Our experienced bicycle accident attorneys at Slater & Zurz will determine the most effective way to obtain the maximum recovery in your case.
Hiring a Qualified Columbus Bicycle Accident Attorney
Seeking compensation from a negligent party while trying to recover from your injuries can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. Insurance companies generally work hard to convince you to take an immediate settlement, which often results in you receiving far less than the amount you deserve.
If you or a loved one was injured in a bicycle accident, we urge you to immediately discuss your case with an experienced Columbus bicycle accident lawyer. Our dedicated attorneys at Slater & Zurz will guide you every step of ensuring you receive the compensation and justice you are entitled to. Don’t hesitate. Contact Slater & Zurz today by calling 888.534.4850